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Babel in ZionJews, Nationalism, and Language Diversity in Palestine, 1920-1948$
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Liora R. Halperin

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197488

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197488.001.0001

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Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy

Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy

(p.99) Chapter Three Clerks, Translators, and the Languages of Bureaucracy
Babel in Zion

Liora R. Halperin

Yale University Press

This chapter reviews the status of Hebrew in Palestine under British rule. It specifically tries to recover the foundational narrative of English learners, aspirants, Jewish clerks, and translators to the cultural cachet of English. It tells stories that highlight the devoted nature of protesters attempting to rectify the relative absence of Hebrew from the bureaucratic sphere of Palestine. It also reveals that some Jews were concerned about the spread of knowledge of English over the course of the mandate period. It discusses how English emerged as the language of administration and as a mediator of social power over the course the period of British rule.

Keywords:   Hebrew, British rule, Jewish clerks, translators, English learners, aspirants, bureaucracy, Palestine, social power

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