The language question – update

My first post when I started this blog in November 2011 dealt with the issue of language.  I had a hard time deciding in what language I should write so I decided to write in three languages.

After almost 7 months, it’s time to reevaluate this decision. As I review my post, a pattern emerged: I write in French what was interesting only for French speakers, and particularly French-Israelis. I wrote in Hebrew purely Israeli social or politics issues. And I wrote in English all the rest.

I does not work. I would have expected the English post to enjoy the highest audience, as everybody is supposed to speak English more or less. But the opposite happened. My native-French or Hebrew languages audience is not interested in reading English – because they don’t know it (many of the French speakers, even the Israeli ones), or because it’s « harder » for them (the Hebrew ones). My limited native-English potential audience may not be very interested in reading badly written posts by someone who is not 100% fluent in English.

It is somewhat frustrating because my best and most interesting posts were written in English. On the other hand, some quickly written posts in French and a few in Hebrew reached over 1000 readers. I did not start this blog to get a wide audience but it’s neither my goal to invest time in writing just for myself.

So I need to make a choice and follow the market: this will be my last post in English. I will from now only write in French and Hebrew – until I chose at the end only one language – probably Hebrew on the long run. Dear readers who understand only English, I am truly sorry but you are too few.

2 commentaires

  1. Hi Benjamin,

    I was asking myself the same question, actually between French and English – for a specialized blog I am just starting (so far only in French).

    So the information you provide here is very *precious* to me: relying on your own statistics and experience, I will probably not invest time and effort in translating my stuff to English.

    What I am still asking myself is the reason why English speakers were so few according to your measures:
    – do they less frequent blogs?
    – or is there some parcellisation between communities ? I mean: French people have their own networks, styles, topics of interests – English speakers others… [but I assume that through your succesfull political activities you have contacts with a lot of English speakers also ?]
    – the fact that you were relayed mostly on French-speaking sites (the popular site jssnews.com in particular)?

    Thanks for the information and the articles, best regards,

    Nicolas

    J'aime

    1. Most of the traffic I have comes from Facebook – my friends and sometimes by sharing, friends of friends. Also a bit from Twitter and Linkedin. And few from WordPress itself.
      So it’s very dependent on my own network. My network is composed of French Israelis, Native Israelis, French from France, and then other Olim or other people altogether. So I have only a limited number of potential English speakers as a first language.
      If you have a lot of Anglos in your network maybe you should give it a try. But writing in just one language is the best.

      J'aime

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