Protestant Bible Translation and Mandarin as the National Language of China

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
George Kam Wah Mak
Sinica Leidensia


This book represents the first monograph-length study of the relationship between Protestant Bible translation and the development of Mandarin from a lingua franca into the national language of China. Drawing on both published and unpublished sources, this book looks into the translation, publication, circulation and use of the Mandarin Bible in late Qing and Republican China, and sets out how the Mandarin Bible contributed to the standardization and enrichment of Mandarin. It also illustrates that the Mandarin Union Version, published in 1919, was involved in promoting Mandarin as not only the standard medium of communication but also a marker of national identity among the Chinese people, thus playing a role in the nation-building of modern China.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

George Kam Wah Mak is fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He is currently Research Assistant Professor at David C. Lam Institute for East-West Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University.


Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.