29 December 2011, Thursday, 14:39

Bashkir authorities pay close attention to preservation of aboriginal languages

author: Marina Shumilova

There are more than 100 languages in Bashkortostan, including 11 languages with permanent habitat and being in wide use: Turk languages — Bashkir, Tatar and Chuvash, Slavic languages — Russian , Ukrainian, Byelorussian and Finno-Ugric languages — Mari, Mordvinian and Udmurt. In addition to these languages German and Lettish languages are used too — their carriers live in compact communities in some regions and towns of Bashkiria, the director of the Institute of history, language and literature RB Firdaus Khisamitdinova told the news agency "Bashinform".

At present time teaching in two state languages — Russian and Bashkir — and in Tatar, Mari, Chuvash and Udmurt languages is organized in Bashkortostan. 14 languages are the languages of teaching in the Republic.

"It seems that these factors explain rather high percent of people, admitting the language of their ethnos as the native language" — Firdaus Khisamitdinova says.

This percent is especially high among Finno-Ugric nations. For example, 93% of Mari people, living in Bashkortostan, consider Mari language as their native one. At the same time only 88,4% of Mari consider the same language as their native in Republic of Mari-Al and in Russia this index is equal to 82,6%.

"As for Bashkir language, its positions in the Republic are  stable, since it is considered one of the state languages. It is widely used in its traditional spheres — education, culture and mass-media. The lingual policy, conducted in Bashkortostan, contributed to that: passing of the law about languages of the nations RB in 1999, two state programs for preservation and development of aboriginal languages and more than 30 by-laws. These documents also helped to preserve Bashkir languages in some other Russian regions too" — the director of the Institute of history, language and literature RB said.