Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Turkic Languages: Home

This guide provides a starting point for research on Turkic Languages for NU students, faculty, and visiting researchers

What is Turkic languages?

  • a language family of at least 35 documented languages 
  • spoken by the Turkic peoples from Eurasia, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Siberia, West Asia and some part of East Asia
  • the total number of Turkic speakers, including second-language speakers, is over 200 million.
  • the Kazakh language is the 4th largest spoken language among all Turkic languages and
  • the Kazakh language accounts for 14 million speakers mainly in Kazakhstan


What countries are Turkic languages distributed in?



Profile Photo
Lazzat Arystanova
Block 5, Floor 3
+7 (7172) 70 92 02

First Manuscripts about Turkic Languages



The Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk cover page

CODEX CUMANICUS, a manuscript of eighty-two paper leaves, measuring approximately 20 x 14 cm, preserved in the Biblioteca Nazionale of the cathe­dral of San Marco in Venice and comprising princi­pally vocabularies and texts of the Northwest Middle Turkic language of the Cumans, or Komans, recorded in Latin script. The Cumans (Russian Polovtsy) were a nomadic Turkish tribe who in the 12th and 13th centuries, together with the Petchenegs (Pečenegs), established a state in southern Russia, north of the Black Sea, which was destroyed by the Mongols. Those Cumans who were not driven farther west, into Hungary, were absorbed into the Tatar tribes of the 14th-century Kipčhak (Qïpčaq) state. It came into the possession of the Italian poet and biblio­phile Petrarch (Francesco Petrarca), who presented it as part of his library to the Venetian Republic in 1362. There, apart from a short excursion to the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, under Napoleon, it has remained ever since. The first part, comprising 110 pages of a Low Latin-Persian-Turkish (Cuman) dictionary, was probably written by Italian merchants or Franciscan monks engaged in missionary work in the region between the lower Volga and the Crimea. The second part evidently added by German-speaking monks, consists of Cuman-German and Cuman-Latin word lists, grammatical paradigms, and Cuman translations of texts intended for use in religious services.

Source: Encyclopedia Iranica

The Dīwān Lughāt al-Turk ("Compendium of the languages of the Turks") is the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages, compiled in 1072–74 by the Turkic scholar Mahmud Kashgari. His book includes the first known map of the areas inhabited by Turkic peoples. It has been previously housed at the National Library in Istanbul, but as of February 2020 is in display at the Presidential Library in Ankara. In this Historical book evidence Documentation of Turkic migration and the expansion of the Turkic tribes and Turkic languages into Central Asia, Eastern Europe and West Asia, mainly between the 6th and 11th centuries. Identified Turkic tribes were known by the 6th century, and by the 10th century most of Central Asia was settled by Turkic tribes such as Kyrgyz, Uzbek, Tatar, Kipchak, Kazakh, Türkmen, Uygur, Ajare, Coucas and 28 others tribes. The Seljuq, Mamluk, dynasty settled in Anatolia starting in the 11th century, ultimately resulting in permanent Turkic settlement and presence there. Meanwhile, other Turkic tribes either ultimately formed independent nations, such as Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, and others new enclaves within other nations, such as Chuvashia, Bashkortostan, Tatarstan, the Crimean Tatars, the Uyghurs in China, and the Sakha Republic Siberia.

Source: Wikipedia

Library Homepage Facebook Youtube Instagram Twitter Telegram E-mail