New East Digital Archive

Kazakhstan announces full switch from Cyrillic to Latin by 2025

27 July 2017

Kazakhstan will outline a new Latin alphabet by the end of the year, departing from its Cyrillic-based script that has been in use since 1940.

Erlan Saghadiev, the Kazakh Minister for Education and Science, has told reporters in Astana that a special commission is working on creating “the most appropriate” form of the Latin-based alphabet for the Central Asian country, following an announcement made in April this year regarding the transformation.

Meanwhile, President Nursultan Nazarbaev has ordered that the switch from Cyrillic to Latin must take place by 2025, which includes all publications, documents and street signs. A combination of the two alphabets will be used as the transformation takes place. Moreover, Saghadiev has announced that over 500 classes in schools across Kazakhstan will be taught in English from September 2017.

The move not only marks a major shift away from Kazakhstan’s Soviet past, but a move to emphasise Kazakh culture and distinguish itself from its neighbour, Russia.

Source: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty