very similar to Turkish
, and which recently adopted a Turkish-based orthography
to replace Cyrillic
. Originally written in Arabic script, it adopted Roman in 1923, using symbols that were shortly after to be used by Turkish; then Cyrillic later in the 1920s, like most other minority languages of the USSR; and reverted to Roman in 1991 after Azerbaijan
's independence. The new script became the sole legal script on 1 August 2001.
The original 1991 romanization included the letter ä, for the front-A sound of English cat, but this was soon replaced by the upside-down-e symbol or schwa ə, causing immense problems for printers and computers, since it's only used in the International Phonetic Alphabet, and not in any other national language. The capital schwa is a bigger schwa, not a reversed E.
Also known as Azerbaijani; and I'm ashamed to admit I haven't the remotest idea what the baijan part means.
The country is known in its own language as Azərbaycan.
The capital Baku is officially spelt Bakı without a dot on the I. The towns of Sumgait and Gyandzha are officially Sumqayıt and Gəncə in the new orthography. The disputed autonomous region of Nagorno-Karabakh is known as Dağlıq-Qarabağ, with shallow curve (breve) over both G's, the Turkish letter called yumuşak-ge. The autonomous republic of Nakhichevan is called Naxçıvan.
Two other letters occurring in Azeri but not in Turkish are X, which comes after H, and Q, which comes after K in the alphabet. X represents a velar fricative as in loch, chutzpah, and Ğ is its voiced counterpart. I'm unclear exactly what Q is: uvular or post-velar, and it might be voiced.
As in Turkish, C is like English j, and Ç is like ch. Ş (S-cedilla) is like English sh, and J is its voiced counterpart as in leisure. There are front rounded vowels Ö and Ü, and the distinction between dotted and undotted I.