December 12, 2017

Kazakhstan to switch to Latin script

Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev has signed a decree to switch the country’s official alphabet from Cyrillic to Latin.

The presidential office announced that the government will appoint a national commission to “ensure a gradual transition of the Kazakh alphabet to the Latin-based script by 2025”.

The former Soviet Republic declared independence in 1991. Its state language is Kazakh, a member of the Turkic family. Yet, Russian is widely spoken across the country, and is its second official language.

President Nazarbayev and PM Mark Rutte.

Kazakh was written in Arabic script until 1920, when it was substituted by the Latin alphabet. In 1940, it was replaced by a Cyrillic one. The current Cyrillic alphabet consists of 42 characters (33 characters of the Russian alphabet and nine characters for specific Kazakh sounds).

The plan for the switch to Latin reportedly centres on an alphabet of 32 letters, with some specific sounds of the Kazakh language to be covered with the usage of apostrophes.

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For further information:

http://www.government.kz/en/

 

 

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