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Latest News: Languages

Kazakhstan is Changing its Alphabet- Here's Why

Tuesday, May 22, 2018  
Posted by: Jennifer Olivares

Kazakhstan is to adopt a new alphabet, replacing the Russian Cyrillic script with the alphabet you are reading at the moment. This was announced in October by Nursultan Nazarbayev, the Kazakh President, who signed decree Number 569, which also sets out an expanded version of the Roman alphabet – to be introduced in schools in 2018. The aim is for full transition by 2025.

The Cyrillic script currently used for Kazakh has 42 symbols (33 derived from the Russian alphabet plus nine for additional Kazakh sounds). Because the Roman alphabet contains just 26 letters, additional provision has had to be made. The new Kazakh script will use the apostrophe to extend the number of letters to 32. The official name of the country, Қазақстан Республикасы, will henceforth be rendered Qazaqstan Respy’blikasy, according to The Guardian.

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