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What will be the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet

Обновлено: 8 янв.

With the acquisition of independence by the Kyrgyz Republic in 1991, Kyrgyz scholars have repeatedly raised the issue of restoring the Latin script for the Kyrgyz language. Since then, 30 years have passed, but no visible progress has been made. This article is dedicated to the topic of developing a modern Latin alphabet for the Kyrgyz language.

This year, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan made several decisions regarding their alphabets: the government of Kazakhstan presented another version of the Latin script for the Kazakh language, while in Uzbekistan, the president signed a decree on the full transition to the Latin script from January 2023.


The latest version of the Kazakh Latin script. April 2021. "The alphabet includes 31 characters of the basic Latin alphabet system, fully covering the 28 sounds of the Kazakh language. Specific sounds of the Kazakh language ä [æ], ö [ø], ü [y], ұ [w], ğ [ʁ,ɣ] and ş [ʃ] are denoted by diacritical marks of umlaut (̈), macron (ˉ), cedilla (̧), breve (̌). This version differs from the one presented in January by using the letter Ññ[ŋ] instead of Ŋŋ[ŋ]."

The latest version of the Uzbek Latin alphabet. March 2021. "The new alphabet contains 28 letters, 1 letter combination (ng), and 1 apostrophe (indicating a russian sign - ъ). The project recommends using Ḡḡ for [ʁ,ɣ], Ōō for [ø], Şş for [ʃ], and Çç for [t͡ʃ]. Thus, the Uzbek alphabet is as close as possible to the Latin alphabets of other Turkic-speaking countries. At the same time, the double letter combination "ng" is left for the sound [ŋ]."


Starting from 2017, this is the fourth officially considered variant in Kazakhstan. Uzbekistan has a similar situation. Our Kazakh and Uzbek brothers-neighbors have come a long way in organizing their Latin alphabets, listening to the suggestions and opinions of scholars, and are now in the final stage of organizing their national Latin alphabets.


In turn, research on Kyrgyz Latin script and its promotion is being conducted by the respected professor Gulzura Jumakunova (Gülzura Cumakunova), who has been living and teaching at higher education institutions in Ankara (Turkey) for many years.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Professor Gulzura Jumakunova. Ankara. 2015.


Below is a project of the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet - "Inarip", kindly provided by the professor. The basis for it is the Kyrgyz-Turkic Latin alphabet of the 1930s-50s, which evolved over the course of its existence (further discussed in the article), the Turkish alphabet (1928), and one element of Czech graphics.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Project of the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet - "Inarip"


Here is the variant of the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet proposed by Professor Gulzura Jumakunova:


Aa [a], Bb [b], Cc [d͡ʒ], Çç [t͡ʃ]], Dd [d], Ee [e], Ff [f], Gg [g], Ğğ [ʁ,ɣ], Hh [h], Ii [i], Jj [j], Kk [k], Qq [q], Ll [l], Mm [m], Nn [n], Ññ [ŋ], Oo [o], Öö [ø], Pp [p], Rr [r], Ss [s], Şş [ʃ], Tt [t], Uu [u], Üü [y,ʏ], Vv [v], Yy [ɯ,ɨ], Zz [z].


Among them, following the "one sound - one letter" rule, the number of additional symbols not included in standard Latin is six (6):


Ç [t͡ʃ], Ğ [ʁ,ɣ], Ñ [ŋ], Ö [ø], Ş [ʃ], Ü [y,ʏ].


Also, three (3) symbols are provided for use in various scientific research, international terms, and proper names for accurate sound representation: Ww, Xx, Žž [ʒ].


Professor Syrtbay Musaev (Chairman of the National Commission on State Language under the President of the Kyrgyz Republic and Corresponding Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Kyrgyz Republic) also proposed his own project for Kyrgyz Latin script in 2019 at Marmara University in Turkey. This was reported in a post on social media page of Turkish professor Hülya Kasapoğlu Çengel (also a member of the Commission on Turkish Language).


