PARLIAMENTARY HEARINGS ON TRANSITION TO LATIN SCRIPT
The new Kazakh alphabet will consist of 25 different letters. This became known in Mazhilis during the parliamentary hearings on the introduction of a single standard for the alphabet of the state language. The speaker of the lower house of Kazakh parliament Nurlan Nigmatulin noted that the reform is conditioned by historical prerequisites and is aimed at increasing the country’s competitiveness as well as accelerating integration into the world scientific, educational and technological and communication space. In addition, the reform of the Kazakh alphabet and spelling rules will make it possible to establish a correspondence between the phonetics of the language and its graphics.
NURLAN NIGMATULIN, CHAIRMAN OF MAZHILIS, LOWER HOUSE OF KAZAKH PARLIAMENT:
- The reform of the state language doesn’t imply a change in the state language policy. The maintenance of the Latin script is only intended to solve internal issues of development of the state language, while the Head of State emphasizes that the transition to the Latin alphabet doesn’t mean rejection of the Russian language or Cyrillic script. Latin will primarily concern the Kazakh language.
Specialists refused to introduce superscripts in the new alphabet in order to save specific sounds of the Kazakh language. Specialists say, it is necessary to introduce new spelling rules in the future.
YERBOL TLESHOV, DIRECTOR, CENTER FOR METHODOLOGICAL COORDINATION AND LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT:
- First of all, sound system of the Kazakh language was taken into account. It is based on a principle one letter - one sound, one letter - two sounds and one sound, that is, the system of digraph. To fully represent the sound system of the Kazakh language, the alphabet included eight digraphs, denoting eight specific sounds.
As participants in the hearings highlighted, the process of transition to the Latin script will be gradual. Kazakhstan citizens can take part in the discussion of the reform.