Sunday, December 23, 2012

Languages Spoken in Almaty

I had been only in Almaty so I cannot compare with the rest of the country but being the biggest and most populated city you can get an idea.

This text is in Kazakh language. The "K" is different.

Being honest, you won’t get very far with English or another European languages. You must have at least a basic knowledge of Russian language to survive. Being able to read Cyrillic alphabet will help you a lot. You won’t find many people with languages skills, not even young people. And they are usually not nice if you are lost and ask them in English. During my stay I meet only 6 people who were able to speak English, 5 of them from the couchsurfing network. And one taxi driver who spoke a few words of French (but still not enough French to explain me why he spoke some French). 

What should I order now? I can just understand tea or coffee

Russian is the most spoken language with the new government doing a lot of effort to implement Kazakh language at school, together with English. Kazakh language uses the Cyrillic alphabet as the Russian, but they have some extra letters. That's how I could recognize when something was written in Kazakh or Russian (Still I can try to read but not understand).

Street name. Even Google Maps gets lost here sometimes.

You really need to love to be in a place where no Latin alphabet is , otherwise it can be a little bit frustrating. But for me is motivation and I was learning a lot of Russian every second (not other chance!).

Instructions about how to reach the top of Medeu mountain. Very useful if I could understand.

Forbidden things to do...I will just not do anything, just in case...

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