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If English is your Second Language – Which Language Do You Blog in?

Two weeks back I wrote a post asking whether readers Use American English, British English or do you Swing like the Canadians? – the resulting conversation was a great one with a variety of opinions offered.

It’s time for a new but related question – this time it’s directed at bloggers for whom English is a second language.

Which language do you blog in?

This question is a real one and one that I get asked quite a bit by people looking to start blogs. Here’s one question that arrived in my inbox today from Alonso (no URL as he’s yet to start his blog).

“Hi Darren, thank you for your blog. It has helped me greatly in preparing to launch my own blog. I do have one question thought that I am stuck on. I am from Argentina and speak Spanish as my mother tongue but in researching the topic for my blog have been wondering if I should write it in English to make my potential of greater size. Spanish is spoken by many people but it seems that blogs are read more by those speaking English. What would your advice be Darren?”

Alonso’s question is not isolated – in fact I get asked it every week. I’d be interested to hear what ProBlogger readers think and do? I’m particularly looking for the feedback of those who have English as a second language and who have been confronted with this choice.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. My blog Evomend (on self-development) is bilingual, I’m writing in English and in German. In general, I translate the postings within 2 days or so. Sometimes, the original gets written in English, next time in German.

    No big issues, but sometimes its hard to find equivalent URLs for the sites I mention, in the respective other language.

  2. I blog in Polish, although i’m planning to translate some posts into english and publicize them in “English” category.

  3. Milla says:

    I have 4 blogs in Spanish. Main one has an “English version” using Babel Fish. It is nothing like Oxford perfect english of course, but using a little good will it could be understood. Of course everyone wants millions of readers. Of course. However, my point here is that we other-than-English-spoken-bloggers –whether we like it or not– have a certain amount of responsibility in changing the actual balance of the language of the audiences. What would happen if everybody started writing English and English only? I am with Fernando, Spanish is the future! :-)

  4. Celso Lemes says:

    I´m a Brazilian, and my blogs are in Portuguese.
    As some people have said before, the english speakers are bigger than the other languages, so I think we could spread our blog for a bigger audience.
    But I also see a problem with that. Because english is a more spoken language, surelly ther will be more blogs in your niche, so it will be harder to get piece of cake.

    I pretend to create a blog in english versions in the future, but for now my english is not that goog to start a project of this kind.

  5. Raffi says:

    I blog in Armenian and in English. I used to blog and write more in Armenian, but the audience that I have are more comfortable in English. Now 30% is in Armenian and 70% in English

  6. Tonda says:

    I blog in Czech language, whitch is my native language. Once I tried to translate few my articles into english, but I was too bored by doing that.

  7. Dan says:

    My mother tongue is spanish and I started my blog in spanish but after 7 months I received few visitors, so I decided to change to english and since then the visitors grow up. I think this is because the technology is easier to get and use on countries like USA, Canada, Europe, etc. rather than latinamerican countries, so this is why there are more english spoken users, of course this is only my opinion.

  8. I’m Hungarian and I write for Hungarian Linux users, so I use my native language. Although you can reach more people with English, but it depends on your target audience.

  9. I am Danish, having more blogs in both Danish and English, but I have it a little like Nicole Simon (German) have it, when writing:

    “All in all – it is not going to be easy and as I said, there is always this feeling “i should have written it in the other language” ;)”

    But when I blog about Danish politics or the city planning in Copenhagen, there’s of course no doubt about the (Danish) language!

  10. Jorge Diaz says:

    I constantly have that dilemma. I started my blog (innovapixel.com) writting in Spanish, then i decided to writte in English. I think i am going to writte on english only :)

    If you are blogging for money, you definitely have to writte in English, because there are a lot of companies that offer monetization for your sites/blogs. You have more reach too.

    I tell you this because i created a blog recently about Apple News, its:

    http://www.thedailymac.com

    I started this blog recently, and now i have like 500 visitors daily :) . So thats why you should blog in English.

    Ask yourself a question. Are you blogging for money?

    Then writte in English. :)

  11. Actually, what made me go blogging in the first place was the fact that although there are many interesting blogs and websites about the topics I’m interested in (productivity, personal development, good habits, personal finances, entrepreneurship, motivation, spirituality, etc.), the options in Spanish are not so great, then I chose to blog in Spanish.

    I feel I can be a bridge for people who don’t speak English to get great useful content only found in English. It is a way of sharing knowledge with a lot of people who don’t have the chance to get it another way. I feel I’m contributing.

  12. Papa Shongo says:

    It’s a tough one. French is my first language but I live in New York and so choose to blog in English as it is the language that most of my audience speaks. One thing I do is post an entry twice, once in English and then French, but only when I feel that the topic discussed is pertinent to both groups. I blog about Africans in New York so some issues might be more relevant to francophones in Africa as opposed to the other English speaking folks.

  13. Genesis says:

    My first language is English, I´m Canadian, but I have lived in Guatemala for 5 years and my husband is Guatemalan, so we speak mostly Spanish. Because of this, I have four blogs in English and am starting one in Spanish.

    The truth is that the English market is bigger, but for niche blogs, other languages often offer untapped markets which I feel may be more valuable in the long run.

  14. snwop says:

    My mother’s tongue is Spanish and I blog in Spanish. I have never thought of writing my blog in English, though other blogs I have in mind, maybe. In any case, as I can see from ClustrMaps, lots of people from Europe and America are reading me, so I guess that the language is appropriate.

  15. My parent’s teached me how to speak French. But most of the time, we speak English.

    I’ve chosen to blog in french-english because I feel that I can help a lot of people who want to learn these languages.

  16. Marisa says:

    I am a citizen of the world and I blog in English!

    Regards.

  17. Efrain says:

    How do you blog in Spanish and get the spelling, grammar and accents corrections?

    Efrain