[Linux4christians] Translation of Church Resources
coetserw at hbc.ac.za
Wed Oct 26 05:38:10 EDT 2005
My name is Weiers Coetser and I have been lurking on this list for quite
some time now. I live in South Africa. I am a trained pastor, but I am
currently working as a dormitory dean in a church college in Cape Town.
I am passionate about open source, allthough I am not technically very
savvy. I run Ubuntu Linux almost exclusively on my computer (dual boot
to Windows once in a while)... I use my computer mostly for word
processing and maintaining data of students in the dormitory etc.
I thought I would like to share a situation with you and ask for your
comments. Everybody probably knows that the church in South Africa is
facing many challenges in a post-apartheid era. My denomination has been
battling around issues of church unity since the 1990's already and we
have still not managed to integrate white and black church structures.
Another attempt to do this (integration) failed very sadly here in Cape
Town this last week-end. This is a cause of great distress to me. As one
can expect there are a lot of politics and emotional rhetoric involved
in this process. One of the issues that cause the last attempt to fail
is the perception amongst Afrikaans (white) church members that they
will no longer have guaranteed access to resources in their own language
when the predominantly black population take over leadership. They
already complain that since the 1990's very few English resources have
been translated and published in Afrikaans.
This is probably true. Tranditionally the church has followed the old
way of providing resources: The church appoints a translator who spends
months translating a document and then send it to publishers to publish
at great expense. I've suddenly wondered if we could not try something
else that would empower the church members to become involved in their
own language needs.
If we followed an open source model where we publish lesson studies on a
WIKI- kind of page and then allow any number of individuals to then
translate a paragraph or a sentence at a time online. ... in the same
way that the open source community translate their apps and software
into regional languages.
Here is my question, as I don't know enough, but would like to research
the possibilities: Are there systems available that a person could
easily adjust for such purposes? Do they require great technological
savvy to set up, or could a person quickly master the skills to do
this? Are there any particular models that I could study to see if this
has worked in the past?
I hope I've described my situation well and asked the questions clearly.
I would appreciate any wisdom. Our church is really suffering because we
have not been able to build trust and goodwill amongst members. Perhaps
finding a better way to empower members to develop resources in their
own languages could help us cross one more hurdle towards unity.
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