Nursultan formerly Astana (Kazakh: Астана, Persian: آستانه) is the capital city of Kazakhstan. It has a population of 600,000 (2004), has been the capital of Kazakhstan from 1998. The name "Astana", which in Kazakh language means "Capital city", was chosen because it is easily pronounced in many languages. In Kazakh, it is pronounced "As-ta-na", while in English (and, for instance, German), common pronunciation is "As-ta-na". It is within the Aqmola Province.