Bashkir is a Turkic language spoken by the Bashkirs in the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia. It is co-official with Russian in the republic. According to the 2010 census, 1,074,490 people in Russia spoke Bashkir as their native language.
Bashkir has two dialects, Southern and Northern. The Southern dialect is spoken in the republic's capital, Ufa, and its environs. The Northern dialect is spoken in the rest of Bashkortostan.
The Bashkirs are thought to have originated in the area between the Volga and Ural rivers. They first appear in history as vassals of the Mongols in the 13th century. In the 15th century, they were conquered by the Russians and became subject to Russification.
Bashkir was first written in the Arabic script in the 16th century. In the 19th century, the Bashkirs rebelled against the Russians, and Bashkir was written in a Latin-based alphabet. After the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917, Bashkir was written in the Cyrillic alphabet.
In the 1930s, the Soviet government tried to eliminate the use of Bashkir, but it has remained in use. In the 1990s, there was a revival of interest in the Bashkir language and culture.
Bashkir has a rich oral tradition. Folktales, poems, and songs are often passed down from generation to generation. Bashkir folktales often feature animals, such as foxes, wolves, and hares.
The Bashkir language is closely related to other Turkic languages, such as Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Tatar. However, it also has loanwords from Russian and other languages.
Bashkir is a subject of study in universities in Russia and other countries. There are several books and dictionaries available in Bashkir.