USAGE BY COUNTRY (OFFICIAL LANGUAGE)Official Language: Turkmenistan Home Speakers: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq
BACKGROUNDTurkmen is spoken in the Republic of Turkmenistan lying on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea and bordering on Iran and Afghanistan, by about 3 million people, over 5 million in all countries (one million speakers are in Iran). Closely related to Turkish, Turkmen is a member of the Turkic branch of the Altaic family of languages. The literary language is based on the Teke dialect and literary tradition is strong. Half of the population claim a good knowledge of Russian. Cyrillic and Arabic scripts are used.