By the middle of the next decade КАЗАХСТАН will no longer be Kazakhstan. The country is changing alphabets and, with that move, appears set to change the leading “K” to a “Q” such that the new name is apparently Qazaqstan.
The move comes as the country transitions from the Cyrillic alphabet to the Latin letter set. In a presidential decree on Thursday the new, 32-character Latin alphabet was announced along with a translation scheme. Part of that adjustment is that the “K with a thorn” used today will become a “Q” in the new letter set.
Qatar no longer only country starting with Q. Kazakhstan abandons Cyrillic for Latin alphabet, becoming "Qazaqstan." https://t.co/shCqRmItX4
— Lucian Kim (@Lucian_Kim) October 27, 2017
The Kazakh president noted earlier this year that the diaspora already uses a version of Latin characters and also that kids in schools learn them such that “there will be no problems for the younger generation.” New textbooks will be prepared starting in 2018 as part of the switch. Similarly, a national commission will be created to oversee the broader implementation of the move.
I’m slightly confused by the new name in that the “X” in the middle should become a “H” under the new chart but seems to be another “Q” for some reason. So maybe this is a bit more speculation than 100% confirmed. But it seems to be a thing.
The switch also means a change for those who make lists of their travel exploits. Qatar will no longer be the only country that starts with the letter “Q.” Which is, of course, a silly thing to track but it does mean I need to plan another journey now.
The transition to the Latin alphabet has been discussed in the country for a decade now and is finally coming to pass. No doubt that there are political motivations in addition to the economic benefits that come with sharing an alphabet with a greater portion of the global population.
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