Photo courtesy of Zoetnet

Quick Facts


Total Worldwide Speakers: 283,400


Language Family: Altaic, Turkic


Spoken in:

Russia: Southern Siberia near Mongolia border, Tyva Republic and Krasnoyarskiy Kray; China; Mongolia




There are four main dialects of Tuvan: Western, Central, Northeastern and Southeastern. Written Tuvan is based on the Central dialect. It was first written in 1930 using the Latin alphabet with a spelling system invented by Mongush Lopsang-Chinmit, a Tuvan Buddhist monk. A few books and newspapers were printed using his system. Since September 1943, Tuvan has been written with the Cyrillic alphabet.



Sources: The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture.

For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.