Russian and Kyrgyz, a Turkic language related to Uzbek, Kazakh, and, of course, Turkish, are the official languages of Kyrgyzstan. The country language of Kyrgyz is more prevalent than the urban language of Russian, and it’s not unusual to encounter ethnic Kyrgyz individuals in Bishkek who don’t speak Kyrgyz. While English is growing more common, it is still seldom used, thus in order to communicate successfully, one needs acquire at least a few basic Russian or Kyrgyz words (yes, no, please, thank you, etc.) depending on the area. If you’re totally lost, consider asking young folks, particularly students.
Kyrgyzstan, like the rest of the former Soviet Union, utilizes the Cyrillic script, which may be confusing for Western visitors. The characters, on the other hand, are not difficult to learn, and once you have, you will notice that many of the words are recognizable. For example, the Latin alphabet transliterates “ресторaн” as “restoran,” which means “restaurant.” However, keep in mind that both Kyrgyz and Russian use Cyrillic.