Kyrgyz language

Kyrgyz /kɪərˈɡiːz/ (natively кыргызча, قىرعىزچا‎, kyrgyzcha kyrgyzcha [qɯrʁɯzt͡ʃɑ], кыргыз тили, قىرعىزتئلى‎, kyrgyz tili [qɯrʁɯz tili] ) is a Turkic language spoken by about four million people in Kyrgyzstan as well as China, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Russia. Kyrgyz is a member of the Kyrgyz–Kipchak subgroup of the Kypchak languages, and modern-day language convergence has resulted in an increasing degree of mutual intelligibility between Kyrgyz and Kazakh.

Kyrgyz was originally written in the Turkic runes,[3] gradually replaced by a Perso-Arabic alphabet (in use until 1928 in USSR, still in use in China). Between 1928 and 1940 a Latin-script alphabet, the Uniform Turkic Alphabet, was used. In 1940 due to general Soviet policy, a Cyrillic alphabet eventually became common and has remained so to this day, though some Kyrgyz still use the Arabic alphabet. When Kyrgyzstan became independent following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, there was a popular idea among some Kyrgyzstanis to switch to the Latin script, which is still common in some small pockets of the countryside, and make the Latin script the country’s official national script (taking in mind a version closer to the Turkish alphabet rather than the original alphabet of 1928–40). Although the plan has not yet been implemented, it remains in occasional discussion.[4]

Kyrgyz
кыргызча
قىرعىزچا
qırğızça
кыргыз тили
qırğız tili
Pronunciation[qɯɾʁɯzˈtʃɑ]
[qɯɾˈʁɯz tiˈli]
Native toKyrgyzstan (official), Afghanistan, Xinjiang (China), Tajikistan, Russia, Pakistan
EthnicityKyrgyz people
Native speakers
4.3 million (2009 census)[1]
Turkic
Kyrgyz alphabets (Cyrillic script, Perso-Arabic script, formerly Latin, Kyrgyz Braille)
Official status
Official language in
 Kyrgyzstan

 China

Collective Security Treaty Organization
Language codes
ISO 639-1ky
ISO 639-2kir
ISO 639-3kir
Glottologkirg1245[2]
Linguasphere44-AAB-cd

History

Pre-historic roots

The first people certainly known by the name Kyrgyz are mentioned in early medieval Chinese sources as northern neighbors and sometime subjects of the Turkic steppe empire based in the area of Mongolia. The Kyrgyz people were involved in the international trade route system popularly known as the Silk Road no later than the late eighth century. By the time of the destruction of the Uighur Empire in 840 CE, they spoke a Turkic language little different from Old Turkic, and wrote it in the same runic script. After their victory over the Uyghurs the Kyrgyz did not occupy the Mongolian steppe, and their history for several centuries after this period is little known, though they are mentioned in medieval geographical works as living not far from their present location.

Colonization

In the period of tsarist administration (1876–1917), the Kazakhs and the Kyrgyz both were called Kyrgyz, with what are now the Kyrgyz subdenominated when necessary as Kara-Kyrgyz "black Kyrgyz" (alternatively known as "The Great Kyrgyz"). The modern Kyrgyz language did not have a standard written form until 1923, at which time an Arabic alphabet was introduced. That was changed to a Latin-script alphabet, developed by Kasym Tynystanov in 1928 and to a Cyrillic alphabet in 1940. In the years immediately following independence, another change of alphabet was discussed, but the issue does not seem to generate the same passions in Kyrgyzstan that it does in other former Soviet republics, perhaps because the Kyrgyz Cyrillic alphabet is relatively simple and is particularly well-suited to the language. Josip Broz Tito learned to speak Kyrgyz perfectly.[5] During the long period of Russian rule, the Kyrgyz language was strongly influenced by Russian.

