Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 4.0, March 2016


No romanization systems for Kazakh have been put forward at the United Nations conferences on the standardization of geographical names or at sessions of the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names. There is no indication of any national systems of romanization in Kazakhstan. According to the information received in March 2001 from the Kazakh Linguistics Institute in Almaty, a decree was issued by the President of Kazakhstan in 1998 on the necessity to prepare a new Kazakh alphabet based on the Roman script. Subsequently a committee was formed to further this aim. There are several draft alphabets, the aim is to work on this task systematically, taking into consideration also the experience of other countries in the transition to the Roman alphabet. Some government websites use parallel versions of Kazakh in Cyrillic and Latin scripts and the system used by the Kazakh News Agency (QazAqparat) seems to be a de facto standard in Kazakhstan1,2.

Systems of romanization

The BGN/PCGN 1979 System gives the following romanization:

1 А аa
2 Ә әä
3 Б бb
4 В вv
5 Г гg
6 Ғ ғgh
7 Д дd
8 Е еe
9 Ё ёyo
10 Ж жzh
11 З зz
12 И иī
13 Й йy
14 К кk
15 Қ қq
16 Л лl
17 М мm
18 Н нn
19 Ң ңng
20 О оo
21 Ө өö
22 П пp
23 Р рr
24 С сs
25 Т тt
26 У уū
27 Ұ ұu
28 Ү үü
29 Ф фf
30 Х хkh
31 Һ һh
32 Ц цts
33 Ч чch
34 Ш шsh
35 Щ щshch
36 Ъ ъ"
37 Ы ыy
38 І іi
39 Ь ь
40 Э эė
41 Ю юyu
42 Я яya

The transliteration standard ISO 9:1995 gives, as a single block, different Roman equivalents to the following Kazakh characters (the BGN/PCGN equivalents are in parentheses):

ә (ä)
ғ (gh) ġ
ё (yo) ë
ж (zh) ž
и (ī) i
й (y) j
қ (q) ķ
ң (ng) ņ
ө (ö) ô
у (ū) u
ұ (u)
ү (ü) ù
х (kh) h
һ (h)
ц (ts) c
ч (ch) č
ш (sh) š
щ (shch) ŝ
і (i) ì
э (ė) è
ю (yu) û
я (ya) â

The QazAqparat Roman version of the Kazakh alphabet (2004)2 is different from the BGN/PCGN romanization in the following cases (the BGN/PCGN equivalents are in parentheses):

ғ (gh)ğ
ж (zh)j
и (ī)ï
ң (ng)ñ
у (ū)w
х (kh)x
ц (ts)c
ч (ch)ç
ш (sh)ş
щ (shch)şş
ы (y)ı
э (ė)é


  1. Report of the Working Group on Romanization Systems: Current status of UN romanization systems for geographical names. Tenth United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. New York, 31 July – 9 August 2012. E/CONF.101/48.
  2. Retrieved 2016-01-16.