Gagauz (Gagauz dili / Gagauzça)

Gagauz is a member of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic language family. It is spoken mainly in southern Moldova, southwestern Ukraine and northeastern Bulgaria. There are also some Gagauz speakers in Romania, Greece, Turkey, and in a number of other countries. It is the official language of the Autonomous Region of Gagauzia in Moldova, and is recognized as a minority language in Ukraine. There are about 143,000 speakers of Gagauz, including 115,000 in Moldova (in 2014), 22,800 in Ukraine (in 2001) and 5,000 in Bulgaria (in 2007).

Gagauz at a glance

  • Native name: Gagauz dili / Gagauzça [ɡaɡaˈuzt͡ʃa]
  • Linguistic affliation: Turkic, Common Turkic, Oghuz, Western Oghuz
  • Number of speakers: c. 143,000
  • Spoken in: Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Turkey
  • Writing systems: Greek, Cyrillic and Latin alphabets
  • Status: official language in the Gagauzia region of Moldova, and recognized as a minority language in Ukraine

There are two dialects of Gagauz: Bulgar Gagauzi and Maritime Gagauzi. The language is most closely related to Azerbaijani, Turkmen and Crimean Tatar.

A number of newspapers in Gagauz are published in the Gagauzia Region in Moldova. There are also radio and television programmes in the language.

Gagauz was written with a version of the Greek alphabet until 1812. From 1909 it was written with a version of the Cyrillic alphabet. From 1932 it was written with a version of the Latin alphabet, and from 1957 a different version of the Cyrillic alphabet was used. Since 1993 a version of the Latin alphabet based on the Turkish has been used. A standard orthography for Gagauz was created in Gagauzia in 2014.

Gagauz Latin alphabet (gagauz alfaviti)

Gagauz Latin alphabet


  1. G, K and L are palatalized / palatal before ä, e, i, ö and ü
  2. H = [h] at the beginning of words
  3. The letter Ţ is only used in loanwords

Gagauz Cyrillic alphabet (гагауз алфавити)

Gagauz Cyrillic alphabet


  1. В, Г & К are palatalized and Л is palatal before ä, е, и, ö and ÿ
  2. Е = [je] and Ё = [jo] at the beginning of words, after ъ and after vowels
  3. The letters Щ and Ь are only used in Russian names and loanwords

Download alphabet charts for Gagauz (Excel)

Sample text in Gagauz (Latin alphabet)

Insannar hepsi duuêrlar serbest hem birtakım kendi kıymetindä hem haklarında. Onnara verilmiş akıl hem üz da läazım biri-birinä davransınnar kardaşlık ruhuna uygun.

Sample text in Gagauz (Cyrillic alphabet)

Ынсаннар хепси дууэрлар сербест хем биртакым кенди кыйметиндӓ хем хакларында. Оннара верилмиш акыл хем ӱз да лӓазым бири-биринӓ даврансыннар кардашлык рухуна уйгун.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Samples videos in Gagauz

Information about Gagauz | Numbers in Gagauz


Information about the Gagauz language and people

Turkic languages

Altay, Äynu, Azerbaijani, Bashkir, Chagatai, Chelkan, Chulym, Chuvash, Crimean Tatar, Dolgan, Fuyu Kyrgyz, Gagauz, Karachay-Balkar, Karaim, Karakalpak, Karamanli Turkish, Kazakh, Khakas, Khalaj, Khorasani Turkic, Krymchak, Kyrgyz, Nogai, Old Turkic, Qashqai, Salar, Shor, Siberian Tatar, Soyot, Tatar, Teleut, Tofa, Turkish, Turkmen, Tuvan, Urum, Uyghur, Uzbek, Western Yugur, Yakut

Other languages written with the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets

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