Post-Soviet dynamics

In the early 1990s, the Akayev government pursued an aggressive policy of introducing Kyrgyz as the official language, forcing the remaining European population to use Kyrgyz in most public situations. Public pressure to enforce this change was sufficiently strong that a Russian member of President Akayev's staff created a public scandal in 1992 by threatening to resign to dramatize the pressure for "Kyrgyzification" of the non-native population. A 1992 law called for the conduct of all public business to be converted fully to Kyrgyz by 1997. However, in March 1996, Kyrgyzstan's parliament adopted a resolution making Russian an official language alongside Kyrgyz, marking a reversal of the earlier sentiment. Substantial pressure from Russia was a strong factor in this change, which was part of a general rapprochement with Russia urged by Akayev. Nowadays, Russian remains the main language in the main cities, such as Bishkek while Kyrgyz continues losing ground, especially among the younger generations [6]

Phonology

Kyrgyz vowel phonemes[7]
Front Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close i y ɯ u
Mid e ø o
Open (a) ɑ

/a/ appears only in borrowings from Persian or when followed by a front vowel later in the word (regressive assimilation), e.g. /ajdøʃ/ 'sloping' instead of */ɑjdøʃ/.[8] Note that in most dialects, its status as a vowel distinct from /ɑ/ is questionable.[9]

Vowel Harmony (Peace Corps Method)
Left Shift (<) Right Shift (>) Shift Direction
а ы Straight Across Left-Right Shift
о у ("y" Left-shifts up-diagonally to "a")
е й Straight Across Left-Right Shift
ө (э) ү Straight Across Left-Right Shift

The United States Peace Corps trains its volunteers using a "Left-Right Shift" method when carrying-out language training in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Kyrgyz consonant phonemes[10]
Labial Dental/
alveolar
Post-
alveolar
Dorsal
Nasal m n ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (t͡s) t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ (x)
voiced (v) z
Approximant l j
Trill r
  • /f, v, t͡s, x/ occur only in foreign borrowings.[10]

Writing system

The Kyrgyz in Kyrgyzstan use a Cyrillic alphabet, which uses all the Russian letters plus ң, ө, and ү.

In Xinjiang of China, an Arabic alphabet is used.

Although the Latin script is not in official use, some Kyrgyz texts are written in the Turkish variant of the Latin alphabet which was designed by Pamukkale University, and uses Turkish spelling norms e.g. for diphthongization (ey, ay etc.) and with the addition of J corresponding to Russian Ж (/zh/). Native Kyrgyz sound values are almost identical to Turkish, the exceptions being the velar nasal /ŋ/ and the voiceless uvular stop /q/ which do not exist in Turkish. In these cases they are written as "ñ" and "q" respectively.

Cyrillic Arabic Latin IPA English
Бардык адамдар өз беделинде жана укуктарында эркин жана тең укуктуу болуп жаралат. Алардын аң-сезими менен абийири бар жана бири-бирине бир туугандык мамиле кылууга тийиш. باردىق ادامدار ۅز بەدەلىندە جانا ۇقۇقتارىندا ەركىن جانا تەڭ ۇقۇقتۇۇ بولۇپ جارالات.۔ الاردىن اڭ-سەزىمى مەنەن ابئيىرى بار جانا بئرى-بئرىنە بئر تۇۇعاندىق مامئلە قىلۇۇعا تئيىش. Bardıq adamdar öz bedelinde jana uquqtarında erkin jana teñ uquqtuu bolup jaralat. Alardın añ-sezimi menen abiyiri bar jana biri-birine bir tuuğandıq mamile qıluuğa tiyiş. bɑrdɯq ɑdɑmdɑr øz bedelinde d͡ʒɑnɑ uquqtɑrɯndɑ erkin d͡ʒɑnɑ teŋ uquqtuː boɫup d͡ʒɑrɑɫɑt ‖ ɑɫɑrdɯn ɑɴsezimi menen ɑbijiri bɑr d͡ʒɑnɑ biribirine bir tuːʁɑndɯq mɑmile qɯɫuːʁɑ tijiʃ All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Morphology and syntax

Case

Nouns in Kyrgyz take a number of case endings that change based on vowel harmony and the sort of consonant they follow (see the section on phonology).

