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LANGUAGE DESCRIPTION
Kabardian Is closely related to the Adyghe language, both members of the Northwest Caucasian language family, mainly spoken in Georgia, Turkey, and the Kabardino-Balkar Republic of Russia. It has 48 consonant phonemes (of which an amazing 22 are fricatives), but just two phonemic vowels. It is one of very few languages to possess a clear phonemic distinction between ejective affricates and ejective fricatives.
The Kabardian language has two major dialects, Besleney and Terek (the latter being the literary standard). Some argue that Kabardian is only a dialect of an overarching Circassian language that also includes the various Adyghe dialects.
Kabyle Is a Berber language spoken by the Kabyle people. There are 3,123,000 speakers worldwide, the majority in Algeria, where there are more 2,000,000 speakers.
Kabyle was (with some exceptions) rarely written before the 20th century; however, in recent years a small but increasing body of literature has been printed. The originally oral poetry of Si Mohand and Ait Menguellet are particularly notable in this respect.
Kalaallisut (Also called Greenlandic, Greenlandic Eskimo, or Greenlandic Inuktitut) is an Eskimo-Aleut language spoken in Greenland and closely related to languages in Canada such as Inuktitut. The language, like its relatives, is highly polysynthetic and ergative. There are almost no compound words, but mostly derivations. Greenland has three main dialects: North, West and East Greenlandic; West Greenlandic, the largest dialect, is called Kalaallisut. The northern dialect, Inuktun, spoken around the city of Qaanaaq (Thule) is more closely related to Canadian Inuktitut. Kalaallisut is spoken by about 54,000 people, which is more than all the other Eskimo-Aleut languages combined.
Kalasha Is an Indo-European language in the Indo-Iranian branch, further classified as a Dardic language in the Chitral Group. However, this Dardic classification is questionable because it has been shown that only 53% of the commonly used words in Kalasha have cognates in Khowar language.
Kalasha is spoken by the Kalash People who reside in the remote valleys of Bumboret, Birir and Rumbur, which are west of Ayun, which is ten miles down the river from Chitral Town, high in the Hindu Kush mountains in the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. The Kalash have their own religion, with gods and goddesses. Most have been converted to Islam, but there are still about 3,000 believers in old religion. There are an estimated 6,000 speakers of Kalasha, of which 3,000 still follow the Kalash religion and the other 3,000 have converted to Islam.
Kalmky Is the language of the Kalmyks, spoken in Kalmykia (Russian Federation), Western China and Western Mongolia. There are about 160,000 Kalmyk speakers in each country. Kalmyk belongs to the Kalmyk-Oirat subgroup of the Mongolic languages. It also has some elements in common with the Uralic and Turkic languages, sometimes speculated to be a member of the disputed Altaic or Ural-Altaic language family. This reflects Kalmyk's origin as the common language of the Oirats, a union of four Kalmyk tribes that absorbed some Ugric and Turkic tribes during their expansion westward.
Kalto Or Nahali is a language isolate spoken in west-central India (in Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra) by around 5,000 people. The language has many loans from Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, and Munda languages, but much of its vocabulary cannot be related to other language families. Kuiper (1962) conjectured that it is unrelated to any other Indian language but, even if that is so, its vocabulary has over the millennia been heavily influenced, in turn by Munda, Dravidian and latterly, Indo-European Marathi. In Victorian times the Kalto (then known disparagingly as "Nahals" or "Nihals") were among the most notorious of the wild jungle tribes that lived by plunder. Just after 1800 an Arab princeling of the Moghul empire led a punitive expedition against them that destroyed their tribal independence.
Kamchadal Also sometimes known as Itelmen, is a language belonging to the Chukotko-Kamchatkan family traditionally spoken in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Fewer than 100 native speakers, mostly elderly, in a few settlements in the southwest of the Koryak Autonomous Region, remained in 1993. The 2002 Russian census counts 3180 ethnic Itelmen, virtually all of which are now monolingual in Russian. However, there are attempts to revive the language, and it is being taught in a number of schools in the region.
Kankanai Or Kankanaey, is a language widely used by Cordillerans particularly people from the Mountain Province and several from the Benguet province
Kannada Is one of the major Dravidian languages of southern India and one of the oldest languages in India. Speakers of its various dialects number roughly 50 million people. It is the state language of Karnataka, one of the four southern states in India. It is written using the Kannada script.
