President: Passing from Cyrillic to Latin alphabet does not testify to Kazakhstan’s geopolitical preferences

Kazakhstan Materials 13 January 2013 12:00 (UTC +04:00)

Kazakhstan, Astana, Jan. 13 / Trend D. Mukhtarov /

One must not look for difficulties in the decision of passing from the Cyrillic to the Latin alphabet and consider it as some kind of evidence of Kazakhstan's geopolitical preferences, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said.

"Someone considered this as a kind of evidence of changing Kazakhstan's geopolitical preferences," Nazarbayev said during the ceremony of giving scholarship to literature and art figures in Almaty. "It is wrong. I will say unequivocally. Passing to the Latin alphabet is the internal need for the development and modernization of the Kazakh language. One must not look for difficulties, especially if there are no difficulties at all."

He emphasized that this transformation has already caused resonance among Kazakhstan's foreign partners.

According to the President, passing to the Latin alphabet will have a huge impact on the cultural development of the country.

"This process must be well prepared," he added. "It is important to remember that huge volume of literary and scientific heritage in the Kazakh language, based on the Cyrillic graphics, was prepared in the twentieth century. It is also important that this public property has not been lost for Kazakhstan's posterity. We will establish a state commission to transfer the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet."

He recalled that the Kazakh language used the Latin alphabet in the 1920-1940s. Latin alphabet was used in the national languages of three of fifteen former Soviet republics till the very moment of USSR collapse.