Ubykh – One of the hardest languages to learn

The Ubykh language died on 7 October 1992, when its last speaker, Tevfik Esenç, died in Turkey. Esenç was 88 years old. Ubykh was a North Caucasian language, that belonged to the Adygean branch. There is little hope of resurrecting the Ubykh language. As Esenç himself said before he died, the Turkish government is not interested and the younger generation is also not interested in learning the language. Even Esenç’s 3 sons cannot carry on a conversation in Ubykh. Most Ubykh speakers shifted to using a distinct Adyghe dialect. At the start of the 20th century, there were over 50,000 Ubykh speakers. Ubykh was once spoken on the Coast of the Black Sea, in the Russian Federation and in Turkey. Most Ubykhs eventually migrated to Turkey, where they founded a number of villages. With time, most Ubykhs adapted to Turkish and a Circassian way of life and language. Before Esenç died, a number of linguists collected a number of recordings from him and they documented the language.

Ubykh has been said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. This is because its phonetics is known to be quite difficult, as it uses a lot of consonants, some of which do not exists in any other language. This makes the pronunciation of Ubykh words quite difficult. The Ubykh language has a lot of idioms and idiomatic constructions. For instance, the term ‘I love you,’ can literally translate to “I see you well.” Ubykh has loan words from other languages. A majority of the loan words are from Turkish or Adyghe. There are also Persian and Abkhaz loan words. Ubykh has a number of dialects. One of the well known dialects is Dumézil. It is almost grammatically similar to the standard Ubykh language, except that it has a different sound system.

Ubykh has alternate names. This includes Oubykh (in French), Ubyx (Turkish) and Pekhi (in its Germanized form). Ubykh is an unwritten language as it is mainly rich in oral tradition. Adam Dean, an American has tried to modify the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets so that Ubykh can become a written language.

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