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Proposed Latin alphabet (Kyrgyz Latyn Alfaviti) by Professor Syrtbay Musaev:


Aa[a], Bb[b], Cc[d͡ʒ], Çç[t͡ʃ]], Dd[d], Ee[e], Ff[f], Gg[g], Hh[h], Ii[i], Jj[j], Kk[k], Ll [l], Mm[m], Nn[n], Ņņ[ŋ], Oo[o], Öö[ø], Pp[p], Rr[r], Ss[s], Şş[ʃ], Tt[t], Uu[u], Üü[y,ʏ], Vv[v], Yy[ɯ,ɨ], Zz[z].


In advance, it should be noted that achieving a 98% similarity between the Latin alphabet projects (also named in kyrgyz as Alippe) proposed by Professor Gulzura Jumakunova, Professor Syrtbay Musaev, and the variant proposed here below can be considered a success. This is another important step towards achieving consensus in the decision on the approval of the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet and its correspondence with the Kyrgyz Cyrillic and Arabic alphabets (used by Kyrgyz in China) within the framework of the "one language - three alphabets" strategy proposed by the respected professor Tyntchtykbek Chorotegin.


More information can be found in the professor's article here.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com
Prof. Tyntchtykbek Chorotegin Kadyrmambetovich

This "triple alphabet" strategy works great on a societal level. The only thing that's necessary is for the authorities of Kyrgyzstan to show political will and officially recognize it. Also, it's important not to restrict the use of Cyrillic by older Kyrgyzstanis without crude coercion, as was done in the Soviet era.

As Professor T. Chorotegin has emphasized before, the Kyrgyz Arabic alphabet is currently being effectively used by Kyrgyz people in China (the Kyzylsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture).


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

The Kyrgyz poetry collection "Kerme-Too" (كەرمە توو ىرلار جىيناعى), published in Xinjiang (Shinjyang) in 1962 in the Arabic alphabet used by the Kyrgyz of the Kyzylsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast.


The Kyrgyz Latin alphabet is already living its own life on the internet.

For example, journalist Elmurat Ashiraliev started using Qyrğyz Latyn script in the titles of his podcasts: Ajbek, Qaragat, Qajyrbek, Ajchürök.

Sometimes, businessmen and public figures like Seitek Kachkynbaev and Emil Umetaliev also publish their posts in Latin script on social media:



Along with the Cyrillic alphabet, Ms. Orozbübü Satish kyzy also used the Latin alphabet in her publications, using digraphs for consonants, dz-[d͡ʒ], ch-[t͡ʃ], sh-[ʃ], ng-[ŋ]:


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Along with clarifying the features of the "triple alphabet strategy" for future generations, we should also create conditions for studying the ancient Kyrgyz script (the Orkhon-Yenisei script used in the Yenisei Kyrgyz Khaganate).


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

The table of the Kyrgyz-Turkic runic alphabet presented by Bahtiyar Sharsheev in 2021.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Brief rules for writing the Old Kyrgyz alphabet for modern use.


Let's return to Professor Gulzura Jumakunova. She presented her ideas in an article where she thoroughly answers the first question - why the Kyrgyz nation should return to the Latin alphabet (Qyrğyz Latyn Alippesi).

The article in Kyrgyz can be found here.

The article in Russian can be found here.

We will address the following question - which option to choose:

If the Kyrgyz language returns to the Latin alphabet in the future, or moves towards joint use with Cyrillic and Arabic scripts (in Tatarstan, such triple application was prohibited by the Kremlin), so as not to repeat the multi-year reform steps of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the Kyrgyz side should adhere to the following points:


  • Preserve the Principle of Historical Continuity.

  • Adherence to the rule of "one sound - one letter" and rejection of digraphs.

