4/25/2018

Bilingual Message


“Please send the manuscript of your Sunday message for Cagayan de Oro,” Lynnie, Marketing Specialist of OMFLit (Viz-Min) messaged me. “That same message will be for two services.”

I found it odd that she needed it two weeks in advance.  But a dutiful soldier does not question why—Lynnie never makes unreasonable requests.

That Sunday came and as soon as I set foot in church, the pastor met me and explained that I would be speaking in two languages—one in English for the first service, and the other in Chinese for the second service.

“But I can’t speak Chinese!” I panicked. 

“No worries,” he replied, your message has already been translated to Chinese. Simply read your manuscript in English. Then he introduced me to the translator—a scholarly, formidable-looking lady who double-checked with me my Bible verses.

Ah so. That was why my manuscript had to be sent in advance. 

The English message for the first service was as I prepared it—to the minute and to the letter. Now, what about the second service? My speaking time would be doubled with the translation.

“Would it be okay if I skipped some parts?” I hesitated to ask, but asked anyway. 

“Okay,” she said, “I know your message by heart; I will adjust.” 

Whew!

I began my talk with an adlib, “My husband sends his greetings. He's the guy who speaks fluent Fookien. Unfortunately, I am the author. He is simply the wings behind the author.”

The translator picked it up and when she paused, there was loud laughter. 

Such are the blessings that enrich an author’s journey. No two book tours are ever alike. Every single experience is a rich source of grace that keeps the writing more exciting and challenging—book after book after book. 

2 comments:

Yay Padua-Olmedo said...

Wow, bilingual teaching. I'd love to see the day when the male Chong himself does the direct translation from your manuscript. Cool, huh!

Grace D. Chong said...

Unfortunately, Yay, the male Chong is "no read, no write." Ha-ha-ha!