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This Week in Translation History - April 22-28

April 22, 2018

April 22, 1935

Sir Christopher John Elinger Ball, an English linguist and academic, was born.

Christopher Ball served as Warden of Keble college, Oxford from 1980 to 1988. He also served as Chancellor of the University of Derby from 1995 to 2003.

He studied at Merton college, Oxford and earned his degree. He lectured for some time in Oxford. In 1961 he became a lecturer of comparative lingustics at the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1964 he returned to Oxford, served in various roles.

Ball was a founding editor of Toronto Dictionary of Old English (1970) and wrote various works on education and linguistics. He also wrote poetry, which he published as "John Ellinger".

April 24, 1897

Benjamin Lee Whorf, an American linguist, was born.

Whorf is know for the Sapir-Whorf hyppthesis, the idea that differneces between languages shape the way the speakers of the languages perceive the world. Whorf got interested in linguistics at an early age. He studied with Edward at Yale, while working as a fire prevention engineer.

He presented papers on linguistics and published his research on Mesoamerican languages, while also spending time on his linguistic relativity ideas. He died from cancer in 1941. His manuscripts were collected by his friends, who spread his ideas on linguistic relativity.