Official languages of the Republic of Tatarstan are the Tatar language (Turkic group of Altai language family) and Russian (Slavic group of Indo-European language family). The overwhelming majority of the Tatars speak Russian, and the Russian language is still predominant in commercial circles. This situation is a reason for Tatar–Russian code-switching. Such code-switching language is mostly used by the urban population of Tatarstan, mostly bilingual. For example, they start a sentence in one language and finish it in another. Or only some words are replaced. Also switching of syntax may take place or pronunciation.

English and other European languages are known by some part of the population, mostly youngsters. But this number is growing, possibly due to many international events across the republic and intensive international cooperation of various nature.

F.A.Q. on Languages

What alphabet does the Tatar language use?

From the 9th century until 1920 Tatar language was written using a variation of the Arabic alphabet. Between 1927 and 1939 Tatar was written with the version of the Latin alphabet. From 1940s Tatar transited to Cyrillic alphabet with some additions like Ә, Җ, Ң, Ө, Ү, and Һ.

Do Tatars speak Russian?

Russian is the most common language in urban areas of Tatarstan and other Tatar-populated areas. Several generations of Tatars speak fluent Russian. It happens often when making a sentence, Tatar people use Russian syntax for words.

How do you say hello in Tatar and Russian?

“Hello” in Tatar: “Isenmesez”, in Russian: “Zdrastvuite”.

What countries or regions speak Tatar?

There are some Tatar dialects. The major Tatar dialects are Kazan Tatar and Western, or Mishar Tatar. Tatar is spoken in the Republic of Tatarstan, in west-central Russia, and also in Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, and China.

Do Tatars speak Arabic?

Arabic was used for writting by Tatars in Russia before the 1920-30s. Then Latin alphabet was used, and later till now – Cyrillic. Arabic is practised, too, but mostly in religious practice.