After I posted my first essay
in this series, Tim Bulkeley
, whose biblical scholarship
posted on the Internet I have admired for years, commented on how difficult it was for him to know what kind of English he used so that he could respond to the survey I posted on Bible versions in that essay. I thanked Tim for his honesty and admitted that I am not alert enough to the fact that many people are not aware of how
they speak or write English. They simply use the language. Tim's comments prompted me to try to think of better ways to help people become aware of their own language usage. This exercise might not be interesting for most people--except for language nuts like me who thoroughly enjoy observing how others and I myself use English. The exercise can have value for all of us, though, since I believe that a Bible version will more accurately communicate to us and will impact us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually if it is written in our heart language. That is the passion that drives Bible translators around the world to translate for those who do not have the Bible in their heart language. By heart language, I am referring to one's own native language, especially the natural way that one speaks or writes in that native language. And that is the passion that moves me to try to help English Bible versions be written not only accurately, but also in the heart language of English readers.
So I thought of some exercises that can help lead us, hopefully, to discover what kind of English we each use and whether or not it is the same English that is in the Bible versions that we use.
In today's exercise, I would like to use a non-biblical example, because sometimes if we go directly to biblical examples, our brains switch to a "Bible dialect" that we might be familiar with, and then the exercise is not as objective as it could be.
So, please check (tick) any of the following sentences that sound to you like something you would naturally say or write in your everyday, ordinary life
. Some of you may mark more than one sentence and that is just fine. Click on the Send button. You may get a warning message about Sending. Approve (OK) sending. I won't reveal your email address to others, nor will I spam you. I will receive the results of this exercise. After several days, I will post the results of this survey on this blog.