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Internet Project: Finno-Ugric Peoples and Languages

The Finno-Ugric peoples is a group of kindred peoples who speak Finno-Ugric languages. The traditional areas of the Finno-Ugric peoples are Northern Europe (from Northwestern Scandinavia and The Baltic Sea up to the Northern Urals), the Middle Volga region, Volga-Kama basin and up to the Urals; in Central and Eastern Europe, the part of the Danube basin; some parts of West Siberian region. But the historical settlement areas of the Finno-Ugric peoples were vaster. Nowadays the separate groups and Diasporas of the Finno-Ugric peoples also live in the other parts of the world.

At the present time there are about 25 millions people who speak Finno-Ugric languages all over the world. The considerable part of them is Hungarians (14,000,000) and Finns (more than 6,000,000). There are a little more than one million of Estonians. The population of the rest of each of the Finno-Ugric peoples (about 15) does not surpass one million people, and the population of some of the peoples of this community makes up several thousands or hundreds of people. The Finno-Ugric peoples differ by its origin and culture, but also they are different anthropologically. Such Finno-Ugric peoples as Hungarians, Finns and Estonians have its independent states. All the rest Finno-Ugric peoples live in the territories of the other states, mostly in the territory of the Russian Federation. Such peoples as Mordvins (Moksha and Erzya), Mari, Udmurts, Komi, Karelians, Khanty, Mansi, Saami have their own national or autonomous republics.

Finno-Ugric languages map

The Finno-Ugric language family is a great union of daughter languages. The majority of the language classifications distinguish the following subgroups: Ugric, Permic and Finno-Volgaic. Finno-Volgaic subgroup include: Baltic-Finnic languages, Sami languages, Mordvinic languages and Mari language. The branches of languages that are in the Finno-Ugric linguistic community have quite a remote affinity between languages, but judging by its base characteristics, they have much in common. Together with Samoyedic languages the Finno-Ugric languages enter into the genetical language community of a larger size - the Ural language family. According to the different estimates the Prafinno-Ugric language was isolated about 3-4 thousands B.C, and its dissociation to the separate Finno-Ugric languages. Indo-European and Altaic languages influenced Finno-Ugric languages in a different measure. The considerable part of Finno-Ugric languages and dialects are under the threat of disappearance, or on the brink of disappearance.