Lost and Found in Translation


Reflections from a Road Trip

This last week has been such a blessing. My colleague from England, Sue Johns, and I have been traveling to meet with and listen to Five Talents friends in Washington State, Oregon, and California - and we really covered some miles!

The time on the road gave us time to reflect. We drew inspiration from the unfolding beauty and complexity of God’s creation as we went from the western seaboard over the Cascade Mountains to the incredible landscape around the Tri-Cities in Washington.

Language and Development

A participant in a Five Talents literacy class practices writing during a lesson in South Sudan.

A participant in a Five Talents literacy class practices writing during a lesson in South Sudan.

Sue wrote, "the diversity got me thinking about all our members around the globe and their diversity of cultures and languages. Yet we always manage to mold our savings-group curriculum to suit their needs, thanks entirely to our fantastic, local program leaders. Chosen by each local bishop, they are people of great wisdom and knowledge, sensitive to the needs of others. They adapt the material to suit any language."

Sue went on, "language is key; how can we teach/learn unless we hear a message that we understand. Translation and interpretation are great gifts given to us."

Translation is Key

But on our trip we were reminded of how difficult, and even funny, languages can be. Artificial intelligence, for all its sophistication, can really miss the point. Like when we used our GPS system to give us directions to a restaurant. We knew it was called “Lulu,” but because the brand in our phone had it all in upper case, it came out L-U-L-U! And the GPS kept telling us over and over again we were getting close to L-U-L-U.

It was a moment when the simple reality was lost in translation, but boy did we laugh!

Returning to the point though, our trainers around the world are amazing translators! Nothing is lost with them! Praise God!

Until next Monday morning,

Dale Stanton-Hoyle,
Executive Director

Top Photo: Group facilitators prepare for an outdoor meeting in Renk, South Sudan.