APPENDIX III: Miscellaneous Remarks, Regulations, Orders, etc. [[638-651]]
[] As few vessels proceed to the East Indies at present,
without one or two proficient Orientalists on board, the subsequent information
will be no doubt perused with sufficient interest, especially as it is
generally believed that a Hindoostanee and Persian Interpreter will be
in future appointed to each of the King's Regiments in British
The following is a List of the Hindoostanee and Persian Books, which those students who have attended the Lectures, and are conversant with the Text Set of Publications, should procure, previous to embarkation for India, with the view of learning to read and comprehend both Languages readily, in the Persi-arabic and Naguree characters, during the outward voyage; especially when the whole of this ultimate expense, or any part of it, is not an object of too much importance to the parties concerned, in this country.
Here a rudimental knowledge of Persian is so blended with colloquial proficiency in the Hindoostanee, that their united acquisition is almost inseparable, and [] should be prosecuted accordingly, now that both languages have become indispensable to every candidate for speedy promotion, or a productive post in British India. They are, in fact, the best practical keys to every provincial dialect in the Peninsula, which may thus be all acquired successively, in the course of twelve months' judicious application to those living tongues, in the order of their local necessity, in various quarters of India, where they are severally most useful; however limited, compared with Hindoostanee, their partial Currency may otherwise be.
The foregoing works alone are well calculated as a small select library, hardly procurable for the same prices abroad, not only to supply material for literary pursuits during several years' study, but also to make every studious scholar on board ship, who knows the Text Books sufficiently, a practical linguist in the Persian and Hindoostanee Tongues, even before his arrival in India; where, by immediately passing his examination with eclat, he may in due season succeed to two or three lucrative appointments, as they fall vacant either in his own corps, or on the establishment to which he belongs: and among these, a Persian Interpretership is the most honourable object to which juvenile ambition may reasonably aspire, in the course of two years, being in fact the first grand step from regimental to general staff posts, or places of [] great responsibility and emolument; besides the ultimate chance of diplomatic employment for very conspicuous talents, even of military men, in this branch of the public service.
The best preparative for a faithful compliance with the following official stipulations about eastern tongues, is to carry a quantum sufficit of rudimental knowledge of them from home; otherwise the native teachers abroad will prove very inadequate, if not blind and perverse guides to the true pronunciation, grammatical proficiency, or idiomatical practice, of raw English youths in the vernacular languages of Hindoostan, for many months after their arrival in British India; nay, if the foregoing advice be totally neglected, and giddy lads hurry away to India for the sake of mere rank, some tedious years will be required to fit them for holding a single advantageous appointment by familiar acquaintance with the paramount speech of the Peninsula.
Fort William, February 14, 1823.
Head Quarters, Calcutta, February 17, 1823.
Officers applying, under the sanction and approbation of the Commanding Officers of their Corps, for the situation of Interpreter, shall be required to pass an examination in the Hindoostanee language, before a Committee of competent Officers, to be assembled, by order of the Commander in Chief, at the Head Quarter Station of the Division.
The Committee will forward to the Adjutant General of the army, a detailed report of the examination, with a Certificate specifying the nature of the Officer's proficiency; and will state their opinion of his competency to conduct the duties of an Interpreter to a General Court Martial.
The favourable certificate and opinion of the Committee will be sufficient authority, in the first instance, to render an Officer eligible to hold the situation; but before be can be finally confirmed in it, he will be required to undergo, with the sanction of the Governor General in Council, a further examination by the Public Examiners of the College of Fort William, and to obtain from them a favourable certificate and opinion of his qualifications; and for this purpose he will (on the occasion of his arrival within the limits of the Presidency Division, either in the course of relief, or otherwise) be directed to repair to the Presidency.
But Officers within the limits of the Presidency Division, at the time of their application for the situation of Interpreter, will not be required to pass any preliminary examination. [] The foregoing rules will be applicable to all Officers recommended to officiate as Interpreters; and Officers now actually holding the situation of Interpreters will be required to pass the examination above prescribed, twelve months after the promulgation of this Order to their Corps.
ORDERS OF THE COURT OF DIRECTORS, March 7, 1823.
It is further expected that the Cadet will, upon his arrival in India, conform strictly to all the rules and regulations of the Institutions established at the Presidency to which he is appointed for the instruction of the Cadets, and that he will endeavour to qualify himself for his future situation, by professional acquirements, and by the attainment of a knowledge of the languages of the country; in failure of which, he will render himself liable to be dismissed the service, and ordered back to England at his own expense.
[] Fort William, March 29, 1823.
