Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Banque or Banc or Bank

Maybe it's an error, maybe it's a political statement, but the bank in Kazhakstan has printed out banknotes with the word 'bank' mispelled on them. Instead of the proper form of the letter K used by the Kazakhs (the Cyrillic form), it uses an alternate form that many feel denigrates the Kazahks and is a slur (as well as being pronounced slightly differently). Language has been an important expression of nationalism among the Kazakhs, since they broke from the Soviet state sin 1991, so using the "wrong" langauge may be an accident of translation, or it may be something more.

The parliament wants to prevent the notes from being put into circulation, but the bank has decided to release them and then slowly replace the notes with a corrected version in the coming months.

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