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EDITORIAL: A word of thanks to the folks at Baptist Press

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It was so kind of Baptist Press to take the time to write an article about the built-in language translator used by The Christian Index. That translator allows readers to see articles in any of several languages with the click of a mouse.

Baptist Press is busy covering everything happening around the Southern Baptist Convention, so we consider it a badge of honor that they’d take time out to write about the Index.

Laura Erlanson, BP’s managing editor, said in her article that the Index has provided news for and about Georgia Baptists for 200 years. But, she pointed out, it has always been exclusively in English until now.

Index Editor Roger Alford said many Georgia Baptists are brand new to the U.S. In fact, of the 23 new churches welcomed into the Georgia Baptist Convention at its annual meeting in November, nearly a third were made up primarily of internationals.

“English isn’t a first language for all Georgia Baptists,” Alford said. “We’re a state with about 1 million immigrants. The language translator on our website allows brothers and sisters new to our country to read the Index in their own heart language. I’m reminded of the day of Pentecost, when all those people heard the Gospel in their own language. People here and now in Georgia can read the Index in their own language. Simply by clicking a box.”

Languages offered include Arabic, Filipino, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian, Spanish, Thai, Urdu and Vietnamese. Alford said he chose the languages most commonly spoken among immigrants in Georgia.

Georgia isn’t unique when it comes to its large number of immigrants. So, newspapers in any number of states containing major metropolitan areas can benefit from the computer programming that allows Index readers to choose their language.

Baptist Press distributes the news far and wide, making it an invaluable way of sharing best practices like the language translator. So, don’t be surprised if you hear of other state newspapers offering this language translation service to their readers. We’d welcome that. As they say, mimicry is the purest form of flattery.

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