Ossetian or Ossetic is a member of the Northeastern Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. About 500,000 people speak Ossetian in Ossetia, a region that straddles the border or Russia and Georgia. The majority of Ossetian speakers live in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania in Russia. The Ossetic-speaking region of Georgia is called South Ossetia. There are also some Ossetian speakers in Turkey.
Ossetian was first written during the 18th century with a version of the Arabic script. Then in 1844, a method of writing Ossetian with the Cyrillic alphabet was developed by Sjoegren. Between 1923 and 1937 a version of the Latin alphabet was used to write the language, and since 1938 the Cyrillic alphabet has been used, though from 1938 to the 1950s, a version of the Georgian alphabet was used to write Ossetian in South Ossetia.