Kazakh language

Spoken in

  • Turkic languages Kipchak languages Kazakh




The Kazakh language ( Kazakh Қазақ тілі, Қазақша; قازاق تيل, قازاقشا Qazaq tili, Qazaqşa ) is a Turkic language, which belongs to the Kipchak subgroup there. Kazakh is spoken mainly in Kazakhstan and several Central Asian countries.

Kazakh is officially written with a modified Cyrillic alphabet. The Internet is also a variant of the Latin alphabet used. The Arabic alphabet is used by those Kazakhs who live in China, Iran and Afghanistan and who were not affected by the modernization of the Kazakh literary language (see also the section "Development of written language ").


Genetically the Kazakh belongs to the Turkic language family, which in turn is often counted among the considered by some as Sprachbund, other than parent language family Altaic languages. Within the Turkic languages ​​it is ( the western Turkish languages) expected to Kyptschak group to the beyond, among other things, the Tatar, Bashkir and Karakalpakische belong. It is also closely related to the southeast neighboring Kyrgyzstan, which occupies a transitional position between the Kyptschak group, the Uyghur ( eastern Turkey ) and the Altaic group of the Altai region. (see also the section: "Word equations of the Turkic languages ​​" in the article " Turkic languages ​​". )

Number of speakers and dialects

Of the nearly 8.2 million Kazakhs the former USSR gave about 7.9 million in 1989 Kazakh as their native language and 40 606 as a second language; dominated by the minorities only 1.6 %, the national language.

Kazakh is spoken in Kazakhstan of 6.6 million people, and there is also the state language. Russian is considered due to the large Russian-speaking minorities continue as a second administrative language of the country. In Uzbekistan talk 808 227, 37 318 in Russia, Tajikistan 11,376 people Kazakh.

In addition, 1.1 million Kazakhs living in the People's Republic of China ( 1991), and there alone 607,000 in Xinjiang. In Mongolia, gave (1991) 100.000 Kazakh people as a native language. 1982 were 3000 Kazakhs in Iran and 2,000 in Afghanistan established. But even in Turkey in 1982 gave about 600 people, the Kazakh language as a mother tongue.

The Kazakh can be divided into three dialect groups about the three historic tribal groups of Kazakhs meet: Northeast Kazakh is spoken in the traditional territory of the Middle Horde in the central and north-eastern Kazakhstan. It forms the main basis of the modern Kazakh literary language. The West Kazakhstan, which is closely related to the Nogay, is spoken in the traditional area of ​​the Little Horde in western Kazakhstan and neighboring Turkmenistan. The third dialect forms the southern Kazakh, which is spoken in the traditional territory of the Great Horde in southern Kazakhstan, in the adjacent part of Uzbekistan and Xinjiang.

Until the 1920s, the Kazakh was by the Russians ( and other Europeans ) are usually referred to as Kirghiz or as Kazak - Kyrgyz or Kazak - Tatar and not always distinguished from the closely related with their Kyrgyz language. The vocabulary of Hochkasachischen was enriched in the 1930s with numerous discharges from the Azerbaijan. This was partly due to the fact that many members of the Kazakh intelligentsia have received their university education at the University founded in 1919 at the University of Baku or Ganja (West Azerbaijan). The first national universities received of Kazakhstan in the 1930s.

Development of written language

In the period from 13th century to the 15th century, the ancestors of the Kazakhs served the Old - Tatar as a written language, because their settlements were in the area of the Golden Horde. In the 15th century, the Old Tatar was replaced by Tschagataisch. Both languages ​​were written in Arabic script.

Then still called " Kasak - Kirigisisch " - - In the 18th century the Kazakhs also their own language began in this document to submit to, and there was ( as elsewhere in Central Asia) widespread bilingualism: Tschagataisch for the cross traffic and " Kirghiz " for the private sector.

1929 took over the Kazakhs the "single Turkish alphabet ", but this was abolished in 1940. In his place was replaced by a modified Cyrillic alphabet, which was supplemented by the following nine characters. These nine additional characters were the Russian alphabet alien and should be expressed specifically Kazakh sounds: Әә, Ғғ, Ққ, Ңң, Өө, Ұұ, Үү, Һһ, II. (Latin Ää, Gg, Qq, Ng ng, Öö, Uu, Üü, Hh, Ii, the Russian Ии stands for II and the Russian Уу for Ww )

The modern Kazakh written language was not until 1936/37, created when the Soviet Union the " Autonomous Kyrgyz Republic " disbanded and, inter alia, the " Kazakh SSR " created. This Kazakh ex was declared because of the state language of the Kazakh SSR. Served as the second language of the country - as in the other Soviet republics - the Russian in order to communicate with residents can that were not of the Kazakh powerful.

In the early 1990s agreed the states of Central Asia and the Caucasus, where Turkic languages ​​are spoken, for their official languages ​​one on the " new Turkish alphabet " based form of the Latin alphabet introduced. For the Kazakh and Kyrgyz, the closely related a Latin alphabet, on this basis has been elaborated by a Kazakh- Kyrgyz Commission. This was presented by the Kazakh President on January 6, 1998, the public. But this Latin alphabet was not explained until now for the official spelling. So is held in Kazakhstan still on the Cyrillic alphabet, which is partly explained by the Russian minority living in the country. Only the Kazakh news agency led to their website on 16 April 2004 in parallel with the Cyrillic and Latin this notation, what should especially benefit from living abroad in countries with Latin script Kazakhs. Meanwhile, the website of the Kazakh government in Latin script is available. The introduction of the Latin alphabet was finally determined by Nursultan Nazarbayev in December 2012 to 2025. But in early 2013 it was announced by the Kazakh President's Office that already in 2015 could be expected with the introduction of the Latin script, since 2017, Kazakhstan is the organizer of the Expo.