Kaonde Also known as Chikaonde and Kawonde, is a Bantu language (of the larger Niger-Congo family) that is spoken primarily in Zambia but also in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Kaonde and its dialects are spoken and understood by perhaps 350,000 people or more. It is estimated that approximately 3% of Zambians are native Kaonde speakers. Kaonde speakers overwhelmingly live in the north western part of Zambia. Fewer numbers of Kaonde speakers live in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Kapampangan Kapampangan is a Northern Philippine language within the Austronesian language family. The position of Kapampangan among the Northern Philippine language family is not clear. It's been grouped by SIL as a member of the geographically disjointed Bashiic-Central Luzon-Northern Mindoro language subfamily. This includes languages like Ivatan (spoken north of Luzon), Yami (spoken in Taiwan), and Iraya of the island of Mindoro. Kapampangan's closest relatives are the Sambal languages of Zambales province and the Bolinao language spoken in the city of Bolinao, Pangasinan.
Karachay-Balkar Is a Turkic language spoken by the Karachays and Balkars. It is divided into two dialects: Karachay, and Balkar.
Karaim Is a Turkic language with Hebrew influences, in a similar manner to Yiddish or Ladino. It is spoken by Crimean Karaites (also known as Karaims and Qarays) - ethnic Turkic adherents of Karaite Judaism in Crimea, Lithuania and western Ukraine. It has very few remaining active speakers. The three main dialects are those of Crimea, Trakai and Halych. In Crimea Karaim is written in Cyrillic script, while in Trakai a variant of the Latin alphabet is in use.
Karakalpak Is a Northwestern Turkic language mainly spoken by Karakalpaks in Karakalpakstan (Uzbekistan), as well as Kazakhs, Bashkirs and Nogay. Karakalpaks who live in the wiloyatlar of Uzbekistan tend to speak local Uzbek dialects. Karakalpak was written in the Arabic alphabet and in Persian until 1928, in the Latin alphabet (with additional characters) from 1928 to 1940, after which the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced. Following Uzbek independence in 1991 the decision was made to drop Cyrillic and to revert to the Latin alphabet. Whilst the use of Latin script is now widespread in Tashkent, its introduction into Karakalpakstan remains gradual.
Karelian Is a variety closely related to Finnish, with which it is not necessarily mutually intelligible. It belongs to the Finno-Ugric languages, and is distinguished from standard Finnish by some important extensions to the phonology and the lack of influence from modern 19th and 20th century Finnish. There is no standard Karelian language, but each writer writes in their own dialectal form. The script is the Latin alphabet as used for Finnish with letters added.
Kashmiri Is a Dardic language spoken primarily in Kashmir, a South Asian region now split between India, Pakistan and China. It has about 4,611,000 speakers. It belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Kashmiri has remained a spoken language up to the present times, though some manuscripts were written in the past in the Sharada script, and then in Perso-Arabic script. Currently, Kashmiri is written in Perso-Arabic script with some modifications. The earliest literary composition in Kashmiri that has survived is the poetry of Lalleshvari, a 14th century mystic poetess.
Kashubian Is one of the Lechitic languages, which are a group of Slavic languages. It is assumed that it evolved from the language spoken by some tribes of Pomeranians called Kashubians, in the region of Pomerania on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea between the Vistula and Oder rivers. It is closely related to Slovincian, and both of them are Pomeranian language dialects. Many Polish linguists still call it a dialect of Polish.
Kawi Is a language from the islands of Java, Bali and Lombok. It is actually a literary language based on Old Javanese, but heavily interlarded with Sanskrit loanwords. The language has its own unique alphabets for writing, including Tulisan Bali, a script that evolved from Pallava script. Kawi is extinct as a spoken language, but is still used in Bali, Lombok and to some extent in Java as a literary language. It is also the main language used for the Lombok cultural practice of reading and writing literature on the leaves of the lontar palm.
Kazakh Also Kazak, Qazaq, Khazakh, Kosach, and Kaisak is a Western Turkic language closely related to Nogai and Karakalpak. Kazakh is an agglutinative language, and it employs vowel harmony.
Kemi Sami Is a Sami language that was originally spoken in the southernmost district of Finnish Lapland as far south as the Sami siidas around Kuusamo. A complex of local variants which had a distinct identity from other Sami dialects, but existed in a linguistic continuum between Inari Sami and Skolt Sami (some Kemi groups sounded more like Inari, and some more like Skolt, due to geographic proximity). Extinct now for over 100 years, few written examples of Kemi Sami survive.
