|Native to||India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan|
|Region||Odisha, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Bihar|
|2.28 million (2002-2011)|
Official language in
|India (Jharkhand, West Bengal)|
Kurukh (; also Kurux and Oraon or Uranw;Devanagari) is a Dravidian language spoken by nearly two million Oraon and Kisan tribes of Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Bihar and West Bengal, as well as by 65,000 in northern Bangladesh, 28,600 a dialect called Uranw in Nepal and about 5,000 in Bhutan. Some Kurukh speakers are in South India. It is most closely related to Brahui and Malto (Paharia). The language is marked as being in a "vulnerable" state in UNESCO's list of endangered languages. The Kisan dialect has 206,100 speakers as of 2011.
Kurukh belongs to the Northern Dravidian group of the Dravidian family of languages, and is closely related to Sauria Paharia and Kumarbhag Paharia, which are often together referred to as Malto.
Kurukh is written in Devanagari, a script also used to write Sanskrit, Hindi, Marathi, Nepali and other Indo-Aryan languages. Narayan Oraon, a doctor, invented the Tolong Siki script specifically for Kurukh. Many books and magazines have been published in Tolong Siki script. The Kurukh Literary Society of India has been instrumental in spreading the Tolong Siki script for Kurukh literature.
Kurukh language spoken mostly in Raigarh, Surguja, Jashpur of Chhattisgarh, Gumla, Ranchi of Jharkhand, Jharsuguda and Sundargarh, Sambalpur district of Odisha. It is also spoken in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Tripura states.
It is spoken by 2,053,000 people from the Oraon and Kisan tribes, with 1,834,000 and 219,000 speakers respectively. The literacy rate is 23% in Oraon and 17% in Kisan. Despite the large number of speakers, the language is considered to be endangered. The governments of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh have introduced the Kurukh language in schools with majority Kurukhar students. Jharkhand and West Bengal both list Kurukh as an official language of their respective states. Bangladesh also has some speakers.
Kurukh has five cardinal vowels. Each vowel has long, short nasalized and long nasalized counterparts.
The table below illustrates the articulation of the consonants.
|Nighai ender name hike?||What is your name ?|
|Nin ekase raadeen?||How are you? (Girl)|
|Nin ekase raadai?||How are you? (Boy)|
|En kodem radan.||I am fine.|
|Ikya kaalgadeen ?||Where are you going? (Girl)|
|Ikya Kaalgadai ?||Where are you going? (Boy)|
|Endra manja?||What happened?|
|En Onna Lagdan.||I am eating.|
|Neen Mookha.||You eat.|
|Aar onna lagnar.||They are eating.|
Kurukh has a number of alternative names such as Uraon, Kurux, Kunrukh, Kunna, Urang, Morva, and Birhor. Two dialects, Oraon and Kisan, have 73% intelligibility between them. Oraon but not Kisan is currently being standardised. Kisan is currently endangered, with a decline rate of 12.3% from 1991-2001.