  • Within the rule of "one sound - one letter," use as few additional letters as possible that are not part of the standard Latin alphabet. In cases where this is not possible, choose the most well-known and widely used variant of the letter.

  • Establishing a commonality with Turkic-speaking countries (This commonality also creates conditions for the wide use of the alphabet by compatriots speaking different dialects of the Kyrgyz language).


Taking into consideration these conditions, we present to you the project of a new (updated/reformed) Kyrgyz Latin script:


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Project of QWERTY Layout for the Kyrgyz Keyboard.


The basis for this project was taken from the alphabet that was in use for 10-15 years from the late 1920s in the Kyrgyz ASSR (and from 1936 in the Kyrgyz SSR) but was eventually abolished by the Stalinists. However, it continued to be used by Turkestanis in emigration with some modifications until the early 1950s. Additionally, some characters were taken from the modern alphabet of the Republic of Turkey, which was developed in the same years (1928) and shares common features with the Kyrgyz Latin script.

Composition of the Kyrgyz Latin script of the 1930s:


Aa [a], Bʙ [b], Çç [d͡ʒ], Cc [t͡ʃ]], Dd [d], Ee [e], Ff [f], Gg [g], Ƣƣ [ʁ,ɣ], Hh/Xx [h], Ii [i], Jj [j], Kk [k], Qq [q], Ll [l], Mm [m], Nn [n], Ꞑꞑ [ŋ], Oo [o], Ɵɵ [ø], Pp [p], Rr [r], Ss [s], Şş [ʃ], Tt [t], Uu [u], Yy [y,ʏ], Vv [v], Ьь [ɯ,ɨ], Zz [z].


Letters for terms:

Əə[æ - schwa], Ƶƶ[ʒ - zh]


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Page with the composition of the Kyrgyz alphabet based on Latin script from the textbook for students of Russian schools "Elementary Foundations of Kyrgyz Grammar." 1933, Frunze - Tashkent. Authors: Adzhiman Shabdanov and I. A. Batmanov.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Composition of the "Kyrgyz Latin script" on the page of Kasym Tynystanov's work "Project for a New Orthography of the Kyrgyz Literary Language" (Imlanьn Ereçeleri - Rules of Writing), 1934.


Unified New Turkic Alphabet.

Left: Page from the magazine "Culture and Literacy of the East. Book 3" 1928, Baku.

Right: Page from the magazine "Alphabet of October. Results of Introducing the New Alphabet among the Peoples of the RSFSR" 1934, Moscow.


The letter Əə [æ - schwa] was not used in the Latin script for the Kyrgyz language during those times. However, today we believe that this letter should be included in the alphabet, not as a part of the main composition but as a special symbol. This is because dialects are also part of the heritage of the Kyrgyz language, in which this sound is used. While in Kyrgyzstan there are efforts to combat this phenomenon and recognize only the literary language, in other countries around the world, people take pride in their dialects and strive to preserve them. As an example, in Czechia, the Latin script is used to represent the characteristics of all four dialects of the Czech language (Czech dialects, Central Moravian dialects, North Moravian dialects, Slovak dialects) in written form.


However, the letter Ƶƶ [ʒ] started to be used just before the transition to the Cyrillic script in borrowed terms where the soft [zh - /ʒ/] sound was present, similar to Russian or Kazakh languages (e.g., монтаж - montaƶ, тираж - tiraƶ), in order to distinguish it from the hard Kyrgyz [J - /d͡ʒ/] sound, which was represented by the letter Çç [d͡ʒ]. A clear example of the differentiation between Ƶ/ʒ/ and Ç/d͡ʒ/ is - Çarcьsь Ƶurnalь.


In the next paragraph of the article, we will discuss the letter Çç [d͡ʒ] separately.


Let's take a look back into the past and consider a few examples from history:


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

The textbook by Kasym Tynystanov "Our Native Language - Ene Tiliʙiz."


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

A collection of poems by Toktogul Satylganov (editor: Joomart Bökönbayev).

