History Of Translation And Translation School Of Thoughts In Yakutia


The article explores new aspects in the history of translation school of thoughts development in the north-eastern region of Russia – Yakutia. Previously published articles did not address issues about unwritten translation in the region (having no written language). We consider it necessary to complement the history of translation with a translation type referring to a language that has only oral form. At any time, contacts between nations brought about the need in translators. The Sakha people preserve the history of the pioneers who created the fundamentals in interpreting and then translating. The paper gives a brief insight into the history of translation and translation school of thoughts in Yakutia, analyzes works of travelers, geographers, ethnographers, historiographers, starting from the 17th century. The methodological basis of the study was the core works in the field of translation theory and practice: A.V. Fedorov, L.S. Barkhudarova, R.K. Minyar-Belorucheva, V.N. Komissarova, A.D. Schweitzer, I.I. Retzker, N.K. Garbovsky, V.S. Vinogradova, Ts.S. Alekseeva, V.G. Gaka, V.V. Alimov and others. The aim of the paper is to study the historical archives, folk materials and on their base to trace the translation activity evolution in Yakutia. It is worth mentioning that while working over the issues we encountered some difficulties due to low level of the topic development. According to the stated goal and objectives of the research, we define the following translation methods to study, such as: 1) general scientific (theory-based, historical and linguistic literature analysis focused on the topic under consideration), 2) specific scientific.

Keywords: History of translationtranslation school of thoughts in Yakutiamethodstranslation studytranslators


The history of translation in Yakutia requires in-depth study with fact clarifications, additions and comments. The intensive attention to translation s study in Russia and in some regions underpins the relevance of the topic to be discussed. Currently, translation studies in Yakutia are ranked in the field of linguistics as not well developed. Russian-Yakut and Yakut-Russian translation in Yakutia, its historical evolution – an open question because the materials that we have are not enough to speak about revealing the translation issues regarding the history of translation and the development of translation school of thoughts in Yakutia, nevertheless, bilingualism in the republic has more than three century history. To these issues some papers have been devoted: Petrova (2007), Nakhodkina (2011), Efremova, Varlamova, Rozhina, and Feoktisto (2018).

Problem Statement

The article briefly addresses the overview on translation study as a scientific field in Yakutia based on the analysis conducted over the works of travelers, geographers, ethnographers, historiographers, starting from the 17th century. The evidence that confirms the development of the translation process in Yakutia is introduced. The authors reckon that the history of translations as issue to research will be more reasonable and effective given that this issue will be analyzed in diachronical and synchronical aspect.

Research Questions

The research methodological basis is the fundamental works on translation theory and practiceю Its own history has both theory and practice. The role of translation in the history of Russia, analysis and evaluation of translation achievements, the work of individual translators and the views of scientists on translation, the theory of individual types of translation, text transplantology (translation theory, text-orientation) are different aspects of translation studies and are fully explored.

Attempts to isolate the stages in translational school of thought development have had a long history. One of the first to address this issue was Huet in 1661 (On the Best Way of Translating, Huet) and S. Johnson in 1759 (The Idler, Johnson), who considered various approaches to translation and achievements of translators, from antiquity to 17th century (Baker, 2005). However, the classification received the scientific base only in the second half of the 20th century. In 1963, at the Congress of the International Federation of Translators (FIT), the idea of creating a general translation history was pronounced, but it began to come true only in the 1990s of the 20th century (Delisle & Woodsworth, 1995). There was organized the project that covered the most significant milestones in the history of translation of Western European countries: the invention of the alphabet, formation of national literatures and others (Delisle & Woodsworth, 1995).

The issues of translation were considered by many scientists and included such translation points as: difficulties in translating from European languages into Russian and from Russian into other languages, possibility of transmitting a word as a lexical unit, a problem of interference, lexicographical aspects, lexical and grammatical transformation. Practical issues of translation into the Yakut language are discussed in the textbooks and guidelines of Petrova (2007), Vasilyeva (2006, 2007), Nakhodkina (2011).

