Politics • 08 November, 2017

Speaker Tokayev advises The National Commission to consider constructive proposals on Latin script

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The Senate Speaker Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev’s recent post on Twitter went viral and evoked intensive discussions among social media users. He wrote that The National Commission, which is going to start working after President`s decree on the transition Kazakh language to Latin script, should take into account constructive proposals from the public on the new Latin-based Kazakh alphabet.

On October 27, President Nazarbayev signed a decree on the transition to Latin-based Kazakh alphabet in which he orders President Administration to create The National Commision on this issue and approves the second version of the script prepared by Akhmet Baitursynov Institute of Linguistics. The President declined the previous version of the institute with digraphs after harsh criticism from society.

The second version of apostrophes is reviled too. The problem is that the President and many proponents of the new alphabets want that the new Kazakh alphabet fits in 26 alphabets on a keyboard. However, besides 26 alphabets the Kazakhs use its own vowels and consonants which peculiar to only Kazakh language. The version with digraphs makes words longer, the second version with apostrophes makes it hard to use in the digital world as artificial intelligence, and computer algorithms might consider a Kazakh word with the apostrophe as several words.

Mr. Tokayev was the first to react among politicians of high power. That is why his twit gave hope for many people who are concerned about this problem. 

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