Archived 15th edition home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Azerbaijan > Talysh


A language of Azerbaijan

ISO 639-3: tly

Population 800,000 in Azerbaijan (1996). Population total all countries: 912,000.
Region Along the Caspian coast south of the Viliazh-Chai River. There may be speakers in Central Asia and Siberia. Also spoken in Iran.
Alternate names   Talish, Talesh, Talyshi
Dialects Astara, Lenkoran, Lerik, Massali. Northern Talyshi is in Azerbaijan and Iran. Dialects in Azerbaijan are close. Dialects in Iran may be separate languages. Close to Harzani. Agajani and Sasani may be dialects.
Classification Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Talysh
Language use Azerbaijani is used as literary language. Speakers also use Azerbaijani.
Language development Taught in primary schools. Arabic script. Newspapers. Dictionary. Grammar.
Comments Muslim (Shi'a and Sunni).

Also spoken in:


Language name   Talysh
Population 112,000 in Iran (1993).
Region Northwest Gilan Province along Caspian coastal plain and adjacent mountainous areas from Masuleh, Masal, and Kapur-Chal (Kepri-Chal) (each about 50 km east of Rasht) to the Azerbaijan border. Northern Talyshi is centered around Astara and the Caspian littoral in Azerbaijan; Central Talyshi is centered in the Asalem-Hashtpar area along the Caspian littoral in Gilan Province; Southern Talyshi is centered around Shandermen, Masal, Masuleh, and surrounding mountainous areas in Gilan Province.
Alternate names   Talyshi, Talish, Talishi, Talesh, Taleshi
Dialects Northern Talyshi, Central Talyshi, Southern Talyshi.
Language use Speakers also use Western Farsi.
Comments Muslim.