In the article “Carried by Storm’ (The Evening Yakutsk dated on June 22, 2018), Hideo Katsuki, (a member of the Japan Institute of Eurasian Research and of the committee supervising the Siberian Research Community, PhD in philological sciences, professor at North-Eastern University named after M.K. Ammosov) says that in the result of shipwrecking 4 out of 10 Japanese sailors were left in Yakutsk on June 4, 1745: Matvey Panov (Japanese name is Rikhachi or Rikhachir), Ivan Tatarinov (Sannosuke or Sanosuke), Ivan Afanasyev (Ionosuke or Kөsuke - from Om) and Philip Trapeznikov (Yosuhe or Kyusuke - from Miyako). They opened the second school in the world to study Japanese outside the Land of the Rising Sun. The Russian-Japanese ‘Lexicon’, which was compiled by Andrei Ivanovich Tatarinov (son of Sannosuke) is rated as the most important and greatest work among scientific legacies. The Japanese school taught Yakut children. In the work of Katsugawa Khosu ‘Brief News about Wandering in the Northern Waters’ there is the evidence devoted to describing Yakutians style of living. In Irkutsk, Japanese sailors were assigned the ranks of collegiate translators; they became the first translators from Japanese in Yakutia. In June 1819, due to repeated complaints from the Irkutsk governors to the "waste of money", the Japanese language school that existed for more than 110 years was closed. The Department of Oriental Languages and Regional Studies of the Institute of Foreign Philology and Regional Studies, which prepares translators from Japanese, Chinese and Korean, currently is working successfully at the North-Eastern Federal University named after MK Ammosov.

Observations over educational processes, the analysis of typical mistakes of students which they make in self-study within the course ‘Introduction to Translation Studies’ (Dmitrieva, 2013; Makarova, 2017; Makarova, Nikiforova, Borisova, & Gorokhova, 2018; Akimova, Borisova, & Okoneshnikov, 2015) show that students acquire a set of knowledge and ideas about the translation nature, the specificity that distinguishes translation from other types of language mediation, about private translation problems associated with certain types of translation, and the types in translation as they are.

Purpose of the Study

The aim of the paper is to study the historical archives, folk materials and on their base to trace the translation activity evolution in Yakutia. It is worth mentioning that while working over the issues we encountered some difficulties due to low level of the topic development. Translators principally meet challenges as non deep knowledge in conceptual and lingua-cultural aspects of text under translation, their stylistic and structure-semantic differences, including inter-language divergences. A special attention is to be paid to abbreviations, to complex polysemantic words, to nonequivalent lexicon, toponyms, idioms, phraseological expressions.

In recent time there is deficiency in translation literature that can serves as samples and influences much the quality of translation. The philological faculty at North-Eastern Federal University within the program targeted at future teachers training includes such disciplines as ‘Introduction to Translation Study’ and ‘Comparative Topology’. At present time universities who teach philology students, feel the lack in text books that will be based on intercultural principles and knowledge with the focus on the Yakut language and peculiarities in translation nonequivalent vocabulary. The most crucial challenge at present is that there are no well translated documents in juridical sphere dealing with laws and legislation. In conformity with the Constitution of the Sacha Republic (Yakutia) all paper management and jurisdiction are conducted in both state languages – Yakut and Russia – and in five small ethnic group languages that are officially admitted for the region – Even, Evenki, Dolgan, Chukchee, Yukaghir. The problem at university level, in preparing specialists in translation, remains the same – the lack of special learning literature on translation region-based aspects and peculiarities.

Research Methods

According to the stated goal and objectives of the research, we define the following translation methods to study, such as: 1) general scientific (theory-based, historical and linguistic literature analysis with the focus on the topic under consideration), 2) specific scientific (chronological documents, historical data, retrospective studies. The latter means the basis to investigate the reasons for appearing the necessity in unwritten translation from Russia-Yakut and vice versa; fixing the historical event that are able to influence somehow the history of translation and the translation types. In the research we used the continuous sampling method while selecting material from lexicographical sources; inductive-deductive method; descriptive method with interpretations and classifications, generalization and systematization in translation; lexico-semantical analysis; competent analysis in translation.


Since ancient times language has been an indicator of society development of society, the condition of its existence. By governing a society and serving it, a language is developing, making richer, improving, adapting to various forms of human communication. Language is the dynamic, constantly evolving, changing phenomenon. The continuous development of a language is promoted by a society which a language daily faces. None of the existing languages ​​is currently fully developed mostly due to the fact that its lexical composition, grammatical rules are constantly changing. Yakut and Russian are not exceptions, they, like other languages, are changing and evolving, much faster than many foreign languages ​​due to their natural flexibility.

