Turkmenistan

 

Turkmenistan is one of just two Stalinist countries in existence (the other being North Korea) and the government is in firm control of nearly everything, although, surprisingly, tourism is welcomed as long as you don’t discuss politics or omnipresent police/military. The cult of personality the previous president created for himself is truly amazing and reminders of the Turkmenbashi’s legacy are everywhere.

Talk

Around 70% of the people in Turkmenistan speak Turkmen, and 50% speak decent Russian. If you are unable to speak Turkmen, than Russian would be your best bet to communicate. Not everyone has the time, resources, or money to learn Turkmen. However, out of respect, and due to the fact only 50% of the people speak Russian, learning basic Turkmen would be advisable. Turkmen was written in a Cyrillic alphabet during Soviet times and is now written in a Latin alphabet. Uzbek is widely understood in Turkmenistan, due to both languages sharing common Turkic traits. Kazakh is also understood in the country (because of Turkic traits), yet very, very few Turkmen will understand Kazakh.

Not many Turkmens will have a basic understanding of English, even in the capital city.

(source: Wikitravel)

 

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