Uzbek is a Turkic language that is the first official and only declared national language of Uzbekistan. The language of Uzbeks, it is spoken by some 33 million native speakers in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia.
Uzbek belongs to the Eastern Turkic, or Karluk, branch of the Turkic language family. External influences include Persian, Arabic and Russian. One of the most noticeable distinctions of Uzbek from other Turkic languages is the rounding of the vowel /ɑ/ to /ɒ/, a feature that was influenced by Persian.
|oʻzbekcha, oʻzbek tili;|
ўзбекча, ўзбек тили;
اوزبیکچه, اوزبیک تیلی
|Native to||Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Russia, China|
|33 million (2019)|
|Latin, Cyrillic, and Arabic (used in Afghanistan and China), Uzbek Braille |
Official language in
Afghanistan (3rd official language)
|Regulated by||Tashkent State University of Uzbek language and literature|
Dark blue = majority; light blue = minority
In the language itself, Uzbek is oʻzbek tili or oʻzbekcha. In Arabic script, اوزبیک تیلی and اوزبیکچه.
Turkic speakers probably settled the Amu Darya, Syr Darya and Zarafshan river basins since at least 600–700 CE, gradually ousting or assimilating the speakers of Eastern Iranian languages who previously inhabited Sogdia, Bactria and Khwarezm. The first Turkic dynasty in the region was that of the Kara-Khanid Khanate in the 9th–12th centuries, who were a confederation of Karluks, Chigils, Yaghma and other tribes.
Uzbek can be considered the direct descendant or a later form of Chagatai, the language of great Turkic Central Asian literary development in the realm of Chagatai Khan, Timur (Tamerlane), and the Timurid dynasty (including the early Mughal rulers of India). The language was championed by Ali-Shir Nava'i in the 15th and 16th centuries. Nava'i was the greatest representative of Chagatai language literature. He significantly contributed to the development of the Chagatai language and its direct descendant Uzbek and is widely considered to be the founder of Uzbek literature. Ultimately based on the Karluk variant of the Turkic languages, Chagatai contained large numbers of Persian and Arabic loanwords. By the 19th century it was rarely used for literary composition, but disappeared only in the early 20th century.
The term Uzbek as applied to language has meant different things at different times. Prior to 1921 "Uzbek" and "Sart" were considered to be different dialects:
In Khanate of Khiva, Sarts spoke a highly Oghuz Turkified form of Karluk Turkic. After 1921 the Soviet regime abolished the term Sart as derogatory, and decreed that henceforth the entire settled Turkic population of Turkestan would be known as Uzbeks, even though many had no Uzbek tribal heritage.
However, the standard written language that was chosen for the new republic in 1924, despite the protests of Uzbek Bolsheviks such as Fayzulla Khodzhayev, was not pre-revolutionary "Uzbek" but the "Sart" language of the Samarkand region. Edward A. Allworth argued that this "badly distorted the literary history of the region" and was used to give authors such as the 15th century author Ali-Shir Nava'i an Uzbek identity. All three dialects continue to exist within modern spoken Uzbek.
Uzbek has been written in a variety of scripts throughout history:
Despite the official status of the Latin script in Uzbekistan, the use of Cyrillic is still widespread, especially in advertisements and signs. In newspapers, scripts may be mixed, with headlines in Latin and articles in Cyrillic. The Arabic script is no longer used in Uzbekistan except symbolically in limited texts or for the academic studies of Chagatai (Old Uzbek).
In the western Chinese region of Xinjiang, where there is an Uzbek minority, the Arabic is still used.
In Afghanistan, the traditional Arabic orthography is still used.
Standard Uzbek has six vowel phonemes:
As a Turkic language, Uzbek is null subject, agglutinative and has no articles and no noun classes (gender or otherwise). The word order is subject–object–verb (SOV). Words are usually oxytones (i.e. the last syllable is stressed), but certain endings and suffixal particles are not stressed.
In Uzbek, there are two main categories of words:
Uzbek uses the following verbal suffixes:
The present and future tenses are both expressed with the -a and -y suffixes.
