The Lexicon of Babel

Eric Reinders

in Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520241718
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931084 | DOI:
The Lexicon of Babel

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This chapter examines Western missionaries' accounts of the Chinese language. It analyzes various aspects of missionaries' learning process, their views of the Chinese language, problems with translation and the alternative practice of Pidgin English. It explains that the missionaries considered the Chinese language as notoriously intractable for the process of translation and most of the English they heard spoken by the Chinese was grating or comical, but in any case incorrect.

Keywords: Chinese language; Western missionaries; learning process; translation; Pidgin English

Chapter.  6917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Christianity

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