Tsakhur is a language spoken by the Tsakhurs, who live in the northern part of Azerbaijan and the southwestern part of Russian. About 9,770 people speak this language in Russia and another 13,000 people speak the language in Azerbaijan. Tsakhur belongs to the North-Eastern Caucasian language family. Tsakhur is taught in lower primary classes in regions where Tsakhurs live. Even though the language does not have an official status, there are some newspapers and broadcasts made in Tsakhur. Tsakhur is closely related to the Rutul language. Tsakhur speakers can also be found in Uzbekistan. The Tsakhurs refer to themselves as Yikhbi.
The first mention of Tsakhurs was during the 7th century, where Georgian and Armenian sources refer to them as Tsakhaik. Most Tsakhurs were Christians but due to the Arab influence at that time, they were converted to Islam by the 11th century. Alternative names for Tsakhur include Tsaxur, Sakhur, Caxur and Tsakhury. The language is normally passed down from parents to their children. Tsakhur speakers are multilingual and can speak Russian and Azerbaijan.
The first written documentation in Tsakhur dates back to the 19th century. Adolf Dirr came up with the first Tsakhur grammar book in 1913. In the early 1930s, a literary form of the language was developed. This led to the language being taught in primary as well as secondary schools, both in Russia and Azerbaijan. However, this was discontinued in 1938 and reinstated in 1989. The Tsakhur language is written using the Latin script in Russia, while the Cyrillic script was used in Dagestan. Since the 11th century, a number of attempts have been made to write Tsakhur using the Arabic alphabet.