One more from Chiri Mashiho: on John Batchelor

(No original this time; too lazy.)

Professor Batchelor published many translations into Ainu: the Bible, prayer books, hymns, and the like. Today, we find these works absolutely incomprehensible. Ainu-language books which even Ainu cannot understand: truly, these can only be called writings from Heaven itself, works of exceeding rarity, and it is no wonder that they fetch such high prices in second-hand bookstores.

He also tells a story, possibly apocryphal, about a group of Ainu to which Batchelor preached being impressed by his dedication to their language but sadly unable to understand his words, a fact they attributed to his speaking a different dialect... although modern scholarship has since revealed that Batchelor learnt his Ainu in the same dialect area. "From this we can arrive at a fairly valid estimate of Batchelor's abilities in the Ainu language."

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