Saturday, 9 August 2008

I'm glad that's clear...

The instructions for an MP3 player I've just bought are full of this kind of thing, the famous Chinglish:
Give or get an electric shock the quantity ample, show whole full. Along with the increment that use time, the electricity measure designation and will let up.
A few lines later:
The sweet hint: Broadcast time in a specific way, take solid machine as to allow!
Sweet indeed! Now, obviously whoever translated this should be sent back for more classes. The real problem though, is surely that this is actually what he learnt in classes. He's presumably never really spoken with an actual English person, and done all of his instruction in a little "bubble" of other Chinglish speakers.

If you're a Christian, are you one of those Christians who spends all his time in a little bubble with other Christians, such that you can't actually communicate meaningfully with an unbeliever? Or if you're a preacher, are you one of those preachers who is so engrossed in the bubble of study, conferences, Greek lexicons, and so on, that your preaching is basically Chinglish to anyone not in the same bubble? Does everybody who goes away from your sermons, regardless of how much understanding they had of Christian things before, go away knowing exactly what you said, why you said it and what they're meant to go and do about it? Or do they come away thinking "I wonder what that meant" and just go bumbling on as if there had never been any instruction book given to us at all?

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