Tajik language, tarn


Xush omaded- Welcome

Tajiki, or Tajik, (Зaбoни тoҷики), is a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is the name for Persian in Tajikistan, a former Soviet republic in Central Asia, where it is spoken by slightly over 6.4 million people, and in Uzbekistan where there are 1.3 million speakers. Tajiks are the principal ethnic group in most of Tajikistan, in northeastern Afghanistan and in the cities of Kabul, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Herat. Tajiks also dominate the population in Bukhara and Samarkand in Uzbekistan. The worldwide population of Tajiki speakers is estimated at around 7.9 million people (Ethnologue).

Tajikistan mapAlthough Tajiki is a variety of Eastern Persian, or Dari, spoken in Afghanistan, it has diverged from the latter due to its geopolitical isolation and the influence of Russian and neighboring Turkic languages such as Uzbek and Kyrgyz.



The Tajik people came under Russian rule in the second half of the 19th century. After the founding of the Soviet Republic of Tajikistan,Tajiki became its national language. During the 1920s-1930s, Russian and Tajik linguists standardized the language and its writing system which improved literacy rates.

Tajiki became the national language of the newly independent Tajikistan in 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union. However, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Although a law was passed mandating the use of Tajiki, instead of Russian, in all official communication, its implementation was hampered by the fact that only a third of the population of Tajikistan knew the language, and that Tajiki lacked the necessary technical, scientific, and socio-political terminology for the 21st-century. Today, Tajiki is used as a medium of instruction, along with Russian, at all levels of education in Tajikistan. Newspapers, books, and periodicals are published in Tajiki, and radio and television broadcast in Tajiki in both Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.



According to Ethnologue, four groups of Tajiki dialects (Northern, Central, Southern, and Southeastern) form a continuum that blends into Dari in Afghanistan. Standard Tajiki is based on the varieties spoken in the cities of Samarkand and Bukhara in Uzbekistan.




Sound system

Tajiki has 33 phonemes, i.e., sounds that make a difference in word meaning. The description below is based on Standard Tajiki.



Tajik has six vowel phonemes which are given below.

  • /ə/ = a in about



Tajik has 27 consonant phonemes.

Stops voiceless p t k q
voiced b d g ɢ
Fricatives voiceless f s
voiced v z
Affricate voiceless
Nasal m
Lateral l
Trill r
Approximant j
  • /q, ɢ/ have no equivalents in English
  • /ʔ/ sound between syllables in oh-oh
  • /ʃ/ = sh in shape
  • /ʒ/ = s in measure
  • /x, ɣ/ have no equivalents in English
  • /h/ = in hat
  • /X, ʁ/ have no equivalents in English
  • /tʃ/ = ch in chat
  • // = j in jet
  • /j/ = y in yet



Stress in Tajiki typically falls on the last syllable of the root.



The grammatical system of Tajiki does not differ significantly from that of Persian and Dari. Like the latter, Tajiki is an inflected language with some elements of agglutination. As such, it adds suffixes to roots to express grammatical relations and to form words.


Nouns, adjectives, and pronouns

  • Nouns can be simple or compound.
  • Any unmodified noun in Tajiki may be generic, i.e., refer to one or more than one items.The plural is marked by either the suffix –ho or -on. The suffix -on is typically used with animate nouns, whereas the suffix -ho can be used with any noun. Arabic loan words use the suffix –in.
  • There is no grammatical gender. Gender of animate nouns is expressed either lexically, e.g., murgh ‘hen’ and khurus ‘‘rooster’, or through modification, e.g., khar-i nar ‘male donkey’ and khar-i moda ‘female donkey’.
  • Topicalization is marked by the suffix –ro, e.g., in kitobro khondam ‘as for the book, read I’.
  • Possession is marked by the suffix –ya, e.g., kitobya Ali ‘the book of Ali’.
  • Adjectives are not marked for gender or number.
  • Possessive pronouns are enclitics, e.g.,kitob ‘book’ + –аm ‘my’ = kitobam ‘my book’.
  • Grammatical suffixes are added in a prescribed order, e.g.,kitob ‘book’ +kho ‘plural’ +yaton ‘2nd person plural possessive’ +ro ‘topicalization marker’ = kitobkhoyatonro ‘(as for) your books’.
  • There is an informal and a formal second person pronoun.