Individual examples of books and publications in Latin script from the 1930s will not leave anyone indifferent.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

The fairy tale "Makel-Döö" in the rendition of Manaschi Sagynbai Orozbakov.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Compilation of books and documents in Latin script of the Kyrgyz language in the 1930s.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Compilation of poems by Alykul Osmonov.


Below is a photograph of a document from the period of the first Latin script - a birth certificate of a Kyrgyzstan citizen:


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

A birth certificate in cyrillic and latin scripts of kyrgyz language.


Furthermore, school diplomas or certificates from other educational institutions were also filled out using both alphabets. This means that even in those challenging times, there were no issues with using two different alphabets (emphasizing that they were for different languages). This fact is often cited by opponents of returning to the Latin script as an argument against it, suggesting that it would lead to confusion and a rupture in communication between older and younger generations. However, many of these "experts" fail to differentiate between an alphabet and a language and react hysterically, mistakenly believing that the Latinization of the Kyrgyz language would also entail a transition of the Russian language to the Latin script and that Kyrgyz would be replaced by a Latin-based language.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Certificate of completion of a pedagogical school. In the Kyrgyz language, using the Latin script.

This means that educated Kyrgyz individuals living in the 1930s and 1940s were knowledgeable in both alphabets. Additionally, the older generation was also proficient in Arabic script.

Changes in the 1940s:

Four characters from the general Turkic Latin script of the 1930s were modified as follows:


Bʙ > Bb[b]

Ɵɵ > Öö[ø]

Yy > Üü[y]

Ьь > Ĭĭ[ɯ,ɨ]


Composition of the Kyrgyz Latin script of the 1940-1950s:


Aa [a], Bb [b], Çç [d͡ʒ], Cc [t͡ʃ]], Dd [d], Ee [e], Ff [f], Gg [g], Ƣƣ [ʁ,ɣ], Hh/Xx [h], Ii [i], Jj [j], Kk [k], Qq [q], Ll [l], Mm [m], Nn [n], Ꞑꞑ/Ṇṇ [ŋ], Oo [o], Öö [ø], Pp [p], Rr [r], Ss [s], Şş [ʃ], Tt [t], Uu [u], Üü [y,ʏ], Vv [v], Ĭĭ [ɯ,ɨ], Zz [z].


Letters for terms:

Əə[æ - schwa], Ƶƶ[ʒ - zh]


If you notice, the letter "Y" from the standard Latin script is not used here, whereas an additional letter "Ĭ" was introduced for the sound [ɯ,ɨ].

The version of "Manas" by Tynybek Japyev was published by Satar Almanbetov in Berlin in 1943 using the modified Latin script of 1940, which was used for some time by immigrants from Turkestan. One copy of this book is kept in the Kyrgyz National Library named after A.Osmonov in Bishkek, in the section of rare books.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

"Manas" by Tynybek Japyev, published by Satar Almanbetov in Berlin in 1943.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Below is a fragment from the play "Hind Ĭxtĭlalcĭlarĭ" by Abdurauf Fitrat, written in the Uzbek language and published in 1944.

Abdurauf Fitrat is one of the founders of modern Uzbek literature and a representative of Central Asian Jadidism. He was the first Uzbek to receive the academic title of professor in 1926. In 1938, he was sentenced to execution in Tashkent.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

"Hind Ĭxtĭlalcĭlarĭ" a play in five acts by Abdulrauf (Abdurauf) Fitrat. 1944. Greifenhainichen (Germany, Saxony-Anhalt).


Below are examples from publications on the Facebook page of Koichiev Arslan Kapai uulu, a Kyrgyz historian and writer who is proficient in both the Latin and Arabic scripts of the Kyrgyz language:



Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Excerpts from some works published using the Latin script in the 1940s.


A greater number of examples can be found in a separate article.


Let's return to the variant of the new Kyrgyz Latin script.


