Increasing the status of Kazakh as a state language in Kazakhstan, and comparisons to Hebrew

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

There's an article here about Kazakhstan's efforts to instate Kazakh as the state language, that is, to increase its status and I assume have it be the language of not just ethnic Kazakhs but also the minorities in the country as well. In the article they compare it to how Israel instated Hebrew as the country's national language. Quite a lot of countries do this as well, comparing how Israel instated Hebrew as the national language and basing their plans upon that. That's also one of the reasons why the people over at aren't concerned with making the language as simple as possible (as is the case with Esperanto, Ido, etc.) but rather with making it as authentic as possible, because in the only case where a language has been revived the emphasis was on authenticity and a shared sense of culture/religion, not simplicity.

So, here is one interesting part from the article (note that I've corrected some of the grammatical errors in the text):

In one of the interviews the Plenipotentiary Ambassador of the State (of) Israel in the Republic of Kazakhstan Ran Ishai noted: "...two distinctions in our language situations exist. We consider the first, that the situation with the Kazakh language is far easier, because our language (Hebrew) was not used at all. The second: we did not have other output on how to restore our language because to Israel there came immigrants from all over the world, with their cultures and various languages.

...Our experience shows, that restoration of a language is quite possible. Now in Israel the most popular language which people constantly speak is Hebrew. You cannot present yourself in Israeli life without Hebrew. And the same can occur in Kazakhstan; not only Kazakhs, but also national minorities, can speak in Kazakh. In Israel various national minorities live also, and they also speak in Hebrew. I do not think that obstacles exist for people to speak in the Kazakh language."


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