Summer 2015 Newsletter on the Bashkir project

If we take a look at the history of the Bashkir or Bashkort people (a Turkic people numbering over 1 million native speakers of the language, mostly in central Russia), we can see that what the Bashkirs themselves think about their roots is sometimes contradictory, with a mix of facts and legends. Some Bashkirs are convinced that the first mention of them as a people is found in the records of the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, who called their ancestors Argippeans, that is, “people who live at the foot of the mountains”. Others are more cautious and say that the ethnonym “Bashkort” first appeared only in Arab-Persian chronicles in the Middle Ages...

May 28, 2015

IBT has published a new book containing the first-ever translation of the Old Testament books of Jonah, Ruth and Esther in the Ingush language of the North Caucasus. Ingush is spoken as a mother tongue by more than 300,000 people in the Russian Republic of Ingushetia, with a total of about a half million ethnic Ingush in the entire Russian Federation. It is closely related to the neighboring Chechen language.

May 13, 2015

IBT has released an audio recording of the book of Proverbs in the Kumyk language. The Kumyks are the largest Turkic people in the northern Caucasus region of Russia, with approximately 432,000 living in Dagestan and another 70,000 or so in other parts of Russia.

April 15, 2015

In mid-April, two IBT staff members attended the EMDC conference in Holland. EMDC (Eurasia Media & Distribution Consultation) is an annual forum, meeting alternately in Asia and Europe, at which minority language workers can meet with electronic media specialists and technicians, recording specialists, graphic artists, digital publishers and specialists in orality and ethno-arts. This year's EMDC hosted 380 participants from 130 organizations in 61 countries.

The latest New Testament to be published by IBT is in Bashkir, a Turkic language spoken by more than 1 million people in central Russia. IBT began work on this first-ever translation of the full New Testament into Bashkir in the mid-1990s with a view towards producing a clear, accurate and natural text. Positive scholarly reviews of the translated text by the Institute of History, Language and Literature in Ufa, the capital city of Bashkortostan, testify to the fact that this goal has been achieved.