Kyrgyz Language Study in CEUS

The Department of Central Eurasian Studies (CEUS) at Indiana University offers courses in Kyrgyz language, and the culture, history, and society of Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz language classes are taught by professional and enthusiastic native speakers.

The Language Workshop at Indiana University offers intensive courses of Kyrgyz during the summer.

Kyrgyz Language Map

Why Learn Kyrgyz?

Kyrgyzstan is a land of unsurpassed natural beauty. Kyrgyz, which is closely related to Kazakh, is useful to people who want to go into government service, the non-profit sector, or even education.

Kyrgyz belongs Turkic language family and one of the two official languages of Kyrgyzstan, the other being Russian. Since Kyrgyzstan became independent, the importance of Kyrgyz has increased in state affairs.

Kyrgyz is spoken by inhabitants of Kyrgyzstan, Xinjiang, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, and Russia. Due to Soviet policy, Cyrillic alphabet became the most common alphabet for writing Kyrgyz and has remained so to this day, though some Kyrgyz still use the Arabic alphabet, particularly in the People’s Republic of China.

Kyrgyz Alphabet:

Cyrillic Arabic Transliteration Latin (1928-1940) IPA transcription Sound
А а ا A a A a /ɑ/ 'a' as in father
Б б ب B b B b /b/, /w/, [ʋ] 'b' as in boy
В в ۋ V v V v /v/ 'v' as in vote
Г г ع G g G g, Ғ ғ, Q q /ɡ/ [ʁ] 'g' as in get or 'gh' or 'r' as in Paris (French)
Д д د D d D d /d/ 'd' as in dog
Е е ە E e E e /je/, /e/ 'e' as in let
Ё ё ى Yo yo Yo yo /jo/ 'yo' as in yogurt
Ж ж ج J j Ç ç (Ž ž from 1938) /d͡ʒ/ 'j' and 'dg' as in judge
З з ز Z z Z z /z/ 'z' as in zebra
И и ى I i I i /i/ 'i' as in city
Й й ي Y y J j /j/ 'y' as in yes
К к ك K k K k, Q q /k/, /q/, [χ] 'k' as in kit or 'q' as in Qatar (Arabic)
Л л ل L l L l /l/ 'l' as in leaf
М м م M m M m /m/ 'm' as in man
Н н ن N n N n /n/ 'n' as in net
Ң ң ڭ Ng ng Ň ň /ŋ/ 'ng' as in thing
О о و O o O o /o/ 'o' as in not
Ө ө ۆ Ö ö Ö ö /ø/ 'eu' as in feu (French)
П п پ P p P p /p/ 'p' as in pot
Р р ر R r R r /r/ 'r' as in rat
С с س S s S s /s/ 's' as in see
Т т ت T t T t /t/ 't' as in tap
У у و U u Uu uu /u/ 'oo' as in choose
Ү ү ۇ Ü ü Ü ü /y/ 'ü' as in tu (French)
Ф ф ف F f F f /f/ 'f' as in fat
Х х خ Kh kh X x (H h before 1938) /χ/ /k/ 'ch' as in loch (Scottish)
Ц ц تس Ts ts Ts ts /ts/ 'ts' as in cats
Ч ч چ Ch ch C c /t͡ʃ/ 'ch' as in church
Ш ш ش Sh sh Ş ş /ʃ/ 'sh' as in ship
Щ щ - Shch shch Şç şç /ʃt͡ʃ/, /ɕt͡ɕ/ 'sh-ch' as in fresh cheese
Ъ - - - - (no phonemic value; only found in borrowings)
Ы ى Y y B b /ɯ/ 'i' as in till (with tongue further back)
Ь - - - - (no phonemic value; only found in borrowings)
Э э ە E e E e /e/ 'e' as in let
Ю ю يو Yu yu Yu yu /juː/, /ʏ/ 'u' as in unity
Я я يا Ya ya Ya ya /ja/, /jɑ/ 'ya' as in yacht