Uzbek is Uzbekistan’s only official language. The majority of people are ethnic Uzbeks who speak Uzbek as their first language; however, owing to the country’s past as part of the Soviet Union, many also know Russian, which is still taught as a required second language in all schools. In Uzbekistan, there are also a large number of Tajiks and Kazakhs who speak their native tongue as a first language. In Samarkand and Bukhara, for example, Tajik is just as common as Uzbek to be spoken. Russian is commonly spoken, particularly in cities. The majority of people in Tashkent speak Russian, and it is just as common to hear it on the street as Uzbek.
The ethnic Karalkalpaks speak their own language, which is linked to Kazakh, in the semi-autonomous territory of Karalkalpakstan in western Uzbekistan. Many Karalkalpaks are also fluent in Russian.
People in cities are increasingly speaking English, particularly those in the hotel and catering industries. However, English is still not commonly spoken, so if you are unable to communicate in Uzbek, Russian is your best option.