Bookmark and Share

Open the online Arabic language course

Index / Languages / Turkic /
Iran / Languages /
Also called: Khalaj

Turkic language of Iran, also spoken in Afghanistan. In Iran some 55,000 have it as daily language (2009 estimate). It is home to the regions northeast of Arak.
Many earlier classifications made it a dialect of Turkmen, or Azerbaijani, but newer classifications identify it as a unique language. It preserves many archaic characteristics, separating from other Turkic languages at an early stage. Khalaj is noted for having three lengths for its vowels, short, half-long and long. It has borrowed many words from Persian, and in recent times also from Azerbaijani.
Khalaj speakers also have good conduct of Persian, and it appears that Persian is replacing Khalaj to some extent in present times.

Confusion of classifications
Ethnologue operates with two Khalaj languages, one Iranian and the other Turkic. As information is very scarce, and there seem to mixing of population data, and no other sources confirm an Iranian form of Khalaj, Ethnologue's listing appears to have been born in a pile of documents on a researchers desk far, far away from Iran.

By Tore Kjeilen