The Chechen language is a northern Caucasian language and one of the official languages of Chechnya. Partial mutual intelligebility exists with the Ingush language, and there are intermediary dialects.
The number of speakers is estimated to be around 900,000.
Chechen was written in Arabic script until the 1920s, when it was written at all. Prior to the early 20th century, the Arabic language was used for most written communications in Chechnya, with Chechen existing primarily for speech. Arabic declined and Russian subsumed the role of primary written language with the advent of the Soviet Union. Tatar language was used before 20th century for communication with Russians. Most Chechen speakers speak fluent Russian, as well. The Latin alphabet began to be used instead of Arabic for Chechen writing in the mid-1920s. In 1938, Cyrillic was adopted. With the declaration of the Chechen republic in 1992, most Chechen speakers returned to the Latin alphabet.