08 November, 2018

Uzbek alphabet getting closer to Azerbaijani

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A draft of the updated Latin-based Uzbek alphabet, being discussed for the past two years, has been published in Uzbekistan, Trend news agency reported with reference to the Uzbekistan National News Agency.

The alphabet that has been in effect since 1995 has been criticized over the years due to flaws and the inconvenience both in handwriting, typing on a computer, and reading. Perhaps because of these shortcomings, the full transition to the Latin-based alphabet has not yet been completed.

The updated version of the alphabet has 30 characters, including 28 letters, one letter combination and one apostrophe. The sh and ch letter combinations, denoting Cyrillic ш and ч, will be replaced by single-letter ş and ç respectively. There will be no need to use the inverted apostrophe as in oʻ and gʻ, denoting Cyrillic ӯ and ғ letters, and instead ŏ and ğ will be used.

The new letters were present in the first version of the new Uzbek alphabet, introduced in 1993.

After long discussions, it was decided not to return the n̅ letter denoting the sound ng, leaving the ngcombination in the alphabet, as well as the c letter for the Cyrillic ц, which is present only in borrowed words. The letter, though, exists in the Karakalpak alphabet.

The adoption of the new alphabet should help eliminate the problems that existed for over 20 years and make it closer to the alphabets of other Turkic languages, in particular, to Azerbaijani.

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