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Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Azerbaijan

Languages of Azerbaijan

See language map.
[See also SIL publications on the languages of Azerbaijan.]
Azerbaijan. 7,868,385. National or official language: North Azerbaijani. Capital: Baku. 33,400 square miles. Literacy rate: 98%. Also includes Assyrian Neo-Aramaic (1,231), Belarusan (5,208), Dargwa (863), Erzya (1,150), Georgian (16,259), Karachay-Balkar (184), Lak (1,205), Lishán Didán (100), Lomavren, Osetin (2,521), Polish (1,264), Pontic, Romanian (1,397), Russian (475,000), Rutul (111), South Azerbaijani, Tabassaran (279), Tatar (31,787), Turkish (18,000), Ukrainian (32,000), Western Farsi. Information mainly from T. Sebeok 1963; A. Grjunberg 1963; Q. Voroshil 1972; A. Kibrik 1991. The number of languages listed for Azerbaijan is 14. Of those, all are living languages.

Living languages

Armenian

[hye]  Nagorno-Karabakh Region. Alternate names: Haieren, Somkhuri, Ermenice, Armjanski.  Dialects: Western Armenian.  Classification: Indo-European, Armenian 
More information.

Avar

[ava] 44,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Northwest, Zaqatala and Balakan regions. Alternate names: Avaro, Dagestani.  Dialects: Zaqatala (Zakataly, Char).  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Avar-Andic, Avar 
More information.

Azerbaijani, North

[azj] 6,069,453 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). 4,000,000 monolinguals. Population total all countries: 7,059,529. Azerbaijan, and southern Dagestan, along the Caspian coast in the southern Caucasus Mountains. Also spoken in Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia (Asia), Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan. Alternate names: Azerbaijan, Azeri Turk, Azerbaydzhani.  Dialects: Quba, Derbend, Baku, Shamakhi, Salyan, Lenkaran, Qazakh, Airym, Borcala, Terekeme, Qyzylbash, Nukha, Zaqatala (Mugaly), Qabala, Yerevan, Nakhchivan, Ordubad, Ganja, Shusha (Karabakh), Karapapak. Dialect differences are slight. The Qazakh dialect is not related to the Kazakh language. Significant differences from South Azerbaijani in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and loanwords.  Classification: Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani 
More information.

Budukh

[bdk] 1,000 (1990). Ethnic population: 1,000 (1990 A. E. Kibrik). Quba Region. Alternate names: Budux, Budug, Bukukhi, Budugi.  Dialects: Budukh, Yergyuch.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Lezgic, Nuclear Lezgic, South Lezgic 
More information.

Judeo-Tat

[jdt] 24,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Northeast, especially Quba Region Baku, and Derbent (Russia). None in Iran. Alternate names: Judeo-Tatic, Jewish Tat, Bik, Dzhuhuric, Juwri, Juhuri.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Tat 
More information.

Khalaj

[kjf]   Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern 
More information.

Khinalugh

[kjj] 1,500. Quba. Alternate names: Khinalug, Xinalug, Khinalugi.  Dialects: The most divergent Lezgian language.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Khinalugh 
More information.

Kryts

[kry] 6,000 (1975 SIL). Quba. Alternate names: Kryz, Kryc, Kryzy, Katsy, Dzek, Dzhek, Dzheki.  Dialects: Kryts, Dzhek, Xaput (Khaput), Yergyudzh, Alyk. Dialects are quite distinct; perhaps separate languages.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Lezgic, Nuclear Lezgic, South Lezgic 
More information.

Kurdish, Northern

[kmr] 20,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Originally around Basargechar, Minkend, Kubatly, Zangelan, especially Kelbajar and Lachin. Many have been displaced. Alternate names: Kurmanji, Kurmancî, Kurdî.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Kurdish 
More information.

Lezgi

[lez] 171,400 in Azerbaijan (1996). Near the northeastern border with Russia and on the southern slopes of the main Caucasus chain. Alternate names: Lezgian, Lezghi, Lezgin, Kiurinty.  Dialects: Quba.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Lezgic, Nuclear Lezgic, East Lezgic 
More information.

Talysh

[tly] 800,000 in Azerbaijan (1996). Population total all countries: 912,000. Along the Caspian coast south of the Viliazh-Chai River. There may be speakers in Central Asia and Siberia. Also spoken in Iran. Alternate names: Talish, Talesh, Talyshi.  Dialects: Astara, Lenkoran, Lerik, Massali. Northern Talyshi is in Azerbaijan and Iran. Dialects in Azerbaijan are close. Dialects in Iran may be separate languages. Close to Harzani. Agajani and Sasani may be dialects.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh 
More information.

Tat, Muslim

[ttt] 18,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Population total all countries: 26,000. Ethnic population: 22,041 in Azerbaijan (1990 A. E. Kibrik). It may be declining around Baku, but still widely used in the mountainous area around Qonaqkend. Also spoken in Iran, Russia (Europe). Alternate names: Mussulman Tati, Muslim Tat, Tati.  Dialects: Quba, Devechi, Qonaqkend, Qyzyl Qazma, Aruskush-Daqqushchu (Khyzy), Absheron, Balakhani, Surakhani, Lahyj, Malham. Difficult intelligibility of Judeo-Tat. Close to Farsi. It has vowel harmony like Azerbaijani. Balakhani are recent exiles from Iran, and their language is very close to Farsi. Lahyj may be a separate language.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Tat 
More information.

Tsakhur

[tkr] 13,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Population total all countries: 20,073. Ethnic population: 13,318 in Azerbaijan (1989 census). Northwest. Also spoken in Russia (Europe), Uzbekistan. Alternate names: Sakhur, Tsaxur, Tsakhury, Caxur.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Lezgic, Nuclear Lezgic, West Lezgic 
More information.

Udi

[udi] 4,200 in Azerbaijan (1995). Population total all countries: 5,720. Qabala, Nic, and Mirzabeyli villages, and Oghuz, Oghuz town. Most Udi are reported to have left Oghuz. Also spoken in Georgia, Russia (Asia), Turkmenistan. Alternate names: Udin, Uti.  Dialects: Oghuz (Vartashen), Nidzh (Nij, Nic, Nizh), Oktomberi. Oktomberi is more different from Nic Udi than Oghuz Udi is. One of the most divergent of the Lesgian languages.  Classification: North Caucasian, East Caucasian, Lezgic, Udi 
More information.