Nouns take the -ni suffix as an indefinite article. Unsuffixed nouns are understood as definite.
(formal singular and plural)
The word order in the Uzbek language is subject–object–verb (SOV), which means that, unlike in English, the object comes before the verb and the verb is the last element of the sentence.
|I see the book|
|subject||direct object||transitive verb|
Estimates of the number of speakers of Uzbek vary widely. The Swedish encyclopedia Nationalencyklopedin estimates the number of native speakers to be 30 million, and the CIA World Factbook estimates 25 million. Other sources estimate the number of speakers of Uzbek to be 21 million in Uzbekistan, 3.4 million in Afghanistan, 900,000 in Tajikistan, 800,000 in Kyrgyzstan, 500,000 in Kazakhstan, 300,000 in Turkmenistan, and 300,000 in Russia.
The influence of Islam, and by extension, Arabic, is evident in Uzbek loanwords. There is also a residual influence of Russian, from the time when Uzbeks were under the rule of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. Most importantly, Uzbek vocabulary, phraseology and pronunciation has been heavily influenced by Persian through its historic roots. Uzbek has been significantly influenced by Persian and it also influenced Tajik (a variety of Persian). Among Turkic languages, perhaps Uzbek is the most influenced language by Persian.
The Uzbek language has many dialects, varying widely from region to region. However, there is a commonly understood dialect which is used in mass media and in most printed materials. Among the most-widespread dialects are the Tashkent dialect, Uzbek dialect, the Ferghana dialect, the Khorezm dialect, the Chimkent-Turkestan dialect, and the Surkhandarya dialect.
Andijan (sometimes spelled Andijon or Andizhan in English) (Uzbek: Andijon / Андижон / ئەندىجان; Persian: اندیجان, Andijân/Andīǰān; Russian: Андижан, Andižan) is a city in Uzbekistan. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Andijan Region. Andijan is located in the south-eastern edge of the Fergana Valley near Uzbekistan's border with Kyrgyzstan.
Andijan is one of the oldest cities in the Fergana Valley. In some parts of the city, archeologists have found items dating back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Historically, Andijan was an important city on the Silk Road. The city is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Babur who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty in the Indian Subcontinent and became the first Mughal emperor. Andijan also gained notoriety in 2005 when government forces opened fire on protestors, killing hundreds in what came to be known as the Andijan Massacre.
Andijan was developed into an important industrial city during the Soviet era. Manufactured goods produced in the city include chemicals, domestic appliances, electronics, foodstuffs, furniture, plows, pumps, shoes, spare parts for farming machines, various engineering tools, and wheelchairs.Asaka, Uzbekistan
Asaka (Uzbek: Asaka/Aсака; Russian: Aсака) is a city and the administrative center of Asaka District in eastern Uzbekistan, located in the southeastern edge of the Fergana Valley near Uzbekistan's border with Kyrgyzstan.
Asaka underwent rapid industrialization during the Soviet era. Currently, it is the second biggest industrial city in Andijan Region, the first being Andijan. Asaka is home to the first automobile assembly plant in Central Asia, namely GM Uzbekistan (formerly UzDaewooAuto).Bekabad
Bekabad (Uzbek: Bekobod/Бекобод; Russian: Бекабад), formerly Begovat, is a city in eastern Uzbekistan, (Bekabad District). It lies along both banks of the Syr Darya River near Uzbekistan's border with Tajikistan.
Bekabad originally arose in connection with a cement plant. It received the status of a city in 1945. Until 1964, the city was known as Begovat.
Bekabad underwent rapid industrialization during the Soviet era. It has retained some of its industrial importance. Bekabad is home to a large steel mill and a cement factory. The Farkhad Dam and Farkhad Hydroelectric Plant lie just upstream from the city.Cannabis in Uzbekistan
Cannabis in Uzbekistan is illegal. Opiates, cannabis, and other plants containing psychotropic substances are illegal.Chagatai language
Chagatai (جغتای Jağatāy) is an extinct Turkic language which was once widely spoken in Central Asia, and remained the shared literary language there until the early 20th century. Chagatai is the common predecessor of Uzbek and Uyghur. Ali-Shir Nava'i was the greatest representative of Chagatai literature.
