Archive for July 2013

Translation 44. Welcome news for Indophiles and language lovers: an abridged version of Hobson-Jobson

4 July 2013

Josephine Livingstone has just written a mouth-watering review of American scholar Kate Teltscher’s most welcome “heroic” new tome, a 570-page (i.e. half size) abridgement of the 1886 classic Hobson-Jobson, the much-quoted glossary of nineteenth century colonial Anglo-Indian “slang”.

Apart from the useful language information quoted by reviewer Livingstone, prepare yourselves to be amazed at the description of a colonial Brit, Arthur Burnell (one of the two authors of Hobson-Jobson), who managed to learn Arabic, Sanskrit, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, Javanese, Coptic and Tibetan. (Yes!) But before trying to emulate Burnell, bear in mind that he died in India, aged 42, of cholera, pneumonia and “overwork” (and, presumably, of acute polyglottal indigestion as well).

For more details, rush NOW to read Livingstone’s review here.

With many thanks to polyglot friend and internet guru Ronnie R. for the tip-off.

1.For my appreciated faithful readers, please do not be alarmed. The extreme brevity of this “blog” entitles it to the new Internet category of ‘bleet’ (Copyright Brian Steel and family – bless them!).

2. If you have the time, curiosity and patience, skim the Comments on this article by Livingstone in Prospect in order to see the best and the less admirable of Internet democratic participation in full flow.