Case Underlying form Possible forms "boat" "air" "bucket" "hand" "head" "salt" "eye"
Nominative кеме аба челек кол баш туз көз
Genitive -NIn -нын, -нин, -дын, -дин, -тын, -тин, -нун, -нүн, -дун, -дүн, -тун, -түн кеменин абанын челектин колдун баштын туздун көздүн
Dative -GA -га, -ка, -ге, -ке, -го, -ко, -гө, -кө кемеге абага челекке колго башка тузга көзгө
Accusative -NI -ны, -ни, -ды, -ди, -ты, -ти, -ну, -нү, -ду, -дү, -ту, -тү кемени абаны челекти колду башты тузду көздү
Locative -DA -да, -де, -та, -те, -до, -дө, -то, -тө кемеде абада челекте колдо башта тузда көздө
Ablative -DAn -дан, -ден, -тан, -тен, -дон, -дөн, -тон, -төн кемеден абадан челектен колдон баштан туздан көздөн

Normally the decision between the velar ([ɡ ~ ɣ], [k]) and uvular ([ɢ ~ ʁ] and [χ ~ q]) pronunciation of ⟨г⟩ and ⟨к⟩ is based on the backness of the following vowel—i.e. back vowels imply a uvular rendering and front vowels imply a velar rendering—and the vowel in suffixes is decided based on the preceding vowel in the word. However, with the dative suffix in Kyrgyz, the vowel is decided normally, but the decision between velars and uvulars can be decided based on a contacting consonant, for example банк /bank/ 'bank' + GA yields банкка /bankka/, not /bankqa/ as predicted by the following vowel.

Pronouns

Kyrgyz has eight personal pronouns:

Personal pronouns
Singular Plural
Kyrgyz (transliteration) English Kyrgyz (transliteration) English
Мен (Men) I Биз (Biz) We
Сен (Sen) You (singular informal) Силер (Siler) You (plural informal)
Сиз (Siz) You (singular formal) Сиздер (Sizder) You (plural formal)
Ал (Al) He/She/It Алар (Alar) They

The declension of the pronouns is outlined in the following chart. Singular pronouns (with the exception of сиз, which used to be plural) exhibit irregularities, while plural pronouns don't. Irregular forms are highlighted in bold.

Declension of pronouns
Singular Plural
1st 2nd inf 2nd frm 3rd 1st 2nd inf 2nd frm 3rd
Nom мен сен сиз ал биз силер сиздер алар
Acc мени сени сизди аны бизди силерди сиздерди аларды
Gen менин сенин сиздин анын биздин силердин сиздердин алардын
Dat мага сага сизге ага бизге силерге сиздерге аларга
Loc менде сенде сизде анда бизде силерде сиздерде аларда
Abl менден сенден сизден андан бизден силерден сиздерден алардан

In addition to the pronouns, there are several more sets of morphemes dealing with person.

Morphemes indicating person
pronouns copulas present tense possessive endings past/conditional imperative
1st sg мен -mIn -mIn -(I)m -(I)m -AyIN
2nd sg сен -sIŋ -sIŋ -(I)ŋ -(I)ŋ —, -GIn
2nd formal sg сиз -sIz -sIz -(I)ŋIz -(I)ŋIz -GIlA
3rd sg ал -t -(s)I(n) -sIn
1st pl биз -BIz -BIz -(I)bIz -(I)K -AyIK
2nd pl силер -sIŋAr -sIŋAr -(I)ŋAr -(I)ŋAr
2nd formal pl сиздер -sIzdAr -sIzdAr -(I)ŋIzdAr -(I)nIzdAr
3rd pl алар -(I)şAt -(s)I(n) -sIn, -IşsIn

Verbs

Verbs are conjugated by analyzing the root verb: 1) determine whether the end letter is a vowel or consonant 2) add appropriate suffix while following vowel-harmony/shift rules.

