Alaskan Russian dialect

Alaskan Russian, known locally as Old Russian, is a dialect of Russian, influenced by Alutiiq, spoken by elderly people of mixed RussianAlutiiq descent on Kodiak Island and in Ninilchik (Kenai Peninsula), Alaska. It has been isolated from other varieties of Russian for over a century.[2]

Alaskan Russian
Old Russian
Native toAlaska
RegionKodiak Island (Afognak), Ninilchik
EthnicityCreole (Kodiak and Ninilchik)
Native speakers
ca. 5 Kodiak (2016)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
ELPKodiak Russian Creole

Kodiak Russian was natively spoken on Afognak Strait until the Great Alaskan earthquake and tsunami of 1964. It is now moribund, spoken by only a handful of elderly people, and virtually undocumented.[1]

Ninilchik Russian is better studied and more vibrant, though also moribund. It developed from the Russian colonial settlement of the village of Ninilchik in 1847.[3][4]


Ninilchik Russian vocabulary is clearly Russian with a few borrowings from English and Alaskan native languages.


  1. ^ a b Michael Kraus (2016). "IPY-Documenting Alaskan and Neighboring Languages".
  2. ^ Evgeny Golovko (2010) 143 Years after Russian America: the Russian language without Russians. Paper read at the 2010 Conference on Russian America, Sitka, August 20, 2010.
  3. ^ Russian language's most isolated dialect found in Alaska. Russia Beyond, 2013 May 13.
  4. ^ Ninilchik Russian (with dictionary)