Dé Céadaoin, Feabhra 15, 2006

#85: So, Should I Blog in English?

I've been drafting this post for a few weeks now, and thinking about it for a lot longer. It would have been the first time I had posted in English - except that last week I did a post for listeners to the Daily Source Code who heard my promo.

If it's not the first time I've posted on this blog in English, it may indeed be the last. But maybe it's time I started another blog?

Here's a link to today's podcast: Nasc díreach leis an gcomhad fuaime. As usual, it's in Irish, and today it discusses the same ideas I have here in print. Today's notes are in English in order to facilitate a wider audience, whose views on the subject are of interest to me. This is not a translation - I may express myself differently in the podcast, maybe that's a good thing?

Actually - I feel that it is. Blogging has taught me to appreciate different points of view. But so does being bilingual. There are many ways of looking at the same thing, even by the same person - and one of the ways a person can do that is to think in another language. I think this must be what TG4 mean by the slogan "súil eile"!

I am one of a lively community of bloggers in the Irish language. I am also part of a wider community of Irish and international bloggers - the vast majority of whom post in English. Many of us straddle more than one culture and language.

I want to contribute to the blogging community of which I am a member - particularly the Irish blogging community, and I am subscribed to a large number of them.

I try to comment on matters of interest to me - but sometimes I leave comments which are longer than the original post. I often think it would be better to respond in these cases with a post on my own blog instead - but in this case my blog is written in a language which is not understood by the person to whom I am responding.

When I started blogging, I chose to blog in Irish because:
  1. It is my preferred language
  2. I wanted to encourage others to do the same and so provide me with gael-blogs to read :-)
  3. I didn't think I had anything to add to the discussions taking place on English language blogs.
Reasons 1 and 2 have not changed - but 3 has. Back then, I thought that there were so many people blogging in English, that anything I might say would probably have been said already, and better, by somebody else.

In fact, point 3 was based on the fundamental misunderstanding of a blogging newbie. I thought that blogs were like traditional publishing - where all these opiniated people proclaimed their well-polished ideas from a soap-box, like opinion columnists, commentators or politicians. I didn't realise that blogging is conversation, ongoing conversation. I didn't notice how blogging is like "thinking out loud". I didn't see the common threads or the progression of debate in this apparent sea of "everyone talking at once". I thought that each blog post had to be a finished coherent masterpeice, instead of just another piece in the puzzle which will never be completed.

I don't believe I have anything earth-shattering to contribute to blogging in English. But I understand now that's not the point. The point is that I can join in if I want to. My unformed ideas are no less valid than what many others are publishing. But they may have a grain of truth which someone else could use, and by exposing my thoughts to comment, I can develop them further.

So I'm giving up blogging (and podcasting) in Irish then? Not a chance! Irish is important to me as a medium of communication, but I am interested in a variety of subjects. I blog about these things as Gaeilge, but they can be of a specialist and often technical nature. While they are interesting to me, that does not mean they resonate with large sections of the community, and the community who read blogs in Irish is very small. Conversely, what I post in Irish is often inaccessible to the people who have inspired that post and so, what could be a continuing conversation becomes a dead end.

English is the Latin of this age - the international language, and I am very fortunate to have it. I have learned so much from blogs written in English and I want to make my own small contribution to these international conversations.

There are a variety of solutions to this. An Spailpín Fánach posts in either one language or the other, and puts them on the same blog. Tim Quinlan recently started a separate blog for his Irish blogging. Emmanuel translates everything. Loic le Meur's English language blog is widely read, but he also blogs and podcasts en Francais.

What do you think?

Also in today's podcast:
Grá Oilimpeach Google
  • Interesting view from the letters page of the Belfast Newsletter.
  • Birth of a Podcast: Spudshow by Brendan Bolger. Here's his blog!
  • Google's Winter Olympics logo, with a subliminal Valentine card!
  • The Irish Blog Awards! Voting closes on Friday 17th February. Regardless of whether I make the shortlist or not I plan to attend and podcast. (Buswell's, Dublin, 11th March.) Interested in hearing from anyone who'd like to take part in those podcasts.
  • Podsafe Music: Shine by Kevin Reeves.
Lipéid: , , , , , ,
Ceol Aitheantais: Sunshine with the Shade le The Reverse Engineers

23 Freagraí:

Arsa Anonymous Kay Uí Chinnéide ...

Bhí mé ag súil le Gaeilge agus tá díomá orm inniu. Tháinig an Béarla aniar aduaidh orm, ní raibh aon rabhadh go mbeadh a leithéid de rud ag tarlú agus Béarla agatsa thar aon blagadóir eile sa bhlagasféar.

Bhí oileán beag na Gaeilge anseo. Bhí mé in ann teitheadh anseo ón mBéarla atá mar a deir tú ar fad na háite. Bhí tearmann anseo. Tá sé sin scriosta anois.

