Information on the condition of the Talyshi language
Talyshi language being a member of the family of Irani languages belongs to the Indo-European language group. The specialists consider this language as a related language to the old Avesta language.
Historically, Talyshi language has been the native language of the people who live in the Talyshi region--south east of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the provinces of Gilan, Ardabil and others of Zenjan and Gazvin of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
According to unofficial information more than one million people in the Republic of Azerbaijan use Talyshi language at the level of every-day life.
Talyshi language is referred to repressed languages in the Post-Soviet territory. Talishi language was prohibited in 1930-s, during the Stalin regime, then the schools in Talyshi language were closed, newspapers and other media were suspended.
Even after Azerbaijan gained its independence, Talyshi language was not rehabilitated and the work done in this direction is not satisfactory. Though Talyshi language was ordered for teaching at the elementary schools in the districts of Masalli, Astara, Lenkaran, Lerik proper text-books were not printed and not distributed and this work is halted.
We feel pity that today there is no newspaper, television and radio in Talyshi language in Azerbaijan and the use of this language in the mass-media is in fact prohibited.
ALI HASIR Director of the TALYSH HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECT in Azerbaijan