Yakut Language Interpreters and Translators

Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) offers Yakut interpreters and translators with legal, medical, and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration, and more.

CIT offers comprehensive Yakut language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and Yakut languages through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel.  Cal Interpreting & Translations’ Yakut language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Yakut language, as well as of the culture and history of the Yakut people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

 

Who speaks Yakut?

Yakut is a Turkic language, on the Siberian branch. The first Yakut people Kurykans, a Siberian tribe who inhabited the Mongol borderlands in the 6th century, Today, there are an estimated 450,000 native Yakut speakers, most residing in Russia, especially in the Sakha Republic, with some residing in Amur, Magadan, and Sakhalin regions, as well as the Taymyr and Evenk Autonomous Districts. The Sakha Republic, also known as Yakutia, is a federal subject of Russia. The Sakha Republic has just under 100,000 residents, many of whom are ethnic Yakuts and Russians. The capital of the Sakha Republic is Yakutsk. The Sakha Republic is the eighth largest territory in the world, and is only slightly smaller than the entire country of India.

 

A History of the Yakut Language and People

The original Kurykans (ancestors of the modern Yakut people) lived along the Yenisei River, a large river that flows to the Atlantic Ocean. In the sixth century they migrated to Lake Baikal in Russia, located in southern Siberia, due to their ancestral lands being taken over by the Second Turkic Khaganate, a nomadic empire in Mongolia from 682-744 AD. During this time, the Kurykans were subject to Mongolian interbreeding.

Around the thirteenth century, the Yakuts migrated further under Mongolian pressure. In the early 1600’s they were again subject to colonization, this time by the Tsardom of Russia, which existed from 1547-1721 AD. During the 1620s the Tsardom moved aggressively into Yakuts territory, and imposed taxed on them. Through the 1640’s the Tsardom suppressed any Kurykans attempts at rebellion. However, in 1642, the aggressive pelt tax imposed on the Yakuts forced an uprising among the Yakuts and other native tribes. The Tsardom responded brutally, setting fire to native settlements and murdering hundreds. From 1642 to 1682 the Yakut population is estimated to have dwindled by 70%.

In the 18th century, Russia eased the reign in had on the Yakut people. They returned many native lands, promoted agricultural education, and granted Yakut chiefs some authority. When gold was discovered in the area during this time, coinciding with the building of the Trans-Siberian Highway, many Russians relocated to the areas again. During this time, most Yakuts adopted the Russian Orthodox religion.

 

 The Yakut Today

At the beginning the 20th century, the Yakut language and culture began to experience a revival. In 1922, the area was officially named the Yakut Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. However, in the late 1920’s and 1930’s, the Yakut were seriously persecuted under Joseph Stalin. The subsequent widespread starvation following this time period led to severely reduced Yakut numbers. It wouldn’t be until the 1970’s that the Yakut numbers would finally began to recover.

Today, about 87% of the Yakut people who live in the Sakha Republic are fluent in Yakut, with about 90% fluent in Russian. Dolgan, Shor, and Tuvan are similar languages, though not mutually intelligible with Yakut. The Dolgan language is generally considered to be the most similar. Yakut was influenced by the Tungusic language and the Mongolian language, which is apparent in its modern form.

The Yakut people have an ancient tradition of spoken stories called “epics”, spoken in Yakut called “Olonkho”. Today, only a few elderly performers of this tradition are still alive. Some of these Yakut have begun programs to teach the younger generation of Yakut to perform Olonkho, giving hope to another revival of the Yakut language and culture.