Photographer's Note

Calligraphy master and his student - the scene I saw in front of the small souvenir shop in the courtyard of the madrassa in Registon.

Uzbek is a Turkic language that is the first official and only declared national language of Uzbekistan. The language of Uzbeks, it is spoken by some 32 million native speakers in Uzbekistan and elsewhere in Central Asia.

Uzbek belongs to the Eastern Turkic, or Karluk, branch of the Turkic language family.

The Uzbek language has been written in various scripts: Arabic, Cyrillic and Latin. In Uzbekistan, it is now written in the Latin script officially. In the Xinjiang region of China, some Uzbek speakers write using Cyrillic, while others apply the Uyghur Arabic script for Uzbek. Uzbeks of Afghanistan also write Uzbek using the Arabic script. The Uzbek Arabic script is being taught at schools in Afghanistan.
Between 1928 and 1940, as part of comprehensive programmes to educate (and politically influence) Uzbek people, who for the first time now had their own cartographically delineated (administrative) region, Uzbek writing was switched to Latin script (Yanalif; a proposal for the latinization of Yana imla was already developed in 1924). The Latinization of Uzbek was carried out in the context of Latinization of all Turkic languages.

In 1940, Uzbek was switched to the Cyrillic script under Joseph Stalin. Until 1992, Uzbek continued to be written using a Cyrillic alphabet almost everywhere, but now in Uzbekistan the Latin script has been officially re-introduced, although the use of Cyrillic is still widespread.
Most older people in Uzbekistan speak Russian. In hotels in tourists places, they often speak English as well. In the streets in Samarkand Bukhara and Khiva, I heard the guides speaking Italian, French, and Spanish. For me, the great joy was using Russian.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11837 W: 126 N: 30102] (141138)
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