Kazakhstan’s planned transition to the Latin alphabet raises complex questions. While alphabets may not be important in and of themselves, they play an important role in helping define a nation’s place in the world.
As a Turkologist, I regularly teach a range of historical Turkic languages using the runiform Turkic alphabet, the Uyghur alphabet, the Arabic alphabet and others. Turkologists also study various Turkic languages written in the Syriac alphabet, the Armenian alphabet, the Hebrew alphabet, the Greek alphabet and others.
Stated briefly, you can use a lot of different alphabets to write Turkic languages. From a technical point of view, it is just a question of how accurately any particular alphabet represents speech sounds.
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Uli Schamiloglu is a professor in the Department of Kazakh Language and Turkic Studies at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.