The Russian language first appeared in Yakutia when the Russians arrived at the beginning of the 17th century. Obvious facts contributed to the emergence of Yakut-Russian bilingualism: the harsh climatic, geographical conditions, isolation and remoteness of the Yakutsk Territory from the rest of Russia. Russian people were forced to make the language contact with the local indigenous people. The history of translation and translation approaches in the Republic testifies to this truth. In Yakutia, the translation has more than 300 years of history. As the archival data testify back in the 17th century, the Cossacks and Streltsy (Russian elite soldiers appeared in 16th-17th century in Ivan the IV times) had translators (interpreters, mediators in communication - translated from Turkic as ‘rear area or homefront’). Even Streletsky centurion (captain/military unit commander) Peter Beketov, who founded the city of Yakutsk, had a translator - interpreter Dunayko Petrov, who … ‘is in Yakol (Yakut) language is a great master’. The archive documents indicate that from the very beginning of the Yakut gaol, there were translators from the local population. One of the first interpreters was Bygeya, a wife of one Strelets Semen Chufarist, who came with a military cohort of Peter Beketov. In 1705 the prayer “Our Father” was translated by Nikolaas Vitsen, it is also considered to be the first written translation recorded documentally. The Russians used the Yakut language in inter-ethnic contacts, as happens in most cases when more educated people adopt a language of less educated ones.

Thus, pre-revolution Russian population eventually mastered the Yakut language, and part of it changed completely languages, making the Yakut be the main language of communication. According to sociolinguist Argunova (1993):

bilingualism of Russians greatly facilitated a reverse process - the spread of the Russian language among local population. Initially, it happened in form of borrowed vocabulary, in colloquial speech, the composition and scope of which allow researchers to talk about the mass character of Russian borrowings in the Yakut language compared to other Turkic languages. Then, it was happening in relatively more organized process, when the first schools at the beginning of the 19th century were opened with the Russian as language of mediated instructions. (p. 34)

All changes that occurred in the linguistic space of the Yakutsk region since the 17th century and before the revolution, scientists refer to the first stage of bilingualism emergence in the region.

The short period of the post-revolutionary time (1917-1929) is considered to be the second stage, when bilingualism became more meaningful. The local population was eager to learn Russian, but people who were carriers of bilingualism remained those who received education before the revolution. The rural population did not speak Russian. Most of them could not read and write.

The next period (1930-1939) is the period when the Russian language began to spread widely. A number of factors contributed to this: compulsive military service in the Soviet Army, liquidation of illiteracy among rural residents, kindergartens, schools, medical and obstetric centers, manufacturing enterprises, where highly qualified specialists from central cities of the RSFSR were invited to work. The Russian language began to be taught, starting from the 1st grade, and more and more penetrated into the Yakut national schools. This period was marked as transition from the Latin alphabet to the Cyrillic one.

The period of 1940-1990 is considered to be the widespread distribution of the Russian language. The development of industry, compulsory secondary education, and the instructions in Russian - all these contributed to the fact that the population was striving to consciously study the Russian language. In the central, industrial regions, in the big cities and parts of the northern regions, the Russian language to some extent even supplanted the Yakut language. The university opened departments studying the Yakut-Russian bilingualism, methodical issues in teaching the Russian language and literature to the national audience/students. During these years the first textbooks, teaching aids and guidelines on how to teach the Russian language and literature were developed. At that time, the Yakut-Russian bilingualism was also actively disseminated and the representatives of the indigenous peoples of the North - Evens, Evenks, Yukagirs, Dolgans began to consider Yakut as their native language.

The next period - the post-Soviet (1990-1999) - continues the Yakut-Russian bilingualism. On September 27, 1990, the Declaration of State Sovereignty was proclaimed. On this day, the Supreme Council of the Yakut ASSR announced the transformation of autonomy into the Yakut-Sakha Soviet Socialist Republic within the RSFSR and the USSR. They began to talk more and more about the state status of the Yakut language. Established in 1989, the community ‘Sakha Tyla’ began the initiative on introducing the Yakut language in compulsory education with including it into school programs. Everywhere, schools began to study the national culture of Yakutia people.

