Sunday, May 27, 2007

Preaching in the Chinese Church

When preaching in the Chinese Church, I generally make slides that contain both English and Chinese versions of my outline.

Since I can read very few Chinese characters, producing these slides takes a lot of time. Since I am frequently making them the day before preaching, I don't have time to get them proofread before displaying them on the overhead projector as I preach.

I use Babelfish to help me make the translations. First, I type in my English phrase, then have it converted to Chinese. Then I copy the Chinese phrase that is generated, and paste it back into the input of the translator, and have it translate that phrase into English.

If I get out the same English I began with, I paste that Chinese into the PowerPoint slide I am making. This procedure gives surprisingly good results.

I found out a weakness one time when I accidentally typed the homonym of the word I thought I was using, principal for principle. What I typed in was what was returned by Babelfish, so I used the phrase. Unfortunately, the Chinese phrase that was produced was nonsense!

The person who was translating my sermon into Chinese asked me to explain in different words, and, as I did, he smiled a big smile and told the congregation what I should have said.

It all works out for good!

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