Grammar of the

Kabardian-Cherkess Language


Edited by Amjad Jaimoukha



The Kabardian-Cherkess language (henceforth referred to only as Kabardian, since both the Kabardians and Cherkess use the same official and literary language) is structurally part of the Apswa-Adiga group of the Ibero-Caucasian languages. Literary Kabardian is based on the Kabardian dialect spoken in Greater Kabarda (part of country to the west of the Terek river), in the environs of the capital Nalchik. Lesser Kabarda is on the right bank thereof. Kabardian has one dialect, namely Beslanay, and many sub-dialects (Malka, Bakhsan, Terek, Mozdok, Lesser Kabardian, and others).


The following short treatise is based on many works, but mainly on the short grammatical work in Qarden (Kardanov), B. M. and Biysch’ew (Bichoev), A. T. (compilers), Schojents’ik’w (Shogantsukov), A. O. (editor-in-chief), УРЫС-КЪЭБЭРДЕЙ-ШЭРДЖЭС СЛОВАРЬ. РУССКО-КАБАРДИНСКО-ЧЕРКЕССКИЙ СЛОВАРЬ. Russko-kabardinsko-cherkesski slovar’ [Russian-Kabardian-Cherkess Dictionary], Kabardian Science and Research Institute, Moscow: State Press of Foreign and National Dictionaries, 1955, pp 993-1054. A full bibliography is provided. The illustrative examples will be given first in Cyrillic (current) and then transcribed in a new Latinized Kabardian Alphabet. It is recommended that you make a print-out of this booklet and study the contents very carefully. 


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My Mother Tongue, My Circassian Language


(«СИ АНЭБЗЭ, СИ АДЫГЭБЗЭ»; 'Siy Anebze, Siy Adigebze') – Husein Mereimiqwe (Мэремыкъуэ Хьусен)


Words by Boris Jedghef, music by Hesen Qarden


Уэрэд жызыIэр Мэремыкъуэ Хьусен


Ди бзэр зыгъэдахэхэм, зыгъэшэрыуэхэм ящыщщ мы уэрэд дахэр зи IэдакъэщIэкI уэрэдус Къэрдэн Хьэсэнрэ, усакIуэ Джэдгъэф Борисрэ.



Уи бзэр бзууэ IэщIэкIамэ, кIэлъылъати къэпхъуэтэж. Ар уи щIэблэм Iурыпчамэ, къатIи мащэ итIысхьэж.


‘If your language flits away like a sparrow, fly after it and snatch it back. If it escapes your young ones, dig your grave and sit in it.’



Husein Mereimiqwe (b. 1948) is the Circassian Caruso, singing in the best tradition of belle-canto. He also sings traditional songs, such as «АДЫГЭ ДЖЭГУ» ‘Adige Jegw’ (‘Circassian Dance Party’), and «АНЭДЭЛЪХУБЗЭ» ‘Anedelhxwbze’ (‘Mother Tongue’) [both available on this website].

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