Kerek Is a language of Russia that belongs to the northern branch of the Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages. It was formerly considered to be a dialect of Chukchi, but is now recognised as a separate language closer to Koryak. It is now very close to extinction, and the Kerek ethnic group now speaks Chukchi.
Ket Formerly known as Yenisei Ostyak, is a Siberian language isolate, the sole surviving language of a Yeniseian language family, spoken along the middle Yenisei Basin by the Kets. Attempts have been made by Soviet scholars to establish a relationship with either Burushaski or the Sino-Tibetan languages, and it frequently forms part of the Dene-Caucasian hypothesis. The language is threatened with extinction—the number of ethnic Kets that are native speakers of the language has dropped from 1,225 in 1926 to 537 in 1989. Another Yeniseian language, Yugh, is believed to have recently gone extinct.
Khakas Is a Turkic language spoken by the Khakas people, who mainly live in the southern Siberian Khakas Republic, or Khakassia, in Russia. The Khakas number 78,500, of whom 60,168 speak the Khakas language; most people are bilingual in Russian. Traditionally, the Khakas language is divided into several closely related dialects, which take their names from the different tribes: Sagay, Kacha, Koybal, Beltir, and Kyzyl. In fact, these names represent former administrative units rather than tribal or linguistic groups. The people speaking all these dialects simply referred to themselves as Tadar (i.e. Tatar). Shor, which was later on recognised as a Khakas dialect, is spoken by people who originally came from Shoria, currently the Kemerovo region.
Khalaj Is a language spoken primarily in Iran and Afghanistan. It belongs to the Turkic family of languages. There were approximately 17,000 speakers of this language as of 1968.
Kham Is a language complex of Bodic Tibeto-Burmese lects spoken in the remoter highlands of Rapti Zone and Dhaulagiri Zone, western Nepal by the four northern clans of the Magar tribe, called collectively Kham Magars or Northern Magars.
Khanty Or Xanty language, also known as the Ostyak language, is a language of the Khant peoples. It is spoken in Khantia-Mansia, Yamalia, Alexandrovsky and Kargosoksky Districts of Tomsk Oblast in Russia. According to the 1970 census, there were over 14,000 Khanty-speaking people in Russia. The Khanty and Mansi languages are the Ob Ugric (Ob Ugrian) members of the Finno-Ugric languages. The Khanty language is known to have a large number of dialects. The western group of dialects includes the Obdorian, Ob’, and Irtysh dialects. The eastern group of dialects includes the Surgut and Vakh-Vasyugan dialects, which, in turn, are subdivided into thirteen other dialects. All these dialects significantly differ from each other by their phonetical, morphological, and lexical features.
Khasi Is an Austro-Asiatic language spoken primarily in Meghalaya state in India. Khasi is part of the Mon-Khmer group of languages, and is distantly related to the Munda branch of the Austroasiatic family, which is found in east-central India. Although most of the 865,000 Khasi speakers are found in Meghalaya state, the language is also spoken by a number of people in the hill districts of Assam bordering with Meghalaya and by a sizable population of people living in Bangladesh, close to the Indian border.
Khazar Is the language spoken by the medieval Khazar tribe, a semi-nomadic Turkic people from Central Asia. It is also referred to as Khazarian, Khazaric, or Khazari. It was long debated to what branch of the Turkic languages the Khazar tongue belonged, or even if it was a Turkic language at all. Some scholars postulated Iranian or Caucasic linguistic affiliation. Arab scholars of the Middle Ages classified Khazar as similar to, yet distinct from, the type of Turkic spoken by other Turks with whom they were familiar, such as the Oghuz. They noted, however, that both the Khazar tongue and the more common forms of Turkic were widely spoken in Khazaria.
Khmer Is one of the main Austroasiatic languages. Sanskrit and Pali have had considerable influence on the language, through the vehicles of Buddhism and Hinduism. As result of their geographic proximity, the Khmer language has influenced Thai and Laotian and vice versa.
Khmu Is the language of the Khmu people of the northern Laos region. Alternate names include Kmhmu, Khmu', Khamu, Kamu, Kammu, Khamuk, Kamhmu, Khomu, Mou, Pouteng, Pu Thenh, Tenh, Theng, Lao Terng. Linguistically, the Khmu belong to the Khmuic branch of the Mon-Khmer family of languages.
Kichagga Is one of the Bantu languages spoken by the people of Tanzania, South of Mount Kilimanjaro. It is one of a group of closely related languages spoken in that area. Kichaga has various dialects including Vunjo, Rombo, Machame, Uru, Kibosho and Oldi Moshi.