As part of the preparation for the 1924 establishment of the Soviet Republic of Uzbekistan, Chagatai was officially renamed "Old Uzbek", which Edward A. Allworth argued "badly distorted the literary history of the region" and was used to give authors such as Ali-Shir Nava'i an Uzbek identity. It was also referred to as "Turki" or "Sart". In China it is sometimes called "ancient Uyghur".FC Dinamo Samarqand
FC Dinamo Samarqand (Uzbek: Динамо Самарқанд Футбол Клуби, Tajik: Dastai Futboli Dinamo Samarqand, Russian: футбольный клуб "Динамо Самарканд") is an Uzbek football club, based in city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. Currently it plays in Uzbek League.FK Mash'al Mubarek
FC Mashʼal Mubarek (Uzbek: Машъал Муборак профессионал футбол клуби, Russian: Футбольный клуб Машъал Мубарек) is an Uzbek is an Uzbekistan football club based in Mubarek, Uzbekistan.Khatun
Khatun (Uzbek: xotin, Persian: خاتون khātūn; Mongolian: ᠬᠠᠲᠤᠨ, khatun, хатан khatan; Urdu: خاتون, Hindi: ख़ातून khātūn, plural خواتين, ख़वातीन khavātīn; Bengali: খাতুন; Sylheti: ꠈꠣꠔꠥꠘ; Turkish: hatun) is a female title of nobility and counterpart to "khan" or "Khagan" prominently used in the Turkic Khaganate and in the subsequent Mongol Empire. It is equivalent to "queen regnant" or "empress regnant", approximately.List of Uzbek-language poets
This is a list of authors who have written poetry in the Uzbek language.
Hamza Hakimzade Niyazi
Namangan (also in Uzbek: Наманган) is a city in eastern Uzbekistan. It is the administrative, economic, and cultural center of Namangan Region. Namangan is located in the northern edge of the Fergana Valley, less than 30 km from the Kyrgyzstan border. The city is served by Namangan Airport.
Namangan has been an important craft and trade center in the Fergana Valley since the 17th century. A large number of factories were built in the city during Soviet times. During World War II, industrial production in Namangan increased fivefold compared with that of 1926-1927. Currently, Namangan is mainly a center for light industry, especially in food.
The officially registered population of the city was 475,700 in 2014. Uzbeks are the largest ethnic group.Olmaliq
Olmaliq also spelled as Almalyk (Uzbek: Olmaliq / Олмалиқ; Russian: Алмалык) is a city (2004 pop est 138,000) in the Tashkent Region of central Uzbekistan, approximately 65 km east of Tashkent. It is located at latitude 40° 50' 41N; longitude 69° 35' 54E; at an altitude of 585 meters.
Almalyk is a company town developed by the Soviet Union in the 1930s, to exploit local reserves of copper, lead, zinc, gold, silver and barite. The town contains several enormous smelting facilities and related industries operated today by JSC Almalyk MMC, one of the largest mining-metallurgical enterprises in Uzbekistan.
The smelter operations have extensively contaminated Almalyk, which is considered one of the most polluted places on earth. The air has high concentrations of sulphuric acid fumes and the ground has hundreds of tons of toxic waste. The Uzbek government has resisted calls to close the plant, arguing that the country's economy cannot afford to do so: The plant employs around 25,000 residents of the city, and accounts for a substantial share of the region's economy. However, in January 2005 the government announced plans to clean up the area, with a target of 2010.PFC Lokomotiv Tashkent
PFC Lokomotiv Tashkent (Uzbek: Lokomotiv Toshkent professional futbol klubi, Russian: Футбольный клуб Локомотив Ташкент) is an Uzbekistani football club based in Tashkent.