Tajik Persian verbs are marked for the following categories:

  • three persons: first, second, and third;
  • two numbers: singular, and plural;
  • three moods: indicative, subjunctive, counterfactual conditional;
  • two aspects: imperfective and perfective, that are as important as tense;
  • three tenses: present, past, and inferential past that expresses second-hand knowledge, information, or conclusions;
  • Causality is marked by the suffix –ān, e.g., xor ‘to eat’ and xorān ‘to feed’.
  • Future is not a tense but a modality (similar to the English want to/wanna + infinitive). All present and past forms may be used in a future context.
  • Subject pronouns are usually dropped since the verb form itself carries information about person and number.


Word order

The normal word order in Tajiki is Subject-Object-Verb. Modifiers follow the nouns they modify.



Tajiki shares most of its basic vocabulary with Persian and Dari. However, due to the influence of Russian and neighboring Turkic languages, such as Uzbek and Kyrgyz, it has a large number of Russian and Turkic loanwords.

Below are a few common Tajiki words and phrases.

Hello салом salom
Goodbye xайр hayr
Thank you раҳмат, ташаккур rahmat, tashakur
Please Лутфан, илтимос lutfan, iltimos
Excuse me (sorry) бубахшед bubahshed
Yes ҳа ha
No не ne
Man мард mard
Woman зан/заъиф zan, zayif


Below are the Tajiki numerals 1-10 in Latin and Cyrillic scripts.




Tajiki has been written in three different scripts.

  • Before 1928, Tajiki was written in the Perso-Arabic script that was the result of Arab influence. .
  • In an effort to increase literacy among the largely illiterate population of Tajikistan, and to minimize the influence of Islam, Soviet linguists began to simplify the Perso-Arabic script in 1923, before moving to an adapted Latin-based alphabet which was officially adopted in 1928.
  • As part of the russification of Central Asian republics, a modified Cyrillic script was introduced in the late 1930s. It contains six additional letters specifically designed to represent sounds of Tajiki. In 1989, with the growth in Tajik nationalism, a law was enacted declaring Tajiki the state language, equating it with Persian, and calling for a gradual reintroduction of the Arabic alphabet. However, Cyrillic continues as the de-facto standard, and only a few Tajiks can read the Arabic alphabet. Most recently, the government of Tajikistan has made attempts to return to the Latin alphabet.


The modern Cyrillic-based alphabet for Tajiki consists of 35 letters. The alphabet is not well designed to represent the sounds of spoken Tajiki.

А а
Б б
В в
Г г
Ғ ғ
Д д
E e
Ë ë
Ж ж
З з
И и
Й й
К к
Қ қ
Л л
М м
Н н
О о
П п
Р р
С с
Т т
У у
Ӯ ӯ
Ф ф
Х х
Ҳ ҳ
Ц ц
Ч ч
Ҷ ҷ
Ш ш
Ъ ъ
Э э
Ю ю
Я я


The Latin-based Tajiki alphabet is given below.

A a

B ʙ

C c

Ç ç

D d

E e

F f

G g

Ƣ ƣ

H h

I i

Ī ī

J j

K k

L l

M m

N n

O o

P p

Q q

R r

S s

Ş ş

T t

U u

Ū ū

V v

X x

Z z

Ƶ ƶ


Take a look at Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Tajik in Cyrillic and Latin scripts.

Моддаи 1.

Тамоми одамон озод ва аз лиҳози шарафу ҳуқуқ ба ҳам баробар ба дунё меоянд. Онҳо соҳиби ақлу виҷдонанд ва бояд бо якдигар муносибати бародарона дошта бошанд.

Moddai 1.

Tamomi odamon ozod va az lihozi sharafu huquq ba ham barabar ba dunyo meojand. Onxo sohibi aqlu vichdonand bojad bo jakdigar munosibati namojand doshta boshand.

Article 1

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.



Language Difficulty

questionHow difficult is it to learn Tajik?
Persian, Dari and Tajiki are Category II languages in terms of difficulty for speakers of English.