Azeri Vs. Azerbaijani

sb70012

Senior Member
Hi,
Suppose that you have a friend from Azerbaijan.

You say:
"Mom, that's my friend. He speaks Azeri."
"Mom, that's my friend. He speaks Azerbaijani."

I know that both are correct but I want to know that native English speakers tend to use which one?
Azeri or Azerbaijani? I mean I want to know which one is the most used one.

No source/Self made general question
Thank you
 
  • Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    I know that both are correct but I want to know that native English speakers tend to use which one?

    I hope you will not think this impolite, but I suspect most native English speakers tend never to speak, or even think, about Azerbaijan at all. It is my belief that most native English speakers could not find Azerbaijan on a map, let alone tell you who lives there or what language they speak. This is more a comment on poor geographical education in the schools in English-speaking lands than it is about the importance of Azerbaijan. Nevertheless, it would mean that most English speakers, knowing nothing at all about the country or its language, would probably accept whatever anyone from there said about either -- as the English speakers would have no prior information to be contradicted by the new information they were hearing.
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    Azeri and Azerbaijani are mostly interchangeable. In national matters, I would choose Azerbaijani and in cultural matters Azeri
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    Having run a translation and multilanguage graphics company, I've come across both terms often enough. I'd go with the advice posted by PaulQ.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    Azeri and Azerbaijani are mostly interchangeable. In national matters, I would choose Azerbaijani and in cultural matters Azeri
    I think I agree with MrQ:

    The Azerbaijani government have declared a day of mourning ...*
    The Azeris are renowned for their sense of humour.
    Azeri culture (or anything else) is little-known in the USA.
    I couldn't understand his particular dialect of Azeri.



    *Apologies for the gloomy example.
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I'd say, He speaks Azeri. I may be influenced in this by Mark Elliott's very amusing "Azerbaijan - With Excursions to Georgia", which informs us that "The Azeri language is closely related to older Ottoman Turkish", although "travelling for the first time on an Azeri plane, Turks are liable to get alarmed. When the pilot says in Azeri that the plane is about to land (düşmek), the same phrase in Turkish means it's about to crash!"
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    True, but they may not have been taught what it is in English. How many of us know how to say "English" in Azeri (or Azerbaijani)? :)
    This side topic was whether English-speaking school systems are a failure because we were not taught all the Soviet Socialist Republics, Swiss cantons, Chinese prefectures, Parisienne arrondissments, etc. It's now way off-topic and should probably be moderated all the way back to the bud.
     

    rpcvaz27

    New Member
    English - US
    I lived in Azerbaijan for 3.5 years, and my husband is Azerbaijani. You can use Azeri, but it's technically incorrect. That refers to a small tribe in another country. The term is used as slang, but the official language and culture is Azerbaijani (which I speak fluently).
     

    Copperknickers

    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    I am surprised nobody brought up the above point sooner, although I would dispute it slightly: RPCvaz will know better than me the reality on the ground, but for the purposes of the English language, Azeris are a cultural/linguistic group, of whom most live in Iran, the rest in Azerbaijan. Technically those living in Iran can also be referred to as 'Azerbaijanis' because the province of Iran where they live is called '[South] Azerbaijan' (albeit often written in the Persian alphabet), but that makes things very confusing. Best to call Azeri language speakers in general 'Azeris' and those living in the actual country of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijanis. Shared traits between both groups, most notably the language, should be called Azeri.
     
    Last edited:

    rpcvaz27

    New Member
    English - US
    I am surprised nobody brought up the above point sooner, although I would dispute it slightly: RPCvaz will know better than me the reality on the ground, but for the purposes of the English language, Azeris are a cultural/linguistic group, of whom most live in Iran, the rest in Azerbaijan. Technically those living in Iran can also be referred to as 'Azerbaijanis' because the province of Iran where they live is called '[South] Azerbaijan' (albeit often written in the Persian alphabet), but that makes things very confusing. Best to call Azeris in general 'Azeris' and those living in the actual country of Azerbaijan, Azerbaijanis. Shared traits between both groups, most notably the language, should be called Azeri.


    YES! Thank you for that. It is very confusing outside of the region, but you are correct, Azerbaijani's themselves (in Azerbaijan proper) call the Azerbaijani people living in Southern Azerbaijan (known as Northern Iran to the rest of us) Azeri. You've got to love the confusion factor there!
     
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