Lak is the language of perhaps 120,000 people in the Kazi Kumukh valley in southern Dagestan.

Related to Dargwa, Lak has separate official status as a literary language. Its speakers have moved repeatedly with the vagaries of Soviet ethnic policy. When the Chechens were deported en masse in 1944, many Lak moved from their high valleys to the newly empty town of Aukhov, renamed Novolak or "New lak". In 1992 a second Lak migration, to the coast of the Caspian Sea near Makhachkala, allowed the Chechens to return.

The Lak are among the most multilingual of all Dagestanis. They frequently know Kumyk and Russian as well as their native Lak language. Many are also fluent in Azeri, Avar and/or Dargwa.

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