Ainu Teacher

Ainu teacher

Project Info

Project Description

Elia is a graduate in Japanese language and culture. After studying Japanese for four years he became interested in linguistics and, at the same time, he got fascinated by the history and traditions of Ainu people. As part of his academic formation as a student of Japanese language and culture, he first got to know about the Ainu people in a history class and from there he started to gather more information about the Ainu culture, and especially about the language. Elia started to teach himself Ainu by consulting and reading several Ainu grammars, and later by translating into English texts of the Ainu tradition, such as folktales and songs. At present Elia is a PhD student in linguistics and he is basing his research on different dialects of the two Ainu varieties of Hokkaidō and Sakhalin. He has now been studying and analysing Ainu for five years and has translated (as part of his research) many texts of the Saru Ainu and of the Sakhalin Ainu tradition into English. Although his primary interest towards Ainu is linguistic analysis and description, he is happy to share the knowledge he has gained during the past years with others, with the aim to inform them about this language that most people mistakenly believe to be dead and to foster awareness and curiosity about it.