The Kazakh language
An official language of Kazakhstan, Kazakh is spoken by over 10 million people worldwide, many of whom reside in Kazakhstan itself.
Brief History of Origins:
- The Kazakh language is part of the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages.
- It emerged around the 12th century from various Turkic tribes that resided in the region.
- It has been influenced by other languages, including Mongolic, Tatar, and Russian, as well as incorporating Islamic vocabulary from Arabic and Persian.
- The use of the Cyrillic script in Kazakhstan began in the 1940s, while a recent transition to the Latin alphabet began in 2017.
Number of Speakers:
- Approximately 13 million people speak Kazakh.
- It is the primary language of Kazakhstan but is also spoken in other neighbouring countries.
Where it is an Official Language:
- Kazakh is the state language of Kazakhstan.
- It also has official status in some regions of China, Russia, and Mongolia.
Example of Text:
Kazakh: “Барлық адамдар тумысынан азат және қадір-қасиеті мен кұқықтары тең болып дүниеге келеді. Адамдарға ақыл-парасат, ар-ождан берілген, сондықтан олар бір-бірімен туыстық, бауырмалдық қарым-қатынас жасаулары тиіс.”
English Translation: “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.”
Where it is Used and How:
- Kazakhstan: Used in government, education, media, and daily communication.
- China, Russia, Mongolia: Spoken by Kazakh minorities in specific regions.
- Online: There are Kazakh-speaking communities online, and digital platforms are increasing support for the language.
Examples of English Words that are Used in Kazakh:
- “Компьютер” (Kompyuter) – Computer
- “Ресторан” (Restoran) – Restaurant
- “Телефон” (Telefon) – Telephone
Kazakh Words that Have been Absorbed into English:
- Few Kazakh words have been directly absorbed into English. However, through Russian, words like “Steppe” from the Kazakh “Стеpp” (Step) have entered English to describe a geographical feature.
- Another example is “yurt,” a portable, round tent traditionally used by nomads in the steppes of Central Asia, from the Kazakh word “үй” (üy).
The Kazakh language, rich in history and culture, symbolises Kazakhstan’s unique identity. Its influences from other languages and adaptation of foreign words reflect the nation’s complex historical interactions. The current shift to the Latin alphabet signifies a modernising trend, aligning Kazakh with globalisation while preserving its unique character.
Though not widely recognised internationally, the language maintains a significant presence in Kazakhstan and surrounding regions, and efforts are underway to support and promote it. It’s a living testament to the country’s vibrant heritage and dynamic future.
Here at Brightines, we only use Kazakh translation specialists who have used Kazakh since birth.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.