Kalmyk is a member of the Kalmyk-Oirat subgroup of Mongolic languages. It is spoken by about 500,000 people in Kalmykia in the Russian Federation between the Volga and Don rivers, and in Western China and in Western Mongolia. Kalmyk was first written with the Uyghur script in the 11th century. Then in 1648 a Kalmyk Buddhist monk called Zaya Pandita Oktorguin Dalai created the Kalmyk alphabet or Todo Bichig (Clear Script) by adapting the Classical Mongolian script. The Clear script is still used by Kalmyks in China, but Kalmyks in Russia adopted the Cyrillic alphabet.