Tomsk State Pedagogical University

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During Native Language Week, a lesson on the Ket language was held at TSHPU. A TSHPU employee and representatives of the Kets shared the history of the people and the places where they live. They also explained the rules of pronunciation and spelling of words in the Ket language and discussed one of the translations of the folk tale "Cuckoo"

Back in the 20th century, Professor Andrey Petrovich Dulzon of TSPU initiated the documentation of unwritten languages of the peoples of Siberia. Since the 1990s, scientists from the Institute of Foreign Language and Intercultural Communication (FLIIC) at TSPU (now TSHPU) have actively cooperated with language communities of small ethnic groups to create educational and methodological literature to help preserve the languages and cultures of small peoples of the North. They have also implemented special events, such as the lessons of the Ket (Telet) language.

Крюкова круг«The first attempt to hold lessons in the Ket language was in 2022 during Native Language Week at TSHPU, and the initiative came from the Department of Languages of the Peoples of Siberia. Even earlier, we started organizing educational meetings to study the Selkup language», — says Elena Kryukova, Head of the Department of Languages of the Peoples of Siberia at the Institute of Intercultural Studies.

The participants of the last class were students who wanted to learn or strengthen their existing knowledge of the Ket language. During the dialogue with the teachers, they learned who the Kets are and where they live. Special attention was devoted to working with Ket texts. They studied spelling, discussed pronunciation of some words, and also analyzed one of the variants of the translation of the Ket fairy tale "Cuckoo".

«More than 30 students who participated in the class gained a unique linguistic experience, learned the theoretical foundations that the Institute's scholars include in the educational program, and also gained practical knowledge on how a language unlike European languages is structured», — says Elena Alexandrovna.

Valentina Andreyevna Romanenkova, Zoya Vasilyevna, and Elizaveta Petrovna Maksunovs were also present at the lesson. The guest and student was Haivalam Vakuvagir, the author of the "Haivalam" brand, which aims to popularize ethnic motifs. As a mestizo (her father is Evenk, her mother is Ket), Haivalam is actively involved in the indigenous youth movement, contributing to the preservation of indigenous languages.

According to E.A. Kryukova, the Ket language is considered a vulnerable language, and according to the classification of scientists from the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, it belongs to the category of endangered languages, i.e. the natural transmission of the language between generations has been interrupted. Therefore, the description, preservation, and revitalization of the languages of small ethnic groups, i.e. the preservation of cultural and linguistic diversity in the world, is an urgent problem of global scale to which university specialists contribute. Among other things, to this end, the staff of JILS maintains a channel where they post recordings of events that allow those who wish to join the study of the languages of small peoples from remote areas of the country at any time.