Kildin Sami (Also spelled Sámi or Saami; formerly Lappish) is a Sami language spoken by approximately 500 people in the Kola Peninsula in northwestern Russia. Kildin Sami has an official Cyrillic script.
Kimatuumbi Also known as Matumbi, is a language spoken in Tanzania in the Kipatimu region of the Kilwa district, south of the Rufiji river. It is a Bantu language, P13 in Guthrie's classification. Kimatuumbi is closely related to the Ngindo, Mbunga, Rufiji and Ndengereko languages. It is spoken by about 70 000 people, according to the Ethnologue.
Kinaray-a Is an Austronesian language spoken mainly in Antique Province in the Philippines. It is also spoken in parts of Iloilo. Due to regional proximity, media and television stations, Kinaray-a speakers can understand Hiligaynon speakers but not vice versa. It is a misconception among some Hiligaynon speakers that Kinaray-a is a variation of Hiligaynon; the reality is that the two belong to two different, but related, language subgroups. It belongs to the Visayan language family.
Kinyarwanda Is the chief spoken language in Rwanda. It is also spoken in the east of DRC and in the south of Uganda (Bufumbira-area). Kinyarwanda is a tonal language of the Bantu language family (Guthrie D61). Kinyarwanda is closely related to Kirundi spoken in the neighboring country, Burundi and to Giha of western Tanzania. The inhabitants of Rwanda and Burundi belong to three different ethnic groups: Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa (a pygmy people). The fact that these ethnic groups share the same language is assumed to be the result of the Hutu outnumbering the latter two groups
Kiribati Is a language from the Austronesian family, part of the Oceanian branch and of the Nuclear Micronesian subbranch. It is a verb object subject language. Description of the language as Gilbertese or Kiribatese is sometimes considered a relic of colonial days by some I-Kiribati (the people of Kiribati). But as Kiribati is itself a rendition for "Gilberts", most people do not care. The official description is Taetae ni Kiribati, or 'the Kiribati language'.
Kirombo (Also Rombo) is a Bantu language of Tanzania, spoken by approximately 300,000 people (1992 UBS). It is spoken in the Chaga area of the Kilimanjaro region. Kirombo is closely related to the other Chaga languages Vunjo, Moshi, and Machame languages, with which it is said to form a dialect continuum.
Kirundi (Also written Rundi) is a Bantu language (D62 in Guthrie's classification) spoken by some 6 million people in Burundi and adjacent parts of Tanzania and Congo-Kinshasa, as well as in Uganda. 85% of the speakers are Hutu, 15% are Tutsi. Kirundi is closely related to Kinyarwanda, the main language of neighbouring country Rwanda and to Giha, a language spoken in western Tanzania. Kirundi and Kinyarwanda are mutually intelligible.
Kivunjo (Also Vunjo) is a Bantu language of Tanzania, spoken by approximately 300,000 people (1992 UBS). It is spoken in the Chaga area of the Kilimanjaro region. Kivunjo is closely related to the other Chaga languages Rombo, Moshi, and Machame languages, with which it is said to form a dialect continuum.
Klallam (Also Clallam) is a Straits Salishan language spoken by Klallam peoples. Klallam is spoken at Becher Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Klallam is closely related to the Northern Straits dialects (including Saanich).
Kodava Takk Is the original language of the south Karnataka district of Kodagu. The language is often called Coorgi or Coorg language in English. The number of speakers is estimated at around 300,000. It is the primary language of Kodavas, but a large portion of other communities and tribes in Kodagu also use Kodava Thakk. It belongs to the Dravidian languages family, and is related to and influenced by Kannada, Tamil and Malayalam. Kodava Takk also has words which do not sound similar to words in other Indian languages. Kodava Takk has no written script and usually Kannada script is used to write it.
Komi Also known as Zyrian, or Komi-Zyrian, is a language spoken by the Komi peoples in the northeastern European part of Russia. Komi belongs to the Finno-Permic group of the Finno-Ugric languages. Of the several dialects found within Komi, two major dialects are recognized, although the differences are not great: Komi-Zyrian, the largest group, which serves as the literary basis within the Komi Republic; and Komi-Yazva, spoken by a small, isolated group of Komi to the east of Perm Krai and south of the Komi Republic. Permyak (also called Komi-Permyak) is spoken in Komi-Permyak, where it has literary status.