The proposed updates for today (2021):


For present-day usage, the symbols used in the 1930s-1940s have been replaced with more common letters found in other Turkic Latin scripts as well:


Ƣƣ > Ğğ[ʁ,ɣ]

Ꞑꞑ/Ṇṇ > Ññ[ŋ]

Ĭĭ > Yy[ɯ,ɨ]


The letters representing similar sounds have been swapped:


Çç > Cc[d͡ʒ]

Cc > Çç[t͡ʃ]


The number of letters in the reformed version of the historical Kyrgyz Latin alphabet we have presented is thirty (30):


Aa [a], Bb [b], Cc [d͡ʒ], Çç [t͡ʃ]], Dd [d], Ee [e], Ff [f], Gg [g], Ğğ [ʁ,ɣ], Hh [h], Ii [i], Jj [j], Kk [k], Qq [q], Ll [l], Mm [m], Nn [n], Ññ [ŋ], Oo [o], Öö [ø], Pp [p], Rr [r], Ss [s], Şş [ʃ], Tt [t], Uu [u], Üü [y,ʏ], Vv [v], Yy [ɯ,ɨ], Zz [z].


Among them, following the rule of "one sound - one letter," there are six (6) additional characters that are not part of the standard Latin alphabet:


Ç[t͡ʃ], Ğ[ʁ,ɣ], Ñ[ŋ], Ö[ø], Ş[ʃ], Ü[y].


Additionally, there are three(3) symbols included in the alphabet that are not part of the main set, but are used in various scientific works, dialect research (see: Murza Gaparov's "Kyshtakcha"; Sulaiman Kaiypov's works on the folklore of Afghan Kyrgyz; J.Mukambayev's dialectological dictionary), terms, and proper names for accurate sound representation:


Ää [æ] (mäkä – "corn" in ichkilik dialect of kyrgyz language);


Žž [ʒ] (Brežnev, žandarm,Carçysy žurnaly, жюри - žüri, montaž, tiraž etc.)


Ww [w] (bowojt - the "bolboyt" word in ichkilik dialect of kyrgyz language).


Thus, we continue to use the previously used Latin alphabet (1928-1950) without severing the historical connection to the past, optimizing some letters for modern needs. This approach adheres to the important principle of historical continuity from psychological and scientific perspectives.


Therefore, the statement that "We have completely created and transitioned to a new Latin alphabet from scratch" would be considered an erroneous historical conclusion.


The assertion that "We have returned to the Latin alphabet after a long hiatus" aligns with historical truth (alongside Cyrillic and Arabic within the framework of the "one language - three alphabets" strategy).


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

The Evolution of Kyrgyz Latin Alphabet.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Table comparing the Kyrgyz Latin script with the alphabets of neighboring and other Turkic countries.


The tables above depict the development of the Kyrgyz Latin script and its comparisons with the alphabets of neighboring Turkic-speaking nations, showcasing the similarities and differences between them at the current moment. It can be observed that the neighboring languages have ultimately converged towards maximum similarity in their alphabets. However, due to the initial intention to align with the English variant of the Latin script, based on present-day trends, it led to numerous reforms and prolonged resistance from the population towards the adopted changes and alphabets as a whole.

Indeed, English is the language of international communication today. However, the choice of script is not made for a period of 30-70 years. English, and its variant of the Latin script, became international only in the last century, particularly after the end of World War II. It is likely that English will continue to maintain its position for the next hundred years. However, Scandinavian countries are already at the forefront of education with their own variant of the Latin script. Perhaps, the languages of these countries may replace English in the future, and the trends will shift again.

Therefore, we propose to follow our own path, drawing from the experience of our own past and basing the script on what we already had, reforming only specific characters for modern usage:


Here are detailed explanations regarding some characters.