The period since 2000 to present is considered to be current. New networks of schools are being created - gymnasiums, colleges, lyceums, private schools, research and educational centers, small academies at universities. The study of the Russian language in schools remains dominant. The Yakut-Russian bilingualism continues to function in the majority of settlements of the Republic, especially in the city of Yakutsk, central, northern, and Vilyuysk groups of the uluses. Statistics show that 65% of population are fluent in Russian, according to 2010-census, out of 460.971 Yakut nationals, 416.780 people speak Russian and 401.240 Yakut (Dmitrieva, 2013).

The national history of translation in Yakutia, translation interrelations between various cultures, humanitarian understanding of translation practice, didactic problems of Yakut-Russian and Russian-Yakut translation, improvement of bilingual dictionaries, translation directories, analysis and evaluation of individual translation achievements, issues in applied translation studies are promising areas to achieve the international cultural level for the Yakut language with a small number of speakers. In this study, we make an attempt to develop a brief excursion into the history of translation studies in Yakutia: when and how the need for translators arose (tyylbasychttarga), one of the most ancient and stable professions. In any state of society, contacts between different nations gave rise to the need in translators.

In 30s-40s of the 17th century, the translation issues were associated with the names of those who launched forth to seek new lands both to the south and to the north, up and down the Lena (river), where the brave Cossacks were looking for a passage to the Warm Sea. Semyon Dezhnev, a boy from a peasant family (the Arkhangelsk region - the place name later), went with his parents for fishing and hunting, learnt how to use weapons, mastered the basics of shipbuilding and carpentry. In 1630, he happened to get job in Siberia, and among others 500 people (male) he was following to Tobolsk. From there Dezhnev appeared at the Yenisei river, and then he was sent to Yakutsk (1638). He had a good reputation being responsible and hard-working. He was married twice and both times his wives were women Yakutian by origin. Due to this fact he perfectly mastered the Yakut language. He translated Tsar’s Decrees to the northern people, who spoke Yakut. It is known that in the period from 1633 to 1640 Dezhnev took part in hunting along the Lena river organized in this region to collect a tribute (sables, in that time a tribute could be paid in furs); he took a service on the Yana, on the Alazeya River, in Oymyakon, in the headwaters of the Indigirka; took part in the sea campaign in the Kolyma; took part in raising (building) Nizhnekolymsk. Being in an expedition in the Anadyr, he translated to the Cossacks. In 1660 he reached Yakutsk. On his return from Moscow to Siberia, until 1673, he collected a tribute in the Olenyok, Yana, and Vilyui rivers. Semyon Dezhnev immortalized himself not by collecting tribute and not by delivering sables to Moscow, but due to his translation skills he became famous for his geographical discoveries: he discovered the gullet between the Arctic and Pacific oceans, first floated in the Chukchi Sea, discovered the Chukotka Peninsula and the Anadyr Bay, explored the Anadzhir and the Anadir Rivers.

A Dane in the Russian service Vitus Jonassen was the second one who discovered the gullet between Asia and North America in June-August 1728 (18th century) during the First Kamchatka Expedition, which was initiated within the plan of Peter I.

The translation has an ancient history. This is one of the most ancient professions. In any state of society, contacts between different nations gave rise to the need in translators. In the book (Ionova, 1945), Olga Ionova writes: ‘The interpreters who owned the Yakut and Russian languages helped much the Cossacks and were mediators between newcomers and the Yakuts’.

Scientists at the University of Groningen (the Netherlands) Tierd de Graaf, Markus Bergmann investigated the translation activities of Nicolaas Witsen, a Dutch politician, cartographer, and the first translator from Yakut into the Dutch language. During a trip to Amsterdam in 1697, Nikolaas Witsen told the Russians about the Western Europe. The Dutch researcher corresponded and had connections with high-ranking Russians, helped Peter I, was interested in life and languages of Russia. They published the book North and East Tartaria in three volumes, consisting of 2500 pages. Thus, this contribution can be considered as the first interest in the Yakut language that entailed the attempts to translate Yakut texts into other languages and the need in translators (interpreters) which arose in 1600s (in the 17th century).

In 1705, the prayer “Our Father” was translated by Nikolaas Vitsen. In the first edition of the book, the authors say that there is a list of 64 Yakut words: 35 words denoting parts of the human body and 29 numerals. The latest editions contain the text of the prayer “Our Father” in the Dutch and Yakut languages. The text was written in the orthography of the Dutch language of the 17th century. Tierd de Graaf, Markus Bergmann handed over the copies of pages (676-677) of the original edition dated on 1705, which contained the information about the Yakut language. To the list of words Witsen himself added the Dutch words with giving translation to them into the Yakut (Table 01 ). Later, Tierd de Graaf, Markus Bergmann added translations into Russian, modern Yakut and modern Turkish.

