Thursday, July 6, 2023

Sakha Activists Promoting Latin Script Used in the 1920s for Their Language

Paul Goble

            Staunton, June 2 – In order to boost national identity, Sakha activists are promoting the use of the Latin script developed at the time of the Russian revolution to replace a Cyrillic-based alphabet used before that time and employed to accelerate the growth in literacy before being replaced by Cyrillic again in 1939.

            Unlike many other nationalities, Sakha speakers had used Cyrillic only to lose it and are now trying to regain the Latin script they had taken from them. So far, those promoting this change have faced official indifference or hostility but say that they are making progress among themselves and thus below the government’s radar screen (

            The activists acknowledge that they have not made significant progress in promoting a wholesale shift back to the Latin script, but they have had one major breakthrough: the Institute of Mathematics and Information Sciences at the North-East Federal University has developed a keyboard for the Windows operating system.

            In another development which appears to be more widespread and which Sakha activists say has been in reaction to Russian actions in Ukraine, ever more Sakha people are dropping the first and last names Russian officialdom imposed upon them and using instead national first names and last names derived from Sakha history and geography.

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