Linguistic and Cultural Sketches in John M. Tronson´s Travel Diary

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Professor of the Department of Russian Language and Literature
Affiliation: Sakhalin State University
Address: Russian Federation, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Occupation: associate Professor of the Department of Russian Language and Literature
Affiliation: Sakhalin State University
Address: ul. Tikhookeanskaya d. 36 rv. 43
Journal nameProblemy Dalnego Vostoka
EditionIssue 5

The article deals with the linguistic and cultural sketches in the book “A Voyage to Japan, Kamtchatka, Siberia, Tartary and various parts of the coast of China; in H.M.S. Barracouta” (1859) by John M. Tronson. The travel notes of the English author remain almost unknown in Russia. The only exception is the reference to this book by Peter Leopold von Schrenck in “Essay on Physical Geography of the Northern Sea of Japan” (1869). The linguistic and cultural content of the book presents to readers various descriptions of the Chinese, Manchu, Japanese, Korean languages, as well as the language of the Tungusic people (mistakenly taken for the Nivkh (in the book — Gilyak) language by John M. Tronson). At the same time, the interest is attracted by the Peoples of „Japan, Kamtchatka, Siberia, Tartary and China” perception of English as a mean of communication with the representatives of the European civilization. The author´s reference to the words from Japanese, Chinese, Korean and other languages is being perceived as a pioneering stage in creating in the middle of the XIX century European awareness for the culture of the Russian Far East Peoples (chiefly concerned with living environment). Regardless of being episodic, the linguistic and cultural descriptions in John M. Tronson´s travel notes are essential for the similar literature genres. The notes of the English author are regarded as the part of other travel works on Russian Far East, i.e. “Frigate ‘Pallada’” (1853-1857) by Ivan A. Goncharov. The Russian author provides not only personal observations but also scientific information on the emergence and evolution of the other Peoples languages. John M. Tronson introduces the words of foreign sound and origin, and familiarizes his readers with the realities that are absolutely new and unusual for European conscience. By acquainting with “new” world (through the reproduction of what we see, hear and interpret) different educational tasks that are bound to travelling and its genre varieties (travel notes, sketches, essays, adventures and others) are realized.

KeywordsCultural linguistics, oriental languages, exoticisms, travel notes, John M Tronson, Barracouta
Publication date18.10.2021
Number of characters21157
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1. Ocherki fizicheskoy geografii Severo-Yaponskogo morya akademika L.I. Shrenka. S dvumya kartami. Prilozheniye k VI tomu zapisok Imp. Akademii nauk : (Essays on the physical geography of North Sea of Japan by Academician L.I. Shrenk. With two map. Appendix to the VI volume of the notes of the Imp. Academy of Sciences). № 3. Sankt-Peterburg. 1968. (In Russ.).

2. Tronson Dzh. Plavaniye v Yaponiyu, na Kamchatku, k beregam Sibiri, Tatarii i Kitaya na bortu korablya Yeyo Korolevskogo Velichestva «Barrakuda» : (Tronson J. A Voyage to Japan, Kamtschatka, Siberia, Tartary and various parts of the coast of China; in H.M.S. Barracouta) /Dzh. Tronson; per. s angl. Andrey Sidorov; il. Vladivostok: Rubezh, 2019. (Morskaya istoricheskaya biblioteka). (In Russ.).

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