Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Other Languages

 Year 9- Day 55: Today, I am grateful for other languages. 

"In French, you don't say "I miss you." You say, "tu me manques" which means, "you are missing from me". I love that. "

I took  a little French in High School and Spanish in college. I adore the way other languages help us see with another's eyes. Somehow, "I miss you. " pierces the heart a little more when reframed into "You are missing from me." The French version is felt a little deeper.

Languages do more than help us communicate ideas from one person to another. Language actually helps us shape our world view. I've often heard the phrase,  "It is just semantics." indicating a word choice is not that big a deal. As one who loves words, I think that semantics need to be carefully considered. It goes back to the power of a good edit. 

John Wycliffe did the first original English  translation of the Bible in the 14th century. There were limited copies and some who had problems with the translation. The Bible was translated to English for the masses, from Hebrew and Greek to English, by the order of King James in 1604. It took until 1611 to complete. At the time, "King James English" was the common language. It was considered a far more modern language translation than the 14th century Wycliffe Bible.

Most English Bibles are translations from the Hebrew and Greek. I have a fondness for the King James Version of the Bible for the poetry of the language, in the same way I enjoy Shakespeare or an old hymn. I love the art and the heart. It is hard to read for understanding.

Today's modern language translations leave us with many choices. It is good to know the history and intention of any translation of the Bible on your shelf. At, you can choose a Bible verse and push one button to cross-reference all English translations. It is a great tool when looking to clarify the meaning of any passage. Not all are the best translations, but each serves a purpose. Know the history of  a translation when choosing your favorites to use for study. is wonderful for going back to the original Hebrew and Greek text. You just might find yourself "lost in translations". Lost not meaning confused, but the feeling you get when lost in the pleasure of an art gallery or an English garden. Lost in the way that delights the soul.

Tolkien said: "Not all who wander are lost." On the other side of the coin, some who seem lost, are merely enjoying  a little wandering. Translations into other languages can provide challenges... but, also, it can add a little mystery and wonder. 

Jesus once said, "There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you?" -John 14:2

That thought, spoken aloud, whispers the deepest kind of love. The kind of love that says, "I am coming back because you are missing from me." 

Today, I am grateful for other languages. 

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