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This past May marked the end of my first year of teaching seminary in Thailand, so I thought it would be a good time to step back and reflect, and to dispel a persistent misconception.And if anyone reading this is considering teaching seminary classes in a second-language, perhaps this brief account of my experience might give them some idea of what they would be in for.
When other foreigners learn that I teach seminary in Thailand, and that I teach it in Thai (not English), they are often very impressed.Overly impressed, I would say. The reality is much less impressive and I feel much less competent and qualified than many seem to think I am.
For the past two weeks, we had a short-term team with us from America and I have had both the pleasure of working with them, and also the responsibility of translating for them most of the time. Though my Thai ability is not superb, it is usually sufficient to get the job done. However, I know that pronunciation is not my strong suit and part way through this past Sunday’s sermon, I was hoping against hope that I was getting a certain word right. I wasn’t.As my friend Luke preached in English, I did the best that I could to translate what he said into Thai. All was well until he took us to Zechariah 10:3, “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the LORD Almighty will care for his flock, the house of Judah, and make them proud like a horse in battle.” From that point on in the sermon, Luke used the word “warhorse” quite frequently.