From: Michael Everson (
Date: Tue Sep 12 2000 - 05:47:11 EDT

Ar 14:45 -0800 2000-09-11, scríobh Erland Sommarskog:
>> Joseph Becker <> quoted an AP story:
>> > Schools in Tatarstan will now use the Latin alphabet for written work
>> > and because it would make European culture more accessible to
>> > students.
>> This is the real reason, of course.

I don't see how. It isn't difficult to learn the Cyrillic alphabet, and it
isn't difficult to learn the Latin alphabet. Look at Greece: everybody
knows both the Greek and Latin alphabets. It's on all the street signs.

>And particularly other Turkic cultures. I'm not sure, but I believe
>that the Central Asian Turkic republics and Azerbaijan already have
>switched to Latin for their languages.

Implementation of that is iffy in some locations, apparently, though
computers will help; but all the typewriters are in Cyrillic.

The thing is, Azerbaijani and Turkish are very similar languages, and it
makes very good sense for them to be written in the same alphabet; that's
why the Azeris changed so quickly. The further east you go, the less true
this is, though that doesn't mean that Latin isn't better suited to Turkic
languages than Cyrillic is.

Tatar had a very vigorous Latin period. I am curious to learn whether they
are just picking up where they left off, using my darling letter GHA....
(the THORN in Ken's side....)

Michael Everson ** Everson Gunn Teoranta **
15 Port Chaeimhghein Íochtarach; Baile Átha Cliath 2; Éire/Ireland
Vox +353 1 478 2597 ** Fax +353 1 478 2597 ** Mob +353 86 807 9169
27 Páirc an Fhéithlinn; Baile an Bhóthair; Co. Átha Cliath; Éire

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