KITTEL, Ferdinand. Resterhafe/Ostfriesland 7.4.1832 — Tübingen 19.12.1905. German Missionary and Indologist, a Kannada Scholar. In India in 1853-77 and 1883-92. Son of a village Minister, Gottfried Christian K. and Helen Hubert, educated at home and in Aurich, but left the school in order to become a missionary. In 1850-53 he was trained at the seminary of Basel Protestant Missionary Society and then sent to South India. Stationed in Dharwar, he studied Kannaḍa, Tulu and Sanskrit. Originally he collaborated with Weigle and Mögling, but his difficult character estranged him from other missionaries and was often moved from one station to another and finally in Mangalore. There he was in charge of the mission’s printing press and prepared a number of text books. In order to develop missionary work and Bible translations he became an ardent student of Indian religion and culture. From 1875 he worked on his great Kannaḍa dictionary (still in use). He also edited several Old Kannaḍa texts. After a while in Mercara, he left India with his lexical materials and worked on them in Germany in 1877-83. In order to consult Indian experts he then returned to India and again left only in 1892, because of his failing health. He settled down in Tübingen and saw there his Dictionary through the press. Honorary Ph.D. 1896 Tübingen. Married 1860 Pauline Eyth (d. 1864) and 1867 her younger sister Wilhelmine Julie, and had with her two daughters and two sons.
Publications: religious pamphlets and translations in Kannada and Tulu.
– Knowledge of the Supreme Spirit. 1863; Survey of the Vedic Polytheism and Pantheism. 1868; A Tract on Sacrifice. 1872; Über den Ursprung des Lingakultus in Indien. 1876.
– Vyakarana Sutragalu. 1865 (a Kannada grammar).
– Canarese Poetical Anthology. 420 p. 1874.
– edited: Nagavarma’s Kanarese Prosody. 242 p. 1875; Shabda Mani Darpana. Kesiraja’s Jewel Mirror of Grammar. 412 p. 1899 (1872).
– A Kannada–English Dictionary. 50+1752 p. Mangalore 1894.
– A grammar of the Kannaḍa language in English comprising the three dialects of the language (ancient, mediaeval and modern). 483 p. Mangalore 1903.
– on epigraphy, EI 16, 1900-01, 213-219, 1 pl.
Sources: Brückner et al., Indienforschung im Zeitenwandel. 2003, 55-60; Stache-Rosen n. 37 with photo; Wikipedia with photo (1854).
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