Kyrgyz is a member of the Kipchak branch of the Turkic language family. It is spoken by about 5.1 million people, mainly in Kyrgyzstan, and also in Uzbekistan, China, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and a number of other countires. In 2018 there were 4.5 million speakers of Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan. There are about 282,000 Kyrgyz speakers in Uzbekistan, 160,000 in China, 80,300 in the Russian Federation, 71,400 in Tajikistan, and 17,200 in Kazakhstan.
Kyrgyz is statutory national language of Kyrgyzstan, and is used in schools, newspapers and on radio and television. In China Kyrgyz is spoken mailny in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, espcially in Kizilsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture, where it is an official language. In Uzbektistan there are Kyrgyz speakers in the Andijon, Farg'ona and Namangan regions.
Kyrgyz was written a version of the the Perso-Arabic script until 1928, then with the Latin alphabet from 1928 and 1940, and with with the Cyrillic alphabet from 1940 onwards, though some people, especially in China, still use the Perso-Arabic script. After Kyrghyzstan became independent in 1991 there was a plan to re-introduce the Latin alphabet, but it has yet to be implemented.
Hear how to pronounce the Kyrgyz alphabet:
باردىق ادامدار ۅز بەدەلىندە جانا ۇقۇقتارىندا ەركىن جانا تەڭ ۇقۇقتۇۇ بولۇپ جارالات.۔ الاردىن اڭ-سەزىمى مەنەن ابئيىرى بار جانا بئرى-بئرىنە بئر تۇۇعاندىق مامئلە قىلۇۇعا تئيىش.
Бардык адамдар өз беделинде жана укуктарында эркин жана тең укуктуу болуп жаралат. Алардын аң -сезими менен абийири бар жана бири-бирине бир туугандык мамиле кылууга тийиш.
Bardyk adamdar öz bedelinde žana ukuktarynda erkin žana teṇ ukuktuu bolup žaralat. Alardyn aṇ-sezimi menen abijiri bar žana biri-birine bir tyygandyk mamile kyluuga tijiš.
Hear a recording of the text by Zhanyl Alymkul Kyzy (recorded by Moshe Ash)
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic - Arabic - Latin converter
Online Kyrghyz news and radio
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Page last modified: 02.11.22
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