The two official languages of Tajikistan are Russian as the interethnic language and Tajik as the state language, as understood in Article 2 of the Constitution: “The state language of Tajikistan shall be Tajik. Russian shall be the language of international communication.”

The state (national) language (Russian: государственный язык; Tajik: забони давлатӣ) of the Republic of Tajikistan is Tajik, which is written in the Tajik Cyrillic alphabet. Several linguists recognise the fact that the Tajik language is a variant of the Persian language (or Farsi). Therefore, Tajik speakers have no problems communicating with Persian speakers from Iran and Dari speakers from Afghanistan. Several million native Tajik speakers also live in neighboring Uzbekistan and Russia.

According to article 2 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, Russian language is recognized as the second official language of Tajikistan; the official language of inter-ethnic communication (Russian: язык межнационального общения; Tajik: забони муоширати байни миллатҳо) in the country. Russian had previously lost its official status after Tajikistan’s independence in late 1991, which was then restored with the Constitution. Approximately 90% of the population of Tajikistan speaks Russian at various levels. The varieties of Russian spoken in Tajikistan are referred to by scholars as Tajik(istani) Russian and it shares some similarities with Uzbek(istani) Russian, such as morphological differences and the lexical differences like the use of words урюк for a wild apricot or кислушка for rhubarb. Previously, from the creation of the Tajikistan SSR until Tajik became the official language of the Tajikistan Soviet Socialist Republic on July 22, 1989, the only official language of the republic was the Russian language, and the Tajik language had only the status of the “national language”.

The highly-educated part of the population of Tajikistan, as well as the Intelligentsia, prefer to speak Russian and Persian, the pronunciation of which in Tajikistan is called the “Iranian style”.

Apart from Russian, Uzbek language is actually the second most widely spoken language in Tajikistan after Tajik. Native Uzbek speakers live in the north and west of Tajikistan. In the fourth place (after Tajik, Russian and Uzbek) by the number of native speakers are various Pamir languages whose native speakers live in Kuhistani Badakshshan Autonomus Region. The majority of Zoroastrian in Tajikistan speak it in the Pamir languages. Native speakers of the Kyrgyz language live in the north of Kuhistani Badakshshan Autonomus Region. Yagnobi language speakers live in the west of the country. The Parya language of local Romani people (Central Asian Gypsies) is also widely spoken in Tajikistan. Tajikistan also has small communities of native speakers of Persian, Arabic, Pashto, Eastern Armenian, Azerbaijani, Tatar, Turkmen, Kazakh, Chinese, Ukrainian.

Among foreign languages, the most popular is English, which is taught in schools in Tajikistan as one of the foreign languages. Some young people, as well as those working in the tourism sector of Tajikistan, speak English at different levels. Of the European languages, there are also a sufficient number of native speakers of German Citation needed and French Citation needed. Many among the Uzbek population learn Turkish in addition to Russian.