Learn English through the Bible
Hallo! Es tut mir leid, ich weiß nicht Deutsch sprechen. Ich werde auf Englisch zu formulieren.
So I recently wrote a free education app called "Blingo" for learning foreign languages through the Bible. It currently supports six target languages:
Blingo will select a random verse from a pool of most frequently cited New Testament verses, read it out to you (recorded by native speakers, dramatized), and show you translations and word definitions. Each day, it will help you meditate on the Word and learn new words!
Here is a sample image: http://imgur.com/rYcJ3OR,6DrmRYW,XJDBzc4#1
It's currently available on
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.sinsubj.blingo and
- iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/blingo-bible-and-languages/id1019551376
What do you think? Any comments or criticisms would be much appreciated. Danke!
Which version do you use in English? KJV isn't going to help someone in everyday conversation, and word-for-word translations (like ESV, I think) might lead people to use odd phrasings.
Actually, have you paired versions carefully across the languages? Translating contemporary-speech meaning-for-meaning into archaic word-for-word could cause problems (I know it's not NT, but Ecclestiastes has "vanity" in one v. and "chasing the wind" in another - pretty different!).
You’ve got a legitimate concern.
Blingo uses the ESV, written in contemporary language, at times a bit awkward due to its loyalty to the original text. It may not be the best for the purpose of language acquisition (although it is John Piper’s favorite!), but it was the best choice given my limited resources.
I will definitely invest more resources for better pairing, but the current pairing will serve the purpose fine for now. Here’s why.
You are primarily concerned about 1) language style, e.g. contemporary or archaic; and 2) type, e.g. word-for-word or sense-for-sense, of a translation.
It is an extremely elaborate process to find translations that match in both style and type. As a multilingual yourself, you probably know better than I do that there can hardly be a perfect translation.
Having said that, I focused on looking for versions of the Bible in contemporary language. Most learners, including myself, are interested in picking up something they can use.
I did not put too much weight on the type of a translation. The reason being, the majority of Blingo users are already familiar with the content of the Bible. They already know in what context a verse was written and have their own representation of the stories in their heads; their familiarity and knowledge are great teaching aids. So when learners see “vanity” in one language, and “chasing the wind” in the other, they recognize the two different expressions are talking about the same concept. Blingo is a tool to improve one’s language skill by increasing his exposure to quality, relatable text, rather than showing two perfectly direct translations.
For the above reasons, my priority when searching was contemporary translations. And thankfully ESV meets that criterion.
Not as awkward for learning as the likes of KJV anyway!
My (terribly worded and talked-around) main concern about vanity/chasing the wind was when words like vanity have multiple meanings - even if the reader already knows enough of the context to pick up the meaning, they might miss out on a more frequently-used/less archaic one... But obviously they'll be using sources other than your app to learn, so it doesn't really matter.
The picture you listed shows German, but German does not show on the list. I like the idea- and want to use the application- but the only way I would use it, is if it had German.