Simple-Present Tense Conjugations (Peace Corps)
Per. Pronoun Vowel Consonant
1st sg Мен
2nd sg Сен -йс<ң -йс<ң
2nd formal sg Сиз -йс<з -йс<з
3rd sg Ал -йт -йт
1st pl Биз -йб>з -<б>з
2nd pl Силер
2nd formal pl Сизлер
3rd pl Алар

Demonstrative pronouns

Subordinate clauses

To form complement clauses, Kyrgyz nominalises verb phrases. For example, "I don't know what I saw" would be rendered as "Мен эмнени көргөнүмдү билбейм" (Men emneni körgönümdü bilbeym): I what-ACC.DEF see-ing-1st.SG-ACC.DEF know-NEG-1st.SG, or roughly "I don't know my having seen what," where the verb phrase "I saw what" is treated as a nominal object of the verb "to know." The sentence above is also an excellent example of Kyrgyz vowel harmony; notice that all the vowel sounds are front vowels.

Several nominalisation strategies are used depending on the temporal properties of the relativised verb phrase: -GAn(dIK) for general past tense, -AAr for future/potential unrealised events, and -A turgan(dɯq) for non-perfective events are the most common. The copula has an irregular relativised form экен(дик) which may be used equivalently to forms of the verb бол- be (болгон(дук), болоор). Relativised verb forms may, and often do, take nominal possessive endings as well as case endings.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ Kyrgyz at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kirghiz". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Кызласов И. Л., Рунические письменности евразийских степей (Kyzlasov I.L. Runic scripts of Eurasian steppes), Восточная литература (Eastern Literature), Moscow, 1994, pp. 80 on, ISBN 5-02-017741-5, with further bibliography.
  4. ^ Latin alphabet. "Kyrgyzstan has to switch to Latin alphabet since 2040, MP". Информационное Агентство Кабар.
  5. ^ LIFE Magazine, August 14, 1944, Page 38
  6. ^ "Ferdinand, S. & Komlósi, F. 2016. Vitality of the Kyrgyz Language in Bishkek". IJORS 5-2, pp.210-226. Retrieved 10 September 2016.
  7. ^ Kara (2003:10)
  8. ^ Washington (2007:11)
  9. ^ Washington (2006b:2)
  10. ^ a b Kara (2003:11)

Bibliography

  • Kara, Dávid Somfai (2003), Kyrgyz, Lincom Europa, ISBN 3895868434
  • Krippes, Karl A. (1998). Kyrgyz: Kyrgyz-English/English-Kyrgyz: Glossary of Terms. Hippocrene Books, New York. ISBN 0-7818-0641-0.
  • Library of Congress, Country Studies, Kyrgyzstan.
  • Comrie, Bernard. 1983. The languages of the Soviet Union. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Beckwith, Christopher I. 1987/1993. "The Tibetan Empire in Central Asia." Princeton: Princeton University Press.
  • Tchoroev, Tyntchtykbek. 2003. The Kyrgyz.; in: The History of Civilisations of Central Asia, Vol. 5, Development in contrast: from the sixteenth to the mid-nineteenth century /Editors: Ch. Adle and Irfan Habib. Co-editor: Karl M. Baipakov. – UNESCO Publishing. Multiple History Series. Paris. – Chapter 4, p. 109 – 125. (ISBN 92-3-103876-1).
  • Washington, Jonathan North (2006b), Root Vowels and Affix Vowels: Height Effects in Kyrgyz Vowel Harmony (PDF)
  • Washington, Jonathan North (2007), Phonetic and Phonological Problems in Kyrgyz: A Fulbrighter's plans for gathering data in the field (PDF)

External links

Aqyn

Akyns or aqyns (Kazakh: ақын, pronounced [ɑˈqən]; Kyrgyz: акын, pronounced [ɑˈqɯn]; both transcribed as aqın or اقىن) are improvising poets and singers in the Kazakh and Kyrgyz cultures. Akyns are different from the zhiraus or manaschys, who are song performers or epic storytellers.

