Why on earth write in English?


This image is the map overlay showing where my visitors come from. Green = more visitors. No visitors at all from the countries marked with white. For the last 30 days it adds up to 38,539 visits from 164 countries/territories.

And this article is an answer to the Norwegian comment here. He’s complaining about the fact that everything written on this blog isn’t perfect english.

Some background:
I am the author of this blog and I am Norwegian. Meaning that my native language is Norwegian. Meaning that I write better Norwegian than English.

But the main point of this web page is to share information and get in touch with people that have thoughts on digital media, marketing, technology and the other topics I cover. If I write in Norwegian I can reach about 10 million people. The 4.5 million native Norwegians and possibly some people from Denmark and Sweden.

When I write in English we’re talking a potential of about 1.8 billion.

Still, because I am Norwegian about 6% of my readers are from Norway. For a blog in English that’s more than average. But switching to Norwegian only would leave out 94% of my current readers.

I know that I can write more, faster and better in Norwegian. I could focus more on local issues. But as mentioned, that would leave out most of my current readers. Of course I wouldn’t do that.

And I love the fact that people comment and take part of the discussion. I have comments from people all over the world. Comments in perfect English from people in the US and UK. Comments in not-so-perfect English from people in Spain, Italy, Norway, Slovenia, Russia, Japan and you name it.

I love that. All the comments are an important part of this web page. So please keep commenting. Even if you don’t feel completely comfortable when you write in English. People understand your point. If they don’t understand it they ask. Other people will help you out by emphasizing your point. It’s no problem.

And, if you want a Norwegian blog with Norwegian comments I am publishing in that language over at NRKbeta.no. Some articles that are more or less a Norwegian version of articles I write here and some NRKbeta-only articles.

Keep reading, keep commenting. And please feel free to correct me when I write really bad English. That’s how I learn.

And for the statistics junkies. Here are the numbers for the last 30 days on eirikso.com:

Why on earth write in English?

9 thoughts on “Why on earth write in English?

  1. Like me … since I live in England but I am Italian :)

    I can really see your point, although I am running a blog on Public Speaking in Italian. The reason why I do it is to try to bring in this “local” language (60 million in the country) some content for people that don’t like/don’t want/don’t feel comfortable/can’t read in English. But this left me without much interaction with the rest of the world. As you correctly point out and that is important. So I have temporary suspended posting … and I am probably going to be back with a two languages version of it.

  2. eirikso says:

    Paolo:
    I know the problem. I started out with a blog in Norwegian, then had one in Norwegian and one in English. So, for a long time I have been running this one only. But now I have the possibility to post stuff in Norwegian as well, on the NRKbeta blog I mentioned.

    I am proud of my native language, and it is very nice to master the difficult encryption called Norwegian. But for this blog it’s most useful for me if it’s in English…

  3. hy eirikso.

    that’s very good post. I’m thinking the same so I’m openening another english blog because my native language (Slovenian) reach “only” 2 mio people. So I’m opening a new blog in english. I’ll soon provide more info. :)

    And people what it is important it’s that you’re proud of your native language just like eirikso said and you shouldn’t be afraid to write in english also.

  4. There will always be people that are able to come up with negative comments about this or that. Go on posting in English Eirik! It totally makes sense in this tech oriented world. And it seems like we are in good company. According to Technorati, English is the second most used language for blogs in the blogosphere. And who is on first? Japanese! Among them they share 73% of the blogs! Norwegian is not even in the chart… Of course, this is about the language blogs are written in, not the potential readers, nevertheless it gives an idea as to what is considered important languages on the web. I don’t know how good your Japanese is Eirik? :-)

    The full report:

    http://www.sifry.com/alerts/archives/000493.html

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