Table 1 -
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The translation history is tightly linked with the name of Vitus Jonassen Bering, a Dane by origin, who discovered not only the Chukotka Peninsula, but also participated in the Kamchatka expedition and was on the Aleutian Islands.

At the Peter I invitation in 1704, Bering entered the Russian naval service with the rank of non-lieutenant. The following years he reached the rank of captain-commander of the Russian fleet in 1730. The famous navigator was an advanced thinker. He was the first person to raise the issue of bilingual education to the Yakutians.

In April 1730, in his first project introduced to Empress Catherine the Great, he wrote that ‘Yakutians, the number in population is reaching fifty thousand, are not stupid people and it would be good to settle among them one or two priests so that children could have school education’.

He assured that there were the Yakutians, and they were many, who wanted to send their children to school ‘to learning’…, ‘but these schools would be better to open in small Yakutian places of living, as they wereafraid of sending their children to Yakutsk (central city). Then, own bilingual teachers and priests would come out of the Yakutians themselves’.

Thus, the question of teaching Yakutian children was raised and taken into account. In September 1732, in Yakutsk, the Decree was received by the Irkutsk Provincial Office on accepting and teaching Yakutian children the Russian literacy and literature.

A great contribution to the material collection in Russian translation about the Yakut language was made by Jacob Lindenau (1700-1795) - the Russian traveler and scientist, a Swedish by nationality. This highly educated person took a worthy place among the early achievement in developing the Yakut alphabet. In the journal ‘Soviet Ethnography’ Ivanov (1971) published a scientific article ‘Description of Yakuts by Jacob Lindenau’. The member of the second Kamchatka expedition under the leadership of G.F. Miller and I. Fisher, Jacob Johann wrote works on the ethnography of Siberia in German and published the work ‘Description of Yakutians’. As member of the Kamchatka Expedition, Jacob Lindenau on the evidence base from the Sakha, came to the conclusion about establishing the integrated (one) ethnographic region. The resettlement of the Sakha to the middle Lena under the leadership of Badzhets, when the Russians dominated the Sakha clans, occurred in the second half of the 16th century. It follows that Jacob Lindenau was the excellent translator, ethnographer and scholar.

Gerard Friedrich Miller (1705–1783), the Russian historiography expert, be German by origin, compounded the comparative dictionary of indigenous peoples of Siberia, inter alia, with inclusion there the Yakut language.

The Swedish officer Philipp Johann Tabbert (1676–1747), who was in captivity and lived in Siberia, in his book, published in German in Stockholm, ‘Northern and Eastern Parts of Europe and Asia’ provided the Yakut words translated into German. Upon returning to his homeland, he received the name Stralenberg. Those are just a few names who contributed to developing and processing small-size dictionaries, Yakutian texts and notes, written with Latin and Russian alphabets: Philip Johann Nubbert von Stralenberg (1676, Stralsund –1747, Eating) – the military officer of the Swedish army of King Charles XII during the Northern War, an ethnographer and cartographer; Peter Simon Pallas (1741–1811) – the German encyclopedic scholar; Georg Adolf Erman (May 12, 1806, Berlin – July 12, 1877, ibid.) – the German traveler and physicist; Alexander Middendorf (6 August 1815 –16 January 1894) – the Russian traveler, geographer, zoologist, botanist and naturalist, academician and permanent secretary of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, Privy Counselor, and others.

Stralenberg in the 18th century pointed out about the belonging of the Yakut language to the Turkic group, as it was then thought to be the Tatar languages. Stralenberg wrote that as the Yakutians stated, they moved from the southern country, which is located next to Tangut – the people of the Tibeto-Burmese group, in the 10th century they created the State Si-Sya in North China. After the defeat by the Mongols, they were assimilated, and part of Tangutan became part of the Tibetans of Qinghai province. Stralenberg Philip Johann (Tabbert) found the evidence towards these facts in the Yakutian folklore sources. The author, along with Witzen, Lindenau and Miller, was one of the first researchers of the Yakut people, who used the most ancient oral sources in his work. Due to Stralenberg these sources have survived to the present.

