The Kazakh language is a Turkic language belonging to the Kipchak branch; it is also an agglutinative language that employs vowel harmony. As of the year 2007 there are about 11 million native speakers of Kazakh, of which there are half a million native speakers in Russia and nearly 10 million in Kazakhstan.
The region in which Kazakh is spoken is spread throughout the area between the Tian Shan Mountains and the Caspian Sea. Many countries have native Kazakh speakers such as, China, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Turkey, Iran, and Germany.
Mainly Kazakh is written in Cyrillic, which is a writing system developed in the First Bulgarian Empire during the 9th century; however in some countries such as China Kazakh is written in Arabic. Interestingly, in 2006 the President of Kazakhstan considered the idea of switching the Kazakh written language from Cyrillic to Latin; which could have been done in about 10 years with only a budget of 300 million USD. However, in 2007 the President decided that changing the alphabet was not an issue that needed to be rushed into.
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