Akylay Baimatova translated Epos Manas into English using Mar Baijiev’s Russian translation as a guide. There are very few translations of this work available in English and the versions that are available do not do justice to a work of this magnitude .
Akylay is a native Kyrgyz who grew up studying verses of Epos Manas and celebrating its epic stories. This project started from Akylay’s desire to teach her own American children (who only speak English) about their Kyrgyz family history and the rich culture of a country that is rarely studied.
Akylay Baimatova lives in Florida (16 years and counting) and works as a high school science teacher. She strongly believes that bilingual translators present the best, most honest work. When she went to Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, she used to love Mar Baijievs’ books, and when his version of Tales of Manas was published in 2011, she was in awe with this book, which expresses the ideas and cultural nuances in full color.