The Tajik Language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki (sometimes written Tadjik or Tadzhik; тоҷикӣ, تاجیکی, tojikī [tɔːdʒɪˈkiː]) is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī (Persian: زبان فارسی), meaning “Persian language”; the term zabani tajikī, or “Tajik language”, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets. Most speakers of Tajik live in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Tajik is the official language of Tajikistan.
The dialect has diverged from Persian as spoken in Afghanistan and Iran, as a result of political borders, geographical isolation, the standardization process, and the influence of Russian and neighboring Turkic languages. The standard language is based on the north-western dialects of Tajik, which have been somewhat influenced by the neighboring Uzbek language as a result of geographical proximity. Tajik also retains numerous archaic elements in its vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar that have been lost elsewhere in the Persophone world, in part due to its relative isolation in the mountains of Central Asia.