The development of multilingualism in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan, nowadays is the most peaceful and multiethnic country. This large country includes about 150 nationalities and language minorities.  While there are extremist groups and wars in other countries, our first President makes great steps to preserve the historical heritages of our land like political stability, tolerance to other nationalities, and the most crucial – the languages.

From my observations about multilingualism development in Kazakhstan, I would like to share my personal viewpoints. Language policy is a great tool and weapon for the prosperity of a country and/or for the beginning of a war. The reason is that the more nationalities and language minorities exist in one country, the more they will demand attention to their languages and respect of their nationalities from the government. Only one misstep in a policy or one word  in a public speech can lead to the start of the national conflict.

The language status is the most important and confused part of the policy. Many countries still suffer from  a lack of tolerance toward other representatives of society. Till 1991, our Kazakhstan was also the victim of the wrong policy of the Soviet Union. Native Kazakh people simply could not use their Kazakh language instead of Russian. All people felt the dominance of the Russian language. All people were educated in Russian, and Kazakh was assumed  to be the language of uneducated people from rural areas.

Nowadays, I very much appreciate the language policy of our President. The reasons are that he understands the condition of people from the Post Soviet time, he does not put any pressure on them, he does not dictate that they have to speak and use the Kazakh language. He patiently waits for the moment when the people of Kazakhstan will come to the decision to speak their native language, simultaneously providing for everyone the conditions for learning the language.

To conclude, I would like to add that a sound language policy is the main component of the stability and sustainability of  a country. In this case, our country is the best example for other countries to follow.


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