Central Asian languages printed and bound in chinese style

HUNTER, George W

Examples of the Various Turki Dialects. Turkish Text with English Translation

Publication: China Inland Mission, Tihwafu Sinkaing [ie. Ürümqi], 1918.

HUNTER, George W, Examples of the Various Turki Dialects. Turkish Text with English Translation

An unusual book: produced by a Scottish protestant in Western China, printed in mimeography and detailing and translating many Central Asian dialects related to Turkish. First edition of this remarkable item, here in appealing condition.

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An attractive example, in original wrappers, of this rare and early study of Turki dialects of Central Asia, produced in China with mimeograph printing.

The Scottish missionary and scholar George William Hunter (1861-1946) gained prominence through his service with an evangelical Protestant organisation “China Inland Mission” in Turkestan (modern-day areas in Central Asia and Northwest China). He reached China in 1889 and served in the mission for almost sixty years; he died in the north-central province of Gansu in 1946, having returned home only once, for a year in 1900. One of the very few Westerners with such an intimate understanding of the region at that time, he translated religious texts into the dialects spoken by isolated local tribes and preached in Kazakh, Uyghur, Manchu, Mongolian, Nogai, Arabic, and Chinese.

Hunter created his ‘Examples of The Various Turki Dialects’ in a small number of copies by using an old mimeograph machine that would force ink through a stencil onto paper, with each sheet rolled separately: “we must ask readers to excuse the mimeograph form of printing. It is impossible to get printing done in any other way in this place”, he notes in the preface. “The coarse paper was made from local material, often from leaves of the desert iris, and the format was the usual style of Chinese book, with each sheet written on one side only and folded back to back. George Hunter had succeeded in buying a second- or third- hand duplicating machine, and a skilled writer transcribed the Turki text on the waxed stencil sheet while Hunter wrote out the English translation below.” (Cable & French).

The book was printed in nowadays Ürümqi, the capitalk of Xinjiang in Northwest China.

Divided into four parts, the work comprises examples and translations of stories and parables in 1. “Qazaq Turki”, 2. “Tartar Turki”, 3. “Uz Bek Turki” and 4. “Stambul Turkish”. Hunter stresses the difference between “Qazaq” and “Kirghese” people, a distinction which ”many writers have failed to make”. He also points out that “it has been our aim not only to give examples of the various Turkish dialects, but also to give an idea of the thoughts that are now occupying the minds of some of these Turki Mohammedans, [… who are actually falling under] the increasing Bolshevik influence”.

OCLC locates 8 copies, apparently only 4 in the US (NYPL, Cleveland, Univ. of Washington and Berkeley)


Cable, Mildred, French, Francesca, George Hunter, Apostle of Turkestan, pp. 58-9, 1948.

Item number



Physical Description

Small 4to (22.5 x 18 cm). Title leaf with title in manuscript as issued, [2] preface, title of part 1, 70 pp.; title of part 2, 19 pp.; title of part 3, 23 pp.; 8 pp. [part 4].


In original wrappers.


Edges a bit worn, wrappers stained, worming to upper wrapper touching the title leaf, otherwise in fine condition.

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