The Azerbaijani language is a dialect of the Turkic language family. The Turkic language family encompasses more than thirty five languages, originally located primarily in the regions between Western China to Siberia, and spoken by a variety of Turkic peoples. It is closely related in grammar and pronunciation to Turkish and Qashqai. As a language, due to historical events, Azerbaijani has also been influenced by the Persian language. The biggest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia, Azerbaijan is officially named the Republic of Azerbaijan.
The Azerbaijani language has two distinct appearances, and is split into two common dialects. An easy way to distinguish between the two is that in more northern countries where Azerbaijani is spoken, there is a Latin alphabet used, while in southern countries, there is a Perso-Arabic script.
In Azerbaijan itself, the Latin alphabet is most often used, while in Iran, the country with the second highest amount of Azerbaijani speakers, the Perso-Arabic script is used. Azerbaijani is often referred to in this context as Azeri. North Azerbaijani, or Azeri, is the official language, with South Azerbaijani being spoken also primarily in Iran, where it is called Turki. North Azerbaijani is also spoken in Armenia, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and is usually what people are referring to when they discuss the Azerbaijani language.
Azerbaijani itself is spoken primarily in Azerbaijan, though it has spread to many nearby countries. Azerbaijani is also spoken in Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Turkmenistan, with the total number of speakers around the world adding up to nearly 30 million. There are not many Azerbaijani speakers in the UK or the US, but several in the surrounding regions of Azerbaijan itself.
In Iran, where previously there were several Iranian languages, Azerbaijani replaced certain dialects to become the main language of the region. However, due to the eclectic nature of certain languages and taking into consideration the rural use of many of the more historically traditional languages, it would be difficult to ever fully replace or supplant these other languages with solely the Azerbaijani language. In Russia, the Azerbaijani language is also one of the official languages of the Dagestan Republic.
Azerbaijani in its earlier form was much more of a poetic language, and was used primarily for writing epic and lyric poetry. As it became written down more often, it started to become more singularized and unified, with the written language of Azerbaijani being used for journalism and scientific journals.
In the Azerbaijani language, there are nine vowel phonemes. As well as the standard five that English has, there are two combined vowels, with two vowel sounds that are intrinsically part of the Azerbaijani language.
Similar to many languages, such as Welsh for example, the Azerbaijani language has a numerical system which translates very simply. The number 11, for example, is literally translated as ten one, while twelve would be ten two, thirteen would be ten three, etc etc.
Questions asked in the Azerbaijani language are a particularly interesting aspect to the language. The words for how, what, who, why and where, (or in the Azerbaijani language neca, ne, kime, ne ucun, harada) become integrated into the actual words describing the subjects of the questions. This is not a very common way of forming questions, but is certainly an interesting aspect of the Azerbaijani language.
Why Learn The Azerbaijani Language?
Azerbaijani contains several dialects within itself. By learning either Northern or Southern Azerbaijani, you will be able to pick up many more new dialects and forms of speech within this language. Azerbaijan is a country which has several diplomatic relations with other countries, at present numbering 158, and is a member of 38 international organizations. Certainly, it is one of the more over-looked countries for business and commerce, but there is no denying the international ties that Azerbaijan has created. The Azerbaijani language could be very useful for building connections with and for this country.