Kazakh (natively қазақ тілі, қазақша, qazaq tili, qazaqşa, قازاق ٴتىلى, قازاقشا; pronounced [qɑˈzɑq tɘˈlɘ]) belongs to the Kipchak branch of the Turkic languages. It is closely related to Nogai, Kyrgyz, and especially Karakalpak. Kazakh is the official language of the Republic of Kazakhstan and a significant minority language in the Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture in Xinjiang, China and in the Bayan-Ölgii Province of Mongolia. Kazakh is also spoken by many ethnic Kazakhs through the former Soviet Union (approximately 500,000 in Russia according to the 2002 Russian Census), Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and Germany.
Like other Turkic languages, Kazakh is an agglutinative language, and it employs vowel harmony.