Miller Gerard Friedrich (1705–1783), a German by origin and living in Russia since 1795, became a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In 1733–1734 he took part in the Great Northern Expedition. He studied the origin of the Siberian peoples. According to him, the ancestors of the Yakutians lived in proximity to the Mongols and Buryats and were forced to migrate after unsuccessful wars. In Mongolia, Türkic-speaking peoples and tribes prevailed before Genghis Khan's elevation. He first drew attention to the Yakut folklore, connecting this ethnos with the territory of Transbaikalia and Mongolia in times of Genghis Khan rise. G.F. Miller argued that the Yakutians were once united nation with the Tatars. And Siberia was once a Tatar state, and the Tatars were its indigenous population. Studying the folklore of the Yakutians, Miller dealt with the translation issues.

Nikolai Poppe (1897–1991), the Russian linguist and ethnographer, the author of Grammar of the Yakut language (1926), also contributed to translation study field.

Alexander Middendorf (1814–1894) was born in Livonia along his travelling through Yeniseisk, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, he arrived to Yakutsk on February 18, 1844, where until the end of winter he was engaged in geothermal observations in Sherginskaya mine, creating the fundamentals towards permafrost science. He translated and recorded the Sakha olonkho ‘Erchiman Bergen’ (‘Rare Braver and Accurate Shooter Bergen’). Being the academician, honorary member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences, he took part in the processing and compilation of small bilingual dictionaries, Yakut texts and notes made both in Latin and Russian alphabet.

Academician O.N. Betlingk was born in 1815 in St. Petersburg in a German family. Betlingk entered St. Petersburg University, studied Sanskrit. In 1838, he received a Ph.D. for translating and researching Panini's ancient Indian grammar, dating back to the 5th century BC. It was an outstanding event in science. In 1842, Betlingk became an associate of the Russian Academy of Sciences (1842), and in 1856 he was elected as an ordinary academician.

Betlingk began working on the Yakut language after returning from the expedition to North-East Siberia in 1845. Among the collected materials by Middendorf there were the materials on the language and folklore of the Yakutians, which he transferred to the Academy of Sciences. Betlingk promised to organize their study and processing. However, there were no specialists, and Betlingk, being interested in the language, decided to do it himself. He summed up, systematized printed materials collected by other researchers and studied them in comparison with the records done by Middendorf. The scientist realized that he needed a person who knew the Yakut language, with whom he could check the sound and meaning of all the collected words before describing the results as achieved scientific ones. He found such a person, he was one Yakut official in retirement A.Y. Uvarovsky, who was born in Yakutia and knew the Yakut language since childhood. Betlingkk asked him to write some memories about Yakutia and provide several samples of the Yakut folklore.

Betlingk (1853) opus ‘On the language of the Yakutians" (1851) was an epoch in the study about the Turkic languages ​​in the world science. He laid the theoretical vectors of the modern turkology.

In the work ‘About the language of the Yakutians’ there is the author's preface (Rassadin V.I, Novosibirsk, Science: Sib. Dep., 1990), where he is writing about the contribution of the work done by S.V. Yastremsky to the writings introduced by Betlingk in his book In his preface to the grammar of the Yakut language S.V. Yastremsky described in detail how he worked on the translation. The East Siberian Branch of the Russian Geographical Society provided the great assistance, including S.V. Yastremsky into the Yakutsk expedition to work with translations. The expedition was equipped with I.M. Sibiryakov’s funds, and this meant both material assistance and the supply of necessary literature and publication as part of the expedition’s results. S.V. Yastremsky translated samples of the Yakut folklore based on the works of V.V. Radlov.

The opus ‘Grammar of the Yakut language’ partially served as a translation towards the work done by Betlingk, as it contained a large number of translations of its individual chapters. He was one of the outstanding linguists who carefully considered countless languages ​​of completely different tribes.

‘Memories’ written by A.Ya. Uvarovsky, this was the first original sample of the Yakut written language, described by Betlingk (1853). This can be used as sample scrip to do the scientific descriptions about the language of the Yakutians. The work contained the most interesting information about Yakutia of that time. Uvarovsky described the population and settlements of the region, the occupations of its inhabitants, their beliefs, housing, clothing, food, marriage, harsh climate, and festivities.