Ba mhaith liomsa dá ndéanfá blag eile as Béarla ach an bhlag seo a choimeád as Gaeilge. Ar ndóigh Is leatsa an blag seo agus is féidir leat do rogha rud a dhéanamh Ach má tá tú chun leanúint leis an mBéarla an féidir leat é a dhéanamh ar lá áirithe den seachtain nó den mhí ?

Go raibh míle maith agat pé scéal é as blag iontach as Gaeilge a chur ar fáil.

Anois níl uaim ach cúinne éigin le dul ann agus uisce mo chinn a ghoil.

15 Feabhra, 2006 20:24  
Arsa Blogger Séamas Poncán ...

Cúpla rud le rá agamsa ar an ábhar seo. Nuair a thosaigh mé ar bhlag agus ansin ar phodchraoladh a dhéanamh, cheap mé nach mbeadh éinne á léamh nó ag éisteacht leis. Agus níl a fhios agam fós, i bhfírinne, ach go bhfuil fíorbheagán suime ann sa mhéad a dhéanaimse, mar ní bhíonn teachtaireachtaí ann ó dhaoine eile. Is fadhb sin i dteanga ar bith, dár ndóigh, ach is fíorbheag an cumann atá againne. Ní mór dúinn tacú lena chéile.
Dara rud: Tá imní orm go bhfuil comhrá as Gaeilge ag fáil bháis ar an idirlíon. Táimid go léir ag scríobh dúinn féin amháin. Tá gach clár plé marbh nó scriosta. Ní bhíonn mórán ar siúl ach nuair a bhíonn daoine ag caint faoin teanga - go minic as Béarla. Bíonn níos mó foghlaimeoirí ann i gcónaí, ach cén fáth nach mbíonn níos mó díobh ag déanamh aon iarracht cumarsáid a dhéanamh as Gaeilge amháin? Ní féidir ar Beo mar gheall ar na trolls. Níl iontaoibh ag daoine ionamsa, faraor, agus ní scríobhtar mórán ar www.scoilgaeilge.org/liosta. Tá cúpla duine ag scríobh ag daltai.com. Tá PRC marbh le fada, mar atá politics.ie. Is dócha go mbíonn trácht ag IGT, ach ní bhíonn Gaeilge amháín ann. Bíonn fógraí ar Gaeilge-A, agus ceisteanna faoin teanga. Ach cá bhfuil an comhrá?

15 Feabhra, 2006 20:29  
Arsa Anonymous Kay Uí Chinnéide ...

Bím ag éisteacht leat a Shéamais Ní aontaím leat go bhfuil gach clár plé marbh ná scriosta, bhí Dáltaí go maith inné agus a lán daoine fós ag comhrá ann mar is gnáth. ( níos mó ná cúpla)
Is dócha nach bhfuil éinne a scríobh an méid teachtaireachtaí is a scríóbh Aonghus ar aon chlár plé riamh, tá tiomántach ag an fear sin gan dabht ar son na Gaeilge agus ag go leor daoine eile nach é.
Caithfear a bheith níos dearfaí faoin teanga agus gan a bheith ag craobhscaoileadh an droch scéal i gcónaí. Táim tinn tuirseach ó bheith ag éisteacht le daoine a rá go bhfuil an Gaeilge ag fáil bháis. Ní dóigh liom é. Is sampla maith tú féin de dhuine a d'éirigh leis an teanga a fhoghlaim go maith agus atá in ann a tuairimí a chur in iúl faoi aon ábhar ar domhain.

Níl fhios agam cén fáth nach scríobhann aon duine ar do bhlag mar sin cén fáth nach scríobhann tusa níos mó ann chun daoine a spreagadh?

Ní maith le gach éinne thú agus ní maith le gach éinne mise ach oiread ach ar a laghad tá duine amháin atá fós i ngrá liom agus mise leis - tá suil agam muna bhfuil duine éigin mar sin i do shaol go mbeidh sara fada agus is cuma faoi daoine eile.

Táim i ngrá leis an nGaeilge chomh maith agus sin a spreagann mé, nach spreagann sé tusa agus Conn?

16 Feabhra, 2006 11:40  
Arsa Anonymous April ...

Cé nach bhfuil daoine ag fagáil rian ar bith ina ndiaidh uaireantaí, geallaim daoibh, tá daoine ag éisteacht libh agus ag léamh bhur gcuid tuairimí.
Tá sé an deacair daoine a fháil as Gaeilge agus iad "web addicted"..tá pobal éagsúil ann..ach i mo thuairimse féin..is rud maith é.
Coinnigh oraibh!

16 Feabhra, 2006 13:55  
Arsa Blogger Proinsias ...

A Choinn!, a Choinn!, a Choinn!

