Azeri or Azerbaijani is a member of the Turkic language family. It is the official language of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Dagestan. It is also spoken in five different provinces in Iran, and there are small pockets of Azeri speakers in Afghanistan, Iraq and Turkey, among other countries.
In Azerbaijan and Dagestan, the Azeri language has been influenced by Russian due to many years of USSR dominance. Iranian Azeri is influenced by the national language of the country: Western Persian (Farsi).
In the Republic of Azerbaijan, the language has been written in a Latin alphabet since 1991 but it used to be written in Cyrillic. In Iran, it is written in the Persian Alphabet. In other countries, it remains a spoken language.
When translating from Azeri to English, the word count increases. This is because Azeri and most other Turkic languages are agglutinative languages.
Azerbaijan has a rich heritage resulting from the invasion of different peoples throughout its history. At different times, the country came under Christian, pre-Islamic, Islamic, Persian, Turkish, and Russian rule. Azerbaijan has a proud artistic tradition, from folk music to carpet-weaving. Like other Caucasian nations, Azerbaijanis value hospitality as a national characteristic. When it comes to food, regional dishes depend on the availability of agricultural produce and membership of ethnic groups. A mixture of meat and vegetables and various types of white bread constitute the main foods. A popular dish is Kufte bozbash, meat and potatoes in a thin sauce.