1. Why Y[ɯ,ɨ] instead of "I" or another symbol (İ Ï Ī Ý Ь, etc.):


• In the Kyrgyz language, the sound [ɯ,ɨ] is the second most frequently used vowel sound after [а] (this can be determined by counting the frequency of sounds in major works). Therefore, for [ɯ,ɨ], it is appropriate to use a letter from the standard Latin alphabet rather than an additional symbol (İ Ï Ī Ý Ь, etc.). The most suitable and recognizable letter is the symbol "Y." This letter, representing the [ɯ,ɨ] sound, is present in the Czech and Polish alphabets. In international transcriptions, this symbol is used to represent the [ɯ,ɨ] sound, as seen in words like Kyrgyz (кыргыз), Grozny (Грозный), Navalny (Навальный), Kyzyl (Кызыл), Tyva (Тыва), and so on.


• The letters Ьь[ɯ] and Ĭĭ[ɯ] from the 1930s-40s have lost their convenience due to their infrequent use in modern Latin scripts.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Comparative table of the frequency of sounds used in various works in the Kyrgyz language. The sound [ɯ,ɨ] consistently occupies the fourth position.


The issue of using Turkish I[ɯ] and İ[i]:


• The lowercase ı[ɯ] is written without a dot and falls into the category of additional letters. There seems to be no problem. However, the uppercase I[ɯ] - without a dot above the letter - overlaps with the English/standard I[i]. From a technical standpoint, the Turkish I[ɯ] becomes the English I[i], creating an "ambiguous" interpretation of the symbol.


• The lowercase [i] is represented as i. Again, there is no problem. However, the uppercase İ[i] is written with a dot above the letter, leading to an increase in additional symbols outside the basic Latin alphabet, totaling eight (8): Ç, Ğ, Ñ, Ö, Ü, Ş, İ, ı.


You can test this by entering GMAİL.COM, HOTMAİL.COM, WİKİPEDİA.ORG, etc. in the browser search bar. Most likely, you won't be able to access these addresses because they contain the large [i] - technically "non-authentic." Such names can only be entered in lowercase letters using the Turkish keyboard layout: gmail.com, hotmail.com, wikipedia.org, etc.

Similarly, in any transliteration tool, using the Turkish keyboard to input the names "Ырыс - Yrys" and "Ибрагим - Ibragim" and converting them to Cyrillic with uppercase and lowercase letters:


Irıs > Ирıс, instead of Ырыс;

ırıs > ıрıс, instead of ырыс;

IRIS > ИРИС, instead of ЫРЫС.


İbragim > İбрагим, instead of Ибрагим;

ibragim > ибрагим;

İBRAGİM > İБРАГİМ, instead of ИБРАГИМ.


As you can see, the same names with uppercase and lowercase letters are converted differently each time. Now imagine the confusion we will face in e-government registration systems and other private sector systems when filling out various forms, questionnaires, and searching for data.

With the letters Öö, Üü, Şş, Çç, Ğğ, Ññ, there is no such technical issue - both uppercase and lowercase letters are converted in the same way and are equivalent to each other.


• If we use the letter "Y" for the sound [ɯ], we can only use the standard letter Ii[i] from the basic Latin alphabet and avoid unnecessary confusion between Iı[ɯ] and İi[i]. The number of additional characters outside the standard Latin alphabet will decrease to six (6): Ç, Ğ, Ñ, Ö, Ü, Ş.


2. Why J[j], not Y or another symbol (Ï Ī Ý Ь, etc.):


Therefore, if "Y" is chosen for [ɯ], as stated in point 1, we can choose the letter "J" for sound [j]. Here's why:


• This symbol was already used for the sound [j] in the Kyrgyz Latin alphabet of the 1930s and later in the Latin alphabet of Turkestan emigrants. So, there is a precedent.


• "J" is not such a rare symbol used for the sound [j]. Half of Europe uses it precisely for that purpose: Germany, Northern and Central Europe, Scandinavian countries, Slavic countries (Poland, Czech Republic), Albanian, Hungarian, Estonian, Esperanto, and other languages.


