Gradual transition of the Kazakh alphabet to the Latin alphabet Printable versionLast update: 19.05.2023
On June 16/August 15, 2022, the Head of State instructed the A. Baitursynuly Institute of Linguistics (hereinafter: the Institute of Linguistics) to conduct a comprehensive, in-depth analysis on the transition of the Kazakh language to Latin script and based on the analysis to develop new spelling principles of the Kazakh language and revise the spelling of words in a new spelling dictionary.
On April 12, 2023, at a meeting of the National Council for Science and Technology, the Head of State instructed to reform the Kazakh language, pointing out that practical transition from Cyrillic script to Latin one is not a problem.
In accordance with these instructions, an authorized body, in cooperation with the Institute of Linguistics, is developing a draft alphabet based on Latin script. The letters ә(ä), ө(ö), ү(ü), ұ(ū), ғ(ğ), ш(ş) ң(ñ) in the Latin script are represented by a diacritic symbol.
The principles of alphabet construction in international practice are considered and tested. The common Turkic alphabet, Turkish, Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Turkmen alphabets were studied. Advantages and similarities were identified. The experience of transition of some Turkic-speaking countries (Turkey, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan) to the Latin script has also been studied.
The procedure for placing latinographic Kazakh letters on the keyboard has been developed along with the Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry of the Republic of Kazakhstan. At a joint meeting of the Spelling and Technical Support working groups, the draft of keyboard based on the QWERTY standard widely used throughout the world was supported by scientific specialists.
It has been established that the diacritical symbols provided for in the Latin script draft are available in Android and iOS operating systems.
At the meetings of the working group for spelling, over
40 variants of the alphabet received from scientists of various industries, linguists, public figures, citizens were considered and scientific and expert work was carried out.
The draft spelling rules of the Kazakh language has also been developed and consists of 9 chapters. Based on the changes made to the spelling rules of the Kazakh language, borrowed words will be assimilated, the spelling of terms and onomastic names will be systematized, the norms of simplified spelling will be formed.
The Institute of Linguistics has developed the drafts of the Spelling Book and Spelling Dictionary, which are the major linguistic tools based on a new alphabet.
The volume of the Spelling Book is 229 pages. It differs from the current Spelling Book by providing more explanations to each rule, containing a list of the most frequently used words.
The Spelling Dictionary is prepared in the form of a parallel dictionary in the Cyrillic and Latin scripts, reflecting the orthogram of 114 thousand words, word forms and word combinations in the modern Kazakh language. Unlike the current Spelling Dictionary, only active words are entered, exclusive of words with narrow meanings.
Currently, scientists are working on the revision of the above drafts.
It is planned to conduct testing works in educational institutions based on the draft of a new script.
The work on the gradual transition to the new script, in particular, release of spelling books, spelling/orthoepic dictionaries, other orthological tools, development of teaching aids, training courses for teachers, launch of a converter program for translating texts from Cyrillic script to Latin one, etc., will be implemented after the approval of the alphabet draft and spelling rules by the relevant regulatory legal acts.