Introduction-to-Modern-UyghurA Collection of Uyghur Resources; Some of the following I have not yet perused, but I did think it would be helpful for others to put everything in one place.  If you have more resources, or comments on any of the resources listed below, please let me know!

First Notes: You can’t learn Uyghur without learning the alphabet (which is a modified Arabic script), unless you already know Cyrillic and are OK with learning Uyghur’s close cousin Uzbek. No worries though! These ridiculous cartoon videos will definitely aid your Uyghur writing stkills!

An introduction to the language here.


If you’re in Xinjiang head to Urumqi’s 新华书店 (Xinhua Bookstore, the central one at Nanmen is best).  The second floor has (as far as I know) the country’s best selection of Uyghur textbooks and dictionaries (along with some Kazakh).  Most are in Chinese, but I did buy the blue-covered Introduction to Modern Uyghur by Hamit Zakir which was pretty fantastic (and got lost when I tried to ship it back to the states…).  Begining Uyghur for English Speakers from Xinjiang University is also available both in XJ and on ebay, though definitely a bit pricier.

If you aren’t in Xinjiang:


In Print:



The following US universities offer Uyghur (or Uzbek): University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Washington, Kansas University, Indiana University, Harvard University, Georgetown University, University of Chicago (Uzbek with Kagan Arik, who also knows Uyghur, along with half a dozen other Turkic languages…)

The following Chinese universities offer Uyghur: Peking University, Beijing University for Nationalities (民族大学), Xinjiang University (the most common choice as it’s in the Uyghur part of Urumqi), Xinjiang Normal University, Xinjiang Agricultural University (I took classes here while teaching; our ‘teachers’ were underpaid MA students in animal science), Xinjiang Arts Institute (an American friend took a semester of classes and was not impressed.  I think her ‘teachers’ were still college students), and Xinjiang Vocational University. More detailed info on Urumqi options here.

Other Resources:

A list of academic resources on Uyghurs, mostly focusing on people, politics and culture

Just for fun: This impossible “beginners” Uyghur video


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