Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Kazakhstan > Kazakh

Kazakh

A language of Kazakhstan

ISO 639-3kaz

Population  5,290,000 in Kazakhstan (1979 census). Population total all countries: 8,331,950.
Region  Kazakhstan, northern Soviet Middle Asia into western Siberia. Also in Afghanistan, China, Germany, Iran, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Russian Federation (Asia), Tajikistan, Turkey (Asia), Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United States, Uzbekistan.
Language map  Kazakhstan
Alternate names   Kaisak, Kazak, Kosach, Qazaq
Dialects  Northeastern Kazakh, Southern Kazakh, Western Kazakh. Minor dialect differences.
Classification  Altaic, Turkic, Western, Aralo-Caspian
Language use  National language. 98% speak Kazakh as L1. Increasing ethnic pride and feelings of Islamic brotherhood. Many also use Russian or Northern Uzbek [uzn].
Language development  Increasing education in Kazakh. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. NT: 1820–1910.
Writing system  Arabic script, used in China and Iran. Cyrillic script, used in Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Latin script, used in Turkey.
Comments  Seminomadic. The names ‘Eastern Kirghiz’ and ‘Western Kirghiz’ have been erroneously applied to Kazakh. SOV. Traditionally pastoralists, now agriculturalists; industrialists. Muslim (Sunni).

Also spoken in:

Afghanistan

Language name   Kazakh
Population  2,000 in Afghanistan (2000).
Region  North, especially Chahar Dara District west of Kunduz; Khanabad and Andkhoi areas.
Alternate names  Kazakhi, Qazaq, Qazaqi
Dialects  Northeastern Kazakh, Southern Kazakh, Western Kazakh.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%.
Comments  Muslim.
 

China

Language name   Kazakh
Population  1,250,000 in China (2000 census). 85% are monolingual. 830,000 Northeastern Kazakh, 70,000 Southwestern Kazakh (1982).
Region  North Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Prefecture, Yili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, eastern Xinjiang; Mulei Kazakh Autonomous County, Balikun Kazakh Autonomous County; northwest Gansu, Akesai Kazakh Autonomous County; northwest Qinghai provinces.
Language map  China
Alternate names  Hazake, Kazak, Kazax
Dialects  Northeastern Kazakh, Southwestern Kazakh.
Language use  Vigorous. Speakers of nearby languages use Kazakh as L2. All domains. All ages. Positive attitude. 15% also use Chinese [cmn].
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 97%.
Comments  Classified as Kazak nationality. Pastoralists; some agriculturalists. Muslim (Sunni), Shamanist.
 

Iran

Language name   Kazakh
Population  3,000 in Iran (1982).
Region  Mazanderan Province, Gorgan City.
Alternate names  Gazaqi, Kazak, Kazakhi
Comments  Muslim.
 

Mongolia

Language name   Kazakh
Population  182,000 in Mongolia (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001).
Region  Northwest Mongolia, Bayan-Olgiy Aimag, mining communities east of the capital; far east Choibalsan area.
Alternate names  Kaisak, Kazakhi, Kazax, Kosach, Qazaq, Qazaqi
Comments  Traditional religion, Muslim.
 

Turkey (Asia)

Language name   Kazakh
Population  600 in Turkey (1982).
Region  Manisa Province, Salihli; Istanbul; Kayseri Province; refugees from Afghanistan, now Turkish citizens.
Alternate names  Kaisak, Kazakhi, Kazax, Kosach, Qazaqi
Comments  Muslim.
 

Uzbekistan

Language name   Kazakh
Population  808,000 in Uzbekistan.
Language map  Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, reference number 4
 
Contact us