Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Source: United Nations Development Programme, China
Usage By Country
Official Language: China (Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region) Home Speakers: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Mongolia, United States, Germany, Canada, Australia.
The Uighur language belongs to the Turkic group of the Altaic language family. 8.5 million people in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China and 500,000 people in the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan speak it. The Uighur immigrants in Turkey, Saudi Arabia, North America, Australia and Europe also speak it. Uighur is very similar to other Turkic languages such as Turkish, Azeri, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, Turkmen, and in particular, Uzbek. Arabic script had been used since Uighurs converted to Islam in 10th century A.D. until the Chinese government introduced a new Uighur alphabet based on the Roman alphabet in 1969. The Arabic script was reintroduced in 1983, and it has been the official Uighur alphabet since then. Cyrillic script is used in the former USSR.