– Listen, why do you raise the topic of the Kazakh language again and again? Do you deliberately rock the boat? Do you want to repeat the Ukrainian script here? After all, we live normally. Thank God, in peace and harmony. All are happy with everything, but you write posts about the Kazakh language. What for?
– It seems to you that we live normally. So, many Kazakhs do not think so. In major cities, all basic communication between people occurs in Russian. Many Kazakhs who came from the auls feel themselves in cities as foreigners. You can just go to the store and not be able to buy the product without knowing the Russian language. Why Kazakh in Kazakhstan cannot have a full life, speaking in the state language?
– You exaggerate. Now all Kazakhs understand Russian and are able to explain themselves. Rural Kazakh in the city will not remain without buying.
– It seems to me that the situation is quite real. Imagine that the Russian-speaking pharmacist in the pharmacy could not explain to the Kazakh-speaking grandfather plainly how to take the medicine, but he mistook it and undermined his health, if not worse. Is it real? Furthermore, I am angered by the very opportunity to get into this situation. I repeat, we are talking about Kazakh in Kazakhstan. If by law he is not required to respond in the store, then there will certainly be shops without Kazakh-speaking sellers who will simply persistently speak to him in Russian. In this case, how does this Kazakh differ from the American Indians on the reservation in the century before last or from the blacks in South Africa under apartheid? I consider this an inequality and infringement of the rights of Kazakh-speaking citizens.
– What infringement? Does someone forbid Kazakhs to speak Kazakh? Who wants to, let them talk.
– Thanks God, it did not reach the prohibitions. Nevertheless, you, Russian-speaking Kazakhstanis stubbornly do not want to speak the state language.
– We do not want and we will not. We have the right to do this. The Russian language in Kazakhstan is the language of interethnic communication. According to the Constitution, it is applied on an equal level as the Kazakh one. Why do you and other nationalists want to forbid us to speak Russian?
– Never, neither I, nor the majority of nationalists, forbade Russian-speaking citizens to speak in Russian. Please speak, for God’s sake. If you want, speak also in Tatar, in Korean, Belarusian, German and so on. We ask only one thing: that you speak also in Kazakh. When a Kazakh in Kazakhstan appeals to a compatriot in the state language, he should be able to receive a reply in the state language. In any case, in state bodies and in public places: shops, restaurants, transport and so on. Are we demanding much? Yes, we even do not require, but ask, plead, persuade. For 25 years now. By the way, we, Kazakhs, are different from many other former Soviet republics. We are very tolerant. So much so that some take this as a weakness.
– And why persuade? In state bodies and so under the law must respond in the language of treatment. That is, if you ask a question in Kazakh, then you will receive an answer in Kazakh.
– Yes. This is true. And private shops, restaurants, hotels, offices? There by law are not required to respond in the language of treatment. This means that Kazakh, who has come from the aul to the city, will not be able to get a service in his native country in his native language. You do not think this is strange and unfair.
– Well, I do not know. I think the problem is deeper. Do you think that if Kazakh-speaking citizens in all stores and cafes start responding in Kazakh language, they will become happy? Will they become more educated, richer, and more intelligent?
– Here, I agree with you. It is not just about serving in shops and cafes. Today Kazakh-speaking citizens in their homeland cannot make a career; they cannot get rich only because they do not know Russian. Have you seen at least one minister or vice-minister, at least one akim or his deputy, who would speak only Kazakh? Not one of them. Knowing only state language is impossible to make a career. But those who speak Russian and do not know a word in Kazakh become ministers, akims, millionaires in our country. Where is the justice? What are the blame for the Kazakh-speaking citizens of this country, that they cannot achieve their heights by owning only one official language?
– Do you really think that Kazakh-speaking citizens cannot make a career just because of this? I believe the problem is not this, but that they are in fact uncompetitive. I will prove it to you now. Tell me, how many books on management are in Kazakh? Marketing? PR? What about programming? Come on, special literature. How many books from the world literature are translated into Kazakh? Can you read Shakespeare, Zola, Goethe in Kazakh? Now tell me honestly: who will be considered more educated and well-read, the one who has read all these books or the one who even knows by heart only Abai, Dzhambul, Auezov? Who will be the best specialist: who can read in the Internet kilobytes of information in Kazakh or someone who can read megabytes of information in Russian or terabytes of information in English? After all, the amount of information in the world in the Kazakh language is incomparable with the amount of information in Russian and English.
– We are working on this. Now a lot of literature is translated into Kazakh language.
– How can you not understand that you can still translate classics of literature, but modern information is impossible to translate all the time? It is born every second terabytes. We will have to spend all the resources of the country only to translate all this. What for? Is it not easier to teach 17 million citizens of Kazakhstan to speak English or at least in Russian language in order to open them immediately the way to a huge flow of information?
– To some extent, I can agree with you. In this situation, you are right. But answer my question: did the French abandon the French language, although there is much more in the world of information in English? The Spaniards, and the Germans? But even a few Finns, Lithuanians, Estonians? Have any of these countries, in pursuit of competitiveness in the world market, abandoned their national language?
