Languages of Kyrgyzstan
|Languages of Kyrgyzstan|
|Official||Kyrgyz (national/state language) |
Russian (official and interethnic)
|Indigenous||Dialects of Kyrgyz language|
|Foreign||English; Arabic (coming with Islam); Chinese; French|
|Alphabet||Kyrgyz alphabets |
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Kyrgyzstan is one of three former Soviet republics in Central Asia to have Russian as an official language, Kazakhstan (de jure) and Uzbekistan (de facto) being the others. The Kyrgyz language was adopted as the official language in 1991. After pressure from the Russian and other minorities in the country, the republic adopted Russian as an official language as well in 1997, to become an officially bilingual country.
Kyrgyz is a Turkic language of the Kipchak branch, closely related to Kazakh, Karakalpak, and Nogay Tatar. It was written in the Arabic alphabet until the twentieth century. Latin script was introduced and adopted in 1928, and was subsequently replaced on Stalin's orders by Cyrillic script in 1941.
According to the 2009 census, 4.1 million people spoke Kyrgyz as native or second language and 2.5 million spoke Russian as native or second language. Uzbek is the second most widely spoken native language, followed by Russian. Russian is the most widely spoken second language, followed by Kyrgyz and Uzbek.
Many business and political affairs are carried out in Russian. Until recently, Kyrgyz remained a language spoken at home and was rarely used during meetings or other events. However, most parliamentary meetings today are conducted in Kyrgyz, with simultaneous interpretation available for those not speaking Kyrgyz.
|Language name||Native speakers||Second-language speakers||Total speakers|
- "Перепись населения и жилищного фонда Кыргызской Республики (Population and Housing Census of the Kyrgyz Republic), 2009". NSC of Kyrgyzstan. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Komlosi-Ferdinand, Flora; Ferdinand, Siarl. "Vitality of the Kyrgyz Language in Bishkek". Academia.edu. Retrieved 4 August 2018.