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Bawden, Charles R.
Another Tract for the Buryats
including I. J. Schmidt's recentlly identified Kalmuck Originals
editor(s): Walravens, Hartmut
contributor(s): Preface by Walravens, Hartmut;
volume: 82
pages/dimensions: 131 pages
language: English
binding: 1 × Book (Paperback),
1 × CD-Audio
dimensions: 14.50 × 22.00 cm
weight: 300g
edition: 1. Auflage
publishing date: 12.01.2012
prices: 38,00 Eur[D] / 39,10 Eur[A]
ISBN: 978-3-447-06831-4
38,00 Eur

Christian mission among the Mongols and the beginning of Mongolian Studies were closely affiliated. Europe’s first Mongolist, Isaak Jakob Schmidt (1779–1847), rose from the humble position of a clerk at the Moravian Mission settlement at Sarepta (Russia) to a member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences. Author of a Mongolian dictionary, a Mongolian grammar and translator of the Geser epic and the chronicle Erdeni-yin tobči, he was also the translator of the New Testament into Mongolian. So far it was assumed that Schmidt had mainly translated into Kalmuck, and two Mongolian nobles had then continued with the further translation into Eastern Mongol.
A few years ago Charles Bawden edited and translated a new document found in the library of the German Oriental Society at Halle, the first Christian tract printed in Mongol in St. Petersburg in 1818. The present study focuses on a second tract (probably also 1818) by Schmidt, so far unknown, from the collections of Vilnius University, and includes two of the original versions in Kalmuck which were also tracked down. These tracts allow a closer look at the difficult work of the translator, a glimpse at his workshop, in his efforts to find a congenial rendering for Christian terms. In the light of the results of this study the roles of the translators may have to be reevaluated. There is also an essay to investigate the creation of Kalmuck and Mongolian fonts and the part that the publisher and printer Greč and the Orientalist printing pioneer Schilling von Canstadt (1786–1837) played in it. Transliteration and reproduction of the (Mongol and Kalmuck) tracts and an annotated translation of the second Tract for the Buryats are given as well.