– That is it. Understand. Language is an essential attribute of national identity. Without its culture, language, traditions, the country cannot be different from others. The meaning of its separate, that is, independent, existence disappears.
– So, what do you propose?
– I propose legally oblige all institutions that serve an unlimited range of people, respond in the language of the appeal: Kazakh or Russian. Just like in state bodies. Under institutions with an unlimited range of services, I mean those in which any citizens, including Kazakh-speakers, can enter. So, that they are not infringed in their rights, they should have the right to receive an answer in the Kazakh language. To do this, in each store, every restaurant, cafe and so on in each shift there must be at least one employee who speaks Kazakh. This should be prescribed legislatively. Then the Kazakhs will be able to demand them to serve in Kazakh language. Then the Kazakh-speaking employees will be in demand. Additionally, many people will start to learn Kazakh language: Russians, Kazakhs, Germans, Koreans.
– You are a liberal democrat. Is it democratically to interfere in the internal affairs of private companies and force them to speak a language? You often go abroad. Have you seen such laws anywhere? In the same America in Chinatown, people can live their whole lives and die without knowing English. And nothing. Fine. No one forces them to learn English.
– Unlike America, Kazakhstan is a former part of another state with a different language. Over the years, as part of tsarist Russia and the USSR, we almost forgot our native language. If we do not take action, we will definitely lose it. I believe that such harsh measures are justified in this case. I compare this with the requirement of the law to cookers to have a health book or lawyers to have a license, or taxi drivers to have rights. Without this knowledge and skills, they can damage the citizens served by their actions. Therefore, the state should oblige such employees to obtain additional knowledge and officially confirm them.
– You say that all Russian speakers are in power. Also, you noticed at the same time that the absolute majority of them are Kazakhs. You do not want to notice this side of the matter. Personally, I think that it is very difficult for a non-Kazakh to make a career in Kazakhstan.
– Firstly, there are many non-Kazakhs in power. I do not want to list them because you know them by yourself. Secondly, do not transfer the topic to another plane. We are now discussing the language problem, not the national one. These are slightly different things. Third, in general, in principle, I am against the artificial quota of seats in government for people of a certain nationality, sex, age, and so on. It is not right. It may turn out that a more professional Kazakh will not occupy any position just because the management has decided to dilute the Kazakhs and appoint a Russian to it. This is absurd. It seems to me that this is even more insulting to Russians than not being appointed to this post. In a career, there should not be any connection with nationality.
– Unfortunately, not all nationalists think so.
– Speaking of nationalism. You pronounce this word with some negative connotation. And I think that nationalism is a good thing if it means the desire of people to develop their ethnos, not to the detriment of other ethnos in the state. If someone extols his nationality and humiliates others, then this is not nationalism, but chauvinism, which is a well-known evil. With him, no doubt, you need to fight.
– Why do you, the nationalists, regularly raise the question of Kazakh language, as if we have no other problems in the country? We have corrupt people stealing billions of dollars, daddy’s sons knock down people, newborns are thrown into cesspools, and terrorists with automatic rifles are walking around the city, whereas you are talking about language repeatedly.
– I think that now you are moved by the desire to lead the conversation aside. When you are not interested in discussing a particular issue, you immediately include the argument: “Are there no other problems left?” In fact, I, and other active citizens are raising various topics. We are fighting against corruption, and with impunity of “golden youth”, and with lack of spirituality. But the problem of the Kazakh language, or rather, the unequal position of its bearers in society, is no less relevant. Especially for the Kazakh-speaking our fellow citizens. On this depends their status in society, career advancement, well-being. What can be more important for a person?
– I have a feeling that language is only an excuse to drive out all non-Kazakhs from here. Sometimes I even see such words in Facebook as “Kazakhstan for the Kazakhs!”.
– Nothing like this! No one drives out. Stay in Kazakhstan. Every citizen of our country is important to us. I myself am categorically against mono-national countries. Such countries limit themselves in the cultural, economic, political and other aspects. I am not talking about the biological aspect, at the gene level. The mixing of blood always had a beneficial effect on the gene code of the nation. I am for a multinational Kazakhstan, but with total knowledge of the Kazakh language and respect for the culture and traditions of the titular nationality – the Kazakhs.
– So, do you also divide people into the title nation and others?
– Do not carp at words. The word “title” I applied only in the sense of nationality that gave the name to our country, which is indigenous, is the bearer of distinctive features: language, culture, and traditions. Somehow, our country must differ from neighboring Russia or China, from Mongolia or Uzbekistan. This is the only meaning of the words “titular nation”. There are no more privileges for Kazakhs and should not be. Every citizen in this country must have equal rights and duties, regardless of nationality.
– In general, I think that all these languages, nationalities, states – all this will gradually wither away. Humanity is moving towards globalization. Soon we will become one big state and one big nation, but we will speak the same language.
