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I have a question for the blogging community, more specifically the international community. I have lived around the world, in Mexico and Belgium, currently residing in the US. I’m trilingual. Yet I don’t understand some of the bilingualness of certain sites.

Examples: Chinese/Japanese site (?) with English image headers: CandyIMG.com | German blog with an English slogan:

Why are these sites in two languages (ie native plus English)? Most English readers are not going to speak the second and primary language the site is in, and isn’t it an inconvenience to native readers? Albeit, many international users run a higher risk of speaking a second language like English, but still, would it not be easier to have the whole site in the native language? Especially for script languages, such as Chinese and Japanese? Can anyone answer these questions? Just a little confused…

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Well, that seems obvious enough for me (a German living in Russia): English is a fashionable (spell: “cool”) language in many parts of the world. In different contexts an for different viewers it might mean different things, among them: being part of a certain subcultural hype (German punk bands sang English to associate with a certain lifestile), technical sophistication (English is the language of modern technology – or do you know a programming language that is not based on English or a scientific community that does not publish it papers in English), wealth (the American dream), education (simply being multilingual) etc. In Germany, you find few advertisements without English, products often have English names or descriptions, and job offers are full of terms from the English language (what is a CEO, or a Controller? my mom wouldn’t know). I don’t know about Japanese-Chinese, but I am sure that is has to do with building an ‘image’ as well.

~ Manfred

“If you must not, but you want very much, you may.” – Russian proverb

May 30, 2005 2:09 pm

Very interesting Manfred, I would have never viewed it from that perspective. Hehe, I had always wondered if programming languages were ever translated into different tongues, I suppose not. Does anyone take issue with the global prevalence of the English language? Thank you very much for your insights!

May 30, 2005 7:44 pm