The owner and main sponsor of the club is a state-owned company Uzbekistan Railways.Qizilqum Zarafshon
Qizilqum Zarafshon (Uzbek: Қизилқум Зарафшон футбол клуби, romanized: Qizilqum Zarafshon futbol klubi; FC Qizilqum) is an Uzbekistani football club based in Zarafshan. They play in the Uzbek League, the top division in Uzbekistani football. The club is named after the river that flows nearby; the Zeravshan River. Qizylqum in Uzbek means Red Sands, which also is the name for the local desert.Ravshan Irmatov
Ravshan Sayfiddinovich Irmatov (Uzbek: Ravshan Sayfiddinovich Ermatov, Равшан Сайфиддинович Эрматов; born August 9, 1977) is a Uzbek professional football referee.
He has officiated in the Uzbek League since 2000, as well as at international level since 2003. As of June 2018, Irmatov holds the record for officiating the most FIFA World Cup matches.Tajik cuisine
Tajik cuisine is a traditional cuisine of Tajikistan, and has much in common with Russian, Afghan, and Uzbek cuisines. Plov (pilaf) (Tajik: палав, Uzbek: palov), also called osh (Tajik: ош), is the national dish in Tajikistan, as in other countries in the region. Green tea is the national drink.Uz-DaewooAuto
Uz-DaewooAuto (Uzbek: O'z-DeuAvto) was a joint venture founded in 1992 between the Uzbek state owned UzAvtosanoat. The company began production of vehicles on 19 July 1996, at the new assembly plant located in Asaka.The company produced vehicles under the brand name Uz-Daewoo and became increasingly important in the markets of the CIS area. The initiative to establish the Uzbek automobile industry goes back to the early 1990s and the administration of State President Islam Abdugʻaniyevich Karimov.GM Uzbekistan is the successor of Uz-DaewooAuto since March 2008, although the company continued selling cars under the Uz-Daewoo brand until October 2015, when it was replaced with the new Ravon brand.Uzbek Wikipedia
The Uzbek Wikipedia (Uzbek: Oʻzbekcha Vikipediya) is the Uzbek-language edition of the free online encyclopedia Wikipedia. It was founded in December 2003. Articles in
Uzbek-language edition are written in the Latin script. In August 2012, a Latin-to-Cyrillic converter was added to allow users to view Uzbek Wikipedia's pages in both the Latin and Cyrillic scripts.
The Uzbek Wikipedia was blocked in Uzbekistan sometime in late 2011. While the reasons for the blockage were undisclosed, some believe that the encyclopedia was blocked because the Uzbek government was concerned about the appearance of articles critical of its actions. Others speculated that the Uzbek Wikipedia had been blocked simply as an "act of showmanship" because the government of Uzbekistan sees Uzbek-language content as subject to its jurisdiction. The blockage was not very robust: the pages of the Uzbek Wikipedia could be accessed on an HTTPS connection. Therefore, in 2013 Google started indexing pages of the Uzbek Wikipedia with HTTPS by default. Currently visitors of the Uzbek Wikipedia get automatically redirected to HTTPS and can access the pages of the encyclopedia without any problems.
Although Uzbekistan has nearly 9 million Internet users, there are not many active editors in the Uzbek Wikipedia and a majority of the existing articles are poorly sourced. Since early 2012, however, both the number of active users and well-written articles have increased noticeably. The number of visits to the encyclopedia has also been rising lately. In early 2013, the Uzbek-language Wikipedia ranked first among different editions of Wikipedia in terms of annual page-view growth. The current number of articles in the Uzbek Wikipedia is 131,144.Uzbek alphabet
The Uzbek language has been written in various scripts: Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin.
In Uzbekistan, it is officially written in the Latin script, though most people still write in Cyrillic. In the Xinjiang region of China, some Uzbek speakers write using Cyrillic, while others apply the Uyghur Arabic script for Uzbek. Uzbeks of Afghanistan also write the language using the Arabic script. The Uzbek Arabic script is being taught at schools in Afghanistan.Uzbekistan Football Association
The Uzbekistan Football Association (Uzbek: Oʻzbekiston futbol assotsiatsiyasi, Russian: Футбольная ассоциация Узбекистана) is the governing body of football in Uzbekistan, controlling the Uzbekistan national team.