Category Archives: Linguistics

How to Retard a Language

In this article, The Guardian argues that the switch to the Latin script “partly aims to distance country from Russia”. The Economist echoes the opinion by saying that the Latin script “is also to do with decolonisation”. Technically, it sounds credible. But, the harsh reality is a little bit different. Kazakhstan is a testing ground for Russian missiles. From underwear to cars, Kazakh imports have to be approved by Moscow under the framework of the Eurasian Economic Union. Apostrophe or not, the pro-Russian authorities of Kazakhstan are highly unlikely to change their loyalty to the Kremlin. The official Kazakh pretext, voiced by The Guardian, that the change “make it simpler to use on digital devices” is laughable, too. Once again, The Economist follows in the footsteps of the newspaper, arguing that the Latin script “is about equipping Kazakhstan for the digital age”. Not exactly. The global high-tech leaders, like China, India or Japan, are quite comfortable with their non-Latin scripts. Meanwhile, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan with their Latin scripts lag behind the innovative countries.

By the way, the high-ranking motive force behind the switch, like Adilbek Dzhaksybekov (pictured right) – the Head of the Presidential Administration of Kazakhstan – and Marat Tazhin (left) – his Deputy – are both Russified Read More


Fuzzy Names

There are many organizations throughout the world, which have been improperly named. When dealing with such titles, one cannot describe the nature of the organizations for sure. Let's examine briefly telltale examples from Germany, Kazakhstan, and USA.

An amazing collection, dedicated to the science and technology, is located in Munich, Germany. It bears an irrelevantly patriotic name – Deutsches ...


No Budget for Spelling and Style

Windows Vista Home Premium in Kazakh is notorious for its spelling mistakes and loose style. Although it was created under the aegis of a multi-billion corporation, they apparently practiced too much frugality on basic spellcheck and competent editors. Native Kazakh speakers would raise their eyebrows, learning how their mother tongue is strangely distorted by software nerds. «Control Panel» is especially ill-fated in the Kazakh version. True, it was translated correctly as «Басқару тақтасы» (Basqaru taqtasy). But, in the toolbar of «My Computer» it ...


Suum Cuique

Today, English is the leading international language. Well, it is not as musically sweet as Italian. It also doesn't possess the exotic richness of Chinese. English-speaking thinkers haven't composed treaties, comparable to the ones by German-speaking philosophers. However, its undisputable status of the worldwide lingua franca definitely has certain deep-rooted causes. You might win a lottery, but the global dominance can't be achieved by chance. ...