Alphabet

This first lesson will teach you the Uzbek alphabet. If you joined Uzbek 101, you'll find quiz questions and flashcards at the end to help you study!

Opening Notes

  • Several different alphabets have been historically used in the Uzbek language: Arabic, Cyrillic, and Latin.

  • Today, Latin is the official alphabet of Uzbek. We will be using the Latin alphabet throughout the lessons.

  • Most sounds in the Uzbek Latin alphabet are represented by one letter. There are 30 letters, including the apostrof (')

Dialects and Vocabulary

  • There are many dialects of Uzbek, meaning pronunciation will vary from city to city. The most commonly understood dialect is that of Tashkent.

  • The Uzbek vocabulary is heavily influenced by Persian and Arabic. After entrance into the Soviet Union, many Russian words entered the Uzbek vocabulary.

Listen to the audio and repeat each sound.

pronunciation

To grasp the pronunciation of the letters of the Uzbek alphabet, we will need to dive deeper into specific letters and their pronunciation.

Vowels

  • There are 7 vowels: A, E, I, O, U O'

  • Pronunciation may vary depending on the word

  • The "i" sound is short.

    • ex. shim (pants) is pronounced /sh'm/​

    • But it is longer when followed by another i or y sound
      • ​ex. tabiyii

  • O' and O may sound similar, but can change the entire meaning of a word!

    • ​ex. Olim - Scholar; O'lim Death

 

Consonants

'J'

  • Pronounced as a typical "J" in Uzbek words

    • Jiyan (Nephew)

  • Pronounced as an "S" — like in pleasure — in loanwords (i.e. words borrowed from another foreign language)

    • ex. Jurnal

'V'

  • Pronounced like the w in weak

  • In Russian loanwords, pronounced like the typical v — such as in very

  • If preceded by u, it is almost not pronounced

' / apostrof / tutuq belgisi

  • After a vowel, it makes the sound lengthier

  • After a consonant, you have to take a short stop

    • ex. E'tibor → Eetibor

 

ng

  • pronounced like ng in "wing"

💡 Note: Unlike in English, where double consonants do not extend the pronunciation of a word, in Uzbek, consonants are pronounced longer. Ex. katta is pronounced kat-ta.