Tajik is a descendant of the Persian language spoken in Central Asia. It is an Indo-European language, more specifically part of the Iranian language group. Speakers of Tajik live mostly in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and western Pakistan (the “Tajik” language spoken by approximately 30,000 people near the Tajikistan border in China is in fact a quite different Pamir language also called Sarikoli). Tajik is the official language of Tajikistan. Tajik is an offspring of the Persian language, and belongs – along with Afghanistan’s Dari – to the Eastern dialects of Persian. Historically, it was considered the local dialect of Persian spoken by the Tajik ethnic group in Central Asia. The language has diverged somewhat from Persian as spoken in Afghanistan and Iran, because of political borders and the influence of Russian. The standard language is based on the north-western dialects of Tajik, which have been influenced by the neighbouring Uzbek language as a result of geographical proximity.

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