Kazakhstan uses Russian experience in language policy
The new bill on language policy, to be unveiled in Kazakhstan by September 1, is based on the best international experience, including the Russian federal law on the state language, an official said, Itar-Tass reported.
"We are using Russian experience in language policy issues, as well as in drawing this legislation," Secretary of the republic's Ministry of Culture Zhanna Kurmangaliyeva told a news conference in the Kazakh capital on Tuesday.
Earlier, the Kazakh authorities placed the text of the bill on the Internet. It envisions much higher requirements to proficiency in the Kazakh language from 2013. It follows from the text that the government bodies will only accept statements in Kazakh and that they will answer in Kazakh, too. Also, it provides for keeping statistics, financial reports and technical documents in Kazakh at all organizations, regardless of the form of ownership.
The text caused a public stir and controversy, but Kurmangaliyeva called it "a tempest in a teapot."
She explained that the Internet version of the document was not the final text to be considered by the parliament and the government.
"It's just a working text forwarded to all the government bodies and public associations for joint work and public expert examination," the secretary noted.
Kurmangaliyeva said the Ministry of Culture was planning to set up a Public Council for development of languages. This body will be discussing the bill.
"We'd like to have a floor where everybody can meet: both the supporters and opponents of the bill. We live in one country and are interested in its stability and in the state language being a factor of national unity," she said.