– Maybe. However, if this happens, it is not soon. In the meantime, all countries develop their statehood and take care of their languages. You do not want that against this background, the Kazakhs first abandoned their native language in favor of the international and lost their language identity. For example, you, Russian, because you do not want to completely abandon your native Russian language first and do not call on the Russians for this. But when we talk about the Kazakh language, you suddenly become a globalist and talk about the imminent merger of all peoples and languages.
– In general, I think that in order to exclude all manipulations with languages in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to recognize Russian as the second state language. Then all problems will disappear. No one can be forced to teach the Kazakh language.
– Yes, you are right. If Russian language becomes a state language, then the need for the Kazakh language completely disappears. Moreover, this will mean the complete destruction of the Kazakh language. If even with current efforts we cannot raise its level and real status, then with the recognition of the Russian language, we will lose state and what we have. Therefore, I strongly oppose the recognition of the Russian language as a state language.
– You always care about the Kazakh language, and you do not notice the distortions to the other side. I have written to you many times and quoted the facts that, contrary to the Constitution, in some state agencies, letters in Russian are answered in the Kazakh language. In many organizations, the press is made exclusively in the Kazakh language. In many institutions, signs are only in Kazakh. Whether you like it or not, but the Constitution has not been canceled yet, and I, as a citizen and beneficiary of public services, have the right to use the Russian language.
– Here, I agree with you. While the current version of the Constitution is in effect, all state bodies are obliged to answer you in the language of the appeal, that is, in this case in Russian. Both signboards and seals should also have Russian text. If there are distortions and violations of the Constitution somewhere, then we must demand their elimination.
– It is good that our president keeps you all in check. God forbid, he will leave. Then that is it! The nationalists of all stripes are rising and setting up a second Ukraine here. I wait for this moment with fear.
– The coming to power of chauvinists is a myth invented by those who hold their grip on power and do not want to give it away to anyone. In any way, they want to remain in power and come up with different phobias: then about the Americans who will ruin the country, then about the Chinese who will take over us, then about the nationalists who will drive the non-Kazakhs. All these stories are aimed only at one thing: to cause the desire of citizens not to change anything in the existing state of things, to conserve their status in power. It is a pity that you do not understand this, you sincerely believe in all this propaganda nonsense and constantly mutter: “if only there was no war.” Meanwhile, they use it and keep us all in check.
– By your words and actions, you generate the uncertainty of Russians in their future in Kazakhstan. Because of people like you, I want to leave Kazakhstan for some country where I will not be forced to learn a new language.
– Good. Suppose you go. Where? To the USA, Germany, the Czech Republic? In which of these countries will you be able to live without knowing their state language? Not in any. You still have to learn a new language. The only exception for Russian speakers is Russia. But be fair. If you did not speak Russian, then in Russia you would also have to learn the state language. What is there to say about citizenship, if in Russia even migrant workers are required to know the Russian language? So, where are human rights violated: in the US, in Germany, in Russia or in Kazakhstan?
Furthermore, why do you put the question squarely: either do not force to teach the Kazakh language, or I will go abroad? In addition, you did not think about learning the Kazakh language after all? It is not as difficult as it seems. Look, what prospects are waiting for you. As soon as the Russian learns the state language, he is immediately carried on arms; shown on TV, are elected for deputies. Public service becomes available. At you, the basis for departure at once will disappear. Almost all your problems with living in Kazakhstan will be solved. In any case, related to language and nationality. This is not difficult. I am not asking you to change your faith, hide your nationality, and give up your native language. This all remains with you. On the contrary, you acquire one more asset – the Kazakh language. So why do you fight back?
– Yes, I tried to learn the Kazakh language. I went to courses, and hired a tutor. But there is no improvement in learning Kazakh language! There are specific sounds in it, which are not genetically given to us, Russians.
– Do not invent nonsense. In Kazakhstan, there are thousands of Russians, who speak Kazakh and perfectly pronounce specific sounds. In addition, I remember how you swore when you were learning English. How you cursed their sounds with the tongue between your teeth. How? You speak English very well now. Where did your assurances go that specific sounds are not available to Russians?
– The problem with studying Kazakh is that there are no normal textbooks, manuals, manuals, phrase books. In English, you know a lot of teaching material.
– That is not true. I recently specially surfed the entire Internet and found a huge number of textbooks, tutorials, programs and even games that teach the Kazakh language. Admit it, you just repeat this excuse for everyone, whereas you by yourself never bothered to type in the search engine words “textbook of the Kazakh language.” Try it. You will find them dozens.
– The prestige of the Kazakh language in our society is very low. In any case, in my circle. I hear it only from rural semi-literate people in the bazaar, and even then mostly interjections “hey!” and “ah!”. All highly educated people speak Russian and feel good in Kazakhstan. The Russian language gave them more opportunities. So, Kazakh-speaking citizens are known to be outsiders. Why should I be equal to them and try to talk to them?
– I could be insulted by your words. But as a sensible person, I understand that you said though bitter, but true. I will make every effort to ensure that the inequality described by you in our society would not that Kazakh-speaking citizens were not in a losing position in comparison with Russian-speaking citizens.