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Reconsidering Babel? November 29, 2010

Posted by P, J, or J in Uncategorized.

A friend recently commented that all these wonderful bits of Google gagetry in terms of translation software mean that we can now chat with anyone anywhere in the world. He regularly does and even if it’s not completely gone  the language barrier is definitely lowered in many cases.

I’m not quite so confident. There’s a long way to go between translating words and translating what people mean. The possibility for increased communication brings without an even greater possibility for miscommunication. Most people who’ve confidently stated something in a second language only to be met with an embarrassed silence or slap in the face know that some parts of communication are often too subtle for novices or even the cleverest of software.

Even when speaking a common language we all know how easy it is to miscommunicate.

Instead of blogging I should get back to working on module six of our online course in Language Program Design and Management. But I thought I’d share one thought I had while working on module five and exploring the complexities of working in partnership with other people and organisations:

I love the idea of partnership. For me the real challenge to the theory is the practicality of fallen individuals working in partnership with each other.

With perfect partnership almost nothing would be impossible for us, but at Babel God possibly not only confused the languages, but set the seeds for a confusion of business models, corporate structures, approaches to governance, finance, management, and every issue that we face today when trying to build on the plans that look so good to us in a planning document.

I believe that together we can achieve amazing results but that it will take a huge amount of effort invested in the partnership and that ultimate success will always be dependent on God.

Perhaps that’s also worth dwelling on as ‘my partner’ and I approach our eighth wedding anniversary. For the most part our personalities complement each other well and when we differ, the huge level of mutual trust, respect and love helps us to listen to each other’s perspectives a lot better than we might do with a few work colleagues. Being married and working together we also have the advantage of time to discuss any issues but guess what… we still miscommunicate from time to time, and still need to be centered on God.



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