2

Why not カザクスタン ? The Cyrillic word does have a k (but I am not sure whether is is actually pronounced).

2
  • I would assume it's adapted from the Russian word, which seems to have /x/ (a voiceless velar fricative), which can sound rather /h/-like to people who lack that phoneme. – Angelos Sep 24 '19 at 10:17
  • 2
    forvo.com/word/… I don't hear a "k" sound at all... – naruto Sep 24 '19 at 10:55
3

At least in the last few decades, when Japanese people katakanize foreign words, they do so based on the sound of the original language, not on how it was adopted in English. For example, Eiffel Tower is エッフェル塔, not アイフェル塔, because its French pronunciation is closer to エッフェル. Johann Sebastian Bach is バッハ, not バック nor バッカ, because its German pronunciation is like バッハ. I know nothing about Russian, but according to the Russian pronunciation of Kazakhstan , I think カザフスタン is reasonable.

2
  • 2
    Note that Kazakhstan has its own language of Kazakh, which does have a sound (a /q/) where the kh is, and the word ‘Kazakh’ indeed comes from that language and its Turkic roots, so ‘original language’ may not be entirely accurate here. – Darius Jahandarie Sep 25 '19 at 12:48
  • @DariusJahandarie Thank you, before posting this I confirmed Russian is the predominant language in Kazakhstan, but I didn't check the pronunciation in Kazakh. – naruto Sep 25 '19 at 17:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.