Spring 2000 (8.1)

Nadir Karimov

For me, adopting the Latin alphabet was like returning Azerbaijan to its own past. Seventy years ago our nation used the Latin alphabet. Then came Cyrillic, which has created so many problems for us. A nation is considered wise if it has its own alphabet. Now we have ours, and we must keep it forever.

Not Enough Preparation
So when I heard that the alphabet was going to be changed, I was pleased. But later on, I was very sorry that we had not made adequate preparations beforehand. A new alphabet should be developed gradually to be able to penetrate into our lives. These days I see that almost everyone has difficulty with this new alphabet, including my students. Some of them know Cyrillic better, others prefer Latin. There is no definite pattern.

I teach economics, but there are almost no books on the subject available in Azeri Latin. I give lectures in both the Azeri track and the Russian track. For the Russian track, I don't have any difficulty because there are so many books available in the Russian language. But, unfortunately, this is not the case with Azeri.

Even during those 70 years when we used Cyrillic, there were only a few books on economics written in Azeri Cyrillic. So I constantly had to refer to Russian books, translate the material into Azeri and present it to my students. I thought that the situation would change after we switched to Latin. I thought