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Kazakhstan has announced it will outline a new alphabet by the end of this year as the Central Asian nation plans to change from a Cyrillic-based script to Latin.
Kazakh Minister of Education and Science Erlan Saghadiev told reporters in Astana on July 26 that a special commission established on April 13 was working on creating “the most appropriate” variant of the Latin-based alphabet for the Kazakh language.
Saghadiev said over 500 classes in schools across the country will be taught in English from September.
Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has ordered that all publications, documents, and street signs switch from Cyrillic to Latin by 2025.
The move is seen as an effort to emphasize Kazakh culture and distance the country from Russia.
The change marks a major shift in the former Soviet republic after its use of the Cyrillic-based alphabet for nearly 80 years.
In 1929, Soviet authorities replaced traditional Arabic-based alphabets used by Muslim minorities in the Soviet Union with Latin-based national alphabets. In 1940, the Latin alphabet was replaced with Cyrillic, the alphabet used in the Russian language.
Based on reporting by KazTAG, Kazinform, and Tengrinews