Archive for August, 2008

Google still has a long way to go

Monday 25 August 2008

Google now has a homepage for its search engine in Swahili: http://www.google.co.tz/

According to this page Google has translated at least 1% of its main site in 152 languages. Not bad, especially considering that these languages are spoken by several billion people worldwide.

According to Wycliffe Bible Translators, the most translated book of all time, the Bible, has been translated into 438 languages. Another 2,016 have at least some of the Bible translated into them.

But that leaves over 2,200 with a need for Bible translation and no project yet started. Many of these languages don’t have a written form, so in order for the Bible, Google or any other text to be translated and written down, an alphabet and writing system must first be developed.

The efforts of Google and others (like Ubuntu, who are currently translating into 189 languages) are to be applauded, and will make their products accessible to the vast majority of people worldwide. But for the Bible, a message from God’s heart to man’s heart, it’s not enough to translate into the 150 or 200 most major languages in the world.

Rather, the message of God’s good news to all nations must be made available to each and every person in the language of their heart, however uneconomical it may seem. No businessman would ever translate his product into a language spoken by 100 people in a village in Papua New Guinea – it just doesn’t make business sense. But then not many shepherds would leave 99 sheep on their own in order to search for the one sheep that wandered astray.

Which is why the Bible will always be the most translated book. God has created each and every person uniquely and loves them just as they are. He will stop at no lengths to draw each person to himself. If we are to reflect God’s character as we join in with his mission to the world, we must make the Bible available to every person in their own heart language.

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Marriage: A Rural African Perspective

Sunday 17 August 2008

One of the biggest cultural differences between Africa and Europe/North America is the way that the family in general, and marriage in particular is viewed.

Ben Byerly has just been involved in a leadership conference for Pastors in western Kenya. One of the sessions was on marriage, which he has blogged about, giving a fascinating insight into some of the issues facing Kenyan Christian couples.

From last week’s leadership conference for pastors in rural Western Kenya. For the the session on marriage, we divided the twelve women from the the about thirty-six men and had them discuss these questions:

  1. What problems or challenges do you face in marriage?
  2. How can a husband demonstrate love to his wife (Eph. 5:25; Col. 3:19)? read more