A language of Kazakhstan

Alternate Names
Kaisak, Kazak, Kosach
казақ тілі‎ (Qazaq tili), казақша‎ (Qazaqşa)

9,980,000 in Kazakhstan (2009 census). Ethnic population: 10,100,000 (2009 census). Total users in all countries: 12,934,060.

Language Status

1 (National). Statutory national language (1995, Constitution, Article 7(1)).


Northeastern Kazakh, Southern Kazakh, Western Kazakh. Minor dialect differences.


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no articles; case-marking (7 cases); verb affixes mark person, number; passives; tense; comparatives; 18 consonant and 9 vowel phonemes; non-tonal; stress on final syllable; vowel harmony.

Language Use

98% speak Kazakh as L1. Positive attitudes. Increasing ethnic pride and feelings of Islamic brotherhood. Also use Northern Uzbek [uzn], Russian [rus].

Language Development

Increasing education in Kazakh. Newspapers. Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1820–2010.


Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab], used in China and Iran. Braille script [Brai]. Cyrillic script [Cyrl], used in Kazakhstan and Mongolia. Latin script [Latn], used in Turkey.

Other Comments

Seminomadic. Eastern Kirghiz and Western Kirghiz erroneously applied to Kazakh. Muslim.

Also spoken in:

Expand All
Collapse All
Page Views Left: