Back to category Published: 09 february 2023 Author: Zhanna Mukhatzhanova

Facts about Kazakh language and some essential Kazakh phrases


Kazakhstan is a diverse and multicultural country, with over a hundred ethnic groups residing within its borders. Although the majority of the population are Kazakhs, there are also sizable populations of other ethnic groups, each with their unique culture and language. However, the state language of Kazakhstan is Kazakh, which is spoken by about 80% of the population.

Also, the Constitution recognizes the use of Russian in official situations and as a language of international communication. According to the 2009 census, 84.8% of the population in Kazakhstan reported being able to read and write Russian.

Regional differences in language use are also present, with the southern and western regions of the country being more Kazakh-speaking, while the northern and central regions are more Russian-speaking. The government is actively working to promote the use and mastery of Kazakh among all residents, while also recognizing the importance of being trilingual in Kazakh, Russian, and English, given the country's geopolitical, cultural, and economic ties with neighboring countries and the global community.

Alphabet and grammar

Kazakh is a Turkic language that is closely related to other languages such as Turkish, Uzbek, and Kyrgyz. Kazakh is written using the Cyrillic script, just like Russian. However, by 2025, the Kazakh alphabet is planned to be romanized. The process has already begun, and inscriptions in the Kazakh language using the Latin alphabet can already be found everywhere. The Kazakh alphabet includes 42 letters, 10 of them denote specific sounds: ә, i, ө, ұ, ү, s, ғ, қ, һ, ң. The rest 32 letters are identical to those in Russian.

Kazakh is an agglutinative language which is a type of language where words are formed by joining different morphemes, or smaller units of meaning, together to create longer words. These morphemes are added to the root word to indicate different grammatical information, such as tense, case, number, or aspect. For example:

Бала – bala – a child

Балаға – balağa– to a child

Баламен – balamen – with a child

Баладан – baladan – from a child

Балалар – balalar – children

Балалармен – balalarmen – with children

Балаларға – balalarğa – to children

Балалардан – balalardan – from children


The stress in the Kazakh language is fixed and almost always falls on the last syllable. Only in borrowings and words with an emotional connotation (or in interjections) can the stress change.

Word order

The Kazakh language has a strict word order. The predicate is at the end of the sentence. For example: «Балалар далада ойнап жүр» is a literal translation of «Children are playing on the street», where «Балалар» means children, «далада» – on the street, and «ойнап жүр» – are playing.

An interrogative word, if there is no predicate, is at the end of the sentence: «Біздің аудитория қайда?» is a translation of «Where is our classroom?», where «Біздің аудитория» stands for «our classroom» and «қайда» means «where».

Essential Kazakh phrases to know before traveling

Good morning!  

  Қайырлы таң! [kai-yr-LY tahn] 

Good afternoon!  

  Қайырлы күн! [kai-yr-LY koon] 

Good evening!  

  Қайырлы кеш! [kai-yr-LY kesh] 


  Сәлеметсiз бе? [sah-le-MET-siz beh] 


   Сәлем! [sah-LEM] 

How are you doing?  

   Қалыңыз қалай? [KAH-ly-nyz kah-LAI] 

Good, thanks  

   Рахмет, жақсы [rakh-MET jak-SY] 

I’m fine  

   Бәрi жақсы [bah-ryh jak-SY] 


   Сау болыңыз! [SAH-oo BOH-lyh-nyz]  

See you later  

   Кездескенше! [kehz-des-KEN-sheh] 


   Ия [ee-YA] 


   Жоқ [jok] 


   Жарайды [jah-RAI-dyh] 

Thank you  

   Рахмет! [rakh-MET] 

Thank you very much!  

   Көп рахмет! [kohp rakh-MET] 

Excuse me (also sorry) 

   Кешір(іңіз) [keh-shee-ryh-NYZ] 

Do you speak English?                       

  Ағылшынша сөйлейсіз бе? [ah-gyl-shyn-SHAH soi-LEI-syz BEH] 

I’m sorry. I don’t speak Kazakh    

  Кешіріңіз, мен қазақша сөйлемеймін [keh-shyh-ryh-NYZ men kah-zakh-SHAH soi-leh-MEI-myn] 

How much does it cost? 

  Қанша тұрады? [kahn-SHAH too-RAH-dyh] 

Take me to this address 

  Мені осы мекен-жайға апарыңыз? [meh-NYH oh-SYH meh-KEN jai-GAH ah-PAH-ry-nyz] 

Which bus stop is it?  

  Бұл қандай аялдама? [bool kahn-DAI ah-yal-dah-MAH] 

What is the next bus stop?  

  Келесі аялдама қандай? [keh-leh-SYH  ah-yal-dah-MAH kahn-DAI] 


  Әуежай [ah-oo-yeh-JAI] 

Railway station 

  Вокзал [vok-ZAHL] 


  Дәмхана [dahm-ha-NAH] 

Drug store 

  Дәріхана [dah-ree-hah-NAH] 


  Дәретхана [dah-ryet-hah-NAH] 


  Кіру/шығу [kyh-ROO] [shyh-GOO] 


  Жабық/ашық [jah-BYK] [ah-SHYK] 

Flight delayed 

  Рейс кешіктірілді [reis keh-shyk-tyh-ryl-DYH] 

Flight cancelled  

  Рейс тоқтатылды [reis tok-tah-tyl-DYH] 

I’m a tourist  

  Мен туристпін [men too-RIST-pyn] 

I’m lost  

  Мен адасып кеттім [MEN ah-DAH-syp ket-TYM] 

Help me 

  Көмектесіңізші [koh-mek-teh-syh-nyz-SHYH] 

What time is it? 

  Сағат неше? [sah-GAHT ne-SHEH] 

I don’t understand 

  Мен түсінбеймін [men too-soon-BEI-myn] 

Come again, please  

  Қайталаңыз, өтінемін [kai-tah-LAH-nyz oh-ty-NEH-myn] 

What is it?    

  Бұл не? [bool NEH] 

What is your name?  

  Сіздің атыңыз кім? [syz-DYN AH-ty-nyz kim] 

My name is... 

  Менің атым... [me-NING ah-TYM] 

Do you accept credit cards? 

  Сіз карталарды қабылдайсыз ба? [syz KAR-tah-lar-dyh kah-byl-DAI-syz BAH] 

I don’t have cash 

  Менде қолма-қол ақша жоқ [men-DEH kohl-MAH kohl ahk-SHAH jok] 

Check, please  

  Есепшот әкеліңіз [ye-sep-SHOT ah-keh-lyh-NYZ] 

Where can I buy tickets?  

  Билеттерді қайдан сатып алуға болады? [bee-let-ter-DYH kai-DAHN sah-TYP ah-loo-GAH ,jy-LAH-dy] 

Could you help me get a taxi?    

  Сіз маған такси шақыруға көмектесе аласыз ба? [syz mah-GAHN tahk-SEE shah-kyh-roo-GAH ah-LAH-syz bah]   

How much does the ticket cost?  

  Жол жүру қанша тұрады? [jol joo-ROO kahn-SHAH too-RAH-dy] 

Can I book a room?  

  Бөлмені брондауға бола ма? [bol-meh-NYH bron-DAH-oo-gah boh-LAH mah] 

Is there an ATM?  

  Жақын жерде банкомат бар ма? [jah-KYN jer-DEH bahn-koh-MAHT BAR mah] 

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