The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


Multilingualism in Kasachstan

Chair of the section/Suggestions, Abstracts, Contributions to:
Email: Bachyt Spikbajeva (Almaty)

ABSTRACT: The Republic of Kasachstan finds itself nowadays in the global, international and intercultural sphere. And that happened thanks to the independence of our country 12 years ago in 1991. Kasachstan was always multicultural, but the most important, the guiding culture during the Soviet period, was Soviet culture. The culture of the Kasachstanian people and the Kasachstanian language belonged to the marginal culture and to the marginal language. There were very few schools with the Kasachstanian language. Even in the capital Almaty there was only one Kasachstanian school before independence.

Kasachstanian children had to go to Russian schools. In the Russian and Kasachstanian schools the Social Sciences and Cultural Studies were completely ideologized.

That is the short overview of the situation of the national Kasachstanian culture in the Soviet period. In the years of independence our Kasachstanian people have been searching for their own national identity. That is a factor in securing the stability of the state, for more than 135 nationalities live in Kasachstan. The Kasachstanian language has now become a state language.

The expansion of Kasachstanian-German and Austrian contacts in various areas shows that one needs profound understanding of the thinking, lifestyle and system of intellectual and spiritual values, if nations are to strive for cooperation and for the common building of the future world.

In connection with the processes of globalization throughout the world, language policy has special importance in every land.

Multilingualism plays a large role. It is necessary to have competence in oral and written communication at work as well as in society. The most important competency, as far as life in the multicultural society is concerned, is the prevention of xenophobia.

In Kasachstan people now learn many foreign languages: European languages, oriental languages and the languages of neighboring lands - for these skills contribute to understanding between peoples (nations).