Central Asia News

Kazakhstan Throws Off Soviet Yoke And Goes Latin

Image by LoudHmen

Kazakhstan has officially moved to replace its Soviet-backed Cyrillic alphabet with a Latin-based alphabet that was in use before the Soviet Revolution. President Nursultan Nazarbayev has mentioned making this change for some time but the change is now official and will be slowly phased in by 2025.

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Kazakhstan has used the Cyrillic-based alphabet for almost 80 years. The Central Asian nation is making the move to distance itself from Russia and its Soviet past.

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Nazarbayev also wants to make Kazakhstan more open to trade and investment and the government sees the alphabet change as a big move in that direction.

“Former Soviet republics Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — which, like Kazakhstan are Turkic-speaking nations — abandoned Cyrillic scripts and switched to Latin-based alphabet in the early years after the Soviet breakup,” writes RFERL.

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