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Kyrgyz people: cross-border connections

Kyrgyz people are living in the Central Asia for ages. The world of the Kyrgyz people has been split into 2 main areas of interests – former Soviet Union and China. All Kyrgyz people historically used Arabic alphabet for writing. However, in former Soviet Union was introduced Latin alphabet in 1927 and it was replaced by Cyrillic alphabet from 1938, while people in China use Arabic alphabet till today.

Due to these historical reasons, Kyrgyz people are now divided into 2 groups. The bigger one (around 4 000 000 people) use Cyrillic alphabet and the smaller one from China (around 150 000 people) is using Arabic alphabet. People from these groups usually can not read the other script.

Today, internet is a medium which can easily get in touch people from different countries, but unfortunately, due to script barrier Kyrgyz people are still not joined.

KPR has decided to help to join Kyrgyz people from both sides of borders. With a help of some Chinese Kyrgyz we have just created a converter which allows easily convert Cyrillic script into Arabic one.

This enable to Chinese Kyrgyz read any other websites written in Kyrgyz Cyrillic. They just need to copy a Kyrgyz Cyrillic text from the website and convert it in our Cyrillic to Arabic converter here. Just copy a text e.g. from and try our converter. It works 100% correct.

This unfortunately, still allows information flow only 1 direction – from Kyrgyzstan to China. However, there are many Chinese Kyrgyz website which are not understandable for Kyrgyz people outside of China just because of they can not read Arabic script.

Therefore, we are also working on the converter from Kyrgyz Arabic into Cyrillic. However, there are some issued which are more problematic than the converter opposite direction.

The main problems of transliteration from Kyrgyz Arabic script to Cyrillic script are:

  • Arabic alphabet has no small / CAPITAL letters, so all text converted from Arabic are in Cyrillic written with small letters only. However, this is not a serious probleme.
  • Serious problem is that letters Ы ы, И и have the same Arabic equivalent „ى“. So there should be written rules when ى should be converter as ы and when as и. However, easier may be to just make a dictionary of frequently used Kyrgyz words, and these words will be converted automatically. For now ى is converted as и.
  • The same serious problem is with letters Э э, Е е, as both have the same Arabic equivalent „ە“. Again either should be written rules when Э э / Е е should be used or making a dictionary from existing Kyrgyz texts. For now ە is converted as е.
  • In Cyrillic there are Ъ ъ, Ь ь with no Arabic equivalent. So Arabic to Cyrillic conversion will never use these letters. However, these letters are rarely used, so it is not a big probleme.

All our converters are released into the public domain. We grant anyone the right to use the source code of our converters for free for any purpose, without any conditions. We are glad if you report mistakes in our converter or provide improved version of it.

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Saturday 21st August 2010 15:25 | print | Language projects

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