«We need to look into the past in order to understand the present and foresee the future»
N.A.Nazarbayev

Cultural heritage and problem of language

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Cultural heritage — a phenomenon and strategy of cultural dialogue. In the Republic of Kazakhstan the phenomenon «cultural heritage» was carried out as the gnoseological and ontologic project of dialogue between ancient and modern cultures, cultures of the East and West. In the context of this problem the language problem which is most considerable for expansion of a phenomenon «cultural heritage» in a philosophical and culturological discourse of the present as the hermeneutics of the concepts which are a basis of a valuable paradigm of this or that culture is involved in it is represented very important.
It is not only about authenticity of the translations, but about authenticity of meanings of cultural traditions. Achievement of it is impossible without statement of a question of the philosophical and culturological bases of a problem of language. The language problem as a philosophical problem was put in Medieval philosophy that is connected with a hermeneutics of Sacred Texts. In our opinion, the language philosophy formed in the Medieval Islamic discourse brings up a question of interpretation of cultural heritage of the past on the highest theoretical level. It is connected, first of all, with two important points:

1. Partial gap with Jahiliyyah (cultural Jahiliyyah past);
2. Religious and philosophical reflection over a phenomenon of cultural heritage.

Statement of language problems in the Islamic Medieval world at conducted to a question of the validity — fidelity — reality of one language which could become exclusively perfect, complete.
Each letter, which makes the word of this language, had to bear in itself ontologic sense, each letter acted as structural unit, and the Arabic language was such language already, but also its improvement in the report, training, understanding and, at last, in «pronouncing» was necessary. The Arabic language conducting own history from Jahiliyyah life, naturally needed reforming as the history of Arabs was accurately divided on Jahiliyyah (barbarous, ignorant) and Islamic (knowing, encyclopedic, kulturtregersky) the periods. The Muslim tradition built the Arabic language in the language of tradition of Islam, language sample, language modeling the relations of the person with world around. The language which does not have tradition could carry out function of an integrativnost in space of the Muslim Middle Ages, Muslim representatives Calama, an adaba, Sufism and a falsaf for this reason they so deeply learned language well understood it, having given it title.
Ascertaining of that the Arabic language was considered as divine, led to the constitutional recognition of superiority of the Arabic language on the territory of the Arab Caliphate. This mono-linguistic tradition led to that the Arabic language was official language: diplomatic, dialogical, scientific, esoteric, language of art and language-integrator. However, later, representatives of other ethnos, which made language variety of the Arab Caliphate, will begin fight against inequality of languages.

Recognizing superiority, inimitableness of the Arabic language in the report of the Qur’anic text, they, nevertheless, claimed that all languages are equal. There is «language» sovereignty, identity of languages which need to be developed in the context of Islamic culture. Mahmoud of Kashgaria was one of the best-known theorists of a medieval multilingualism, after his idea will be developed by the Alisher Navoi, not less well-known, who proclaimed originality, uniqueness of the Turkic peoples’ language.

The question of complexity of language problems at judgment of such phenomenon as «cultural heritage» was accurately formulated by the medieval scientist Mahmoud of Kashgaria who develops the concept about languages. It is about the well-known humanistic contribution of Kashgaria to development of Turkic linguistics and Turkic philosophy of language. It is known that an era in which lived Kashgaria, is an era when exclusive significance in all spheres of life was attached to the Arabic language: religious, scientific, philosophical and intellectual.

Other languages, languages of other cultures and the people living in communicative space of the Islamic world without being demanded in spiritual and intellectual life, could turn into the languages executing function of communicative daily occurrence. Kashgaria creates the well-known encyclopedic work «Divan-lugat-at-tyurk» in which historical value of Turkic language and its transmitting, komkmunikativny, cognitive, axiological, dialogical functions is shown.

The language «Turki» gave spiritual and cultural experience of generations, the Turkic tradition, based on ethical imperatives, was implanted. Kashgaria opens the phenomenon of an ethical imperative inherent in ontologically Turkic culture and modeling communicative space I — Another.

This ethical component is very important today when we reconstruct spiritual experience of the past again, finding in it a spiritual and moral support for dialogical strategy of the present. Mahmoud submitted to Kashgaria the dialogical project not only for the medieval world, but also for the next centuries as he managed to carry out harmonious dialogical synthesis of Turkic tradition and modern reality where the tradition acted as a spiritual and ethical source in the concept of language and which can become a basis of a valuable paradigm of the present. The Turkic tradition was open for the new world, other culture as at it the sense of original and great communication was initially put. The problem of a hermeneutics of cultural heritage — a problem which is solved by gumanitaristik forces, but, as before, the major subject in this question is a subject of language which used in «speaking» «cultural heritage» and which enters it into cross-cultural world dialogical space.

The state program «Cultural heritage» which was carried out in our Republic thanks to competent cultural policy, one of the major problems delivered a problem of the ontologic status of the Kazakh language and at the same time to its dialogical mission consisting in formation of communicative space between various cultures.

