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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

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