Chinese website launch
By Deb Fox | Wycliffe Today Winter 2022 edition |
On the auspicious date of Chinese New Year (Tuesday, 1 February 2022) an exciting event took place: the ‘soft launch’ of the Wycliffe Bible Translators Australia Chinese language website. The team is preparing to hold an official launch on another special occasion – Pentecost (Sunday, 5 June 2022).
Jessie Wei is a Wycliffe representative for the Chinese diaspora in Australia who is fluent in Cantonese, Mandarin and English. Jessie, along with Wycliffe Australia Board member Fai Peng Chen and Wycliffe Australia member Ming Fang Strickland, helped to get the website project started with research, translation, and checking. Jessie is now focusing on her role as a rep and is passionate about connecting with the Chinese diaspora, sharing:
A diaspora group has its own language and culture. My role with Wycliffe connects me with [the Chinese diaspora] and, by God’s grace, enables us to minister to each other. Communicating with [the Chinese diaspora] in their heart language and in a culturally sensitive manner can certainly help. Chinese is the second largest population group in Australia (other than the native English speaking group). More and more Chinese churches are becoming aware of the need for Bible translation. If we communicate with Chinese people in their heart language, we can better serve them and invite them to be part of God’s mission, grow in Christlikeness and invite them to be part of extending his kingdom.
Data from the last census revealed that around 20 per cent of Australians speak a language other than English at home. The second and fourth most common languages include Mandarin (2.5 per cent) and Cantonese (1.2 per cent). Immigrants from the Chinese mainland were also the third largest group of any foreign-born people in Australia in 2020.
John Tan is the Information Technology and Communication (ITC) Manager at Wycliffe Australia. He maintains Wycliffe Australia’s website and ‘played the webmaster role’ to create the Chinese website, which he says is a helpful tool for inviting Chinese churches to partner in the work of Bible translation:
Wycliffe Australia realises the need to use the Chinese language as we share about Bible translation needs around our country. It is difficult to engage with Chinese folk in our community without knowing Mandarin – that’s where the new website comes in. The tiny bit of Chinese I know helped, as I understand how the language flows, but I would not have been able to do my part successfully if not for the support of the team around me.
Wen Lee Kuan is a Wycliffe member who has also been involved in the development of the website by recruiting people to help with the translation and checking the back translations as content is added to the site. She shares:
The soft launch helped to connect us with Chinese churches. Having a website that’s in Chinese characters is such a great tool for reaching Chinese congregations. We can understand their needs and work together. We’re excited about the official launch that’s due to take place on Pentecost – what a special gift to celebrate the translation in honour of the miracle of God speaking to people in their own languages!
Praise the Lord:
- for the feedback since the soft launch
- the ongoing synergy of the development team
- addition of a webmaster and two volunteer translators
- for the scheduled live launch on Sunday, 5 June – Pentecost Day
- that the website will communicate clearly the vision and mission of Wycliffe to Chinese churches
- for more engagement in the ministry of Bible translation among the Chinese community
- for resources to follow up those responses
- for ongoing updates and development beyond the live launch
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