Konkani Is an Indo-Aryan language, although it includes a wealth of words derived from various Dravidian languages. It started as a vernacular of Sanskrit, with inevitable corruption of the words. It has been relatively free of influence of any other language except a little of Portuguese (in the last few centuries) and some Kannada (supposedly during the Kadamba period of 12-14th centuries). Konkani is not a dialect of Marathi. History has established that even when the Konkani language had reached maturity, the Marathi language was not even born.
The Konkani language is spoken widely in the Konkan region consisting of Goa, south coastal Maharashtra, coastal Karnataka and Kerala, each region having a unique dialect and pronunciation style.
Kongo Or Kikongo is the Bantu language spoken by the Bakongo people living in the tropical forests of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo and Angola. It was the base for Kituba, a Bantu creole and lingua franca throughout much of western central Africa. It was spoken by many Africans from the region who were taken into slavery and sold to the Americas. For this reason, while Kikongo still is spoken in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo and Angola, Creolized forms of the language are found in ritual speech of African derived religions in Brazil, Jamaica and Cuba, and is one of the sources of the Gullah peoples language. The vast majority of present-day speakers live in Africa. There are roughly seven million native speakers of Kikongo, with perhaps two million more who use it as a second language.
Korandje Is by far the most northerly of the Songhay languages. It is spoken around the oasis of Tabelbala by no more than a few thousand people; its name, Kora-n-dje, means "village's language". While retaining a basically Songhay structure, it is extremely heavily influenced by Berber and Arabic; Lacroix estimates that only 40% of its vocabulary is Songhay, with another 30% each from Arabic and Berber.
Korean Is the official language of both North and South Korea. The language is also one of the two official languages (the other is Standard Mandarin) in neighbouring Yanbian, China. Worldwide, there are around 78 million Korean speakers, including large groups in the former Soviet Union, China, Australia, the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan, and more recently the Philippines. The genealogical classification of Korean is debated. Many linguists place it in the Altaic language family; some others consider it to be a language isolate. Korean is agglutinative in its morphology and SOV in its syntax. Some vocabulary has been imported from Chinese, or created on Chinese models.
Korowai Also called the Kolufo, are a people of southeastern Papua (i.e. the southeastern part of the western part of New Guinea). Their numbers are very roughly estimated at about 3,000. Until the 1970s, they were unaware of the existence of any people besides themselves and some immediately neighboring tribes. Only a few of them have become literate thus far. They are one of few surviving tribes in the world to engage in cannibalism.
Koryak Is a Chukotko-Kamchatkan language spoken by circa 5,200 people (2001) (Koryak) in the easternmost extremity of Siberia, mainly in the region called Koryakia. It is mostly a language spoken by Koryaks. Its close relative, the Chukchi language, is spoken by about twice that number. The language together with Chukchi, Kerek, Alutor and Itelmen forms the Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family. The Chukchi and Koryaks form a cultural unit with an economy based on reindeer herding and both have autonomy within the Russian Federation.
Kosraean Also sometimes called Kusaiean, is the language spoken on the islands of Kosrae (Kusaie), Caroline Islands, and Nauru. In 2001 there were approximately 8,000 speakers.
Koyra Chiini Or Western Songhay, is a variety of Songhai in Mali, spoken by about 200,000 people (as of 1999) along the Niger River in Timbuktu and upriver from it in the towns of Diré, Tonka, Goundam, and Niafunké, as well as in the Saharan town of Araouane to its north. In this area, Koyra Chiini is the dominant language and the lingua franca, although minorities speaking Hassaniya Arabic, Tamashek, and Fulani are found.
Koy Sanjaq Surat Is a modern Eastern Aramaic or Syriac language. Speakers of the language call it simply Surat, or 'Syriac'. It is spoken in the town of Koy Sanjaq and its nearby village of Armota in the province of Arbil in northeastern Iraq. The speakers of Koy Sanjaq Surat are traditionally Chaldean Catholics. Koy Sanjaq Surat seems to be related to Senaya, which is spoken by Chaldean Christians who originally lived east of Koy Sanjaq, in the city of Sanandaj in Iran. Not enough is known about the language to make any definite comment, but it seems that Koy Sanjaq Surat may have developed as the language of Chaldean settlers from Sanandaj. It does not appear to be intelligible with Chaldean Neo-Aramaic, which is spoken by correligionists further north, or with the Jewish Neo-Aramaic language of Lishanid Noshan which was traditionally spoken by the Jews of Koy Sanjaq.
