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Catalan or English: that’s the unsolvable 2.0 dilemma

16/06/2011

I have decided to change the language of this blog: I will stop writing in Catalan and switch to English instead. Many native English language speakers will have trouble understanding the difficulty we face in Europe (and other continents, of course) with respect to the language(s) we use in social media.

On one hand there is our local community we provide with information, our immediate environment we live and act in. Despite using a world wide web, interestingly enough we tend to interact mostly with people from our familiar cultural sphere, including its language.

Even though Catalan is not my mother tongue (it’s German, actually), living in Barcelona makes me use it as a main language at home, at work, with friends. It seemed natural, hence, to apply it for my blog. However, after some months of blogging, I found it a pity that I could not disseminate to a wider audience the contents I wanted to share.

In a recent discussion, a friend of mine @begonyacayuela finally gave me an argument I saw as a compromise, an in-between: We should write in English, she said, so that the ideas we create here (in Catalonia) can be exported.

Another avid blogger, @mariavid, recently decided to translate posts also into Spanish, so as to reach more readers. With Twitter, the problem is the same or even worse. How to satisfy the needs of your local and global Twitter community with one account?

What is a time consuming task for an individual is more accessible on an institutional level. The blog of the Museu Picasso Barcelona, for instance, has a very coherent publication policy in three languages (Catalan, Spanish and English). It seems the only way to go for a museum with a strong international outreach.

I find it a pity to switch language, but I shall compensate it with many ideas made in Catalonia!

Adéu català, welcome English!

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