Frislander wrote: ↑
Thu 14 Dec 2017, 18:02
Well that does rather illustrate quite well the effect associations can have; Cyrillic is still very much strongly associated with Russia, and in many people's eyes that's a bad thing. Think of the same way some people are reflexively terrified of everything they see written in Arabic simply because they have a negative view of Islam.
It's not just that Cyrillic is associated with Russia, although of course that's a huge issue - because in many of these countries Russian domination is not simply a thing of the past but a current and future threat. Abandoning Cyrillic is a simple way to signal to people - Russians, their own citizens, and Western populations they may hope for help from in the future - that they are not simply part of the "Russian Zone of Control".
But there's also a practical fraktur/antiqua issue here: using a weird script has a real economic cost.
It makes it harder for companies to establish brands abroad - I might not pronounce a French or Polish company name very well, but I can have a go, and I'll recognise it when I see it again. With a name in Cyrillic, I've got no chance - so logos need to be redesigned for export. It increases the cost of imported goods - keyboards need to be designed for the local version of Cyrillic, so are more expensive than a generic latin-script keyboard of some kind would be. It discourages natives from going to university abroad, and from getting powerful and well-paying jobs that might benefit the motherland; it discourages natives from learning foreign languages (as that means learning a new script as well). Most importantly, it hugely discourages tourists. Many tourists don't learn the local language, but rely on being to understand written signs by learning key words or using guidebooks, or just by spotting city names and the like. If signs are in a weird script where everything looks the same, that's intimidating! If any website you need are in a weird script and you can't even spot the key words you're looking for, that's intimidating. Now, these costs aren't crippling, but they are significant. The biggest counterbalance is local pride, and the tourist cachet that comes with quaint local customs like a weird script. But in the case of Cyrillic, there's little cachet outside Russia because tourists won't see it as quintessentially local in, say, Kazakhstan, and there's not much to be specifically proud of because it's obviously imported. So why bear any burden to maintain an imported tradition? Imported by the colonial power?
And of course this ties back to the cultural point - using Cyrillic makes you more attractive to Russian tourists, makes Russian schools and companies more attractive for your citizens, and makes business ties easier to maintain with Russia. Using Latin instantly makes you a little bit less attractive to Russia, and a little bit more attractive to the West, so if you want to geopolitically, economically and socially align yourself with the West then it's a good first step.