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Kazakhstan: Blogosphere Debates the Language Issue

A month ago Nurgeldy told at neweurasia how they are fighting poor knowledge of the state language in the Kazakhstan's northern city of Kustanai. His post gave rise to quite a heated dispute both in Russian and English versions of the blog, covering such issues as why urban population speaks the Kazakh language so scantily, and why ethnic Kazakhs fail to use it either.

The reasons that the bloggers listed are: lack of social need in the state language in 1980-90s, low standards of teaching of the Kazakh language in Russian-speaking schools and departments of the universities, poor motivation of urban youth and absence of state's efforts in development, teaching and promotion of the state language.

Lately the discussion continued in the Russian-speaking segment of LiveJournal community in Kazakhstan. Miss-crazy testified to the fact that the standards of Kazakh language teaching at schools remain dispiriting. Besides, the situation is heavily aggravated by corruption, as kids get “A” scores at Kazakh lessons for mere subscription to “Druzhnie Rebyata” (Friendly Kids) newspaper (RUS).

“Obligatory” subscription – is a way of artificial feeding of economically dying State editions, being by its nature a form of hidden corruption prevailing not only in child institutions.

At the same time a Russian girl, Slavoyara, living in the northern Kazakhstan – the region that is traditionally regarded as the most “non-Kazakh” one – states that her Kazakh language skills has been improving day by day. She says, in particular: “I can understand everything said and quite easily and unnoticeably for myself switch to Kazak”, which provokes respect and reward among her colleagues (RUS).

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