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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Google, not psychology or sociology, for today's church

Are you using Google Chrome browser on a desktop PC?  Then you will be able to read the German books of Luther and Walther in English when you click the Google Books "Plain Text" button, and then click the "Translate" button that Google Chrome offers to Google Translate (see this post for diagram).  In seconds, you will see a rough English translation that is largely readable even with all its faults!

Dr. Robert Kolb may extol the benefits of "psychology" and "sociology" for today's church.  I will extol the work of Google for they have been the vehicle by which God has answered my prayer back in the mid-1990s that I may somehow be able to read the German writings of Luther, Walther, and Franz Pieper.  Perhaps unwittingly, Google is largely that vehicle.  Dear God!... you hear my prayer of thanks as I find another old (German) Missouri Synod book available in plain text that may easily be (Google) translated into English!

I wonder... are there any Lutherans among those working for Google Books who have been imaging the old (German) Missouri Synod books?  (You know who you are.)  Are there any Lutherans among those in Google Books who are making the extra effort (using the latest ABBYY recognition software for "frakturschrift") to provide high-quality "Plain text" so that English speaking Lutherans may read the German language of Luther... Walther... and Pieper?

And you people with ABBYY software company in Moscow, Russia and Munich, Germany... – are there any Lutherans among you who realize that your recognition software of the Fraktur font (and other "Black letter" and "Gothic" fonts) are allowing English speaking Lutherans to more easily access the writings of Martin Luther, C.F.W. Walther, and Franz Pieper?

Dear Manager of Google Books:
Thank you for your work!  Please keep extending your offerings of the old (German) Missouri Synod printings from the old Concordia Publishing House, Concordia-Verlag, A. Wiebusch u. Sohn, and other printers from Germany who printed for the old (German) Missouri Synod.  You have done very well with the Lehre und Wehre series, made a good start with the Der Lutheraner series, but there are some missing books by C.F.W. Walther and hardly any by Franz Pieper.
Also, please keep working to provide even better OCR recognition of these old German books.  Surely ABBYY software and your human verifiers will allow you to improve the recognition on the more difficult, older printings.


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