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Turkic languages facts for kids

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From Southeastern Europe to Western China and Siberia
Linguistic classification: Altaic (controversial)
  • Turkic
Proto-language: Proto-Turkic
Southwestern (Oghuz)
Northwestern (Kypchak)
Southeastern (Karluk/Uyghur)
Northeastern (Siberian)
Oghur (Lir-, r-)
"Arghu" (also subsumed under Oghuz)
ISO 639-5: trk
Countries and autonomous subdivisions where a Turkic language has official status and/or is spoken by a majority

The Turkic languages are a language family of some thirty languages. They are spoken by Turkic peoples across an area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China. Traditionally people think that they are part of the Altaic language family.

Turkic languages are spoken by some 180 million people as a native language; and the total number of Turkic speakers is about 200 million, including speakers as a second language. The Turkic language with the greatest number of speakers is Turkish proper, or Anatolian Turkish. The speakers of this language are about 40% of all Turkic speakers.


Altaic family2
Distribution of the Altaic languages across Eurasia. The inclusion of Japanese and Korean, and to a lesser degree the existence of a single Altaic language family, is controversial.

The geographical distribution of Turkic-speaking peoples across Eurasia spreads from Turkey in the West to the North-East of Siberia (see picture in the box on the right above).

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