Bilingualism

Why bother blogging? A question worth asking once in a while, if you ask me. And, as it turns out, if you ask others to. Different people will come up with different answers. I have several, some related to a bloated superego, others more constructive. One that falls in the latter category is that as an aspiring teacher, I feel an obligation to write, to use language in as many ways as possible. I need to stay in shape (in this case metaphorically speaking).

From this acknowledgement (and inspired by Torger Åges migration to bilingual blogging) emerges a need to find an efficient way to be able to blog in both english and norwegian. I’m not a teacher of english alone. My blogging in english may be directed towards norwegian colleagues. They will be able to read posts in both languages, but what if someone drops in from the englishspeaking (or other -speaking) part of the world? I feel they should be given the option to display only englishspeaking posts.

So far, so good. Even though the toll this post have taken on me only underlines the need to write english more frequently.

So I went looking for a bilingual/multilingual plugin, and found several. At the WordPress plugin directory i was pointed towards xLanguage and Gengo. As always, the algorithm to download the plugin(s) and uploading it (them) to the right folder utilizing Cyberduck was a laugh. Now, the neccessary tweaking was all I had to do.

I decided to go with xLanguage first, as the manual outlined a scenario similar to the one I found myself in: The need for a bilingual blog, where one language A (in my case English) could be understood by users of language B (Norwegian), but not vice versa. The default setting would be to display both languages, and then there would be an option to hide the minoritylanguage (mind you, speaking globally now) for user customization. To make a long story short; the process of customizing the plugin blew me off. And I say this not to criticize the developers behind xLanguage, ’cause they are quite frank: simplicity is sacrificed to allow a wide range different uses. And I totally agree. It just wasn’t what I needed. Moving to Gengo, now slightly out of breath from the session with xLang, I realized halfway through that what I needed wasn’t a fully fledged bilingual site. I wanted a way to allow visitors to sort out all the norwegian jibberish (taking the visitors perspective here), and be left with english postings alone. As WordPress generates a stable link to both categories and tags, all I needed was to create the category in question (english) or tag (as Torger Åge did), and then create a link to that url in the sidebar. So I did. And now, the english-speaking lot of you can go directly there to get what you want. What you are able to read.

And I just got a nice session of english writing.

…if you should feel the urge to give me feedback, either linguistically or technically, please go with that urge. I will, in the spirit of processwriting, modify this post according to your guidance. Thank you.

  • Tipser om «Global Translator» (http://www.nothing2hide.net/wp-plugins/wordpress-global-translator-plugin/ ). Automagisk oversetting frå norsk til dei språka du vil. Google støttar ikkje akkurat nynorsk, det vert rimeleg rart på engelsk og tysk i alle fall. Har oppdaga at det er mange som les bloggen min på fransk og spansk….

  • Takk, Guttorm. Som en ser, er rådet herved tatt til følge. For øyeblikket får jeg finne øvelse i engelsk tekstskaping annet sted. Men siste kapittel i tospråklighetskapittelet er ikke skrevet…