Care to join me in some multilingual blog surfing?
When I suggest that we need to more seriously engage with non-western Christians I am seriously committed to doing that myself. It is a dream of mine that one day we will genuinely be able to speak of a world Christian conversation that will include Asian, Africa and Latin American Christians along with Australian, European and North American Christians. But the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. It begins with me, it begins with you.
Given my proximity to Asia, that is where I feel I have a particular responsibility. So towards that end I have been surfing Asian Christian blogs this week. This is a somewhat cumbersome task as my Mandarin is limited to what I picked up in a six months course some years back, my Japanese is limited to what I picked up in martial arts movies and my Korean is non-existent. Nevertheless I am giving it a go with the help of online language translators.
Here is what I have learned. I am finding what yields some results is to find a site like babelfish.yahoo.com and type in key words like “Jesus” or “Christianity” then translate them into another language, like say, Korean. The next step is to go to blogsearch.google.com.au and use the translated text as a search term. After selecting a site from the incomprehensible list that comes up, the final step is to reverse the process by feeding the URL back into the translation site, this time converting from the foreign language back into English.
Here is one example: seejesus.kr
Now, these translation programs aren’t perfect so communication can still be difficult, but it’s a way of breaking out of the world wide web baulkanization that language imposes.
Another alternative I have found useful is to search keywords in combination with country domain extensions (for example: .kr for Korean, .jp for Japan, .sg for Singapore, .my for Malasia, .cn for China, .in for india, .id for indonesia, .lk for Sri Lanka, .ph for philippines). I used that to find www.christianhub.com.sg and in the process also came across www.missionary-blogs.com
If you are willing to give this a go and find any good ones be sure to let me know too.