Kazakhstan Institute for Strategic Studies

under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan

The Address to the People of Kazakhstan by President

of the Republic of Kazakhstan – Kassym-Jomart Tokayev

A strong system «Responsible State - Responsible Society - 

Responsible Person» must be perpetuated in our country.


The past year was a landmark one for Kazakhstan; the nation embarked on the Third Modernization, joined the Fourth Industrial Revolution, successfully held a number of significant international events, namely non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council, EXPO-2017, and the Winter Universiade.

The other significant event for Kazakhstanis was the adaptation of Latin script for the Kazakh language and a new Kazakh alphabet. The best version of the new alphabet has been vigorously debated through Kazakhstan. More than 1,600 proposals and comments have been received so far. There have been more than 20 versions. Pne of the mosr popular among general public was proposed by the 12-year-old student of Kazakh British Technical University Abzal Myrzash.

         Kazakhstan has started the phased translation of the Kazakh language into Latin script. This process will continue until 2025. In this context, it is important to take into account the experience of the other Turkic-speaking countries especially the post-Soviet Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan; each of them has its own specifics. Some are applicable in Kazakhstan. In addition, Kazakhstani linguists have to look through Kazakhstan's own modern history to avoid, for example. The tendency of "excesses" invention of new vocabulary for the Kazakh language. President Nazarbayev warned about the latter in his Address to the Nation of Kazakhstan on January 10, 2018.

         The transformation of the Kazakh language to the Latin script requires significant financial resources and a clearly defined responsibilities, and carefulness. To follow the stages of transition and their cohesion and coherence is the key. The Internet enables everyone to learn about the initiatives of various Kazakhstani agencies about new textbooks and teaching aids, new spelling, toponymical and other dictionaries. A number newspapers have had their names into the Latinized Kazakh already.

The initiatives should be welcomed. At the same time, experts repeatedly noted that the goal is not a mechanical replacement of the graphic system, but a cardinal reform of the language. This requires not only a new Latinized alphabet, but new spelling rules of both native Kazakh and borrowed words and development of the single national standard of writing. In addition, new rules on adaptation of foreign words are needed as well as the rules of orthoepy.

Obviously, all these issues should be dealt with by professionals, therefore, the National Commission has been established comprising the four special groups: on orthography and spelling; on teaching methods; on terminology, and on IT and technical vocabulary.