Tajik language

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Spoken in

Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , Xinjiang

Speakers = approx. 8 million (2012)

Official status
Official language in Tajikistan
Language codes
ISO 639 -1


ISO 639 -2


ISO 639-3


The Tajik language (Cyrillic: тоҷикӣ, Perso-Arabic تاجیکی, DMG tāǧīkī [tɔːdʒɪːˈkiː] ) is a modern variety (or ethnolect ) of Persian spoken in Central Asia . Tajik has split off from the Persian dialects spoken in Iran and Afghanistan due to political borders and the influence of Russian and the neighboring Turkic languages .

Tajik language (purple)
Distribution area of ​​the Persian language


Tajik belongs to the Persian language (pers. Fārsī ), the most widespread member of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, a subfamily of the Indo-European languages. The ISO-639 code for Tajik is tg(ISO 639-2:) tgk, the SIL code is PET.

The classification according to Ethnologue is:

Number of speakers and distribution

In the absence of exact population statistics, only inaccurate estimates of the number of Tajik native speakers exist . In Uzbekistan , for example, the Tajik-speaking population is estimated to be significantly higher than the official figures from the Uzbek government. In Tajikistan , almost 3.2 million (1991) people speak this language, in Uzbekistan around 933,000. In Kyrgyzstan over 33,000 and in Kazakhstan over 25,000 people profess the Tajik language. In China still around 26,000 Tajiks live in the western border regions.

Tajik is divided into numerous dialects , which, according to Vera Rastorgujewa, form four groups. Since the 1920s, the Tajik away further and further from the Persian of Iran . The modern Tajik written language differs mainly through the extensive lexical adaptations from Russian from the written language of Iran or Afghanistan , the so-called Dari.

Today the dialects differ in sound and speaking rhythm, but also clearly in grammar from the dialects of Persian in Iran (Persia) or Afghanistan. But Tajik has also been influenced by the various Turkotatar languages ​​( Uzbek and Turkmen ) in Turkestan since ancient times .

With regard to the current language situation, a distinction must be made between the Tajik standard language in Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on the one hand and the language forms spoken in Afghanistan and Iran on the other. The language name Tajik is only commonly used for the former, while in Afghanistan the ethnic group is called Tajiks , but the language is called Persian or Dari .


The Tajik standard language , which is widespread in Tajikistan , Uzbekistan , Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan , in contrast to the Persian language of Iran and Afghanistan, does not use the Persian but the Cyrillic alphabet.

Until the 1920s, Persian was also written using the Persian alphabet in the countries of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union . The language form used in the region differed only in individual points of the vocabulary , syntax and pronunciation of the vowels, which were not completely reproduced in the Arabic script, from the written language used in the other Persian-speaking countries.

As part of the general conversion of the scripts of the Central Asian Turkic languages ​​in the Soviet Union, the Latin-based uniform alphabet was introduced for the non-Turkish Tajik language at the turn of the year 1928/29 , which was finally replaced by a modified Cyrillic alphabet in the winter of 1939/40. The aim of the change was on the one hand to combat illiteracy by introducing a simpler script adapted to the language ; on the other hand, the reform aimed to strengthen the close ties of the Central Asian peoples to Persian and Arab culture, and especially to Islam, by abolishing the “script of the Koran ”.

In the wake of growing Tajik nationalism, even before independence from the Soviet Union in 1989, a law was passed declaring Tajik the state language and calling for the Cyrillic alphabet to be replaced by Arabic script. The attempted return to the Arabic script was not successful, however; only a small minority in Tajikistan now masters both the Cyrillic and the Arabic alphabet.

In 1998, a spelling reform abolished the four letters Ц ц, Щ щ, Ы ы and Ь ь. The first three only appeared in loan words from Russian, the latter also in a redundant position in native words.

А a A a a
Б б B b b
В в W w v
Г г G g G
Д д D d d
Е е E e / 1 each e, ever
Ё ё Yo yo
Ж ж Sh sh ʒ
З з S s z
И и I i i
Й й I i / J j 2 j
К к K k k
Л л L l l
М м M m m
Н н N n n
О о O o ɒ
П п P p p
Р р R r r
С с S s (ss) 3 s
Т т T t t
У у U u u
Ф ф F f f
Х х Ch ch x
Ц ц 4 Z z ʦ
Ч ч Tsch Tsch ʧ
Ш ш Sh sh ʃ
Щ щ 4 Shch Shch ʃ
Ъ ъ - ʔ / - 5
Ы ы 4 Y y i
Ь ь 6 - -
Э э 7 E e e
Ю ю Ju ju ju
Я я Yes / Yes Yes
Ғ ғ Gh gh ɣ
Ӣ ӣ Ij ij i 8
Қ қ Q q q
Ӯ ӯ U u o, ɵ
Ҳ ҳ H h H
Ҷ ҷ Dsch dsch

1 : At the beginning of the word and after the vowel Depending on the consonant e .
2 : At the end of the word and before the following consonant I i , before the following vowel J j .
3 : Between vowels ss , otherwise S s .
4 : These letters only appeared in loan words from Russian. They were abolished by the 1998 spelling reform.
5 : In words of Arabic origin after a consonant [ʔ], after a vowel it causes a stretching of the preceding vowel. Not spoken in words of Russian origin.
6 : In Soviet times, ь was always written between a consonant and a following Ё ё, Ю ю, Я я in native words. It also appeared in loan words from Russian. With the spelling reform of 1998 it was abolished without replacement.
7 : Only at the beginning of the word and after vowels, Е е is written in other positions.
8 : Is only used at the end of the word for stressed final [i] to distinguish it from unstressed.


  • Azim Baizoyev, John Hayward: A beginner's guide to Tajiki . - 1st publ. - London [et al.]: Routledge Shorton, 2004.
  • Lutz Rzehak: Tajik study grammar. - Wiesbaden: Reichert, 1999.
  • Lutz Rzehak: From Persian to Tajik: linguistic action and language planning in Transoxania between tradition, modernity and Soviet power; (1900-1956). - Wiesbaden: Reichert, 2001. (Iran - Turan; 2)

Web links

Wiktionary: Tajik  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Tādjīkī // EI2
  2. Tajiki. Etnologue.com , accessed March 31, 2017 .
  3. Tajik
  4. ZB KULĀBI DIALECT // Encyclopædia Iranica
  5. Rastorgueva, VS "Mid Asia Farsi Language Grammer", Translated by Shadan, V. Iranian Culture Foundation Publishing, 1968, p. 56.
  6. Abdolazim Hakimi (Ph.D) Comparative Phonetic Study of Frequently Used Words in Iranian Farsi versus Tajik Farsi // Journal of American Science 2012: 8 (4)
  7. ^ Dickens, M. (1988) Soviet Language Policy in Central Asia
  8. Country information on Tajikistan in the Library of Congress