How much decline?

How much decline?

A recent article from PRI entitled “The Manchus ruled China into the 20th century, but their language is nearly extinct” describes the gradual decline of the Manchu language in China. What do you think? Is this article on the mark? Or is there hope for Manchu?


  1. brucehumes

    It’s disappointing to find such superficial coverage of the current status of spoken Manchu on a site such as this.

    The reporter obviously knows very little about his subject, and doesn’t even tell us some basic facts, e.g., how many living speakers there are, etc.

    If you want to encourage intelligent discussion, then I recommend linking to more informative articles in English, or even summarizing ones that occasionally appear in the Chinese press. I do so on my blog, Altaic Storytelling, under “Manchu”.

    Bruce Humes
    Istanbul, Turkey

  2. Hi Bruce,
    Thank you for your comment. Those were precisely our thoughts when we first read this article. The purpose of the news section is to highlight any recent articles calling attention to Manchu. We prefer to leave it up to our readers to decide if any of it is valuable. The article has a few factual errors on top of the less than wonderful reporting.

    Also, please feel free to contact us with any ideas of items that you would like to re-post from your blog!

  3. Thank you.

    Pls advise: How can I contact you about re-posts from my blog, or just to let you know about a new Manchu-related news item?

    Perhaps you can send me a contact e-mail to me at



  4. Jan 12 update

    Manchu Studies Group visitors might be interested to learn about Xibe authors in Xinjiang who can still read and write in Xibe, a living tongue closely related to Manchu:

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