Kildin Saami

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Kildin Saami
Autoglottonym: (кӣллт) са̄мь кӣлл / (kīllt) sāmʼ kīll
Pronunciation: (kiːlːˠt) saːmʲ kːlːˠ
Ethnologue name: Saami, Kildin
OLAC name: Kildin Sami
WALS name: Saami (Kildin)
Location point: 37dE 67dN
Family: Uralic
Genus: Peninsula Eastern Saamic
Country: Russian Federation
Official in: not official
Speakers: 100–800
Writing system: Cyrillic
ISO 639-2: smi
ISO 639-3: sjd
WALS: sik

Kildin Saami is a seriously endangered Eastern Saamic (Uralic) language spoken in the Russian Federation.


The name Kildin is borrowed from Russian kilʼdin-, the name for an island on the Barents Sea coast close to present-day Murmansk. The Russian name of the island goes back to the Kildin Saami toponym kīllt, which originally referred only to one rather peripheral dialect of this language.


Kildin Saami is spoken on the Kola peninsula in northwesternmost Russia.


The number of active fluent speakers is estimated at around 100 (2011);[1] the overall number of speakers goes perhaps up to 800.


  • Arsjogk
  • Kīllt
  • Koardegk
  • Lejjavvʼr (†)
  • Lujavvʼr
  • Māziell`k (†)


Eastern Saamic
Peninsula Eastern Saamic

Works on the language

  • Blokland, Rogier and Michael Rießler. 2011. Saami-Russian-Komi contacts on the Kola Peninsula. Language contact in times of globalization, ed. by Cornelius Hasselblatt, Peter Houtzagers and Remco van Pareren. Amsterdam: Rodopi. 5–26.
  • Kert, Georgij M. 1971. Saamskij jazyk. Leningrad: Nauka.
  • Scheller, Elisabeth. 2011. The Sámi language situation in Russia. Ethnic and linguistic context of identity, ed. by Riho Grünthal and Magdolna Kovács. Helsinki: SUS. 79–96.


  1. Scheller 2011

Links and resources

See also

Bibliographical articles on researchers of Kildin Saami

Language articles on the other Kola Saami languages

Survey articles on Kildin Saami linguistics

Other languages