cover image

Kazakh language

Kipchak Turkic language of Central Asia / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Kazakh language?

Summarize this article for a 10 years old


Kazakh or Qazaq (Latin: qazaqşa or qazaq tılı, Cyrillic: қазақша or қазақ тілі, Arabic Script: قازاقشا or قازاق ٴتىلى, pronounced [qɑzɑqˈɕɑ], [qɑˈzɑq tɪlɪ][3][4]) is a Turkic language of the Kipchak branch spoken in Central Asia by Kazakhs. It is closely related to Nogai, Kyrgyz and Karakalpak. It is the official language of Kazakhstan and a significant minority language in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, north-western China and in the Bayan-Ölgii Province of western Mongolia. The language is also spoken by many ethnic Kazakhs throughout the former Soviet Union (some 472,000 in Russia according to the 2010 Russian Census), Germany, and Turkey.

Quick facts: Kazakh, Pronunciation, Native to, Region...
қазақша or қазақ тілі
قازاقشا or قازاق ٴتىلى
qazaqşa or qazaq tılı
Kazakh in Cyrillic, Latin, and Arabic scripts.
Kazakh pronunciation: [qɑˈzɑq tɪlɪ]
Native toKazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan
RegionCentral Asia
Native speakers
21 million (2023)[1]
Kazakh alphabets (Cyrillic script, Latin script, Arabic script, Kazakh Braille)
Official status
Official language in


Regulated byMinistry of Culture and Sports
Language codes
ISO 639-1kk
ISO 639-2kaz
ISO 639-3kaz
The Kazakh-speaking world:
  regions where Kazakh is the language of the majority
  regions where Kazakh is the language of a significant minority
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A Kazakh speaker, recorded in Taiwan
A Kazakh speaker, recorded in Kazakhstan

Like other Turkic languages, Kazakh is an agglutinative language and employs vowel harmony. Ethnologue recognizes three mutually intelligible dialect groups, Northeastern Kazakh, the most widely spoken variety which also serves as the basis for the standard language, Southern Kazakh and Western Kazakh. The language shares a degree of mutual intelligiblity with closely related Karakalpak while its Western dialects maintain limited mutual intelligibility with Altai languages.

In October 2017, Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev decreed that the writing system would change from using Cyrillic to Latin script by 2025. The proposed Latin alphabet has been revised several times and as of January 2021 is close to the inventory of the Turkish alphabet, though lacking the letters C and Ç and having four additional letters: Ä, Ñ, Q and Ū (though other letters such as Y have different values in the two languages). It is scheduled to be phased in from 2023 to 2031.