In aytys, akyns improvise in the form of a song-like recitative, usually to the accompaniment of a dombra (among Kazakhs) or a qomuz (among Kyrgyz). Considering the nomadic lifestyle and illiteracy of most of the rural population in Central Asia in pre-Soviet times, akyns played an important role in terms of expressing people's thoughts and feelings, exposing social vices, and glorifying heroes.

Modern akyns may also publish their original lyrics and poetry.

Artux

Artux transliterated from Kyrgyz, is a county-level city in Xinjiang. The area is 15,509 km2 (5,988 sq mi) and the total population is 200,000 (2002). Artux is the seat of Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture.

Chu River

The Chu (Shu or Chui, Chuy) (Kazakh: Шу/Shý, شۋ; Kyrgyz: Чүй, Çüy, چۉي; Dungan: Чў, Çw (from 楚 chǔ); Russian: Чу) is a river in northern Kyrgyzstan and southern Kazakhstan. Of its total length of approximately 1 067 kilometres (663 miles), the first 115 kilometres are in Kyrgyzystan, then for 221 kilometres the river is the border between Kyrgyzystan and Kazakhstan, and the last 731 kilometres are in Kazakhstan. It is one of the longest rivers in Kyrgyzstan and in Kazakhstan.

The Chuy Region, the northernmost and most populous administrative region of Kyrgyzstan, is named after the river; so are Chuy Avenue, the main street of Bishkek, and the city of Shu in Kazakhstan's Jambyl Region.

Chuy Region

Chuy Region or Chui Region (Kyrgyz: Чүй облусу, romanized: Çüy oblusu; Russian: Чуйская область, romanized: Čujskaja oblastj) is the northernmost region (oblast) of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is bounded on the north by Kazakhstan, and clockwise, Issyk Kul Region, Naryn Region, Jalal-Abad Region and Talas Region. Its administrative center is Bishkek, but from 2003 to May 2006 it was Tokmok.

Fuyu Kyrgyz language

Fuyu Kyrgyz (Fuyü Gïrgïs, Fu-Yu Kirgiz), also known as Manchurian Kirghiz, is the easternmost Turkic language. Despite its name, it is not a variety of Kyrgyz but is closer to Khakas. The people originated in the Yenisei region of Siberia but were relocated into Dzungaria by the Dzungars.In 1761, after the Dzungars were defeated by the Qing, a group of Yenisei Kirghiz were deported (along with some Öelet or Oirat-speaking Dzungars) to the Nonni (Nen) river basin in Manchuria/Northeast China. The Kyrgyz in Manchuria became known as the Fuyu Kyrgyz, but many have become merged into the Mongol and Chinese population. Chinese and Oirat replaced Oirat and Kirghiz during Manchukuo as the dual languages of the Nonni-based Kyrgyz.The Fuyu Kyrgyz language is now spoken in northeastern China's Heilongjiang province, in and around Fuyu County, Qiqihar (300 km northwest of Harbin) by a small number of passive speakers who are classified as Kyrgyz nationality.

Kanysh-Kiya Airport

Kanysh-Kiya Airport (Kyrgyz: Каныш-Кыя аэропорту, Russian: Каныш-Кийский аэропорт (IATA: none (КШЯ))) is an airport outside Kanysh-Kiya, a village in Chatkal District of Jalal-Abad Province (oblast) of Kyrgyzstan. The Russian IATA code for Kanysh-Kiya Airport is КШЯ.Kanysh-Kiya Airport started its operations in the 1970s to serve the transportation needs of the miners in Kanysh-Kiya as well as the nearby Terek-Say and Sumsar. The current runway was built in the 1970s. The airport has no terminal as such, and has no instrument landing facilities and operates only during daylight hours.

