This week's country profile is going to be a bit shorter than usual since Turkmenistan, which we're focusing on today, isn't home to nearly as many languages as Singapore, which we covered last week. In fact, Ethnologue only lists five languages for Turkmenistan, one of which is extinct.
|A theme park in Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan.|
Over 3.4 million people in Turkmenistan speak Turkmen as their native language, while about 2 million more native speakers reside in Iran, as well as around 1.5 million people in Afghanistan. In Turkmenistan, the language is officially written using a Latin-based alphabet, but in Iran and Afghanistan, it is often written using an Arabic-based alphabet instead.
While it doesn't receive any official recognition from Turkmenistan's government, Russian should also be mentioned due to its status as a lingua franca in Turkmenistan. Over 10% of people in Turkmenistan speak Russian, which was the official language through 1991, when Turkmenistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
Finally, there's Chagatai, an extinct Turkic language that was once the most important literary language in Turkmenistan and was widely used throughout Central Asia.