Uzbek is the official language of Uzbekistan, where about 15 million speak it as their first language. It is also found spoken in the neighboring countries of Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Kazakhstan. There are also emigre communities in the USA, Australia, and Germany.
In Afghanistan a related but distinct and separate language (Grimes 1992), Southern Uzbek, is spoken by about 1.4 million people. It should also be noted that the term Uzbek has been used, especially in the early 20th century, to refer loosely to other Turkic languages in the region. This profile focuses on Uzbek (or Northern Uzbek) as spoken in Uzbekistan.
Uzbek is a member of the Eastern Turkic (or Karlik) group of languages which also includes Uighur. Eastern Turkic is a subgroup of Common Turkic which also includes Turkish, Azerbaijani, Tartar, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and others. The Turkic languages, and the Mongolian-Tungus (Manchu-Tungusic) languages of Siberia and northeastern China are major divisions of the Altaic family or phylum (see Ruhlen 1987). Some experts also consider Japanese and Korean part of this phylum, although evidence of this is debated.
Other Links of Interest on the Uzbek Language:
University of Washington's Uzbek Language Instruction Page...for the advanced learner: Juda Xam Zor!