I've mentioned before that I teach Bible once a week to a small group of women in a jail setting. Currently we are going through a series of lessons on the Life of Christ.
We have a variety of women who come into class, Caucasian and otherwise. Most of them are English speaking, but now and then we will have a Latino woman who does not read or understand English. We have Spanish Bibles on hand, but when it comes to studying the lesson I want to give them more than that, to bring them into the discussion, to allow them to see the main points of the lesson. Sometimes there will be a bilingual woman who can translate key points. Sometimes not.
I can count to ten in Spanish. Otherwise, "No Habla Espanol"!
I've found that I can translate simple sentences by using http://babelfish.yahoo.com/ . And while simple sentences "seem" to translate correctly, I do not try to translate grammatically complex sentences or unusual words. I've learned that I must keep it simple! There are pitfalls in using this program.
For instance, babelfish will correctly translate "Holy Spirit" to "Espíritu Santo". Even I can see that this is a correct translation.
But if I try to translate the single word Spirit (either alone or in a sentence), it translates "alcohol".
You can see that might cause a little misunderstanding! Especially if one is trying to state that God gives us the Holy Spirit in our hearts as a helper!
I can credit my husband for discovering this program's propensity to err in regards to the Holy Spirit! In his classroom of 30 guys! (Hear me giggle!)
John 4:24 "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth."
And in Spanish? "Dios es espíritu, y los que le adoran deben adorarle en espíritu y en verdad."
Let's get it right!