Language provides the worldview for those who speak it: an interview with Dr. Vasiliev, Director of Russian-Turkish Center at RSUH, commemorating the International Mother Language Day as announced by UNESCO

Dr. Vasiliev, how important is  he International Mother Language Day for the academic community?

It is important indeed, as it provides a framework within which endangered languages come in the public eye. Unfortunately, many lanaguages are getting on this list as the process of urbanization continues.

Why is it necessary to study these languages?

Each language provides a unique worldview and the more languages one knows, the more perspectives – in all senses – are going to be provided to them.

So, if one knows the Yakut language, learning Turkish will be easier?

It will be and there are a lot of Turkic language speakers in Russia (about 9% of the population), pertaining to fout main groups: Tatar, Yakut, Bashkir and Chuvash. They are being studied, both in Russia and abroad. However, some Siberian Turkic languages are dying out.

What Turkic languages are taught at RSUH?

Turkish as well as some Turkic languages of Russia and we are grateful to the government of Tatarstan for supporting us. We are also planning to offer the Kazakh and Uzbek languages.

Who is attracted to Turkic languages and studies them?

Anybody who is interested, be it students, experts or even the language speakers themselves. Which brings us to a very important issue – that of publishing quality textbooks and other teaching material. It is paramount to have an educated strata of language speakers, for they will later provide the material for research and will not let the language die out.

Does the linguistic expertise help your graduates to further their careers?

Without a doubt. Our graduates work in the media, business, banks, and any other enterprises, especially those with Turkish management. They can get jobs at joint Russian-Turkish projects and at the Turkish Embassy.

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