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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Tatar Language: History

American Association of Teachers of Turkic Languages

Tatar Dialects:

In UCLA's Near Eastern Studies introductory page to "Tatar " (as submitted by Agnes Kefeli), Tatar history and the diversity of the Tatar language is discussed.  Here is a a short  segment on Tatar dialects:

There are three major dialects in the Tatar language: the Central, Western, and Eastern.  The Central dialect is mainly found in the Tatar republic.  The Astrakhan, Kasimov, and most Kriashen dialects derive from this group.  The Western dialect is also called the Mishar dialect.  The Mishars are believed to be descendants of Qypchaks from the Golden Horde who settled down west of the Volga river.  They can be found in Tatarstan, Chuvashiia, and Mordoviia.  Finally, the Baraba, Tomsk, and Omsk Tatars of Siberia use the Eastern dialect. The Central dialect serves as the standard literary language and pronunciation in Tatarstan.

Scroll to the bottom of the page to view the list of links for Tatar language and culture compiled by AATT.

The geography of the Tatar language


Map showing the spread of Tatar language speakers across the globe.  

Due to the twists and turns of Tatar history, their language and culture can be found across the Eurasian Steppe. The Tatar language is encountered in Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Moldova, Lithuania, Belarus, Bulgaria, China, Kazakhstan, Romania, Turkey, and Uzbekistan.  To learn more about this Turkic language, check out Ethnologue here

State Symbols: The Republic of Tatarstan

The national flag:

Rectangle cloth with horizontal strips of green, white and red colors. The white strip makes 1/15 width a flag and is located between equal in width the strips of green and red colors. A green strip is above. The relation of width of a flag to its length - 1:2.  Colors of the national Flag of the Republic of Tatarstan mean: green - greens of spring, revival; white - color of purity; red - maturity, energy, force, life 

[Republic of Tatarstan: official website]

State emblem:

The State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan
Authors of the State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan are Dr. Nazym Khanzafarov (idea) and artist Rif Fakhrutdinov (design).

The State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan represents the image of a winged leopard with a round shield on one side, with the raised right forepaw on a background of a disk of the sun placed in a frame from the Tatar national ornament in which basis an inscription "Tatarstan", wings consist of seven feathers, the socket on a shield consists of eight petals. The State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan is made in colors of the flag of Tatarstan; has the round form.
The central image of the arms - a winged leopard - in antiquity a deity of fertility, the patron of children. In the State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan a leopard - the patron of citizens of republic and its people. The leopard is depicted on a background of a red disk of the sun. The sun - in antiquity the main deity of many peoples. The red sun on the State Emblem of Tatarstan means a kind sign, success, happiness, life.

On left to the side of the leopard there is the round shield, meaning legal, economic, power security of citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan.

In colour depiction of the State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan the sun is red, the leopard, his wings and the socket on a board are white, the frame is green, the shield, the ornament on the frame and the inscription "Tatarstan" are golden.

The flower of aster with even quantity of petals symbolizes an eternal source of life, longevity, a wish of longevity.

The raised right forepaw of the leopard is the traditional heraldic gesture underlining greatness of the Supreme authority. It means also started movement "step of the right leg", good beginning of Tatarstan's movement on the way of revival.

Sharp teeth and claws of the leopard mean his ability to stand for himself and for those whom he patronizes and protects.

Seven feathers of wings of the leopard symbolize space of influence of patronizing force of the leopard - both on the ground, and on heavens.

Position of leopards tail means good mood, friendliness.

The popular Tatar vegetative ornament and flower of a tulip personify awakening of a spring nature and symbolizes revival of Tatarstan.

Three gold circles cover the arms at three levels. They express idea of unity, infinity and supreme perfection.

Symbolical values of colors:
Gold color - grace, beauty, riches of the land of Tatarstan;
Green color - greens of spring, revival of Tatarstan;
White color - purity of thoughts of citizens of Tatarstan;
Red color - maturity, energy, force, life, viability of Tatarstan;

The State Emblem of the Republic of Tatarstan asserts, such universal and moral values as good, justice, well-being of citizens, friendship between peoples, peace and progress.

Note: emblem description from the official website of the Republic of Tatarsan. 

The Tatar Language

Source: Turkish Studies_Language Resources, University of Michigan

Source: Arpad Berta, "Tatar and Bashkir"(pp.283-300), IN: The Turkic Languages / Edited by Lars Johanson and Eva Agnes Csato.  Series: Routledge Language Family Descriptions.  London: Routledge, 1998.