Erzya activists started a web-site to study their mother tongue

Office of Inyazor, chief elder of Erzya people, presented new website aimed to popularize Erzya language, as reported by Ramazan Alpaut from Idel.Realii.

Russian-Erzya and Erzya-Russian online dictionaries are available on the site, as well as e-books collection and self-learning manuals in Erzya language, various applications for users working with Erzya texts.

Syres’ Boliayen’, Erzya Inyazor, comments on the start of the project: “Much had been said and written about position of native peoples’ languages in Russian Federation. Our aspirations to save national identity face accusations of Russian officials, they notice only “separatism and russofobia” everywhere. People are so intimidated already, that even public declamation of Erzya poetry is perceived as a challenge”.

In Boliayen’s words, today it is necessary to act quickly in order to prevent the whole Erzya nation from disappearing under violent Russian assimilation policy.

– To strengthen positions of Erzya language, particularly its internet-presence  is one of the most important tasks for me as Inyazor and all members of Atian’ Ezem (council of elders). Without any support from Mordovian officials or foreign donors we were able to create a website that will promote Erzya language. Russian-Erzya and Erzya-Russian online dictionaries are available already, that’s 19 643 words, expressions and idioms collected by Erzya activists during 10 years. It is our common work, it belongs to all Erzya people. We are also making e-collection of fairy-tales, songs and stories, – Inyazor explains.

Team of seven activists works on development and maintenance of the site. The resource is oriented towards users who study Erzya language or would like to improve their communication skills. All informations and instructions of the site are written (also) in Russian. Erzya texts are created in Latin graphics, because it is used in the work of Kirdiyur, national representative body of Erzya people.

Use of Latin graphics is legally forbidden for official languages of national republics in Russia. Erzya is the official language in Republic of Mordovia.

Previously Office of Inyazor presented its official website, as well as paper version of “ĚRZÄŃ VAL” magazine, distributed both in printed and electronic versions. In the near future Office plans to realize the project aimed to record audiobooks for children in Erzya language.