Kanysh-Kiya Airport is currently not in use. However, there are plans to renovate it. Kyrgyz Prime Minister Jantörö Satybaldiyev in October 2012 said: "We should resume operations of the airport so that small planes would be able to fly here."

Kyrgyz Braille

The braille alphabet used for the Kyrgyz language is based on Russian Braille, with a few additional letters found in the print Kyrgyz alphabet.

Kyrgyz alphabets

The Kyrgyz alphabets (Kyrgyz: Кыргыз алфавити, Qırğız alfaviti, قىرعىز الفابىتى‎, Uniform Turkic Alphabet: Qьrƣьz alfaviti, Kyrgyz pronunciation: [qɯrˈɢɯz ɑɫɸɑˈviti]) are the alphabets used to write the Kyrgyz language. The Kyrgyz language uses the following alphabets:

The Cyrillic script is officially used in the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan)

The Arabic script is officially used in People's Republic of China (China) in the Kyzylsu Kyrgyz Autonomous Prefecture, the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Kyrgyz BrailleThe Arabic script was traditionally used to write Kyrgyz before the introduction of the first Latin-based alphabets in 1927. Today an Arabic alphabet is used in China. The Uniform Turkic Alphabet was used in the USSR in the 1930s until its replacement by a Cyrillic script. The Kyrgyz Cyrillic alphabet is the alphabet used in Kyrgyzstan. It contains 36 letters: 33 from the Russian alphabet with 3 additional letters for sounds of the Kyrgyz language: Ң, Ү, Ө.

Although the Latin script is not in official use, some Kyrgyz texts are written in the Turkish variant of the Latin alphabet, and uses Turkish spelling norms e.g. for diphthongization (ey, ay etc). Native Kyrgyz sound values are almost identical to Turkish, the exceptions being the velar nasal /ŋ/ and the voiceless uvular stop /q/ which do not exist in Turkish. In these cases they are written as "ñ" and "q" respectively.

Kyrgyz cuisine

Kyrgyz cuisine is the cuisine of the Kyrgyz, who comprise a majority of the population of Kyrgyzstan. The cuisine is similar in many aspects to that of their neighbors, particularly Kazakh cuisine.

Traditional Kyrgyz food revolves around mutton, beef and horse meat, as well as various dairy products. The preparation techniques and major ingredients have been strongly influenced by the nation's historically nomadic way of life. Thus, many cooking techniques are conducive to the long-term preservation of food. Mutton and beef are the favorite meats, although in modern times many Kyrgyz are unable to afford them regularly.

Kyrgyzstan is home to many different nationalities and their various cuisines. In larger cities, such as Bishkek, Osh, Jalal-Abad, and Karakol, various national and international cuisines can be found. Non-Kyrgyz cuisines that are particularly common and popular in Kyrgyzstan include Uyghur, Dungan, Uzbek, and Russian cuisines, representing the largest minorities in the country.

Kyrgyz phonology

This article is about the phonology and phonetics of the Kyrgyz language.

Kyrgyzstan national football team

The Kyrgyz Republic national football team (Kyrgyz: Кыргыз Республикасынын улуттук курама командасы (Kırgız Respublikasının uluttuk kurama komandası); Russian: Сборная Киргизии по футболу (Sbornaya Kirgizii po Futbolu)) is the national team of Kyrgyzstan and is controlled by the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic. It is a member of the Central Asian Football Association, which is a member of the Asian Football Confederation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kyrgyzstan)

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kyrgyz: Тышкы иштер министрлигинин, Russian: Министерство иностранных дел) is the Kyrgyz government ministry which oversees the foreign relations of Kyrgyzstan.