2. No candidate shall be considered entitled to confirmation, unless he shall produce a certificate, signed by the examining Officers of the College, of his possessing a competent knowledge of the colloquial and written languages of the country, especially the Hindoostanee and Persian; and that he is capable of reading the native treatises on medicine, and discoursing with the pupils on ordinary subjects of native science, in intelligible, if not in accurate terms.
3. Should the candidate require examination in the Sunscrit, Arabic, or other useful Oriental languages, it is to be granted by the Public Officers of that College, and noted accordingly in their report, and in their certificate of qualification, or otherwise.
4. The examinations above prescribed will take place on the application
of the Medical Board to the Secretary of
Head Quarters, Calcutta, May 27, 1823.
The tests by which these qualifications are to be tried are,
It will be the duty of Committees of Examination to ascertain the attainments of candidates by the foregoing rules ; and their reports are to specify the proficiency of the party examined, under each of those heads.
The Commander-in-Chief desires it to be further understood, that previous examination in the College of Fort William, if successful, will be considered as sufficient proof of qualification; but that the examinations which took place of Officers quitting the Barrasut Institutions, will not exempt candidates from the operation of the foregoing orders.
[] Head Quarters, Choultry Plain, August 8, 1823.
BOMBAY GOVERNMENT GENERAL ORDERS. January 3, 1824.
In addition to all the foregoing admirable orders, did one more exist [[=if one more existed]], viz. that no office whatever, even the command of a Company, shall be confided to a military man who has not passed a fair examination, for Hindoostanee at least, in six months' time, the whole junior portion of the army would be converted to perfect linguists, those intellectual invalids excepted, from whom few laudable deeds ever can be expected, though under the impulse of the two most irresistible motives -- self-preservation and private interest.
BOMBAY. GOVERNMENT GENERAL ORDERS. INTERPRETERS TO REGIMENTS.
The same scale is applicable to officers attached as interpreters to the extra battalions, which have no quarter-master on the establishment. In such corps throughout the army, where the same officers may not be qualified to hold the two appointments, the Governor in Council is pleased to sanction a second, or Mahratta interpreter, on the following scale, and to declare that the officer holding such appointment shall succeed (provided he be also qualified in Hindoostanee Mahratta) as interpreter with the quarter-master attached, where the offices may be united, on the first vacancy. Mahratta, Rs. 30. Contingencies, 10. Total, 40.
THE EXAMINATION TO BE PASSED BY AN INTERPRETER AND QUARTER-MASTER.
In obedience to the commands of the Honourable the Governor-General in Council, we have attentively read the Documents which accompanied your letter, and have given to the subject the careful deliberation which our respective experience prompted, the result which we shall beg leave to offer, after having stated certain considerations which have influenced us in coming to such decision.
In determining the qualifications which should be required in an interpreter to a native battalion, we look more to that knowledge of the languages, and their various dialects, which is essentially necessary and practically useful, than to a high proficiency of book-lore; which though advantageous and probably attainable, when talent and local advantages accompany each other; yet neither the opportunities which officers have of acquiring it, nor their means, justify us in exacting it.
A good colloquial knowledge of the dialects generally used by the Sepoys, a facility of explaining all orders in those dialects, and of interpreters from them, must be considered of the first importance, as comprising the principal duties of interpreters; and, indeed, we consider all other study (with reference of course to the case under immediate consideration) as subordinate to this, and but as the means by which this object is to be attained.
The languages most used by the Sepoys, and generally by almost all the tribes with whom an officer of a Sepoy corps is likely to have intercourse, are the Oordoo or Court Hindoostanee, and the Hindoowee or K.huree Bolee, with no mixture of Persian; and between these, with various shades of difference, may be comprehended most of the dialects of the different provinces under this Presidency. [] The former is not to be acquired without some knowledge of the Persian; which will otherwise be useful, as it is the language generally in use in all the police and revenue departments throughout the districts under this Presidency, with both of which the duty of an interpreter may frequently lead him to have transactions.
Under these considerations, the acquirements which we are of opinion
should be looked for in an interpreter are:
We have, &c.
[] THE REPORT OF ENSIGN TODD'S EXAMINATION.
The exercises selected by us for the examination of Ensign Todd, consisted
of the following papers:
[] Ensign Todd was also examined by us severally in the following
The Papers, Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, were also translated by him with
tolerable correctness, and evinced a very considerable knowledge of both
the Oordoo and K.huree Bolee dialect. He writes also the Persian and Nagree
The result of this examination enables us to state confidently our opinion,
that Ensign Todd has acquired such a knowledge, not only of the Persian
language, but also of the Oordoo or K,huree Bolee dialect of Hindoostanee,
as comes fully up to the standard prescribed by the Governor-General in
Council for Military Candidates for the Office of Interpreter and Quarter-Master
to native corps, and which was communicated for oar guidance by Mr. Secretary
Lushington on the 22d of April last.