Discrimination of Kazakh language in Kazakhstani television

According to a program “Rukhani zhangyru”(MoES, 2017), state language is a main key of national consciousness in other words it is very important to increase the status of Kazakh language in context of globalization and avoid losing language, identity, culture and patriotism. TV’s role in increasing the status of Kazakh language in Kazakhstan is vital, because among other media it is “more prestigious, influential and strong one”. However, there is lack of Kazakh TV programs on our state channels because of dependence on Russian television. Here, I am going to discuss about the issue of hindrance of Kazakh language in television world through articles in mass media, which touch the question.

Ұлттық идея. Ұлттық мақсат-мүдде. Бәрін орындайтын тіл… Тіл – тарихи дәстүрлерді болашаққа жеткізуші тетік. … Бүгінгі ТД БАҚ-тың ең беделдісі, әрі өтімдісі, ең өткір ақпарат құралы, әрі солай болып қала береді. ТД өнері жалпыұлттық, мемлекеттік мәселені шешетін – өте құдретті қару. Алайда отандық арналарда тіл тазалығы ақсап тұр, басты себеп, қазақ ТД орыс тіліне тәуелді.

National idea. National purpose and interest. All of these are implemented by language… Language is a mean, which brings historical traditions to the future… Today’s TV is the most prestigious, influential and strong mean of information and it will continue. TV’s art is a mighty weapon, which can solve all-Kazakhstani and state problems. However, language purity is crippling in state channels, main cause is that Kazakhstani TV depends on Russian language.

(The State language development institute, 26 April 2017; a quote from Uldai Ibaidullyeva, a journalist; Kazakh – italics, English Plain)

Ibaidullayeva shows two sides of the TV’s impact on language use. On the one hand, it might cause language loss, because it influences strongly the usage among citizens today, which leads to the loss in the future. On the other hand, it can be a key to resolve problems on the whole Kazakhstan territory. She also mentions that Kazakh language is discriminated because of reliance on Russian language. Here we should notice that growth of Kazakh status in all spheres is an important issue and her focus on media, especially TV should be taken into account. Another author – Myrzan Kenzhebai – agrees with the power of TV:

Необходимо казахизировать отечественные телеканалы. Потому что телевидение – самое сильное и опасное оружие ХХІ века.

There is a need to kazakhisate national channels, because television is the most powerful and dangerous weapon of XXI century.

(NewsTimes, 8 September 2017; a quote from Myrzan Kenzhebai, poet, cultural figure of RK; Russian – italics, English – plain)

Another author highlights real statistics, which show the same trend as above:

С повышением процентного соотношения казахский семей, повышение рейтингов казахскоязычных программ, казалось бы, должно стать закономерным явлением. Но, согласно итогам исследований за январь и февраль 2012г. частота смотрения телеканалов на казахском языке сократилось еще больше!?

Along with an increase of percental proportion of Kazakh families, it seems that a growth of ratings of Kazakhs-speaking programs must be natural phenomenon. However, according to results of the investigation in January and February in 2012, frequency of watching television channels in Kazakh language deteriorated more than bedore!?

(Internews Kazakhstan, 27 March 2012; a quote from Karlyga Ibragimova, a journalist; Russian –italics, English – plain)

It is a general picture of Kazakh-speaking channels in 2012 from the view of Ibragimova, who bases on Gullup Media survey’s results. Despite number of Kazakh has risen, proportion of watching TV channels in Kazakh language decreased. It is not an understandable fact, because situation must be opposite. Author cannot propose a cause of the consequence. She just show the statistics and point out that Kazakhstani programs are not as popular as Russian ones:

Показатели программ на казахском языке намного отстают от показателей программ на русском языке. Это можно понять, сравнив не то чтобы месячные или недельные, а однодневные процентные показатели новостей. Например, по итогам однодневного исследования Gallup Media рейтинг новостей Национального телеканала «Қазақстан» — 1,8%. Даже те же новости КТК, но на казахском языке — 3,9%. Выпуск «Информбюро» на казахском языке 31-канала — 7,8%; А выпуск новостей на «1-канал Евразия» в передаче «Время» собрал самое большое количество зрителей — 23,7%… У утренней программы «Таңшолпан» рейтинг всего лишь — 2,9%. А «Доброе утро» на «1-канала Евразия» дает все 22,3%.

Indexes of programs in Kazakh language lag behind indicators of programs in Russian. It can be understood when we compare not monthly or weekly indexes, it is clearly seen from daily indicators of news. For example, according to daily investigation of news on National channel by Gallup Media Ratings, results are following: “Kazakhstan” – 1,8%; news in Kazakh on “KTK” – 3,9%; news release of “Informburo” in Kazakh of “31st channel” – 7,8%; but news release of “Vremya” on “1st channel Eurasia” attracts the largest quantity of viewers – 23,7%… Rating of morning program “Tansholpan” only – 2,9%; but “Dobroe utro” on “1st channel Eurasia” – 22,3%.

