Writing in English or Norwegian?

Tobias has a post about wether he should choose one language and stick to that at his blog, or if he should keep mixing norwegian and english like he does now. I’ve given this issue quite a bit of thought as I’m currently writing my blog in English, but I write professionally (for Gamer.no) using Norwegian and I’ve written several starter articles and documentation tidbits in Norwegian (most of this material is also already extensivly covered in English).

The reasoning behind writing my blog in English is that most articles I write is meant to serve as a resource for both myself and other people who are experiencing the same issues and searches for help through search engines like Google and Yahoo!. I feel that by writing my blog in English, I make the information available to as many people that I’m able to reach. I’ve several times stumbled across help on non-english blogs, and although translation tools are available, they tend to make things a bit more confusing. Using English as my primary language on my blog also enables me to participate in discussions and writing posts that are aimed at the general user groups of my fields of expertise.

Although I’ve decided to keep my blog English, I will post the occasional article in Norwegian. I’ll keep these to a category by itself on the blog, and I’ll keep them away from the front page (but I may write a short summary in English and keep link to the Norwegian post). This way I’ll keep the blog as a useful resource both to those who come here from a search engine and to those who subscribe to my RSS feed. If you read an English post and then got Norwegian articles in your RSS feed, you’d probably be confused and start wondering about how you could unsubscribe. The signal/noise ratio for this blog would exceed what you’d find acceptable.

So Tobias, my suggestion: stick to one language on the front page, but provide a category for posts in the other language. Provide an RSS feed for each language and one that merges both languages (for those of us that are bilingual) if you decide to write in two different languages. And never mix languages in the same post (<pun>except for programming languages</pun>).

Wether that language should be English or Norwegian will have to depend on your goal for the blog and who you’re writing for.

One thought on “Writing in English or Norwegian?”

  1. You put some of my thoughts on paper here. Especially the part on beeing a resource for the googlers, that’s the true inspiration for keeping certian parts in english.

    Anyway, the seperate RSS-feeds and consistent front-page language is a great plan. Thanks for good advices.

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