Translations -

The following are translations I've done over the years of various things from various languages. As I get more of these on line, I'll organize them more by subject and language.


Territory for Traditional Resource Use - Tkhsanom

In December of 1998 the governor of the Koryak Autonomous Okrug signed into law a decree creating an ethnoecological refuge. The new territory for traditional natural resource use was named Tkhsanom, the Itelmen word for "dawn." The new territory came about as the result of years of consultation and ecological research in the area. On March 14th, 2001, the new governor of Kamchatka annulled this legislation.

translation of the territory legislation

The Story of Kachka
Told by Tatiana Petrovna Lukashkina, 16 June 1998, in her home, Tilichiki, Kamchatka

This is a story that I recorded while visiting Tatiana Petrovna in her home in northern Kamchatka. It is a Koryak tale that pits the power of song against evil wealth.

translation of the Story of Kachka

The Liquidation of Illiteracy by Tatiana Petrovna Lukashkina (excerpt from book in progress)

On the 23rd of December, 1983, Itelmen educator and respected elder Tatiana Petrovna Lukashkina spoke to the Tilichiki night school about the Soviet literacy program that was known as likbez, (liquidation of illiteracy bezgrammotnost'). Her talk combined personal reflections with documentation of people and significant political events. She discussed in detail the early days in the 1920s to the 1940s, including the difficulties she and her colleagues faced. The translation here is from her typescript draft of the presentation. This translation is part of a larger life historical work that will combine Tatiana Petrovna's writings with taped recollections recorded during the last years of her life.

translation from Russian of Liquidation of Illiteracy


The Heart of Kamchakta by Nelya Suzdalova

Itelmen poet Nelya Suzdalova published this poem in her collection, Ognennaia Shamanka (1995). It was a powerful statement expressing concern over plans for extensive goldmining in Kamchatka.

translation from Russian of Serdtse Kamchatki


The Mouse and the Mountain a Siberian Eskimo tale - Recorded by G. A. Menovshchikov in 1941

A fascinating story because it shows a clear concern, on the part of the storyteller at least, with status and the role of storytelling in the creation of individual and group status.

translation from Russian of Myshonok i sopka


Van Yslandt by Gories Peerse

Sometime around 1564 a sailor/merchant from Hamburg, Germany published an "ethnographic" poem about Iceland. The poem was largely descriptive and was not entirely complimentary to Iceland or its inhabitants. Nearly 30 years later a young Icelandic parson by the name of Arngrímur Jónsson took up the cause of responding to the insults that he found in this poem and other writings. His research and writing efforts led to a significant awakening of interest in Scandinavia and Europe in Iceland's ancient writings. Ethnographic writings of this period played an important role in the development of status disputation among nations and in this case figured significantly in the development of the study of Iceland's rich history and literature. The text provides a brief introduction to the original poem. This translation is from the middle-low German of the original with help from the Icelandic translation of Sigur›ur Grímsson.

translation of Van Yslandt