Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this article, we view proverbs as part of contemporary spoken language in

everyday modern colloquial speech and context in the Kazakh language envi-
ronment. The article offers insights into the proverbs of colloquial Kazakh

in everyday life. The Kazakh people have a vast number of proverbs and aph-
orisms. They include all fields of life: birth and death, wealth and poverty,

friendship and enmity, love for the Motherland, family values, human rela-
tions, gender relations, attitude to work, peculiarities of education of chil-
dren, and many other topics.

A proverb maqal in Kazakh (from Arabic) is a short, simple, and tra-
ditional saying, or a phrase that gives advice and embodies a common-
place truth based on practical experience or common sense. A proverb may

have an allegorical message behind its odd appearance. For instance, Azĝa
qanaĝat qylmasaɳ, kȍpten qȕr qalasyɳ, English equivalent will be (Grasp

all, lose all). In the course of work, we use different language units: tra-
ditional proverbs, aphorism, and modern adaptation of old proverbs, called

“anti-proverbs.” Traditional proverbs are inherited from the old generation
as the eloquence of spoken language as classic, natural, and pure proverbs.
Aphoristic statements are quoted in writings and our daily speech and have a

particular author. A modern adaptation of old proverbs is a language phenom-
enon based on a traditional proverb that gives a humorous effect or current

view on a situation in the form of a statement. It usually consists of two short
sentences: one keeps the structure of old proverbs, and another part may
be replaced by determinant words borrowed from Internet languages, such
as Blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Follower’s page or files, mostly English loan words. This phenomenon is currently in the process of development in the Kazakh
language. The correct inclusion of proverbs in speech makes the language
more vivid and expressive and emphasizes the speaker’s wit. Proverbs of the
Kazakh language reflect the wisdom of the nation, its experience, history,

and ideals. When translating proverbs literally, one cannot correctly under-
stand their meaning, as they can be presented as metaphors. Eloquence has

always been valued among Kazakhs. Usually, a literal translation of proverbs
from the Kazakh language, for example, into English, will appear absurd.
Sometimes, to understand the meaning of proverbs, it is necessary to know
certain customs and traditions of the people, as they permeate the whole life
of a person and their values.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationContemporary Kazakh proverb research: digital, cognitive, literary, and ecological approaches
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherPETER LANG GROUP International Academic Publishers Berlin · Bruxelles · Lausanne · New York · Oxford
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4331-9589-1
ISBN (Print)978-1-4331-9588-4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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