Kazakh Alphabet


The modern Kazakh alphabet was created on the basis of  Cyrillic 0410–0474 and approved in 1940. It includes 33 letters of the Russian alphabet and 9 added specifically for the Kazakh language. In total, it has 42 signs. Some minor changes were made to the alphabet in 1957. The letter Ӯ was replaced by Ұ, and E was added.

In ancient times, similarly to all Turkic peoples, Kazakhs used the  Runic script 10C00–10C48 . The alphabet consisted of 24 letters and a separating word sign. In 1970, a silver cup with 26 runic signs was excavated on the Issyk mound. It is the oldest monument of the runic writing system on the territory of Kazakhstan. The ancient Turkic script was first discovered in the Yenisei Valley in the XVII century by the German scientist Daniel Gottlieb Messerschmidt. He called it runic for its similarity with Scandinavian signs.

Later, the Mongols brought the Uighur alphabet to the territory of Kazakhstan. It was used, among other things, to compile state and official documents.

With the spread of Islam, around the beginning of the XIV century,  Arabic alphabet FE8E–FEF1 began to be used. Kazakhs living in China still use modified Arabic graphics.

In 1929, the committee on the new alphabet developed the so-called “Unified Turkic Alphabet”. It was called Yanalif and it used Latin characters. With appropriate changes, it was used by many peoples of the USSR. For example, Bashkirs. It was in use until 1940, until the moment when the  Cyrillic 0410–0474 alphabets began to be introduced.