Discover the language

Since 1999, Inalco has been offering an introduction to Ossetian, the language of the Iranian group. Ossetians are divided between the Republic of North Ossetia (Russia) and South Ossetia (Georgia), straddling both sides of the Caucasus.

Ossetian is a language of the northeastern branch of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family. It is the only living remnant of the Iranian languages spoken in ancient times by the "Scythian" peoples of Europe: Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans. It has been influenced by the Caucasian substratum. The literary language was standardized in the 19th century and is now written in an adapted Cyrillic alphabet. Ossetian is also the medium of a very rich oral tradition (collected in writing from the 19th century onwards), notably the epic "nartes" stories whose background goes back to antiquity.

The current number of speakers is estimated at around 500,000. One of the two official languages along with Russian in North Ossetia - Alania (Russian Federation) and South Ossetia.

In North Ossetia - Alania, two phenomena can currently be observed: the continuing influence of Russian, and a voluntarist promotion of Ossetian, since the end of the Soviet Union, in literature, the press and television, education (with the creation of new school curricula), etc.

In South Ossetia, Ossetian is the main language of communication and use.

The Ossetian language and civilization have been taught at Inalco as an optional option since 2000 (previously in the Russian section, currently in the Eurasia section).

Training courses

Four courses in Ossetian are offered within the LLCER bachelor's degree in Eurasian languages. Accessible as an in-depth study in certain languages, they can also be taken as an opening course in L2 or L3 (refer to the brochures). These courses can also be chosen as part of a Passport.
Courses offered: Ossetian Civilization 1 and 2 AND Ossetian Language 1 and 2