President Nazarbayev on languages in Kazakhstan

02 april 2014, 23:29
President Nazarbayev on languages in Kazakhstan - President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo courtesy of
President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Photo courtesy of

Measures should be taken to calm down the excessively ardent public servants discriminating against candidates seeking public service on the basis of the language the latter speak, a journalist reports, citing President Nursultan Nazarbayev as saying at a sitting of the country’s Majilis (lower chamber).

“Some zealous public servants claim knowing a certain language is a major prerequisite to be hired to fill in a vacancy. The General Prosecutor’s Office should make sure these public servants no longer show the excessive zeal. The Constitution once and for all set all the language-related norms. And set equality of ethnic backgrounds. There’s nothing to add”, he said.

“The Constitution clearly stipulates that any discrimination because of a person’s religion, ethnic background or language is prohibited. Let it be written everywhere as a reminder”, he said.

“When it comes to Kazakh language, it is the official language. According to recent polls, 76% of people have a positive attitude to the language (…) children are fast at picking up languages. When we have had a generation of children taught the language by 2025, requirements to language competency may be toughened. We should be cautious. Interethnic relations are a thin membrane. Superiority of one group over another has never brought anything good. We’ve seen that many times from history”, he said.

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