Uzbek (Ўзбек тили / O'zbek tili / أۇزبېك ﺗﻴﻠی)

Uzbek is a Turkic language spoken by about 30 million people mainly in Uzbekistan, and also in Afghanistan, Turkey. There are two main varieties of Uzbek: Northern Uzbek and Southern Uzbek. They are to some extent mutually intelligible, although there are differences in grammar and vocabulary.

Uzbek at a glance

  • Native name: Ўзбек тили / O'zbek tili / أۇزبېك ﺗﻴﻠی
  • Linguistic affliation: Turkic, Common Turkic, Karluk
  • Number of speakers: c. 30 million
  • Spoken in: Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkemenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, China and Turkey
  • First written: 14th century
  • Writing system: Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin scripts
  • Status: official Uzbekistan, recognised minority language in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia and China

Northern Uzbek (ўзбек тили‎ / o’zbek tili) is spoken mainly in Uzbekistan, and also in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkemenistan, Kazakhstan and China. There are 22.2 million speakers of Northern Uzbek in Uzbekistan (in 2015), 927,000 in Tajikistan (in 2012), 840,000 in Kyrgyzstan (in 2014), 478,000 in Turkmenistan (in 2015), 436,000 in Kazakhstan (in 2009) and 5,000 in China (in 2000). There are also about 400,000 speakers of Uzbek in Russia. The language is taught in schools and used in the media in Uzbekistan. It is also known as o'zbek, o'zbekcha or Özbek.

Since the 1990s fluency in Uzbek has been a requirement for citizenship of Uzbekistan, and also for government jobs. There has also been a trend to replace Russian and other international words with their Turkic equivalents.

Southern Uzbek (ﯣزبېک‎ [o’zbek]) is spoken mainly in northern Afghanistan. In 2011 there were about 2.9 million speakers in Afghanistan, and another 3,800 speakers in Turkey. Southern Uzbek is written with the Arabic script, is taught in schools, and used in literature and the media. It is also known as O'zbek, Usbeki, Uzbak or Uzbeki.

Written Uzbek

An early form of Uzbek, known as Chagatai (one of the sons of Genghis Khan) and written with the Arabic script, emerged as a literary language in the 14th century. A version of the Latin alphabet replaced the Arabic script in 1927, and was in turn replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1940. In 1993 the government of Uzbekistan decided to switch to the Latin alphabet, with the aim to complete the transition by the year 2000. The Arabic alphabet is still used in Afghanistan, and sometimes in Uzbekistan and China.

Arabic alphabet for Uzbek (ئۇزبېك الفباسى)

Arabic alphabet for Uzbek

Cyrillic alphabet for Uzbek (ўзбек алифбоси)

Cyrillic alphabet for Uzbek

Latin alphabet for Uzbek (o’zbek alifbosi)

Latin alphabet for Uzbek

Hear how to pronounce Uzbek:

Notes

Download alphabet charts for Uzbek (Excel)

Uzbek sample text

Arabic alphabet

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the Uzbek Arabic alphabet

Cyrillic alphabet

Барча одамлар эрҝин, қадр-қиммат ва ҳуқуқларда танг бўлиб туғиладилар. Улар ақл ва виждон соҳибидирлар ва бир-бирларига биродарларча муомала қилишлари зарур.

Latin alphabet

Barcha odamlar erkin, qadr-qimmat va huquqlarda tang bo'lib tug'iladilar. Ular aql va vijdon sohibidirlar va bir-birlariga birodarlarcha muomala qilishlari zarur.

Hear a recording of this text

Translation

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample videos in Uzbek

Information about Uzbek | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Links

Information about the Uzbek language
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbek_language
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uzbek_alphabet
https://www.orexca.com/uzbekistan/uzbek_language.htm
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/uzn
https://www.ethnologue.com/language/uzs
http://factsanddetails.com/central-asia/Uzbekistan/sub8_3d/entry-4699.html

Online Uzbek lessons
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Uzbek_language
http://home.unilang.org/wiki3/index.php/Uzbek_lessons
http://www.languageinstitute.wisc.edu/cails/lessons.html
http://polymath.org/uzbek.php

Uzbek phrases
http://www.orexca.com/uzbek_language.shtml
http://uzbek-glossary.com
https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Udmurt_phrasebook

Learn Turkic languages - Turkish, Turkmen and Uzbek
http://www.xs4all.nl/~iamback/turkic/

Online Uzbek dictionaries
http://www.uzbek-dictionary.com
http://www.ismanov.com

Online Uzbek radio
http://www.bbc.co.uk/uzbek/
http://www.ozodlik.org

Turkic languages

Altay, Äynu, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Chagatai, Chelkan, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Dolgan, Fuyu Kyrgyz, Gagauz, Karachay-Balkar, Karaim, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Khakas, Khorasani Turkic, Krymchak, Kumyk, Kyrgyz, Nogai, Old Turkic, Qashqai, Salar, Shor, Soyot, Tatar, Teleut, Tofa, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvan, Urum, Uyghur, Uzbek, Yakut

Other languages written with the Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets.


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