Inner Asia

Inner Asia

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Inner Asia has a range of meanings among different researchers and in different countries. Denis Sinor
Denis Sinor
Denis Sinor was a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Central Asian Studies at the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University and a tenured lecturer at Cambridge University between 1948 and 1962, and was one of the world's leading scholars for the history of Central Asia. Sinor...

 defined Inner Asia broadly (synonymous with Central Eurasia) as the homelands of the Altaic peoples (Mongolian
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

, Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

, and Manchu-Tungus) and the Uralic peoples (Finno-Ugrian
Finno-Ugric peoples
The Finno-Ugric peoples are any of several peoples of Europe who speak languages of the proposed Finno-Ugric language family, such as the Finns, Estonians, Mordvins, and Hungarians...

 and Samoyed
Samoyed
Samoyed may refer to:* the Samoyedic peoples in Siberia who speak the Samoyedic languages: the Enets, the Nenets, the Nganasans, and the Selkups* the Samoyedic languages they speak* Samoyed , a dog breed...

).

German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

 makes a distinction between "Zentralasien", meaning Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

, Tibet
Tibet
Tibet is a plateau region in Asia, north-east of the Himalayas. It is the traditional homeland of the Tibetan people as well as some other ethnic groups such as Monpas, Qiang, and Lhobas, and is now also inhabited by considerable numbers of Han and Hui people...

, Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

, and Manchu
Manchu
The Manchu people or Man are an ethnic minority of China who originated in Manchuria . During their rise in the 17th century, with the help of the Ming dynasty rebels , they came to power in China and founded the Qing Dynasty, which ruled China until the Xinhai Revolution of 1911, which...

 lands, and "Mittelasien," meaning the republics of Central Asia. The less common term "Innerasien" corresponds to our sense of "Inner Asia."

In French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, "Asie Centrale" can mean both "Central Asia" and "Inner Asia"; Mongolia and Tibet by themselves are termed "Haute Asie" (High Asia).

The terms meaning "Inner Asia" in the languages of Inner Asian peoples are all modern loan translations of European, mostly Russian, terms.

"Central Asia" normally denotes the western, Islamic part of Inner Asia
Islam in Central Asia
Islam is the most widely practiced religion in Central Asia. The Hanafi school of thought is the most popular.-Medieval:The Battle of Talas in 751 between the Abbasid Caliphate and the Chinese Tang Dynasty for control of Central Asia was the turning point initiating mass conversion into Islam in...

, but it is sometimes used as a synonym for Inner Asia. The Library of Congress subject classification system is organized in this way, so that readers in academic libraries who are looking for materials on both Inner Asia and Central Asia should search under the subject heading "Asia, Central."

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