Azerbaijani is a gateway to accessing Turkic languages spoken by millions of people in Iran, Iraq, Central Asia, and the Caucasus. These regions are of vital strategic importance in the world today. Azerbaijan is the largest and most populous country in the South Caucasus and possesses sizable reserves of oil resources. A conflict with neighboring Armenia continues to simmer, but pipelines through Georgia have given Azerbaijan a new window onto the world. Today, the United States is Azerbaijan’s most prominent trade partner, and these business partnerships are fueling demand for Americans who are fluent in Azerbaijani.
Modern Azerbaijani is a great resource for studying world-famous poets like Fuzuli, Nizami, and Khatai. It can also serve as a gateway to Ottoman Turkish, the language of diplomacy, administration, and literature in the Ottoman Empire. So you see, learning Azeri can open up rarely-explored research opportunities in history, culture, and languages of the Islamic world.