Turkmen is spoken by about 70% of the population of Turkmenistan, while Russian is spoken by 50%. If you are unable to converse in Turkmen, Russian is your best option. Everyone does not have the time, resources, or money to study Turkmen. However, acquiring basic Turkmen is recommended out of respect and since barely half of the population know Russian. During the Soviet era, Turkmen was written in a Cyrillic script, although it is currently written in a Latin alphabet. Because both languages have Turkic characteristics, Uzbek is commonly known in Turkmenistan. Although Kazakh is understood throughout the nation (due to Turkic characteristics), relatively few Turkmen would comprehend it.
Even in the capital city, few Turkmens will have a basic knowledge of English.