Friday, May 02, 2014

The Comment

My international students have told me in the past the Google Translate is not always accurate. It's better to trust someone you know who understands the context of what is written than a computer program. Sometimes, you find out you would rather not have known. This is from January 10, 2010.

I love to wake up in the morning and find comments on my devotional of the previous evening. (I post my entries at night.) Hopefully, you understand I am not begging you to leave your thoughts but comments serve as a reminder that someone is reading. Several mornings ago, I checked and found two comments on the most recent post. One came from Jon, one of my former students. The other had a name listed in English but the message, which was fairly long, was in a language that was definitely Asian. I would need a translator! As we began my first class period that day, I asked Jeewha, one of my senior students, to look at it and tell me if the communication was in Korean. Jeewha informed me that it was not; it was Chinese. So, I called Bella, who is from Taiwan, to my desk and asked her to interpret. Bella took one glance and it was obvious that she was embarrassed. She, in so many words, told me I did not want to know. I asked if it was from a person or website; it was some sort of website and I probably can guess what kind. I immediately deleted the comment and my site is free again from impure thoughts from the outside world.

On Friday, I had Mint read the Parable of the Sower to my senior Bible class which is covering the same passage. None of them understood. You see, Mint is from Thailand and she read the scripture in her native Thai. The others heard the words but the words had no meaning. I could have just as easily had it read in Korean or Chinese, as I mentioned earlier, or even in Portuguese, using the voice of Eduardo. But, unless, you understand Korean, Chinese, or Portuguese, the story would have been just as intelligible. Jesus struggled in the same way when His audiences did not comprehend his message. In John 8:43, the Savior asked the religious leaders , 'Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say.' He went on to say that their father was Satan and the native language of the deceiver is lying. In Acts 28, Paul quotes Isaiah 6:9,10 where the prophet tells the people the reason they don't understand is that their hearts have become calloused. My seniors, as I noted earlier, are working through the Parable of the Sower in which the four soils where the seed lands represent the hearts of the hearers. I'd say that lines up with Isaiah just fine. This morning, we had a baptism in our English service but it was conducted in Mandarin. Johnny, the boyfriend of Pauline, one of my Chinese students, put on Jesus as his savior. Our Chinese minister, Vito, took Johnny's confession of faith in front of the congregation in his native tongue. Those of us in the pews must have been listening with our hearts because we understood perfectly everything that transpired this morning. And this time, I didn't need Bella to translate for me. The meaning was written on Johnny's face.

Applicable quote of the day:
''Say what we may of the inadequacy of translation, yet the work is and will always be one of the weightiest and worthiest undertakings in the general concerns of the world.''
Johann Wolfgang Goethe

God bless,
Steve
Luke 18:1
E-mail me at steve@hawleybooks.com

2 comments:

graceflyer said...

I found your blog surfing through the interests of Jesus. Good work you are doing for Him, Godspeed!

Sherry Ann said...

Just swinging by to let you know that I read what you write:)))

God bless you!