Krymchak Is the language spoken in Crimea by the Krymchak people. It is often considered to be a Crimean Tatar dialect. The language is sometimes referred to as Judeo-Crimean Tatar. Like most Jewish languages, it contains a large number of Hebrew loanwords. Before the Soviet era it was written using Hebrew characters. In the Soviet Union in the 1930s this language was written with the Uniform Turkic Alphabet (a variant of the Latin alphabet), like Crimean Tatar and Karaim). Now it is written in Cyrillic script.
The community was decimated during the Holocaust. Only about a thousand Krymchak people remain in Crimea. Nowadays the language is almost extinct. Today it is a native language for only three persons, all of an advanced age, and about a hundred can speak it.
Kujargé Is spoken in seven villages in Chad near Jebel Mirra (11°45'N 22°15'E) and in Sudan in villages scattered along the lower Wadi Salih and Wadi Azum. It is estimated to have about 1000 speakers (as of 1983). The language is classified by Paul Newman as a member of the Mubi subgroup of Chadic; however, Lionel Bender argues that its classification is still uncertain, on the basis that it shows much fewer roots in common with the other Mubi languages than they do with each other. The name is derived from Sudanese Arabic kujur "sorcerer", because of their reputation for witchcraft. The speakers mainly live by hunting and gathering.
Kumaoni Variously used to signify the people or the local dialect of Kumaon Division of Uttaranchal, a region in the Indian Himalayas.
Kumyk (Also Qumuq, Kumuk, Kumuklar, and Kumyki) (?????) is a Turkic language, spoken by about 200 thousands speakers (the Kumyks) in the Dagestan republic of Russian Federation. Yirçi Qazaq (born 1839) is usually considered to be a founder of Kumyk literature. First regular newspapers and magazines 1917-18. Kumyk was written using Arabic script until 1928, Latin script was used in 1928-1938, and Cyrillic since then. It has been strongly influenced by Azeri and Dargwa, as well as by Russian during last century.
Kumzari Is an Iranian language spoken by the members of the Shihuh tribe in the Kumzar coast of Musandam Peninsula, northern Oman. This is the only Iranian language spoken in the Arabian Peninsula. Kumzaris can also be found in towns of Dibah and Khasab, as well as various villages and the Larak Island. Speakers are descendants of fishermen that inhabited the coast of Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The language is a development of early Modern Persian and is closely related to the Minabi dialect of southern Balochistan. The majority of vocabulary, as well as the grammatical and syntactic structure of the language, is Iranian, although a large number of Arabic words exist in the everyday speech. Despite the fact that it is spoken by the Persian Gulf fishermen, its phonology bears closer resemblance with the Persian language dialects of Fars province in Iran and is thought to be mutually understandable by the speakers of Luri.
Kurdish is an Indo-Iranian language spoken in the region loosely called Kurdistan, including Kurdish populations in parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Kurdish is an official language in Iraq while it is banned in Syria. Before August 2002, the Turkish government placed severe restrictions on the use of Kurdish, prohibiting the language in education and broadcast media. In Iran, though it is used in the local media and newspapers, only a few schools are permitted to teach the language. The Iranian government allows very limited higher education in Kurdish, and therefore, many Kurds have left for Iraq where they can study in their native language.
The Kurdish language belongs to the western sub-group of the Iranian languages which belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages family. The most closely related languages to Kurdish are Persian and Pashto.
Kurukh Belongs to the Dravidian family, and is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). It is spoken by the Oraon, a tribal (Adivasi) people of Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal, India. It is also the only Dravidian language indigenous to Bangladesh.
Kwanyama Is a Bantu language mainly spoken in Angola and some parts of Namibia (together with Ndonga). The language is spoken by about 421,000 people in Angola and 713,919 in Namibia. The language is also known by other names like Ochikwanyama, Kuanyama, Kwanjama, Kwancama, Cuanhama, Ovambo and Humba. Grouped with the closely related Ndonga, it is also called 'Otjiwambo', 'Oshiwambo' or 'Owambo'. The borders between different languages and dialects in the area are less strict than in for example Western Europe.
Kyrgyz Is a Northwestern Turkic language, and, together with Russian, an official language of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz is spoken by about 3 million people in Kyrgyzstan, China, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), Uzbekistan, Pakistan (Chitral) and Russia. Kyrgyz is written in modified Cyrillic (Kyrgyzstan) and modified Arabic (China) scripts. A Latin script was used between 1928 and 1940 in Kyrgyzstan. After Kyrgyzstan gained independence in 1991, there was a popular idea among some of the Kyrgyz politicians to return Kyrgyz language back to the Latin alphabet, but this plan has never been implemented.