Thursday, February 13, 2014



Apparently a lot gets lost in translation. 

After wondering for days about the Sochi Olympic slogan I finally did a little research and here’s what I discovered.

HOT – In Russian the word is zharkie and can be translated as “heated.’  The idea is that the competition is heated by the passion of the athletes (which is what is required to nail a YOLO Flip on slushy snow in a halfpipe).
COOL – The Russian word is zimniye which means “wintery.”  It’s the winter Olympics – snow, ice, white mountaintops, visions of Disney’s Frozen….

YOURS.  “Yours” means “yours” in every language except for where the proper word might be ya’lls or yous guys. The word was chosen as a reminder that the Olympics are for everyone (speactators and competitors) – no one is excluded from the party (avoiding any reference to Communist Party exclusions).

HOT.  COOL.  YOURS.  Makes perfect sense once you explain it – but nonsense if you don’t – like a lot of church messaging.

I was in a worship service recently (not at Mountaintop) where the worship leader encouraged us to celebrate that we were all children of different mothers but the same father… I knew what he meant (and in writing it I could make it clearer with “Father” rather than “father”) but it sure sounded weird when he said it.   I spent the next 5 minutes with the words to the song “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” stuck in my head.

HOT. COOL. YOURS. – What’s your church’s “slogan” (we like to call them things like vision or mission statements – but most people think of them as slogans).  How much of what we are trying to say get’s lost in translation?

And for those who attend Mountaintop – how would you translate our vision (slogan) to be:

 A community that is learning and sharing a better way to live in Christ?

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