Uyghur language

From Academic Kids

(Redirected from Uighur language)

Uyghur (in Uyghur: ئۇغۇرچه Uyƣurqə or ئۇغۇر تىلى Uyƣur tili; in Chinese: 维吾尔语 Wiw'ěryǔ) is a Turkic language spoken by the Uyghur people in Xinjiang (East Turkestan), China. The name of the language is spelled variously as "Uyghur", "Uighur", "Uygur", "Uigur", "Uighuir", "Uiguir", "Weiwuer", and "Wiga".

Spoken in: China, Kazakhstan
Region: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region
Total speakers: 7.6 million
Ranking: 98


Official status
Official language of: Xinjiang
Regulated by: in Xinjiang: Working Committee of Ethnic Language and Writing of Xinjiang Autonomous Region
Language codes
ISO 639-1ug
ISO 639-2(B)uig



Uyghur is one of the Eastern Turkic languages, which is grouped by some linguists as a branch of Altaic.

Geographic distribution

Uyghur is spoken by 8.5 million(2004) in China, mostly in the far western Xinjiang province. Uyghur is also spoken by 300,000 in Kazakhstan, and there are Uyghur-speaking communities in Afghanistan, Australia, Germany, India, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Turkey, United Kingdom, USA, and Uzbekistan.

Official status

The Uyghurs are one of the 56 official nationalities in China, and Uyghur is an official language of Xinjiang.


The dialects of Uyghur identified by the Ethnologue are Central Uyghur, Hotan (Hetian), and Lop (Luobu).


Syllable structure can be CV, CVC, or CVCC. Uyghur is not a tonal language.


Uyghur has Subject Object Verb word order, postpositions, genitives, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads, and initial question words. There are prefixes and suffixes. Word order distinguishes subjects and indirect objects, topic and comment. There are 8 noun cases shown by suffixes. Verb suffixes mark subject person, number, 2nd person marks plural and 3 levels of respect. Types of verbs include passive, reflexive, reciprocal and causative.


Uyghur vocabulary is basically from Turkic stock, but like Uzbek has taken on a large quantity of loan words from Persian. Many internationalisms entered the Uyghur language via Russian, and there are some more recent loans from Chinese.

Writing system

The language traditionally used the Arabic script since 10th century. The Chinese government introduced a Roman script in 1969, but the Persian-Arabic script was reintroduced in 1983, but with extra diacritics to distinguish all vowels of Uyghur. Cyrillic script has been used to write Uyghur in areas previously dominated by Russians, and Roman script is used in Turkey and on the internet.

The following table is a comparison of the present Arabic (Qona Yezik) alphabet, the Latin (Yengi Yeziq) alphabet used from 1969 to 1987, corresponding modern Turkish spellings and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The table is arranged according to the order of the present alphabet.

Comparison of Uyghur alphabets
Arabic Latin Turkish IPA Latin Turkish Latin IPA

ئا A a a a ق K̡ k̡  ? q
ئه Əə ? ك K k k k
ب B b b b ڭ ng ng ŋ
پ P p p p گ G g g g
ت T t t t ل L l l l
ج J j c ʤ م M m m m
چ Q q ʧ ن N n n n
خ H h ? x ه H̡ h̡ h h
د D d d d ئو O o o o
ر R r r r ئۇ U u u u
ز Z z z z ئۆ Ɵɵ
ژ Z̡ z̡ j ʒ ئۈ y
س S s s s ۋ V v v v
ش X x ş ʃ ئې E e e e
غ Ƣƣ ğ ɣ ئى I i i i
ف F f f f ي Y y y j

Note that the characters in the above table will not be diplayed correctly by your browser unless Arabic and Cyrillic fonts are installed on your computer.

Text sample

Here the sample of Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 1) in Uighur (latin transliteration):

Hemme adem zatidinla erkin, izzet-hrmet we hoquqta babbarawer bolup tughulghan. Ular eqilghe we wijdan'gha ige hemde bir-birige qrindashliq munasiwitige xas roh bilen muamile qilishi krek

Translation : All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

See also

External links


de:Uigurische Sprache fr:Ougour id:Bahasa Uighur ja:ウイグル語 ko:위구르어 zh:维吾尔语


Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools