What language do they speak in Uzbekistan?
There are two main answers: Uzbek and of course, Russian, and it can be hard to know when to use each one. As a general rule everyone does speak Russian, but most people do appreciate the effort if you’re able to throw in some Uzbek, even just as a gesture. This is a common theme throughout Central Asia, though it has manifested slightly differently in each country.
The first official language of Uzbekistan is Uzbek, which is officially and usually written using a modified Latin alphabet, though there are still some remnants of the modified Cyrillic script that was in use until 1992. However, unlike in Turkmenistan, there are still a lot of people that are just more comfortable with Cyrillic and still choose to use that. Although Uzbek is officially written in Latin, and for the most-part it is, there are plenty of signs, menus, publications and much more that are still written in the Cyrillic alphabet.
Uzbek is a Turkic language, very similar to Turkmen, and with a lot of cross-over with Kyrgyz and Kazakh as well. This is the language that is encouraged by the government and society in general, and to try and use a few basic words or phrases of Uzbek is a nod to their heritage and separate identity to that of their recent Soviet past.
Here are a few basic words that will get for sure get you a few smiles and might even come in handy:
|Beer||Pivo (taken from the Russian)|
What is the English level in Uzbekistan?
You’ll actually probably be surprised at the level of English spoke, considering how few of the locals will have been to an English speaking country before. Especially in Tashkent and the other main cities, you’ll find plenty of people that speak at least a little bit of English. This is certainly not to say that it’s everyone, but in most situations you’ll be able to get by using English.