SOAS University of London

SOAS Language Centre

Uzbek at SOAS Language Centre

The Uzbek language belongs to the Qarluq branch of the Turkic subfamily of the Altaic family of languages, meaning that it is related to such languages as Turkish, Kazakh and Uyghur. Uzbek vocabulary has been heavily influenced by Arabic, Persian and – more recently - Russian. Uzbek is the official language of Uzbekistan and is spoken by more than 30 million people, predominantly in Central Asia, but also by sizeable communities worldwide.

Uzbek has possessed several writing systems throughout its history, reflecting both its Islamic cultural heritage and the incorporation of Uzbekistan into the Soviet Union. In the pre-Soviet period, Uzbek employed the Arabic script. In 1929, Roman script was introduced by the Soviet authorities only to be replaced, in 1940, by Cyrillic. Since 1993, Roman script has become the official script in Uzbekistan. Despite the official status of the Roman script, however, the use of Cyrillic remains widespread.

The SOAS Language Centre offers the following courses in Uzbek:

Uzbek Beginners (not currently available)