Translation Of Kazakh Alphabet To Latin Nazarbayev Will Start The Degradation Of Kazakhstan

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The permanent leader of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev ordered his government to the end of 2017, to develop a Latin version of the Kazakh alphabet. Next year should start training on learning a new alphabet and to start the development of relevant school textbooks.

The transition from Cyrillic to Latin should be completed by 2025. Nazarbayev believes that a new format of the alphabet will meet the characteristics of science, technology and communication in the twenty-first century. Why, according to the Kazakh President, the future does not meet the Cyrillic alphabet, “MK” explained the chief editor of the information Agency Fergana Daniil Kislov:

Kazakh nationalists believe that, by decision of the Nazarbayev holds no upgrades, and completes a logical return to the language that was used by residents of the Republic before the Second world war. Kazakh language switched to Cyrillic in 1940, while Latin Kazakhs used only from 1929 to 1940. Before that, they used Arabic script.

Loyal to the President, political analysts say that, first, Latin is modernizing the education system, and secondly, it is closer to the Kazakh civilization than Cyrillic. Alleged Latin should confirm the commitment of Astana to become part of an open and progressive world.

But what kind of progress can be discussed, if the authorities will have to spend billions of dollars to put on a new footing the whole array of world literature? And this must be done over the next 20-25 years. However, even if the Kazakh authorities will succeed, it is not clear what the progressive influence it can have on the brains of the younger generation. But the population is probably split on the young, who understand the new writing, and all the others who are accustomed to the Cyrillic alphabet.

In addition, if the Kazakh authorities will not have time to translate the entire world literature on the Latin alphabet, the Republic will repeat the sad experience of Uzbekistan, where this process takes c1990 years. Despite such a long time, all the paperwork in the state authorities is in Cyrillic. While young generation reads in Latin, but literature they are not, as translated only a small part of the world and national heritage.

– Why Nazarbayev need this adventure, does he not understand the risks?

 – In 1990-e years, Uzbekistan had a much more intellectual and scientific potential than Kazakhstan. But even there, scientists began to speak out strongly against this project. So Nazarbayev may simply not understand the upcoming difficulties, as he lives in the captivity of ideology and political decisions. Besides, he is 78 years old. During his life he became a leader of the nation and the permanent President, but still want to leave some trace in history of his country, and remembered it with a gasp. Next to him, just there are no people who can stop him.

– From the transition to the Latin alphabet Russian language in Kazakhstan will suffer?

– This whole situation is not directly related neither to Russian, nor to the Union of Russia and Kazakhstan. We are dealing with intellectual and cultural problem of the Kazakh ethnic group. Look at as a result of romanization have changed public Uzbek language. Due to the degradation of secondary level now there’s even advertising signs write errors.

To abandon the Cyrillic alphabet, of course, possible. With the Kazakh alphabet is cranked twice, when he abandoned the Arabic script and the Latin alphabet. But then the language has been translated far less literature than they are today. Losses can be incredible.

The transfer from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet has long held a place on Nazarbayev’s agenda.

Nazarbayev described the use of the Cyrillic script as “political,” noting that the Latin alphabet had previously been used from 1929 until 1940. Prior to 1929, the Arabic script had been used.

“In 1940 … a law was adopted transferring the Kazakh language from the Latin alphabet to one based on Russian script,” he wrote.

The changeover could appeal to Kazakh nationalists, who were alarmed in 2014 when Russian President Vladimir Putin described Kazakhstan as part of the “the greater Russian world.”

President Nazarbayev uses Russian alongside Kazakh in his speeches, and the language of the country’s giant northern neighbor holds official constitutional status.

The Kazakh language belongs to the family of Turkic languages, whereas Russian is a Slavic language. Other countries with Turkic languages, such as Turkey, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, currently use the Latin alphabet.

With reporting by World News and Deutsche Welle