Home / Sports News / Kazakhstan to Qazaqstan: Why would a country switch its alphabet?

Kazakhstan to Qazaqstan: Why would a country switch its alphabet?

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The Kazakh language has lengthy been not sure which alphabet to to to in finding a comfy space in and it’s now in for each and every other transition – on the other hand this isn’t with out controversy.

Last Friday Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev in any case decreed that the language would shed its heavy Cyrillic coat and don what he hopes to be a further stylish apparel: the Latin alphabet.

Is this going to be simple?

No. The Latin alphabet has a techniques fewer letters: There will want to be creative mixtures with apostrophes to catch all of the sounds wanted for the Kazakh language.

Kazakhstan is in an atypical place: None of the alphabets that exist appear to be a absolute best fit or have a lengthy sufficient custom designed to be the uncontested host for its language.

Kazakh is a Turk-based language and its historical past is political: Originally it used to be once written in Arabic. Enter the Soviet Union who in 1929 did away with Arabic and introduced Latin – best to 11 years later shift to the Cyrillic alphabet to have the republic further in line with the remainder of the U.S..

The Kazakh taste of Cyrillic has 33 Russian letters and 9 Kazakh ones, whilst the Latin script best has 26.

The large changeover is to be dependable by means of 2025.

Confused by means of all this discuss letters and characters? Before you get misplaced in translation, listed here are a few spellings of the country’s decide simply to come up with an concept:



So why industry?

President Nursultan Nazarbayev has given a long explanation: There are many causes like of modernising Kazakhstan, on the other hand additionally determined by means of “specific political reasons”.

Political pundits see it as step to weaken the traditional ties to Russia: Shedding no longer best the Russian alphabet, the taking into account is going, on the other hand additionally the have an effect on Moscow nonetheless likes to exert over its post-Soviet yard in central Asia.

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Image caption

President Nazarbayev’s would possibly briefly want a new signal for that desk

There also are further speedy just right causes: The hope is that Latin letters will make it more straightforward to push for modernisation in a global and virtual global.

Of the opposite 4 Former Soviet Republics in Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan nonetheless use Cyrillic whilst Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are the usage of the Latin alphabet.

Will or not it’s a easy transition?

This dialogue isn’t new: The industry to the Latin alphabet has been mooted a number of instances for the reason that country’s independence after the best of the Soviet Union, on the other hand to this point has failed to garner well-liked support.

Because: If even the decide of the country would industry from Kazakhstan to Qazaqstan, simply believe the potential of confusion in other people’s day-to-day lives?

Let’s take a have a have a look at the blameless carrot for an instance: The Kazakh phrase for carrot is “сәбіз” and would historically be spelled “sabeez” in Latin. In new Latin alphabet although, it’s going to finally in any case finally end up as “sa’biz”.

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Image caption

Facebook consumers have created the hashtag #saebiz.

This another time, is very shut to the Latin spelling “saebiz” of the Russian phrase “заебись” – a considerably further impolite taste of “messed up”.

Not all of the mix-u.s.are as delicate as this one: But there is also really extensive dialogue on-line of other people perplexed and amused by means of how they now will have to write their very own names and whether or not or now not or not the industry will get to the bottom of smartly nor no longer.

While some see it as a proper step out of the shadows of the Soviet previous and of provide Russian have an effect on, others warn it’s a politically motivated switch which is in a place to disconnect long term generations from the country’s written previous century.

So what’s subsequent?

By the best of the 12 months there’ll a finalised dependable Latin spelling. By subsequent 12 months trainer coaching is to get began and new textbooks can also be complex.

Come 2025, all dependable bureaucracy and publications throughout the Kazakh language can also be throughout the new Latin script. President Nazarbayev indicated although there would be a transition duration the place Cyrillic would possibly nonetheless be used as smartly.

Given that Russian is the country’s second dependable language, indicators and legit forms will although stay bilingual: throughout the Kazakh with Latin letters and in Russian with the Cyrillic alphabet.

Reporting by means of Andreas Illmer, Elbek Daniyarov, Azim Rakhimov and BBC Monitoring.

BBC Monitoring analysis and analyses knowledge from TV, radio, internet and print media all over the world. You can observe BBC Monitoring on Twitter and Facebook.

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