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...
 
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 JOHN WOODSWORTH
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Book translation:
My genius, my language
Reflections on language in society
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by Vitalij G. Kostomarov

(page updated 9 July 2002)
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..


Front cover (click to enlarge)
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Specifics:

Author: Vitalij G. Kostomarov
Title: My genius, my language
English translator: John Woodsworth
Foreword: Bernard Philogène
Published in one volume with a French translation by Marie Lamothe
Publication:  Ottawa, Legas Publishing, 1993
ISBN: 0-921252-25-0
Dimensions: 14 x 21 cm; x + 57 pp. (English); x + 62 pp. (français)
Price: $15.-
Order from: Legas Publishing
Postal address: 3 Wood Aster Bay
Ottawa, Canada  K2R 1B3

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PUBLISHER'S BROCHURE
(1993, enlarged)
..A personal perspective from one of Russiaís leading educational thinkers (past president of the USSR Academy of Pedagogical Sciences) on the phenomenon of bilingualism in modern society, as reflected in the role of Russian as a lingua franca among the peoples of the former Soviet Union (with comparisons to Canada)

In this book the author attempts to answer such questions as: What is meant by native language?  Is bilingualism useful?  What is the best way of conducting language policy in a ëmulti-nationalí country?  -- controversial questions which  are not always given competent treatment. 

Dr Vitalij Kostomarov has written a considerable  number of articles and books for both scholars and the general public on linguistic topics, especially on teaching Russian to speakers of other languages both in the Soviet Union and abroad

From the Preface by BERNARD PHILOGÈNE
(then Vice-Rector Academic, University of Ottawa)

"Professor Kostomarov brings to the debate his enlightened approach and analysis with clear scientific perspective. ... The elucidation of the question of native and acquired languages presented by academician Kostomarov should become compulsory reading for all Canadian educators, so that they may develop a better understanding of what makes the other persons around them different, particularly in a country of immigrants." [italics added]

From Dr Kostomarov's INTRODUCTION: 

"Real life cannot possibly be summed up by hackneyed abstract slogans about a problem-free 'unified family of peoples', 'brotherly friendship' and 'co-operation', or by an image of 'frictionless' socialist competition and mutual assistance.  In the overall context of 'international' relations, language has now become such an emotional issue that failure to submit both its essence and its consequences to rigorous scientific examination may mean rash decisions and carelessly passed laws for which our children will have to pay the price."

From the TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE

"It is important ... to realise that the original version of this booklet was published in Moscow in early 1991, almost a year before the official replacement of the 'Soviet Union' (or 'USSR') by the 'Commonwealth of Independent States'.  I have made no attempt to update the author's references to the 'USSR' etc. in the translation, inasmuch as I feel the whole content of the book should be viewed in terms of the Soviet Union as a 'multinational' state in 1991....

"Suffice it to say that the author, in a personal communication, has expressed his conviction that his thesis and recommendations are applicable (with certain reservations) to the current linguistic policy of the Russian Federation, which is a 'multinational state' in itself."


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Table of contents
(English variant)

Preface
by Bernard Philogène, Vice-Rector Academic, University of Ottawa

Translator's preface
by John Woodsworth

Introduction

Language is language

The constant cry of one's native tongue

My friend, my enemy -- another language

Can a bilingual people be happy?

Ethnocentrism and universalism in language development

Woe to a langauge, once it is out of favour!

'Neither publicity-shy nor glory-seeking'

Epilogue

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WHAT ONE AMERICAN REVIEWER HAS SAID
about My genius, my language

"Good translations and bilingual editions (English and French) of important sociolinguistic treatises are rare because the art and the science of translation is a demanding enterprise which only a few truly talented scholars are able to execute successfully.  Publication of this volume demonstrates the excellent translation talents of John Woodsworth and Marie Lamothe. ...

"The present volume constitutes an important contribution to our knowledge about a number of matters of immediate interest ... because this excellent edition makes available the insightful observations of an important Russian scholar who has ruminated at great length about sociolinguistic matters of extreme importance in the present Commonwealth of Independent States"
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-- From a review by Dr Frank Nuessel (Univ. of Louisville) in Language Problems & Language Planning,  Vol. 17, No 3 (Fall 1993), pp. 290?292

 
 
 
 


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...
 
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"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you... 
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."

-- John 14:27
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Russian webpage (with poetry):
<http://www.in.msk.ru/rus/biblioteka/avtor/070.shtml>


E-mail : <jw[at ]kanadacha.ca>
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