Ainu language

Ainu language, also referred to as Hokkaido Ainu, is a language spoken by members of the Ainu people on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Until the 20th century, Ainuic languages were also spoken throughout the southern half of the island of Sakhalin and by small numbers of people in the Kuril Islands. Only the Hokkaido variant survives, in three main dialects, the last speaker of Sakhalin Ainu having died in 1994. Hokkaido Ainu is moribund, though attempts are being made to revive it. The Japanese government made a decision to recognize Ainu as indigenous in June 2008. As of 2017, the Japanese government is constructing a facility dedicated to preserving Ainu culture, including the language.


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