"Evenk language intensively" - Revival and preservation of the vanishing Evenk language

July 2000

Organiser: Association of Evenks of the Neruyngri ulus,
Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya),
678933 Iengra village, ul. 50 let Pobedy 1/1,
g. Neryugri RS (Yakutiya)
Supporting organisation: Centre for intensive studies of foreign languages,
Moscow State University
Project leader: Fenya Matveyevna Lekhanova,
member of the board of the Association of Evenks of the Neryungri ulus,
student of Moscow State University,
119899 Moscow, Vorobyovy gory, korpus "B", room 1249,
tel. 2848248, fax (095)2884751 e-mail: iic@rs.msu.ru
Region of work: Republic of Sakha (Yakutiya), Moscow, Russia
Time schedule: 10 months (September 2000 - June 2001)
Total cost: USD 8,642

Among the 30,198 Evenks only 11% speak their own language, mainly persons of old age. The vanishing of the language is caused by the fact that for many decades Evenk children were educated in Russia or Yakutiya. The principle of equality between peoples and languages was neglected. As a result of this, many generations have been brought up without knowledge of their own language and traditions. The national identity degenerated. A people without its language is a people without roots, without intellectual culture. During recent years Evenk schools and day care centres have opened in some regions. But because of the lack of textbooks and competent teachers, there has been no teaching of the Evenk language up until now. In Russia there is a network of universities which give education to teachers of the Evenk language. However, students who come to the universities without speaking the language already do not learn the language even on a basic level. For this reason, a student with a university degree does not start to teach the Evenk language. There are no textbooks for people who want to learn Evenk by themselves.

The problem of revival and preserving the Evenk language is impossible to solve as long as:

  1. There are no original textbooks for colleges, schools and pre-schools which reflect the material and intellectual richness of the people.
  2. There is no teaching of the Evenk language in colleges and schools according to the methodology of teaching foreign languages.

If no adequate measures are taken, there will not be any speakers of Evenk left in Russia twenty years from now.

More >>> (File in RFT format)...