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Languages of Central Asia

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Central Asia has many languages, but they are gradually decreasing.

Countries KazakhstanUzbekistanKarakalpakstanTajikistanGorno-Badakhshan Autonomous RegionKyrgyzstanTurkmenistanAfghanistanPakistan[edit]

Central Asia consists of 5 countries, as well as the northern part of 2 other countries.


Kazakh (قازاق/Қазақ/Qaşaq) is mainly spoken in Kazakhstan (kɑzɑɣstɑn), while Uzbek and Tajik is also spoken in the Southwest. Much Russian (русский язык) is spoken in the North, as well as German (Deutsch). Kazakh is written[1] in Cyrillic script or Persian Alphabet.


Uzbek (O‘zbekcha/Ўзбекча/اۉزبېک تیلی) is the main language spoken in Uzbekistan, while it is only spoken in the Southwest area of the Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpoghistan) Autonomous Republic, Xorazm region and about ten regions in eastern Uzbekistan. Kazakh is spoken widely in Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpoghistan) as well as some Turkmen in the South. In the East there are many exclaves of Russian and Tajik, as seen on the map. A language called Dungan(ese)[2] (Хуэйзў йүян/Huejzw jyjan/حُوِظُ يُوْيًا/回族語言) is spoken by 110,000 people in Fergana and Chu valleys in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and China.

 Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpoghistan)[edit]

Kazakh is spoken widely in Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpoghistan) as well as some Turkmen in the South. Karakalpak (Qaraqalpaq/Қарақалпақ/قاراقالپاق) is also spoken in Karakalpakstan (Qoraqalpoghistan). Uzbek is also spoken in an area in eastern Karakalpakstan.



The word 'Tajik' in Tajik, Cyrillic and Nasta'liq scripts.

Tajik (Tojikī/Тоҷикӣ) is spoken all over Tajikistan. Uzbek is widely spoken in the southwest. Yaɤnobi[3] (Yaɣnobī́ zivók/йағнобӣ зивок) is spoken in an area in Northwestern Tajikistan.

 Gorno-Badakhshan (Kuhistani Badakhshan)[edit]

A lot of languages are spoken in Gorno-Badaɤshan, including Yazghulami, Rushani, ɤufi and Shuɤni.


Kyrgyz (Кыргыз/قىرعىز تئلى) is a language spoken by many Kyrgyz people. The diversity of languages in the city of Osh interests many linguists[4]. The average number of languages spoken for each person is about 4, which is exceptionally high. Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Tajik and Turkmen are the main languages spoken there.


An image of 'Balochi' in Balochi, Latin and a Persian script.

Turkmen (Türkmençe/Түркменче/تۆرکمنچه) is widely spoken throughout Turkmenistan as the official language. Many Russian language exclaves exist. Also, Balochi (Balòci/بلۏچی) is spoken in a large enclave in central eastern Turkmenistan. Much Kurdish (Kurdî/کوردی) is spoken in the south.

Northern  Afghanistan[edit]

Pashto and Uzbek are spoken in northwestern Afghanistan, around the city of Mazar-i-Sharif, thought not in it. In Mazar-i-Sharif, Persian is the main language, as well as in areas around the Turkmen border. The Rushani language (ręxenay zęv) is spoken just west of where Batangi, ɤufi and Shuɤni (xuǧnůn ziv/хуг̌ну̊н зив/помирай зив) are spoken, by 18,000 people. Ishkashimi is spoken south of this.

Northern  Pakistan[edit]

The special letter in Khowar

Waɤi (وخی/x̌ik zik/Х̌ик зик), a Pamir language (or an Iranic language in other classifications), is spoken in extreme northern Pakistan. Shina is a Dardic language spoken in many areas in northern Pakistan. Another Dardic language is Khowar (کهووار), spoken by as many as 290,000. Yet another Dardic, Burushi, is spoken east of where Khowar is. Kohistani (Kōstāĩ), another Dardic language, is spoken by over 200,000 people. There are 2 more Dardic languages in Pakistan, Kalasha and Torwali spoken by 5,000 (Kalasha) and 110,000 (Torwali). Pahari, an Indic language, is spoken here as well.

