Tajiki is an Indo-European language, related to Farsi and Pashto. In 1989, Tajiki became the sole official language of the country, displacing Russian and Uzbeki. Since 1995, Russian, which had retained its status as the language of international communication in government and business, has regained its previous status, albeit alongside Tajiki. Uzbeki is spoken in regions predominantly inhabited by Uzbeks.
The Tajiki language has no genders or cases, and its vocabulary is borrowed from Arabic, Uzbeki, and Russian. Since the 1940s, the Tajik alphabet has been a modified version of the Russian Cyrillic alphabet. Since the adoption of Tajiki as the national language, instruction of the Arabic-based Persian alphabet in schools has been encouraged, with teaching materials provided by Iran.