Azeri – The lingua franca of the Azerbaijan’s

On 9th August 2001, President Heydar Aliyev issued a decree instituting a Day of the Azerbaijan Alphabet and Azerbaijan Language. This was to help in the preservation and propagation of the language. With over 7 million people who speak the language in Azerbaijan alone, it is clear that the language is not in danger of extinction anytime soon.

Azeri is a Persian dialect and the language of the Azerbaijan people. 95% of the population speak the language. Azeri is one of the state languages of Dagestan. There are other languages that are spoken in Azerbaijan, with English and Russian being the more dominant languages when it comes to education and day to day communication. Azeri is also spoken in Iran, Georgia, Ukraine, UK, Afghanistan, Germany, Iraq, Syrian, Jordan, Turkey, USA and other countries in Central Asia. There are over 30 million people who speak Azeri all over the world. The language has four dialects in Azerbaijan. These are northern, southern, eastern and western dialects. There are also other dialects in other countries such as Turkey and Iran. Different scripts are used to write the language. The Latin script is used in Azerbaijan, Arabic script in Iranian and Cyrillic script in Dagestan.

In Azerbaijan, ‘zade’ is a popular part of surnames. It is a suffix that denotes ‘son of,’ ‘daughter of,’ or ‘born of.’ The suffix is also used in other countries of Persian descent such as Israel, Pakistan, Armenia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. When communicating to an Azerbaijan, maintain eye contact as this is seen as a sign of sincerity. Be direct and communicate in a diplomatic way but also be sensitive to who you are communicating with. Always be polite as this is crucial in the relationship building process, especially if you are meeting for the first time. Most formal meetings will start with a bit of chit chat over tea on various topics. The aim of this is to build rapport. Once this is established, you can then move on to discussing more serious issues. When doing business with an Azerbaijan, expect a bit of haggling and bargaining as Azeri’s are know to be tough negotiators.

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