The Perevodchik-Terjiman Newspaper: A Bilingual Phenomenon of the Muslim Press in Late Imperial Russia
This case study examines the bilingualism of the prominent Russian Muslim newspaper of the late 19th - early 20th centuries, known as the “Perevodchik-Terjiman” (literally a ‘Translator’ or ‘Interpreter’), by means of discourse analysis. This newspaper was published from 1883 to 1918 in Crimea, until 1914 by Ismail Gasprinskii (1851-1914), - prominent enlightener of Russian Muslims. Until December 1905 the newspaper was issued in two languages – Russian and so-called common-Turkic. The latter language was unsuccessfully intended to become a common literary language for Russian Muslims. Despite the declarations, the parallel articles in Russian and Turkic barely presented direct translations from one language to another. On the contrary, there were significant differences. The differences in Russian and Turkic narratives were not markers of opposing intentions or obscure meanings. It is argued here that this feature can be qualified as an instance of cultural bilingualism, which reflected multiculturalism of the newspaper’s heterogeneous audience.