Vol 18, No 1 (2021)

Languages in contact

Omnilingual Aspirations: The Case of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Kellman S.G.


Adopted by the United Nations in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, the most widely translated document. However, versions in 419 languages are not conceived as translations but equivalences, alternate embodiments of identical tenets. The Bible has been rendered into numerous languages, but the Hebrew and Greek originals possess authority that English, Bengali, and Xhosa derivatives do not. The Bible is translated, but the UDHR is, through the theology of international governance, transubstantiated into multiple tongues. No version has priority; each is equally valid, transparent, and interchangeable. The utopian premise is not only that all humans possess inalienable rights but also that all languages express the same principles. The document’s title, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, might seem a solecism, a misplaced modifier. Surely, it is human rights that are universal, not the declaration. However, the UN insists that all versions (at least in the original official languages) are equally binding. It rejects Whorfian notions that particular languages enable particular thoughts and embraces languages as neutral tools whose specific manifestation is irrelevant. Arguments against imprisoning writers in Burma could appeal equally to the authority of either the Universal Declaration of Human Rights or la Déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme or Всеобщую декларацию прав человека or la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos or 世界人权宣言. Rather than the Babelian myth of an Ur-Sprache before hubris scattered us into mutual unintelligibility, the UDHR endorses a Chomskyan belief that all languages can express the same thoughts. Yet differences among versions of Article 1 (“All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”) are not trivial; dignity is incommensurable with Würde, αξιοπρέπεια, dignidade, waardigheid, or достоинства. The UDHR is a translingual text shaped by the languages of framers and translators.
Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):6-19
pages 6-19 views

Russian Language in Kazakhstan: Specific Learning and Functioning in the Context of Interlingual Interaction

Zhuravleva Y.A., Agmanova A.E.


The diversity and specificity of cultures and languages of ethnic groups, living on the territory of Kazakhstan, create a special socio-cultural context of the Eurasian space, demonstrating the model of modern interethnic linguistic and socio-cultural interaction. Uniqueness of social and communicative space of the country, characterized by the dominance of the state Kazakh and Russian languages - languages of two large ethnic groups - against a background of great linguistic diversity, determines the significance of the study of their interaction and mutual influence in the context of a multicultural society. This paper analyzes the issues of language interaction in polyethnic state, forms and methods of foreign language influence on Russian language. The issues of learning and functioning of the Russian language are considered as a native and as a second languauge. Active processes due to features of the interaction of the Kazakh and Russian languages are analyzed as 1) speech activity of ethnic Russians; 2) Russian speech of other ethnic groups; 3) learning and using Russian language by repatriates-Kazakhs and foreign citizens.

Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):20-28
pages 20-28 views


Transculturalism and Its Manifestation in the Poetics of Lyric Texts

Temirgazina Z.K.


Using the example of the work of the Soviet Russian poet Pavel Nikolaevich Vasilyev, the author shows the representation of transcultural aesthetics in a literary text created in Russian by a Russian author, formed in the conditions of the “borderline” coexistence of two cultures: Russian and Kazakh. His works can be classified as “borderland literature”, in which the combination of the Russianlanguage discourse and the paradigm of the steppe, nomadic culture generates a hybrid text with a peculiar artistic aesthetics and poetics, which can be traced at the external and internal deep levels. The “I” of the author with “borderline” thinking has a stable ethnic identity, while openly showing its bicultural affiliation, which is quite consistent with the thesis about the flexibility of the cultural identity of a transcultural poet or writer. At the external text level of works of art, transculturalism finds expression in themes, in exoticisms, in foreign language insertions. The transcultural essence of the author’s consciousness generates hybrid texts containing symbiotic verbal images and techniques that demonstrate hybrid canons and symbols (symbols of wormwood, horse), incorporating elements of Kazakh and Russian cultural stereotypes and codes (stereotypical ideas about the Asian appearance of Kazakhs), which coexist without conflict in the artistic picture of the world of Vasilyev. As a result, a poetic picture of the world, unique in aesthetics, enriched with the paradigms of two different cultures, which is the property of the Russian cultural space, appears.

Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):29-43
pages 29-43 views

Central Asian Social Types as an Orientalism Pattern in Leonid Solovyov’s Prose

Shafranskaya E.F., Volokhova T.V.


The literary work of the Russian writer Leonid Solovyov (1906-1962) was widely known in the Soviet period of the twentieth century - but only by means of the novel dilogy about Khoja Nasreddin. His other stories and essays were not included in the readers’ repertoire or the research focus. One of the reasons for this is that the writer was repressed by Stalinist regime due to his allegedly anti-Soviet activities. In the light of modern post-Orientalist studies, Solovyov’s prose is relevant as a subcomponent of Russian Orientalism both in general sense and as its Soviet version. The “Oriental stories” series, which is the subject of this article, has never been the object of scientific research before. The authors of the article are engaged, in a broad sense, in identifying the features of Solovyov’s Oriental poetics, and, narrowly, in revealing some patterns of the Central Asian picture of the world. In particular, the portraits of social and professional types, met by Solovyov there in 1920-1930, are presented. Some of them have sunk into oblivion, others can be found today, in the XXI century. Comparative, typological and cultural methods are used in the interdisciplinary context of the article.

Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):44-59
pages 44-59 views


Glossary of Russian-German Literature

Seifert E.I.


The article presents a large fragment of the author’s glossary (dictionary) on the literature of Russian Germans (the author’s definitions of literary concepts related to the literature of Russian Germans, based on its study in a doctoral dissertation and a number of articles). Writers - Russian Germans - Russian-German bilinguals, therefore the dictionary on the literature of Russian Germans should be presented in German-Russian format (articles in German and Russian). In the original literature of Russian Germans, there are phenomena and facts specific to this subculture. The Dictionary of the Literature of Russian Germans, explaining the meanings of words that may be unfamiliar, incomprehensible, or partially incomprehensible to the reader, makes it possible to significantly expand the circle of connoisseurs of the literature of Russian Germans, facilitates the perception of literary and scientific text.

Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):60-66
pages 60-66 views


“In search of an Interlocutor”: Interview with Bakhyt Kairbekov. Part One, or the Main Hypostasis. The Poet

Valikova O.A.
Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):67-79
pages 67-79 views

In search of an Interlocutor: Interview with Bakhyt Kairbekov. Part Two, or the Other Hypostasis. The Interpreter

Shagimgereyeva B.E.
Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):80-90
pages 80-90 views


Horizons of Understanding: to the Anniversary of Eleonora Dyusenovna Suleimenova

Shaimerdenova N.Z., Amanzholova J.B.



Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):91-102
pages 91-102 views


“Word Code” by O.O. Suleimenov in Electronic-handwritten and Printed Versions

Dzhusupov M.


The article provides a comparative analysis of an electronic manuscript and a printed book by O.O. Suleimenov “Word code. Introduction to the Universal Etymological Dictionary ‘1001 Words’”. The similarities and differences in semantic and stylistic nominations of titles and paragraphs in the manuscript and in the printed original are considered. Structural and qualitative differences in the content of the new titles of the book, the peculiarities of the semantic advancement in them, which include a brief reflection of the content of the corresponding section of the study, are revealed and analyzed. The analysis and thesis description of new paragraphs, which were introduced by the author after working on the electronic manuscript of the book, are carried out. The main conceptual approach of O.O. Suleimenov to the search for the ancient primary source of the word (etymon) and writing both in the manuscript and in the original of the book, is to consider in unity, in close interconnection, the main five aspects of a scientific problem: figurative image (drawing, hieroglyph), concept, word, meaning, pronunciation linguistic unit in languages, adverbs, dialects, dialects in antiquity and now, their semantic and sound similarities and differences in different regions of the earth. The evolution of the wording of the titles and the semantic and stylistic advancement in them is significant, which is associated either with a slight lexical change in the wording of the title of the paragraph, or with the introduction of a different (updated) title, or with the introduction of a new paragraph into the structure of the book. These innovations of the author contributed to the improvement of the structural and logical-content significance of the book.

Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):103-117
pages 103-117 views


“The Feast of Translation of National Literatures” - a Meeting in a New Format

Alekseeva I.S.
Polylinguality and Transcultural Practices. 2021;18(1):118-123
pages 118-123 views

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