Why is some content in german and some in english?

by Volker Weber

I often get asked why I publish most of my content in english, which is not my native language. Many readers would be happy to see it all in german or all in english. Here are two answers. Pick what you like.

1. I need to accomodate a substantial part of my readership that is uni-lingual. :-) The rest is at least bi-lingual and understands some english.

2. I need to practice my english, which is only my third language. You can help me by correcting my mistakes.

The site is not completely in english. Some of the content remains in german. While you can try and translate those posts with Babelfish, it isn't really helpful. Rule of thumb: If a post is in german, it is not interesting to anyone who does not speak the language. I will keep all of my posts that target german readers only in our native language. At times I may choose to post something in german, because it is too difficult for me to express it in a foreign language. Machine translation will certainly fail in this case.

If you post a comment, you can do that in any language I understand. That would include COBOL. ;-)


I appreciate the mixed-language approach. German is my second language, and I've had little opportunity to use it in the past twenty years (except when I run into my high-school German teacher, who ends up being very disappointed in me). Reading things in German here at least keeps that part of my brain from completely dying.

DaveP, 2004-10-13

Problem is, you sometimes want audience in more then just your native language.

I've been thinking about this for a long time and will split my blog in two parts / feeds "all" and "only english" - because most of my readers are able to understand english but only very very few can do german. Plus several search engine hits don't understand anything besides the page the hit on.

But the explanation for "when is it in english" is nice ;o) btw 'may native language?' ;o)

Nicole Simon, 2004-10-13

PERFORM write_good_articles WHILE fanclub_exists.
MOVE CORRESPONDING articles TO language_feed.

:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2004-10-13

... the comment box swallowed the indentation of the statements. They belong to column 8 and 12.
:-) stw

Stephan H. Wissel, 2004-10-13

I like the mixed language approach. I also like the chance to work on my German, which I am trying to learn (somewhat futilely) on my own. I read a different blog with mixed English and Spanish, and again appreciate the efforts of you bloggers to accomodate those of us who don't speak your native language.

Ben Langhinrichs, 2004-10-13

Fair enough... I will continue to translate your german text though. One of the great things about the web is much of the information is not from a local viewpoint ie Salam Pax - first Iraqi blogger. I enjoy your german posts as much as the english ones. For a 3rd language, your english is pretty darn good.

Tony S Lee, 2004-10-13

In my opinion your english is so good that I ask me (and you ;-)) what's your second language if english is only the third.

Volker Berding, 2004-10-13

Gaudeam cum linguam latinam. :-)

Volker Weber, 2004-10-13

Be honest, Volker. You're just lazy. You just don't want to do translation work and keep two blogs ;))

The mixed language approach works best for me, my German (my 3rd language) is so poor that I can mostly read German but I wouldn't dare to write any here - if nothing else, few people would understand me - so reading your German posts is great practise.

Jim Hughes, 2004-10-13

Third Language. OK, I'll bite. English, German, and....J2EE?

Brian Benz, 2004-10-13

Brian, J2EE is not a language. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2004-10-13

Interesting learning about English being your THIRD language!
And let me congratulate as it looks almost better than mine :-), which, btw, is my third language as well.

I wonder how many of your readers cannot read in english being that, like it or not, THE international language. It certainly is the language that the IT community uses to whom I believe, you are addressing most of your posts.

Anyway, I'll take this post as an opportunity to thank you for the service you provide to the community.

pieterjan, 2004-10-13

Veni vidi vici!

Very good for learning grammar in roman (?) languages. My *count* fourth learned language (and last learned 'speaking' language); programm languages followed *g*

But as for today, only english stayed active. But I am surprised to see so many people who try to read german to practice :o)

Nicole Simon, 2004-10-13

Know Lingua::Romana::Perligata?
"It's the best of both worlds", so to say.
Actually, YMMV.


Have fun ;-)

Karsten W. Rohrbach, 2004-10-13

#! /usr/local/bin/perl -w

use Lingua::Romana::Perligata;

maximum inquementum tum biguttam egresso scribe.
meo maximo vestibulo perlegamentum da.
da duo tum maximum conscribementa meis listis.

dum listis decapitamentum damentum nexto
    fac sic
        nextum tum novumversum scribe egresso.
        lista sic hoc recidementum nextum cis vannementa da listis.

Volker Weber, 2004-10-13

I'm glad that you post some English comment; I'd miss you if everything were in German.

And, for a third language, your English is excellent.

Eric Hancock, 2004-10-13

Volker, I am sure you know Nuntii Latini by YLE Radio from Finland and Nuntii Latini mensis from Radio Bremen. There are quite a couple of radio stations - beside Radio Vaticana - that have Latin language services.

Haiko, 2004-10-14

I had no idea that English was “oinly” your third language. But if you’re adding Latin into the mix, then that explains your excellent facility for languages.

Personally, I had a hard time at school with the grammatical aspects of Latin, although I could always figure out what was going on :o)

Ben Poole, 2004-10-14

Oh, for anyone who’d like to practise their Latin:

De clunibus magnis amandis oratio.

Ben Poole, 2004-10-14

It's sorta fun trying to decipher the german entries - I never was any good at German at school... my penchant was always for english (and english humor).

Volker, to me it seems that you have a very good grasp of English humor - I think that's the most important thing in learning and appreciating a language.

Alex B, 2004-10-14

Ben, usus est magister optimus. ;-)

Volker Weber, 2004-10-14

LOL! I don’t think I’ll be posting in Latin any time soon... ;o)

Ben Poole, 2004-10-14

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