Translation in Yakutia as a Means of Preservation of the Sakha Language and Culture

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Translation as a means of cross-cultural communication serves two purposes: 1. making an additional recording of cultural works of a certain people by creating a copy of these works in a language with a higher number of speakers for further introduction of the culture to a wider public; 2. in a situation of widespread bilingualism, preserving a vulnerable language against assimilation by a dominant language by a bilingual translator’s conscious counteracting of negative interference and their educational activities in the field of ecolinguistics. In comparison with translation from/to foreign languages, these translational purposes acquire other, new aspects when applied to the languages of the different peoples in one country, depending on the language situation, politics, etc. The article examines the practices used in achieving the above-mentioned purposes of Russian-Yakut, Yakut-Russian translation in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia), a constituent entity of the Russian Federation. The article also describes the role of translation in the spiritual culture of the Yakut people as a proxy of literary and artistic innovations capable of shaping and changing the artistic tastes of readers, as well as a means of integration into the world cultural space, enabling the Yakuts to look at their native culture from the point of view of native speakers of the Russian language and members of Russian (including Soviet) culture. Translation as a sphere of close interaction of languages is of interest to the language policy of this multinational constituent of the Russian Federation. With the adoption of federal and republican laws for language issues in the 1990s, the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) started to give more attention to the translation between the two official languages. As a result of years-long observation of bilingual Yakuts’ speech culture, it has become apparent that researching linguistical issues of translation, drawing up practical recommendations for translation based on scientific research, and then popularizing them among bilingual Yakuts may become a great help in the preservation of the native language. A review of the Sakha Republic’s (Yakutia) experience in translation development in a multinational constituent of the Russian Federation leads to a conclusion about the importance of the work of a translator (who translates from and to languages of Russia) in standardization of their native language. Such a translator can consciously regulate the mutual influence of the languages in society.

About the authors

Akulina A. Vasil’eva

M.K. Ammosov North-Eastern Federal University

Author for correspondence.
SPIN-code: 9851-6331

Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Department of Stylistics of the Yakut Language and Russian-Yakut Translation, Institute of Languages and Culture

58, Str. Belinsky, Yakutsk, 677013, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Russian Federation


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Copyright (c) 2021 Vasil’eva A.A.

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