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What makes you choose the language you write your articles in?

damcosset profile image Damien Cosset ・1 min read

Making a choice?

This discussion is obviously aimed at people who are able to speak more than one language. I am French ( therefore I am fluent in that language ), and I'm fluent enough in english.

I can write my articles in two different languages. 3 choices possibles:

  • Write in french
  • Write in english
  • Write in french and english

Right now, I'm writing exclusively in english. I've learn to code with English resources, and it felt like a more natural way to write about what I was learning.

What are your goals?

Like most, I write to achieve certain goals. Increase my online visibility and retain the informations I'm learning are the main ones. I've always felt like writing in English was the best language ( between the two I know ) to achieve these goals.

What about the platforms?

Choosing the english language depended also on the dev.to platform. This is where most of my views came from, and writing in french here would decrease the number of people who could read my articles. I'm personally thinking about writing/publishing in french on my personal blog and keeping english for international platforms like dev.to.

Writing every article in both english and french do seem like it would be quite time consuming, and I'm not sure I could keep this up for very long.

So, I'm curious about what you people choose when you decide to write an article.

Can't wait to read your experiences ❤️

Posted on by:

damcosset profile

Damien Cosset

@damcosset

French web developer mostly interested in Javascript and JAVA

Discussion

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I hope you're aware that this way of asking is bound to get you very biased answers? :-] There are many people (me included) who prefer their native language, but we usually don't spend so much time on English social networks.

A few years ago, I wrote a textbook on Computability theory. My colleagues were surprised I didn't write it in English. But my purpose was to help my students learn. If they are OK with using an English book for that, no problem -- but there are already many of them. But if they would like a Croatian book, they would have a poor choice until I wrote mine.

 

Congrats, I think that that is something really good to do, it's a way to help your local community, wich in many cases, besides well developed countries, are not well grown.

 

I think it's much more about the raw size, than the "development" (whatever that is anyway:). Compare the number of books on almost any topic written in India vs. Netherlands, for example. :-D

 

(Brazilian here)

I've already asked this question many times to devs back there and the answer is always the same:

"I don't even search for content in Portuguese, always in English".

So I wouldn't bother translating my content if I were you, I guess devs from other countries do the same.

 

I'm Argentinian, not a native english speaker either, so I gotcha men.

I've focused on english because everyone (from this side of the world) learns coding on english. Software Development is written in english.

So, all those docs in english push me to write in english, but also I want to get the f* out of here xD so I write in english so foreign recruiters may read my content easier.

 

On the other side of it, I have used translation services to translate articles written in foreign languages that are useful to what I am doing. I don’t see an issue in writing in a language that is comfortable to you.

 

I have the same goals when I write articles in english.
Also there is an extra goal - I want to practice my writing skill, since I feel it's not good enough. I want to achieve the state when writing and publishing a post/comment would be smooth and fast, without mental blocks and translation services.

 

I always pick English even if it is not my mother language as it helps me reach more people.

The only case to write in my mother tongue would be to touch something that is really specific to the people of the country.

 

The content really - languages are not just words+grammar but also the full cultural context accumulated over the years. So if I'm writing in English, I have easy bridges to one set of cultural artefacts, while if I write in Romanian or in French, to other sets. For this reason, the content pretty much dictates the choice - while it's certainly possible to write the same thing in any language that I know well enough, some of those "writings" will inevitably be more "translations" than direct writing and some will involve more additional explanations to bridge the gap as it were. Note that neither of those is "bad" in itself - arguably it's precisely this sort of "translation" that cross-fertilizes but if my aim is simply to express a thought rather than specifically to enrich one cultural space with artifacts from another then I'll just go for the "closest" language to the content.

 

English cause I use it as part of my work but it's not my main language,

Instead, it's Chinese but sadly I don't really need to write it nowadays besides just using for conversations with my friends from the same race.

 

I write on my website in Portuguese and I've just started actually using the dev.to platform. My choice to write in Portuguese came from what some people told I do best: teach beginners.

On another aspect of this issue, I would like to translate things from English, but I'm not sure on how to approach people for that.

 

While of only published online in english so far, if the goal was to contribute to the growth of some community in terms of nationality (let's face it, thw natively-english community is strong because of the amount of info in english out there on the webs too), I would write it in my native language.

Perhaps this can help put things in perspective, but there's more tutorials in english (at least in the west) on the internet more than any other language. And I think that kids that know english have an advantage with that, they can start coding sooner on their own (i.e. googling) without having to go through the step of learning english first.

 

Came across this post when searching are you allowed to post other than English here :-D I am planning to publish a series about basic usage of Git in my native language (Finnish). There is plenty of articles about Git in English, but not that many in Finnish.

 

English because more people will be able to read it