(Internews Kazakhstan, 27 March 2012; a quote from Karlyga Ibragimova, a journalist; Russian –italics, English – plain)

Author would like to emphasize that Russian news, culture and TV shows are more interesting and attracting rather than Kazakh ones. According to above-mentioned statistics, approximately quarter of citizens in Kazakhstan watch “Vremya”, in other words Russian events, which broadcast in Russian, has top position in Kazakhstan. The most interesting Kazakh news in Kazakh language covers only 7.8% of Kazakhstani citizens. Author demonstrates her disappointment about unpopularity of Kazakh programs in comparison with Russian in Kazakhstan territory.

I would like to mention that none of the authors of the articles found out causes of such kind of trend, but they proposed some solutions of the problem. For example:

… Вместо этого нужно показывать новости и передачи, в которых обсуждались бы проблемы казахской государственности, земельных отношений и другие серьезные темы, заставляющие задуматься казахскую молодежь.

Instead of this, we should show news and programs ,which discuss issues of Kazakh government, land relationship and other serious topics, which make Kazakh youth think.

(NewsTimes, 8 September 2017; a quote from Myrzan Kenzhebai, poet, cultural figure of RK; Russian – italics, English – plain)

 

… Көрерменге үлгі боларлық кейіпкері бар хабарлар көргісі келеді…

… Spectators would like to watch programs about characters, who can be paradigm…

(The State language development institute, 26 April 2017; a quote from Uldai Ibaidullyeva, a journalist; Kazakh – italics, English Plain)

Extracts above shows that there is a shortage of appropriate programs in Kazakh language, which can attract Kazakhstani youth. It does not mean that TV organizations ought to design funny and exciting programs. It explains that it is important to create programs, which raise modern important questions among Kazakhstani citizens. In my opinion, it is not right, because we should recognize the reason of the “disease”, before offering of the “treatment”. Otherwise, treatment is likely not to work.

To sum up, I would like to emphasize that the above-mentioned extracts demonstrate results of collision of two ideological discourses (Hult & Pietikäinen, 2014). First, it is consequence of previous “Soviet ideological” discourse. It has affected the Kazakhstani citizens’ language choice, because most people are interested in opting Russian language in any form (speaking, listening, watching etc.). Second is “Kazakhisation ideological discourse”, which is current strategy of the country. Despite our government is implementing many programs and initiatives in order to rise Kazakh status in globalized Kazakhstani context. These two ideologies influences each other, however, if the government focus on reasons of such kind of problems, we can develop the situation and Kazakhisation ideological discourse can be alive in pluralist discourse (De Jong , 2011, p. 249), which can be result of trilingual education.

 

Reference:

De Jong, E. (2011). Foundations of Multilingualism in Education: From Principles to Practice. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon Publishing.

Ibaidullyeva, U. Teledidar tili nege shorkak? [Why is there a lack of Kazakh]. (2017, April). Retrieved from

https://mtdi.kz/new/audarma/id/105/q/1

Ibragimova, K. Kogda my perestanem prikryvatsya reitingami i nacnem zashishat interesy kazakhskih zritelei? [When do we stop to hide behind ratings and start to protact interest of Kazakh spectators?]. (2012, March). Retrieved from

http://www.internews.kz/newsitem/27-03-2012/18059

Kenzhebai, M. Sem obyazatelnyh shagov kazakhisazii ot deyatelya kultury RK [Seven mandatory steps of kazakhisation from cultural figure of RK]. (2017, September). Retrieved from

https://newtimes.kz/obshchestvo/item/58583-sem-obyazatelnykh-shagov-kazakhizatsii-ot-deyatelya-kultury-rk

 

2 thoughts on “Discrimination of Kazakh language in Kazakhstani television

  1. From my experience, not many watch TV. Instead, people opt for the Internet. It does not change the fact popularity of Kazakh language media is declining though. I feel like a lot of TV shows are so outdated and boring no one in their right mind would sit through an episode. At least, I wouldn’t. No wonder the viewers are abandoning them. Solution?! Some young visionaries need to bring in fresh ideas on the renovation of Kazakhstani TV & other media.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post, including a detailed discussion of a current issue. I appreciate the way you present you argument with a brief context/problem/response introduction, followed by a systematic analysis of primary data.

    One formatting point: Italicize or put in brackets your translations of the Kazakh/Russian excerpts to visually indicate that they are translations, not your narrative.

    And a couple grammar mistakes:

    According to a program “Rukhani zhangyru”(MoES, 2017), ___ state language is a main key …(article)
    However, there is __ lack of Kazakh TV programs (article)

    Nice work!
    5/5

    Liked by 1 person

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