Which Kazakh alphabet should be used?

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Member The Iki God
Joined: 16.09.2018
Pending moderation


I'm having a question regarding what Kazakh alphabet should be used on the website. The source of the problem is that the Kazakh language was written in a lot of different alphabets during the past century - until the 1920s I think a variation of the Perso-Arabic script was used, in the 1920s a Latin alphabet was used, until 2017 a Cyrillic alphabet was used, but in 2017 a new Latin alphabet was introduced, which is different from the Latin alphabet used in the 1920s, which was revised last year, so the 2018 Latin alphabet, which is different from both the 2017 one and the one used in the 1920s is set to be permanently used and the Kazakh government wants the transition to Latin script to be complete by 2025.

This is how I've seen most Kazakh songs formatted on the website:

Title: "1920 alphabet (Cyrillic alphabet)"
Cyrillic alphabet

For example:
"Maxabbat añızı (Махаббат аңызы)

Періштелер қорғасын,
Жолымызда тосқауылдар болмасын.
Екеумізді аялап, Қозы менен Баянның
Маxаббаты қолдасын."

So here's my question:
As the 2018 Latin alphabet is set to be permanent, should all new songs added to the website be written in the 2018 alphabet? For example:

"Mahabbat ańyzy

Perishteler qorǵasyn,
Jolymyzda tosqaýyldar bolmasyn.
Ekeýmizdi aıalap, Qozy menen Baıannyń
Maxabbaty qoldasyn."

And should the same be done for songs already on the website?

Editor in search of Anningan & Malina
Joined: 10.05.2012

The norm here is to use the native alphabet of the language. Russian lyrics should be written in Cyrillic, Armenian lyrics in the Armenian alphabet, Chinese lyrics in hànzì and so on.
The case of Kazakh is quite peculiar and rare. From what I could see, Kazakhs on LT have always added their lyrics in Cyrillic (probably because that's the alphabet they learnt and are most familiar with), but if Kazakhstan officially adopted a new Latin alphabet, there's no reason you can't add lyrics in the 2017 or 2018 Kazakh Latin alphabet.
What I'd advise you is to use whatever writing system is more familiar to you, as long as this system is native to Kazakh (you wouldn't want to add Kazakh lyrics in the Cherokee script after all, innit?). Also you can add the transliteration in the other writing systems if you want.
As for the title, I don't think there's any indication. The format I would use (unless a mod disagrees) is the following:

2018 Latin alphabet (Cyrillic alphabet)

I'm sure most Kazakhs are more familiar with the Cyrillic alphabet, so that one should be used for recognition.


The Cyrillic alphabet was much better than the new Latin Kazakh alphabet. I have been learning Kazakh for some time now and I can tell you the new Official Latin Kazak Alphabet is utterly useless. The Latin transcriptions we obtain from google translate are much better suited for the Kazakh language than the new version Latin Kazakh alphabet that came out last year. The new one is simply unreadable. Sad smile

Joined: 12.10.2010

While the Latin alphabet has been made de jure official in Kazakhstan, I think the Cyrillic alphabet should continue to be used on the site with the Latin-script lyrics being added as transliterations until 2025, when the permanent switch will be made. This way any possible future changes to the alphabet would cause less harm too.

Editor Leader of the Balkan Squad
Joined: 14.10.2016

Since it's more widespread at the moment, Kazakh Cyrillic should continue to be used, with the Latin/transliterated title in parentheses after the original title.

Moderator sapiens sapiens
Joined: 05.04.2012

A solution that would not cause a mess with transliterating Kazakh would be just leaving the older entries in Cyrillic and the most recent ones in Latin scripts.


I strongly agree with crimsonDyname. Kazakh Cyrillic Alphabet should be used as the main script for the songs along with Latin transcriptions, until everyone is familiar with the new Kazakh Latin Alphabet.

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