Kazakhstan - Languages



The constitution declares Kazakh to be the state language and requires the president to be a Kazakh speaker. Kazakh is a Turkic language written in Cyrillic script with many special letters (but in Roman script in China since 1960). Modern Kazakh utilizes many words of foreign origin from Russian, Arabic, Persian, Mongol, Chinese, Tatar, and Uzbek. Only about 64% of all Kazakhs can speak the language effectively. Almost everyone can speak Russian (95%), which has special status as the "language of interethnic communication."

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