• Language: Karelian
  • Alternate names: Karely, Karelian Proper, Sobstvenno-Karel'skij-Jazyk, Severno-Karel'skij, Karel'skiy Jazyk
  • Language code: krl
  • Language family: Uralic, Finnic
  • Number of speakers: 128000
  • Script: Latin script


The Birch bark letter given the document number 292 is the oldest known document in any Baltic-Finnic language
Birch bark letter

Karelian is a language closely related to Finnish, with which it is not necessarily mutually intelligible. Karelian is spoken mainly in Republic of Karelia, Russia.

The Birch bark letter, dated to the beginning of the 13th century, is the oldest known document in any Baltic-Finnic language. The language used in the document is thought to be an archaic form of the language spoken in Olonets Karelia, a dialect of the Karelian language.

The Verb

Verb conjugation of Karelian follows to a great extent that of Finnish.

The Karelian verb is conjugated in:

Sample verb: andua 'to give'

Present Past
Sg.1 minä annan annoin andanen andazin -
Sg.2 sinä annat annoit andanet andazit anna
Sg.3 häi andau andoi andanou andas andakkah
Dual 2 - - - - - andakka
Pl.1 myö annamma annoimma andanemma andazimma -
Pl.2 työ annatta annoitta andanetta andazitta annakua
Pl.3 hyö annetah annetih annettaneh annettas andakkah

See also