Kazakhstan goes from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

Kazakhstan goes from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

Kazakh language will change dramatically in the near future. On Friday Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev announced that the alphabet of the country gradually switched from Cyrillic to Latin in efforts of modernization and development. This step is also seen as an attempt of distancing from the Russian language and the promotion of nationalism.

To date, the Kazakh one of the Turkic languages which use a modified Cyrillic alphabet with 42 letters.

Kazakhstan goes from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

The Latin alphabet will contain 32 letters. Some sounds will be blocked by the use of apostrophes. It is expected that the change will be fully implemented by 2025.

The Ministry of foreign Affairs in September said that the transition to the Latin alphabet will benefit the development of Kazakhstan.

«Latin is used in approximately 70% of all countries, making it an integral part of communication around the world, especially from the point of view of technology, business, science and education», — the Ministry said.

At the same time, the oil-rich Republic is a close ally of Russia and has the largest ethnic Russian population among the former Soviet republics in Central Asia. Therefore, the Russian language will remain official.

Earlier in the Kazakh language has used the Latin alphabet, albeit in a slightly shortened version. The transition to the Cyrillic script was made in 1940.

Kazakhstan will become the first Turkic country switched to the Latin alphabet. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan also went to the Latin alphabet.