Other information[edit]

Scripts, language names, Wikipedias etc.


An image of Chinese, Arabic and Xiao'erjing scripts.
  1. Kazakh mainly uses Cyrillic script, however Latin script and Arabic script are also used.
  2. Uzbek uses Cyrillic script, just like Kazakh.
  3. Dungan(ese) traditionally uses Xiao'erjing script (小儿经, Chinese Simplified/小兒經, Chinese Traditional/شِيَوْ عَر دٍ, Dungan Xiao'erjing), however today both Cyrillic script and Latin script are also widely used.
  4. Karakalpak uses Cyrillic script.
  5. Tajik uses either Latin, Cyrillic, Nasta'līq or Perso-Arabic script.
  6. Kyrgyz uses Latin script, Cyrillic script or Arabic script. Before the Soviet Union, Arabic script was used, but Stalin replaced this with Cyrillic script. After the Soviet union, both are used, but Latin script is now widely used as well.[5]
  7. Turkmen mainly uses Latin script, however Cyrillic script is also used.
  8. Yazghulami uses Cyrillic script and Latin script.
  9. Yaghnobi uses Cyrillic, Latin and Arabic scripts, though many diacritics are needed to complete the Yaghnobi alphabet in Latin and Cyrillic, as well as one unwritten Arabic letter, resulting in Latin, Cyrillic and Arabic letters in the Cyrillic Yaghnobi alphabet.

Name of language in different scripts[edit]

Language Name of language in language (Latin) Name of language in language (Cyrillic) Name of language in language (Arabic) Name of language in language (Chinese) Name of language in language (Xiao'erjing)
Kazakh Qaşaqşa or Qaşaq tili Қазақша or қазақ тілі قازاقشا‎ or قازاق تىلى‎
Uzbek O'zbekcha or O'zbek tili Ўзбекча or ўзбек тили اۉزبېک تیلی or اۉزبېکچه
Kyrgyz Kyrgyzča Кыргыз قىرعىز تئلى‎
Dungan Huejzw jyjan Хуэйзў йүян 回族語言 حُوِظُ يُوْيًا
Karakalpak Qaraqalpaq or Qaraqalpaq tili Қарақалпақ or Қарақалпақ тили اراقالپاق or اراقالپاق تىلى
Tajik Tojikī Тоҷикӣ
Yaɤnobi Yaɣnobī́ zivók йағнобӣ зивок
Yazghulami Yuzdami zevég
Shughni Xuǧnůn ziv хуг̌ну̊н зив or помирай зив
Wakhi Х̌ik zik Х̌ик зик وخی (Nasta'lĪq)
Turkmen Türkmençe or Türkmen dili Түркменче or Түркмен дили تۆرکمن ديلی or تۆرکمنچه



Updated every 6 hours

Language Site Pages (Only content) Pages (All, including content, redirect, talk pages) Files uploaded Page edits since the Wikipedia was set up Registered users Active users (Users who have performed an action in the last 30 days) Total words in all content pages Script
English (for reference) en.wikipedia.org 157,307 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin
Russian ru.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cyrillic
Kazakh kk.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Cyrillic
Uzbek uz.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin, Cyrillic
Karakalpak kaa.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin
Tajik tg.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin, Cyrillic, Nasta'līq Urdu
Kyrgyz ky.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin
Turkmen tk.wikipedia.org 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Latin

See Also[edit]

Other articles of the topics Language AND Linguistics : Linguistics

Other articles of the topic Language : United Stater, Linguistics, French language, Academy of the Arabic Language in Cairo, Traditional Chinese characters, Simplified Chinese characters, Latin

Other articles of the topic Linguistics : Linguistics, Portal:Language

Other articles of the topic Kazakhstan : Air Trust

Other articles of the topic Uzbekistan : 2020 International Conference on Imam al-Maturidi

  • Central Asia


  1. "Kazakh language, alphabet and pronunciation".
  2. https://www.omniglot.com/chinese/dungan.htm
  3. "Yagnobi".
  4. https://mondaybazaarblog.com/2015/09/16/on-the-mixing-of-languages-in-osh/
  5. https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/languages-spoken-in-kyrgyzstan.html

External Links[edit]

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