• The name of the letter in the registry is "yot" or "jay."


• It is a letter from the standard Latin alphabet.


Латын алфавити, кыргызская латиница, кыргызский алфавит, kyrgyz alphabet, kırgız alfabe, латын, ариби, арип, алиппе, латын графика, кыргыз тамга, кыргызский язык, alippe, latin, latyn, latın, aribi, qyrgyz, qyrğyz, qırğız, қырғыз, qьrƣьz, قىرعىز, قيرغيز, qyrgyz.com

Map of the various uses of the letter "J" in European countries. Wikipedia.


3. Why letter "C" for sound [d͡ʒ], not "J":


[d͡ʒ] and [t͡ʃ] are related sounds. Our ancestors knew this and chose visually similar symbols for these sounds. Therefore, to maintain continuity with the past, the Kyrgyz Latin script should use the variant C[d͡ʒ] - Ç[t͡ʃ].


Similar graphical combinations were present in:


• The Kyrgyz Latin script of the 1930s and among Turkistan emigrants:

Ç[d͡ʒ] - C[t͡ʃ];

• Kyrgyz Arabic script: ج [d͡ʒ] - چ [t͡ʃ];

• It is present in the modern Turkish alphabet: C[d͡ʒ] - Ç[t͡ʃ].


In the Tajik alphabet, the letter "ҷ" represents the sound [d͡ʒ], and "ч" represents the sound [t͡ʃ]. "Тоҷик" is pronounced as [tojik], and "Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон" is pronounced as [Jumkhurii Tojikiston].


In the Azerbaijani Cyrillic script during Soviet times, there was a similar situation: Ч[t͡ʃ]-Ҹ[d͡ʒ]. And the letter "ж" specifically indicated the soft [ʒ] sound, as in Russian or Kazakh languages "zh".


Thus, Azerbaijanis, Turks, and Tajiks were able to uphold the principle of historical continuity.


By the way, in related languages like Kyrgyz, Tuvan, and Khakas, the Kyrgyz sound [d͡ʒ] is equivalent to the sound [t͡ʃ]: jyl-chyl, jyldyz-chyldys, jol-chol, etc. Therefore, in the modern usage of ancient Kyrgyz script, which doesn't actually have a letter for the sound [d͡ʒ], we can adopt the Ancient Yenisei symbol "𐰳", originally representing the sound [t͡ʃ]. Historian and activist Eleri Bitikci (Nazikbek Kydyrmyshev) practices this approach in their projects to familiarize people with the Ancient Yenisei script.


4. Letters Q[q], Ğ[ʁ,ɣ], Ä[æ], Ž[ʒ], W[w]:


These letters are necessary to meet the requirements of global coverage for the Kyrgyz nation in modern usage, based on the principles of historical continuity and precise correspondence within the framework of the "triple alphabet" strategy:


• These letters are necessary to meet the requirements of global coverage for the Kyrgyz nation in modern usage, based on the principles of historical continuity and precise correspondence within the framework of the "triple alphabet" strategy.


• The alphabets used by the Kyrgyz nation today cannot be limited to serving only the citizens of Kyrgyzstan within the republic (and they should serve not only representatives of the titular ethnicity but also be easily understood and adopted by citizens of other ethnicities in the country). Modern Kyrgyz people are considered descendants of the ancient Kyrgyz ethnicity, who settled in various corners of Tengir-Too, Pamir, Altai, Siberia, Kyrgyz-Nora, Manchuria, and other remote parts of Eurasia with their dialects, speech variations, and regional peculiarities, which can be unified into a common identity using these letters.


~ ~ ~

In conclusion, for Kyrgyzstan as an independent state and for the continued use of Cyrillic script, it is necessary to organize and officially approve a Latin script variant for the representatives of its global diaspora, many of whom currently reside in continents where the Latin script predominates.



Bahtiyar Sh.

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