Blog Flux LinkLog: Outgoing Link Logging and Click Tracking for Em duas línguas

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Bilingual blogging - in Portugal

JVC in Reformar a Educação Superior half hopes he can find a "colaborador amável" so he can (also) keep his blog in English.

This got me thinking (again) of the different ways people in Portugal are writing em duas línguas...

When I first "met" Paulo Santos of Pauloya he wrote all his posts in Portuguese, English and Turkish. Now he writes some posts in English, others in Portuguese and occasionally he shows off in Turkish :-)

Thinking aloud: not only is it time-consuming to translate, but it also assumes that the contexts of people reading it are the same. Posts need context which translated words can't give you. How do you get the balance between content and context?

Of the blogs I read, writing different posts in different languages is more common than translating every post. For example Hugo Neves of Lisbon Lab writes some in English and some in Portuguese. As he says, some things lend themselves more to being blogged in one language, like the LIFT06 conference where many of the 300 participants would already be blogging in English. His blogroll and bio is in Portuguese.

Thinking aloud: Posting in two languages is one thing, but what about your bio and blogroll and links? And how do you categorise your links when they are in two languages? Some things are obviously for one audience or another - but what is your criteria for the others?

Monica André now keeps her Blog da tese mostly in English with an occasional post in Portuguese when the content and context is Portuguese. Her tags are all in English. Her other blog B2OB about barriers and opportunites to organisational blogging has more Portuguese posts and her links there are to both Portuguese and English and Spanish sites.

Thinking aloud: how does she stay so organised in her blogs, blogroll and links?

Then you have some blogs like Zone41 who writes mostly in Portuguese but whose links and blogroll are mostly to English or Spanish sites.

Thinking aloud: just because you are writing in one language it doesn't mean you are reading and navigating in only one language.

Blogolento - Slow Blog posts in Portuguese and has a translator so you can read it "almost in English".

Thinking aloud: does anyone really use translators?

And you have blogs like Tao of Mac; Rui Carmo posts entirely in English with links to sites in English, but with references to Lisbon and Portugal.

Thinking aloud: is this where you get to when you know a lot about content in two languages?

Then there's the whole words/images thing. Vitriolica writes in Portuguese English. Her references in words and pictures are Portuguese and English. You get the joke if you speak English and Portuguese and you know some British and Portuguese cultural references.

Thinking aloud: you get quite different things out of a post when you know the language and references of more than one language.

Paulo Querido in Mas certamente que sim! blogs different posts in different languages and categorises them into English, Portuguese or both. While he doesn't translate his blog title he does translate the sub-title (in the English but not in the "both" section)

Thinking aloud: If you categorise things in terms of language, then you also need a way to sub-categorise your posts. How do you do that? And also do you translate everything including sub-titles, meta-language e.g. comments/comentários etc? And if you do, how do you represent it without everything becoming overcrowded?

I'm left with at least two questions:

1. What must it be like to simply read, post and tag all in one language? What do you do with the rest of your time?

2. What are "cultural references" for "English"? English is not so bounded by geography as many other languages are. What does it mean to bundle everything written "in English" to "English"?

And I continue to marvel how navigating the online world em duas línguas is more than the sum of navigating it one of two languages.

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Blogger Lucy P said...

isn't it lovely being at-least-bi-lingual?
one gets so much more out of everything. especially, of course, blogging!

2/07/2006 11:04:00 PM  
Blogger _41 said...

Eu normalmente se tenho que citar algum blogue, não costumo traduzir essa mesma citação.
Eu escrevo em Portugues apartir de Portugal, mas como tu o dizes vou blogando por vários blogues de vários ediomas. Por exemplo tenho achado a blogosfera espanhola mais fiel ao espanhol do que nós por cá, com muita gente a escrever em ingles.

2/07/2006 11:58:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

Pois, a audiência espanhola deve ser maior do que a audiência portuguesa. Tem vantagens e desvantagens.

2/08/2006 04:34:00 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

You are always showing knew things for reflection in so many other ways then the ones that have come to my mind. Thanks for this bunch of new ones :-)

PS - Always thought that i was chaotic till you wrote this post ;-)

2/08/2006 11:43:00 AM  
Blogger Pedro Custódio said...

