Spoken by over 27 million people, Uzbek is the official language of Uzbekistan. Uzbek is considered an Eastern Turkic language, a branch of the Turkic language family. The language is greatly influenced by Russian and Arabic.
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Uzbek is a Turkic language of the Qarluq family in the Altaic group of languages. It is similar to other Turkic languages of Central Asia, particularly Uyghur and Kazakh. Most of the words are Turkic in origin but there also a great many Arabic, Persian, Russian—and in China, Chinese—loan words. In China, Uzbeks have particularly close relations with Uyghurs and Kazakhs. The Uzbek, Uyghur and Tatar languages all belong to same Turkic language branch and are very close to each other.
At one time there were only two people in the entire United States who could speak Uzbek. Uzbeks speak either of two dialects of Uzbek. Uzbek shares many words and grammar structures with Turkish. It developed from Chagatai, a language used in the eastern Turkish world.
Although numerous local dialects and variations of the language are in use, the Tashkent dialect is the basis of the official written language. The dialects spoken in the northern and western parts of Uzbekistan have strong Turkmen elements because historically many Turkmen lived in close proximity to the Uzbeks in those regions. The dialects in the Fergana Valley near Kyrgyzstan show some Kyrgyz influence. Especially in the written dialect, Uzbek also has a strong Persian vocabulary element that stems from the historical influence of Iranian culture throughout the region. [Source: Library of Congress, March 1996 *]
Uzbek has a relatively short history as a language distinct from other Turkic dialects. Until the establishment of the Soviet republic's boundaries in the 1920s, Uzbek was not considered a language belonging to a distinct nationality. It was simply a Turkic dialect spoken by a certain segment of the Turkic population of Central Asia, a segment that also included the ruling tribal dynasties of the various states. The regional dialects spoken in Uzbekistan today reflect the fact that the Turkic population of Southern Central Asia has always been a mixture of various Turkic tribal groups. When the present-day borders among the republics were established in 1929, all native peoples living in Uzbekistan (including Tajiks) were registered as Uzbeks regardless of their previous ethnic identity. (Source: factsanddetails.com )