Prague, Jan 26 (CTK) – Czech linguist and translator Vaclav A. Cerny, who focused on the Circassian and other Caucasian languages, died aged 85 on Saturday, January 21, his wife confirmed for CTK yesterday.
Cerny translated classic as well as modern Caucasian authors into Czech and popularised fairy tales, legends and myths from the areas. He also wrote many textbooks and dictionaries.
In addition to the Caucasian languages, Cerny also translated from Russian, English, German, French and Hawaiian. He had a good command of about 30 languages.
Cerny studied Armenian and Persian at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University in Prague. After graduation he worked as an editor in a publishing house. In the early 1960s, Cerny joined the Oriental Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, where he worked as a scholar until 1980, when his contract was not extended.
After he was rehabilitated, Cerny shortly returned to the Oriental Institute. At that time he lectured general Caucasology, Georgian and Circassian at the Faculty of Arts.
Cerny was the sole expert in Caucasian languages and literature in Czechoslovakia for a long time. In the early 1990s, he was awarded a Georgian state prize for his translating activities. In December 2015, he was presented with the Order of the President of Georgia for his life achievement and presentation of Georgian literature and culture.