Turkmen and Russian are the languages used in official communication in Turkmenistan. According to the 1992 constitution, Turkmen is the official language of the country. In 1993, English was named the second official language by the government and schools are now required to teach English as a subject. Turkmen is classified as one of the 35 Turkik languages. The languages are grouped into four branches, and Turkmen falls under the Southwestern or Oghuz branch. In the 1920s the Turkmen alphabet was based on the Arabic alphabet, this changed in 1930 with the alphabet being built from the Latin script. In 1938 the alphabet was based on the Cyrillic Scriptt. The alphabet used in Turkmenistan today was introduced in 1991 and is based on the Latin script, and it consists of 32 letters. Written Turkmen is rooted in some dialects with the Teke dialect forming the basis the language. Turkmen is used in other countries like Russia, Iran, and Afghanistan. The language has nine vowels and 23 consonants.

Turkmenistan has a population of about 5.6 million. Out of all the languages present in Turkmenistan, Turkmen is widely spoken with approximately 72% of the people using the language. The language is used in schools as a medium of teaching and government organizations. Russian is also largely used in some of the country’s cities, government institutions, and media. Turkmen is divided into several dialects as it is spoken in different countries, the dialects include Tekke, Yomud, Kharsali, Anauli, Salaries, Nerezim, Goklen among others. About 12% of the population in the country speak the Russian language and Uzbek is spoken by about 9% of the population. The other different languages in the country are spoken by about 7% of the population

Some useful phrases in the Turkmen language include “Salam or Salawmaleýkim” which means hello, “Koş geldiniz” means welcome, “Hawa” means yes, and “ýok” means no, “agyşlaň” means excuse me, “basş üstüne” means please, “sag bolus” means thank you, and “kömek et” is a word used to ask for help, while “Nahilisin?” Means how are you?

In 1993, English was named the second national language, though the numbers of English speakers in the country are relatively few. There are about 20 minor languages spoken in the country which are spoken by the remaining 7% of the population. Some of the minority languages include Tatar, Ukranian, Azerbaijani, Lezgian, and Belarusian among many others.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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