Eu pessoalmente optei por escrever dois blogues, um em português e outro em inglês, curiosamente o que impôs a separação não foi a lingua, mas os temas que eu desejei separar: vida privada (/var/log ) e outro mais profissional (Centopeia), simplesmente porque me fazia confusão misturar as duas águas.

A escolha das linguas foi no meu caso para o blog profissional em inglês, porque na minha área profissional é quase uma obrigação, senão se calhar não vale a pena escrever... Embora o que escrevo seja essencialmente para mim e para um grupo restrito de pessoas.

2/09/2006 05:54:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

Mónica - does that mean you will come and share some wisdom with me at Blogher 2006?

2/09/2006 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger alegriadosreis said...

10 years at a British school (in Portugal) means I speak and write partly in Portuguese and partly in English, all mixed up. This is very annoying for most people (except for the people that have the same background and speak the same "lingo"). This is so natural for me that my blog is written in the same way. However, I have a very "serious" job where I have to write and speak correctly in both languages (without mixing them up) which is sometimes hard work.

2/10/2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

Pois, Ashitiak. I know exactly what you mean. Being rafeira means you can only meaningfully engage with people who speak both languages! Then you have the purists who correct you when you mix ...

2/10/2006 04:14:00 PM  
Blogger Amerloc said...

First, let me say that I came here circuitously, but my journey started at Darren Kuropatwa's blog, A Difference, which you reference in another post here.

Second, you ask, "What must it be like to simply read, post and tag all in one language? What do you do with the rest of your time?" Monolinguality is crippling, in a sense, like putting blinders on a horse so he will not be distracted by the real world. Most of us Americans, though, have little choice, having never developed sufficient fluency in any language other than our own (if that) to even entertain the idea of reading or writing in different ones. And since we know nothing else, we don't recognize what we're missing.

You also say, "Blogolento - Slow Blog posts in Portuguese and has a translator so you can read it "almost in English".

Thinking aloud: does anyone really use translators?"

I love that phrase, "almost in English." It so very accurately describes what auto-translators accomplish: they get it close enough that if you are willing to perform some mental gymnastics you can get very near the original intent.

As to anyone using translators, I'm not sure. In our insular community here on this side of the Atlantic, we don't have much choice (for reasons referenced above) if we want to explore the rest of the blogosphere (or anything else). But then, as a culture, we don't habitually look much past our own noses...

2/24/2006 02:59:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

"if you are willing to perform some mental gymnastics you can get very near the original intent."

Thanks Al - mental gymnastics is a form of sense-making a really, really important competence for communicating, which not everyone is very good at.

2/24/2006 03:43:00 PM  
Blogger Blind Tangerine Jones said...

My Brazilian wife and I, the Gringão, are doing this now. We have our own Webzine in Portuguese, O Bicho-Preguiça, and Neuza has been invited to blog in English about Brazilian women bloggers on BlogHer. It's supposed to be a secret, but naturally, each of us does a "copy-desk" on the non-native writings of the other so that we both look brilliantly bilingual! A friend our ours is working on a project for translation of blog posts, called Blogamundo. It is very interesting to follow blogs in different languages--including countries "separated by a common language," like Portugal and Brazil ...

2/24/2006 11:33:00 PM  
Blogger bev trayner said...

BTJ - I think there's a future in bilingual partnerships (marriage-types or not). One day I'll collect some of your wisdom on that!

2/25/2006 09:15:00 AM  
Blogger trendoffice said...

Monolinguality is crippling, in a sense, like putting blinders on a horse - thanks for this description, Al. And it is even more important that it has been made by an American. Because in a well-known blog which deals with estimating others' blogs one of the main criticisms for my blog was 'Oh, and half of it is in another langage"!
Using translators is not possible for Bulgarian and I do not like its quality with other langages, too. So I am posting in both langages with prevailing part in Englis, and trying to be as understanadable as possible. But since English is very popular in my country (like everywhere else, I suppose) I hope that this will not be a problem for most of my Bulgarian readers.
I think that bilingual blogging will bring about improving the translators and increasing their scope very soon.
My congratulation about raising this issue.

2/25/2006 10:01:00 AM  
Blogger Bryce Wesley Merkl said...

Interesting blog, and a very thought-provoking question that you raised about blogging in more than one language. I'll have to chew on that one for a while.

Here's a great multilingual site that you might want to check out that sort of deals with the same issues of more than one language:

Português wiki browser

1/01/2009 10:32:00 PM  

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