In his work ‘About the language of the Yakutians’ Betlingkk appears as a versatile scientist. Along with grammar and phonetics of the Yakut language in the section ‘Transcriptional Alphabet’ he presented a dictionary that was compiled with the great help of Uvarovsky. The dictionary is bilingual. The meaning of Yakut words is provided, for example, ‘ahtyy - recollection’, ahtylҕan - recollection, excitement, anxiety’.

The Translation Commission of the Brotherhood of St. Gury made an invaluable contribution to the translation field of study. The political exile and academician I.A. Khudyakov (1867–1875) conducted ethnological research of the Verkhoyansk district, where he studied the culture of vital activity of the northern Yakutians, analyzed the language, folklore, and mythology (History of Yakutia, 1988). He translated samples of the main genres of the Yakut folklore. The political exile E.K. Pekarsky compiled the 3-volume ‘Dictionary of the Yakut language’, the fundamental work that is used by all translators to date. The excellent expert in the Yakut language was Seroshevsky (1895), his book ‘Yakutians’ was awarded the golden medal of the Geographical Society. He is also known as a wonderful translator from the Yakut language. V.N. Vasiliev, a native of Yakutia, was fluent in the Yakut language. He was the ethnographer and researcher in Siberia, famous for his translations. The work of the associate professor of the Department of Ethnography of Leningrad State University, Ph.D. in Ethnography, A.A. Popov ‘Beliefs of the Yakutians of the Vilyui District’ is also worth mentioning. It contains entries in the Yakut language with translation into Russian, made by the author. Shamanic folklore and shamanic poetry are widely represented. The texts published in Novosibirsk (“Science”, 2008) indicate that the author for the first time perfectly translated shamanic terminology, which reflects the peculiarities of the world perception, world outlook, and the idea of ​​human relationship with the world and space.

The historical excursion towards the translation world of the Yakut language allows us to conclude that its origins were laid by explorers and navigators. One cannot but agree with the opinion of the doctor in Philology, academician Sleptsov (2008), that priests made a great contribution to the translation studies. In the second half of the 19th century, in 1869, in Kazan, as already noted, the Brotherhood of St. Gury was formed. In 1903, K. Pobedonostsev approved the ‘Rules’ of the Translation Commission. The Commission consisted of 50 people – priests and teachers. Since that time, the Commission has worked with the Council of the Missionary Society and has been involved in translating and publishing books in foreign languages and dialects. The main task of the Commission was to design and to publish textbooks to learn Russian and native languages, translation into foreign languages and translation of the church books. The Commission carried out translations into the Udmurt, Mordovian, Kalmyk, Yakut, Chukchi and other languages. In 1897, the Commission published 82 textbook and dictionaries, the issued number amounted to 319450 copies in Russian and in 9 foreign languages. Apart publishing and translating of these books, the Commission dealt with their distribution.


Therefore, we can conclude that the works in translation studies in our Republic has its own history. Knowledge of the history will provide an opportunity not only to expand the horizons of specialists, students, undergraduates, graduate students and those associated with this activity, but also help to follow the traditions and enrich them. Studying the history of translation as scientific activity will help students better understand such disciplines as: comparative typology, theory and practice of translation. Mastering translation competencies will increase their cultural level and improve the quality of translation techniques and methods. There are not enough translators from Yakut into Russian and from Russian into Yakut languages. Particularly and practically, this regards simultaneous translators and specialists in written and consecutive translations. In our opinion, some improvements towards it, we mean specialists training and preparation, should not be limited to classroom hours, we could systematically conduct the Republic scale events: contests, competitions, quizzes in order to attract more participants as students, teachers, young scientists, those who are able to develop this field and make more contribution to various styles texts translation, as well as study the history of translation, as scientific field, in Yakutia more deeply and more widely in the context and be based on the Russian translation science.


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Dmitrieva*, E., Nikiphorova, E., Makarova, R., & Borisova, L. (2019). History Of Translation And Translation School Of Thoughts In Yakutia. In D. Karim-Sultanovich Bataev, S. Aidievich Gapurov, A. Dogievich Osmaev, V. Khumaidovich Akaev, L. Musaevna Idigova, M. Rukmanovich Ovhadov, A. Ruslanovich Salgiriev, & M. Muslamovna Betilmerzaeva (Eds.), Social and Cultural Transformations in the Context of Modern Globalism, vol 76. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 691-702). Future Academy. https://doi.org/10.15405/epsbs.2019.12.04.94