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Welcome to our Yup'ik language page. Yup'ik (or Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Central Yup'ik) is a Yupik language of the Eskimo language grouping in the Eskimo-Aleut language family, spoken in western and southwestern Alaska by the Yup'ik people.If you have any questions, please call 800-609-6211  e-mail us at

Central Alaskan Yup'ik is the largest of the state's Native languages, both in the size of its population and the number of speakers.

Of a total population of about 21,000 people, about 10,000 are speakers of the language. Children still grow up speaking Yup'ik as their first language in 17 of 68 Yup'ik villages, those mainly located on the lower Kuskokwim River, on Nelson Island, and along the coast between the Kuskokwim River and Nelson Island. The main dialect is General Central Yup'ik, and the other four dialects are Norton Sound, Hooper Bay-Chevak, Nunivak, and Egegik.
Central Alaskan Yup'ik lies geographically and linguistically between Alutiiq and Siberian Yupik.

The use of the apostrophe in Central Alaskan Yup'ik, as opposed to Siberian Yupik, denotes a long p. The word Yup'ik represents not only the language but also the name for the people themselves (yuk 'person' plus pik 'real'.) In Chevak the language is referred to as Cup'ik, and in Nunivak as Cup'ig, words that are also used in place of Yup'ik to denote a person of this group.

Early linguistic work in Central Yup'ik was done primarily by Russian Orthodox, then Jesuit Catholic and Moravian missionaries, leading to a modest tradition of literacy used in letter writing. In the 1960s, Irene Reed and others at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks developed a modern writing system for the language, and their work led to the establishment of the state's first school bilingual programs in four Yup'ik villages in the early 1970s.

Since then a wide variety of bilingual materials has been published, as well as Steven Jacobson's comprehensive dictionary of the language and his complete practical classroom grammar, and story collections and narratives by many others, including a novel by Anna Jacobson.

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    In Two world's: A Yupik Eskimo Tradition

    In Two world's is a vivid photographic portrait of a Yup'ik Eskimo family and through them, of a vital community that continuously adopts modern ways without abandoning traditional values.  ...

    Let Me Tell a Story Book With CDs

    Ungipaghaghlanga (Let Me Tell a Story) (with CDs) by Koonooka, Christopher (Petuwaq) ; Ayveghhag, Tagikaq ; Asuya, Alghalek ; Nanughhaq, Wiri Alaska's St. Lawrence Island lies just 50 miles off...

    Map of the Inuit-Yupik-Aleut Nunait/Nunangit Yuget

    This wall map delineates the languages and dialects of the Eskimo-Aleut world, from the eastern tip of Siberia across Alaska and Canada to Greenland. Community names with population figures and...

    Naukan Yupik Eskimo Dictionary-English

    Naukan Yupik Eskimo Dictionary-English by Dobrieva, Elizaveta A. ; Golovko, Evgeniy V. ; Jacobson, Steven A. ; Krauss, Michael E. Naukan is spoken by the Yupik Eskimo people of East...

    Naukan Yupik Eskimo Dictionary-Russian Version

    Naukan Yupik Eskimo Dictionary-Russian Version by Dobrieva, Elizaveta A. ; Golovko, Evgeniy V. ; Jacobson, Steven A. ; Krauss, Michael E. Naukan is spoken by the Yupik Eskimo people of...

    Our Teachings Are Medicine Yup'ik Book

    Qanruyuteput Iinruugut (Our Teachings Are Medicine) by Rearden, Alice ; Jimmie, Freda ; Kaganak, Veronica ; Chanar, David More than 20 elders from southwestern Alaska offer advice and maxims on...

    Practical Grammar of the Central Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo Language

    The native language of Eskimo people who live in the coastal and inland regions of the Lower Yukon, Kuskokwim, and Bristol Bay areas of Southwestern Alaska is presented in this...

    Yup'ik Eskimo Dictionary by Steven A. Jacobson

    The Yup'ik Eskimo Dictionary by Steven A. Jacobson is the most thorough and up to date glossary for the Yup'ik language. 1,247 pages. PB  

    Yup'ik Phrase and Conversation Lessons

    Learn to speak Yupik with this fun course.Native speaker Anna Jacobson clearly pronounces commonly used phrases and sentences in the Yup'ik Eskimo language. An accompanying booklet provides sentence-by-sentence translations while...
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