All the republics have languages with a turkic base, except Tajik, which is Persian (comprehensible in both Iran and Afghanistan). This doesn’t mean that they can all understand one another – there’s a big gap, for instance, between Kazakh and Uzbek. Russian, therefore, is a useful shared language, not just an imperialist relic to be done away with. Being a polyglot is the norm and it’s not uncommon to meet people who speak Russian plus two or three other languages, perhaps for use on different occasions. Officials tend to speak Russian, as do lots of mainly city people who, striving to get ahead as Soviet citizens, became pretty rusty in their national languages.

  1. No comments yet.

You must be logged in to post a comment.