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Кyrgyz
Кыргызча or Кыргыз тили, قىرعىز تىلى, Kırgızça or Kırgız tili
Region Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Xinjiang (China), Tajikistan, Russia, Pakistan
Native speakers 2.9 million  (1993–2000)
Language family
Turkic
  • Kipchak
    • Kazakh–Nogay
      • Кyrgyz
Writing system Kyrgyz alphabets (Cyrillic script, Perso-Arabic script, formerly Latin)
Official status
Official language in Kyrgyzstan
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ky
ISO 639-2 kir
ISO 639-3 kir

Kyrgyz /ˈkɪərɡɪz/ (Kirgiz), also Kirghiz /kɪərˈɡiːz/ (Кыргызча or Кыргыз тили, قىرعىز تىلى, Kırgızça or Kırgız tili) is a language of the Turkic language family and one of the main official languages of Kyrgyzstan, the other one being Russian. It is a member of the Kazakh-Nogai subgroup of the Kypchak languages, and modern day language convergence has resulted in an increasing degree of mutual intelligibility between Kyrgyz and Kazakh.

Kyrgyz is spoken by about 4 million people in Kyrgyzstan, China, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, Pakistan and Russia. Kyrgyz was originally written in the Turkic runes, gradually replaced by an Arabic alphabet (in use until 1928 in USSR, still in use in China). Between 1928 and 1940, the Latin-based Uniform Turkic Alphabet was used. In 1940 due to general Soviet policy, a Cyrillic alphabet eventually became common and has remained so to this day, though some Kyrgyz still use the Arabic alphabet. When Kyrgyzstan became independent following the Soviet Union's collapse in 1991, there was a popular idea among some Kyrgyz people to make transition to the Latin alphabet (taking in mind a version closer to the Turkish alphabet, not the original alphabet of 1928–1940), but the plan has not been implemented yet.

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