Veps belongs to the Baltic-Finnic group of the Finno-Ugric languages.
According to Soviet statistics 8,000 people were self-designated Veps at the end of the 1970s. The statistics is however considered extremely unreliable by most non-Soviet linguists, not changing the situation that the language must be understood as in stern threat of extinction.
According to the location of the people, the language is divided into three main dialects: Northern Veps (at Lake Onega to the south of Petrozavodsk, to the north of river Syväri), Central Veps (in the Petersburg region), and Southern Veps (in the Vologda province). The Northern dialect is somewhat more distinct than the others, but it is nevertheless possible for the members of the different dialect groups to understand each other. The speakers of the Northern dialect call themselves Ludic or Ludilainen. Their speech is sometimes classified as a dialect of Karelian.