View Full Version : Kazakhstan wants Kazakh written in Latin, not Cyrillic script

11-06-2017, 01:41 AM
Kazakhstan is to change its official alphabet for the third time in less than 100 years in what is seen in part as a symbolic move to underline its independence.

President Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered his office on Thursday to prepare for a switch to a Latin-based alphabet from a Cyrillic one, distancing itself, at least graphically, from Russia.

The oil-rich former Soviet republic of 18 million has close ties with Moscow, its main trading partner, but is wary of Russia’s ambitions to maintain its political influence throughout the region.

Kazakh, a Turkic language, used to be written in Arabic script until the 1920s when the Soviet Union briefly introduced a Latin alphabet.

This was later replaced by a Cyrillic one in 1940, based on the Russian alphabet.

Part of the latest switch relates to modern technology. The Cyrillic alphabet has 42 symbols, making it cumbersome to use with digital devices – a standard Kazakh keyboard utilises almost all number keys in addition to letter and punctuation keys.

The new proposed Latin alphabet works around that by using apostrophe signs to modify letters. The country’s official name would thus be spelled as Qazaqstan Respy’blikasy.

According to a statement published by Nazarbayev’s office, he has ordered his chief of staff to draft an executive order introducing the new alphabet. The switch will be gradual, it said.

Although Kazakh has been the state language since Kazakhstan became independent in 1991, 62% of the population said they were fluent in both written and spoken Kazakh during the most recent national census in 2009.

Russian is more widespread, with 85% claiming fluency in the same census. Russian is recognised as an official language in Kazakhstan.

Several other Turkic nations, including Turkey and the former Soviet states Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, have also switched to Latin alphabets.



11-06-2017, 01:43 AM
Good for them. Cyrillic alphabet is disgustingly ugly.

11-06-2017, 01:45 AM
Kazakhstan's new Latin alphabet:


I personally think diacritics look better than apostrophes, but not really a big deal. They also should have used the letter <x> for the /x/ sound rather than an <h>. And the <c> without the apostrophes could have functioned for the <ц> letter since that position is currently vacant.

Nice to see Kazakhstan adopting the simpler and more practical Latin alphabet.

11-06-2017, 01:47 AM
very nice gud news

11-06-2017, 01:56 AM
not a big deal either way in my opinion, there are benefits and drawbacks to both systems. since russian is widely used in the country it might be inconvenient to use cyrillic and latin, but on the other hand latin is more widely used around the world and also in turkey who are their cultural cousins. changing in general is a tedious and disruptive process.

however the apostrophes look horrible and that seems like a terrible idea, they really made an awful decision on that imo and it would be much better if they switched to diacritics

11-06-2017, 02:15 AM
I heard tajiks are doing it too

11-06-2017, 02:32 AM
Good for them. Cyrillic alphabet is disgustingly ugly.

Youre ugly

11-06-2017, 02:52 AM
Youre ugly

Cyrillic alphabet is an abomination and it reeks of poverty, potato and AIDS

11-06-2017, 02:53 AM
apparently there's already a latin alphabet for the kazakh alphabet that's widely used, i hope this won't lead to inconsistencies in the writing of kazakh in latin, which is the case for the uyghur language and uyghur speakers who have a really shitty situation tbh

11-06-2017, 03:00 AM
Cyrillic alphabet is an abomination and it reeks of poverty, potato and AIDS

I think most post soviet nations are trying to de-russify eveything tbh