Languages

Nyurguyana Parfeniyevna Petrova

I believe there is no person in the modern world who is not related to language.

Since childhood I had an interest in language. Both Yakut (or Sakha) and Russian are my first languages, and that is why I never faced a problem with pronunciation or with cross-linguistic translation.

When I listened to songs in foreign tongues I always tried to copy their way of singing, but the very fact that I could not understand the words made me feel frustrated. It was then that I began to be interested in the larger world outside of my own cultural sphere, and discovered a need to know and study foreign languages and cultures.

I chose English.

In the process of acquiring a new language I always was comparing grammar and vocabulary of the Yakut, Russian, and English languages. I was astonished to discover how widely variant and rich the languages of the world could be.

In 1998 I became a student of English Philology Department in Yakut State University (the branch in the town of Mirny).

In Fall 2000 I was awarded with the opportunity to visit the International Youth Culture Camp in Kundju (South Korea), where I became acquainted with a lot of interesting people from all over the world. I learned first-hand that people who speak different languages also perceive the world in a much different way as well.

These experiences drove me to investigate in my diploma paper the concept of ‘Friendship’ and how it is represented in the Yakut, Russian, and English languages. In the process of working over this project, the research revealed to me a new world of cognitive linguistics, which took seed and is germinating currently in the U.S. I suddenly had an enormous desire to study the field which seemed to be revealing new approaches in interpreting language. At that very time I came across the poster of the Fulbright program in my university and I took it as an incredible opportunity to make my dream come true. I decided to apply. After several of the selection stages I received word that I was awarded a Fulbright grant.

In Summer 2003 I graduated from the Yakut State University with high distinction in the specialization "Philologist. Teacher of English language".

I am currently studying in the Department of Linguistics at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, one of the best universities in the U.S. in the field of cognitive linguistics. The professors whose lectures I am attending are among the best linguists in the world, and I was pleased to discover that some of the faculty was also Fulbright scholars as I am now.

I want to express my gratitude to all the people who granted me the real opportunity to study my personal field of choice. I am sure that my studying here will be of worthy feedback in the future, and I will make my own contribution in the development of cognitive linguistics.

The Fulbright Program in Russia. Institute of International Education.
Tverskoy Bul'var 14, building 1, 4th floor, Moscow, Russia 125009.
Tel: +7(495) 935-8353, Fax: +7(495) 937-5418. Contact: info@fulbright.ru