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Global Christianity and the Rise of the Cellphone

Hugh Pickens writes (1984118) writes | more than 2 years ago

Books 0

Hugh Pickens writes writes "Alan Jacobs writes in the Atlantic about "Every Tribe Every Nation" (ETEN) an organization whose mission is to produce and disseminate Bibles in readable mobile-ready texts for hundreds of languages including Norsk, Potawatomie, Bahasa Indonesia, and Hawai'i Pidgin as the old missionary impulse is being turned towards some extremely difficult technical challenges. The Bible is a large, complicated text containing three quarters of a million words and the typesetting is quite complex because of the wide range of literature types found in scripture and the need for several types of note. "For all the issues that are still to be solved, ETEN is trying to do things that the world's biggest tech companies haven't cracked yet, such as rendering minority languages correctly on mobile devices," says Mark Howe. "There's a unity among Bible translators and publishers that stands in stark contrast to the fractured, fratricidal smartphone industry." But once these technical challenges are met, it won't be only Bibles only that people can get on their mobile devices: but whole textual worlds will open up for them. "So whatever your views about the Christian missionary enterprise, it's safe to say that insofar as people like Howe succeed in solving these problems, some of the world's smaller "heart languages" will stand a better chance of surviving, and maybe even thriving, in an increasingly digitized world," writes Jacobs. "And that's pretty cool.""

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