Kazakhstan to switch from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet

Kazakhstan to switch from Cyrillic to Latin alphabetKazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbayev set out a timeline for the ex-Soviet country to switch from Cyrillic letters to the Latin alphabet as part of a modernisation drive, AFP reported on Wednesday.

The 76-year-old leader has long called for ditching the Cyrillic alphabet, which Kazakhstan shares with neighbour and ally Russia, in favour of the more widely used Latin one.

In an article published in the state-owned Egemen Kazakhstan newspaper, Nazarbayev called for the government to begin "preparatory work" and "create a schedule" for the switch.

"By the end of 2017, after consultation with academics and representatives of the public, a single standard for the new Kazakh alphabet and script should be developed," Nazarbayev wrote.

"From 2018, (Kazakhstan) must train specialists to teach the new alphabet and produce textbooks for secondary schools," Nazarbayev added in the Kazakh-language paper.

Nazarbayev has said in the past that the country should switch to the Latin alphabet by 2025.He wrote that under government plans, all official documents, periodicals and books in Kazakh should be published in Latin letters by that date.

In his article, Nazarbayev argued that younger people would find no trouble adapting to a new alphabet since they all now study English. During the adaptation period to the new alphabet, Cyrillic will be used all the same.

The president described the transition as an embrace of pragmatism and he said it was necessary to pursue the path of modernization.

“The state or the nation should not be like rigid metal, they should be living organisms capable of constantly evolving. You need to be able to change to keep up with life. Anybody that fails to understand this will always lag behind,” he wrote.

The Kazakh language is part of the Turkic family, like Turkish. It currently uses a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet with 42 letters.

Kazakhstan briefly used the Latin alphabet during the Soviet era before switching to Cyrillic letters in 1940.
See also:
Leave a comment
  • Latest
  • Read
  • Commented
Calendar Content
«    Июнь 2019    »