In the Kazakh language which is to us as life of the Kazakh and Kazakhstan culture there is also an Arab-Islamic language context. The Turkic Islamic tradition was synthesized in sociocultural space of the 7th-8th centuries that led to emergence not only Arabism in Turkic language, but also by the birth of a special component — Islamic spirituality in the structure of language which gave it new sounding. The Turkic culture, in essence, is deeply ethic, the codified laws of Turkic peoples differed in simplicity, clarity and greatness in moral transcendental to purity. Perhaps therefore imperatives of Islamic ethics were organic to statutes of the Turkic world.

The revolution which is carried out as anti- Jahiliyyah (anti-ignorant, anti-barbarous, etc.) for Turkic peoples had absolutely other context — confirming transcendental purity of an ethical tradition of ancestors. Another thing is that Revelation came in the Arabic language. The Arab letter (its understanding and, especially, mastering by it) brought opening of a hroknotop of Eternity. The Arabic language becomes the language consolidating the Person and God. For Turkic peoples it was the language of other world, language of another, language of the Great Event in which they were not fully involved, but slightly involved as this language and an event of this language were carried out now as individually endured spiritual and practical experience.

Development of Turkic language, the Turkic letter led to classical formation of tradition in the Kazakh language. And, certainly, the highest stage of a uniqueness of the Kazakh language is language of Abay, the great poet-philosopher of the Kazakh people. Translators interpreters of Abay’s work mark out that its texts are conformable to rhythms of musical harmony, the ontologic ethical sense disseminated through all text field. The Kazakh language is one of the most beautiful languages of the world, saturated and deep on semantic shades, contexts.

It is the language which absorbed ancient culture, other language elements in dialogical interaction with other cultures, especially Arabism and Parseeism which were organically interwoven into structure of language. Today we speak: language of Abay, as well as Goethe’s language, Shakespeare’s language, Abay sounds in all languages of the world. And, certainly, one of vital issues in connection with a hermeneutics of its texts is the translation as in the last the hope for understanding is put, and the translation, as a matter of fact, carries out an integrative role in introduction of Abay to a world language discourse.

The translator has to inform not so much superficial, how many intimate sense of texts. After all and great Abay, translating Tatyana’s letter from «Eugene Onegin» of A. S. Pushkin solved this problem: not to distort, and to state an intimate essence. For example in 14 Word of the «Words — edifications» Abay speaks: «Language, obeying heart, won’t lie». Martin Heidegger — the well-known philosopher of the left 20th century said that «language — the house of truth of life». José Ortega-i-Gasset noted that «sometimes the literal translation is very far from sense of the meant subject, for example, the word „camel“ in language of nomad has more than five thousand values, and when transfer it means only — a humpbacked animal». N. Roerich in general said, what even with loss of accent culture layer already disappears.

Thus philosophy for many years has been showed that language is not just method, which helps to say, but like a way of communicative great conversation with God, world and others. It was not accident that Abay considered the reading of texts go through heart.
According to Abay clean heart was necessary to open and to be open to other culture. «The heart metaphysics» is the whole direction in works of the great poet-philosopher.
Sufists of medieval Muslim world told about this problem, connecting reading of the Quran’s Texts only with heart which needs to be awakened to knowledge of divine truth. That is why the philosophical question of language at transfer and interpretation of cultural heritage of the past is problematic topic. Deep interpretation Turkic cultural leave marks opens for us chain events of culture of Turkic peoples, unique, unique experience of a bytiystvovaniye in the world: actions, contemplation «standings in a life gleam» (Heidegger). This uniqueness and originality can be understood through language.
Kashgari and Abay wrote about it. In recent years the translated heritage of Turkic and Kazakh spiritual culture within the State program «Cultural heritage» opened unusual spiritual and moral purity of images of this culture.

Thus, translators and interpreters works represented very interesting work as they inform readers with deep essence of the language constructs and multiple-valued concepts ciphering life and culture. To understand others and different culture there is a need to understand ourselves in our culture and according to Habermas, involvement in our culture others to understand ourselves via them and other via ourselves.

Each culture is unique. It has the unique cultural and semantic context, which indicates its uniqueness and originality through phenomenological way.
It would be desirable to address to one of works of the famous scientist K.Sh. Nurlanova which opens the ontologic characteristic of the Kazakh culture — its central part: «At the Kazakh people acceptance of light found expression and in its transcendental life and acceptance of light, as harmony internal lightening it the whole life.

Such a deep characteristic of phenomenon of light its meaning in the Kazakh culture allows reader to open secrecy of its life. Thus, the problem of the language, on which cultural life has been transferred, is necessary to rethink from philosophical point of view as only in this case there is original… of cultural phenomena, which is necessary today. The central part of life culture cover with lite all including household that sphere where obviously there is no light. The essence of everyday life covered with light spiritual purity and moral simplicity.

In daily life a man keeps his essence and tradition, which then «polish» in poetry, songs, sayings and fairy tales. Culture of past and past of culture is two interrelated historical phenomenon, which gave us cultural life, where essence of this culture is implemented in language communicative space, which open uniqueness and diversity of culture.


1. K. Nurlanova, Blue sky secret essence// Tengriism and epic heritage of Eurasian people: origin and present. Kyzyl, 2011, p.98.

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