Osh Airport

Osh International Airport (Kyrgyz: Ош эл аралык аэропорту; Russian: Международный аэропорт "Ош") (IATA: OSS, ICAO: UCFO) is an airport serving Osh, the capital of Osh province (oblast) of Kyrgyzstan.

In 2016, 1,210,576 passengers passed through the airport, an increase of 33% over the previous years.

Osh Region

Osh Region (Kyrgyz: Ош облусу, Oş oblusu/Osh oblusu, وش وبلاستى; Russian: Ошская область, Oshskaya oblast’/Ošskaja oblastj) is a region (oblast) of Kyrgyzstan. Its capital is Osh. It is bounded by (clockwise) Jalal-Abad Region, Naryn Region, Xinjiang, China, Tajikistan, Batken Region, and Uzbekistan.

Qatlama

Kattama (Kazakh: қаттама, romanized: qattama; Kyrgyz: каттама, both pronounced [qɑttɑmɑ]), katlama, katmer (Turkish: katmer), or gambir (Mongolian: гамбир, pronounced [ɢæmʲbʲĭɾ]) is a fried layered bread common in the cuisines of Central Asia.

Regions of Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan is divided into seven regions (singular: област - oblast, plural: областтар - oblasttar). The capital, Bishkek, is administratively an independent city (shaar), as well as being the capital of Chuy Province. Osh also has shaar status.The regions, with their areas, census populations and capitals, are as follows:

Each region is further divided into districts (raion), administered by government-appointed officials. Rural communities (aiyl okmotus) consisting of up to twenty small settlements have their own elected mayors and councils.

Romanization of Kyrgyz

The Kyrgyz language is written in the Kyrgyz alphabet, a modification of Cyrillic. There is no commonly accepted system of romanization for Kyrgyz, i.e. a rendering of Kyrgyz in the Latin alphabet, although a system based on the Turkish alphabet is gaining currency. Some Kyrgyz romanization systems are given below:

Besides these systems, one may encounter different romanizations on e.g. road signs in Kyrgyzstan. For instance, "Чок" may be romanized as "Czoc".

Shelpek

Shelpek (Turkmen: çelpek; Kazakh: шелпек/shelpek; Kyrgyz: май токоч, челпек; Uzbek: chalpak/чалпак; Uyghur: ‎, ULY: chalpyak) is a traditional Central Asian flatbread commonly consumed all over the region. The main ingredients of shelpek are flour, milk, sugar, butter, sour cream such as Kaymak, baking soda, salt and vegetable oil.

The dough is shaped into balls and fried in hot vegetable oil until reaching a golden color. Shelpek can also be prepared with yeast, thus the dough stays soft for a longer period of time. The recipe to prepare the dough in the given case is similar to the one used for baursak.

Torugart Pass

Torugart Pass (Chinese: 吐尔尕特山口; Kyrgyz: Торугарт; Russian: Перевал Торугарт) is a mountain pass in the Tian Shan mountain range near the border between the Naryn Province of Kyrgyzstan and the Xinjiang Autonomous Region of China. It is one of two border crossings between Kyrgyzstan and China, the other being Irkeshtam, some 165 km (103 mi) to the southwest.

The scenic Lake of Chatyr-Kul lies near the pass on the Kyrgyz side. The road to Naryn and then to Balykshy and Bishkek—stretching for some 400 km (250 mi)—is narrow and in winter often impassable due to heavy snowfall and frequent avalanches. On the Chinese side, the Torugart Port of Entry (吐尔尕特口岸), where travelers must clear for customs, is located about 110 km (68 mi) from the pass itself in Ulugqat County of the Kizilsu Kirghiz Autonomous Prefecture. Distances from the pass to major cities are: 110 km (68 mi) to Ulugqat, 165 km (103 mi) to Kashgar, 170 kilometres (110 mi) to Artux and some 1,630 km (1,010 mi) to Urumqi.

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