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Pioneer of Language – Chichewa / Chinyanja

Once upon a time we had languages, but no dictionaries or other resources to help us with understanding a text or learning a language. A nightmare situation for translation by today’s standards.

We should give thanks to those pioneers who made improvements to the quality of translation through their efforts to create dictionaries. One such person was Johannes Rebmann (1820-1876) who compiled the first Chichewa / Chinyanja dictionary. It is difficult to imagine the effort that this accomplishment took and so I am pleased to offer a little recognistion in this blog.

Approximately 7 to 8 million people speak Chichewa. Chichewa is an official national language, along with English, in Malawi. It is a Bantu language and is also spoken in Zambia and Mozambique, where the language is known as Chinyanja and Zimbabwe.

A biography of Johannes Rebmann is now available ‘Johannes Rebmann: A Servant of God in Africa before the Rise of Western Colonialism’.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 9th, 2011 at 1:04 pm and is filed under Language Translation. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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