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Borrowed Gods and Foreign BodiesChristian Missionaries Imagine Chinese Religion$
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Eric Reinders

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780520241718

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520241718.001.0001

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The Lexicon of Babel

The Lexicon of Babel

(p.71) Chapter 5 The Lexicon of Babel
Borrowed Gods and Foreign Bodies

Eric Reinders

University of California Press

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

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