An féidir leatsa freastail ar dhá mháistir? Aon lá amháin a theip orm d'alt a léamh, (inné), agus nuair a d'fhilleas, ní raibh romham ach sop de bhoigearán Béarla! Bhuail sé liom mar bhualadh "plap" ba, i measc bláthanna an Earraigh.

Go bhfóire Dia orainn!!!

Is féidir liom dul 'chuile áit chun a lethéid d'fháil, ach, go dtí aru inné ní raibh ach áit amháin le dul chun chúmhra úr ár dteanga dhúchais a léamh, agus a chloisint, i dteannta a chéile, sa chaoi a cheap Dia dúinn é.

Impím ort gan an "meascán marfach" a scaoileadh orainn ar do bhlag! Nach dtuigeann tú gurbé an Béarla an t-aon "arm ollscriosadh" atá ag bagairt ar an Ghaeilge? Tá tú ag damhsa leis an dorchacht!!!

Coimeád uainn é! Chuir sa leithreas é, faoin teideal "Ál John Bull.blogspot.com"

Béarla = Ola dubh greamaitheach ar tránna gheala an Ghaeilge.

Fág dúinn ár linn, ár foinse neamh-thruaillaithe Gaeilge ar an Imeall.

Proinsias

16 Feabhra, 2006 20:48  
Arsa Blogger Séamas Poncán ...

GRMA a Kay. Tá bean iontach agam, grma, agus is fíor duit.
Maidir le duaiseanna na mblag, ní fheadar cén fáth nach bhfuilimse fiú ar an liosta gearr sin...

16 Feabhra, 2006 21:28  
Arsa Anonymous James Pelow ...

Haigh a chara,

Ar dtús, is brea liom do phodcast. Buaic mo lae is ea é gan amhras ar bith. De gnáth, bheinn ag éisteacht leat ar an DART ag dul isteach go coláiste sa mhaidin. Tuigim do chás, Béarla mar theanga idirnáisiúnta agus is é an príomhteanga an domhain é 'Latin of our day' dar leat sílim? Ach, tá na mílte podcasts le fáil trí mhean an Bhéarla agus dúinne níl a lán le fáil trí ár dteanga féin. Is foinse eolas na Gaeilge tairbheach thú agus do bhlog. So, bullaí fir, agus beadh saghas míshásamh orm má thograíonn tú do phodcast a dhéanamh trí Béarla... ach ag deireadh an lae is leatsa é an rogha agus beidh mé ag éisteacht ar aon chaoi!

Beir bua, Séamaí

16 Feabhra, 2006 23:03  
Arsa Anonymous Tom Raftery ...

Conn - I think you have already made your decision - whether you are aware of that or not is another matter!

If you want to partake in conversations with bloggers like Robert Scoble, Niall Kennedy, Dave Winer, etc. you will need to converse with them in a language they understand and can respond in.

That doesn't mean you have to stop posing in Irish - but be aware that those posts are, by definition, for a much smaller audience.

HTH,

Tom

17 Feabhra, 2006 00:08  
Arsa Blogger Conn ...

Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir as na freagraí seo. Déanfaidh mé iad a phlé go doimhin Dé Luain seo chugainn, ach mar sin féin, teastaíonn uaim cúpla rud a shoiléiriú ag an bpointe seo.

- Níl aon chuimhneamh agam ar phodchraoladh a dhéanamh i mBéarla.
- Ceapaim gur blag eile ar fad a bheadh i gceist ina nglacfainn páirt sa phlé i mBéarla.
- Tá brón orm má chuireas olc ar aon duine le mír scríofa i mBéarla, ach ag an nóiméad seo níl ach an t-aon bhlag amháin agam ina scrífinn é! Teastaíonn tuairimí lucht an Bhéarla uaim ar an gceist seo chomh maith. Ní cheapaim go raibh aon pheaca ró-mhór ann. Bhí an podchraoladh i nGaeilge (seachas an píosa magaidh ag an tús ;-)). Tá 163 mír Gaeilge ar an mblag Gaelach seo - ní dóigh liom go bhfuil sin loitithe le foilsiú na míre seo.

17 Feabhra, 2006 00:45  
Arsa Blogger Proinsias ...

Is doigh liom go rabhas ró-dhian ort le mo thráchtairecht niós luaithe inniu. Táim fíorbhuíoch duit as ucht do phodchraolta beomhair agus míreanna mór-shuimiúla laethúil as Gaeilge. Gan amhras, is ortsa an chinneadh ar cad tá ceart le déanamh agat chun an fhadhb a réiteach. Is léir go bhfuil sé ar do chumas bheith páirteach, agus in do cheannródaí, fiú, i bplé na habhair beachtaíoch an lae inniu, pé theanga ina ndeintear an phlé sin.

Táim sásta nach bhfuil tú chun d'éisteóirí/léitheóirí a thréigint.

Is céim mór é do bhlag ar an dréimire aníos ón uaigh don teanga Gaeilge. B'ait liom go mór, mór dá mbeadh deichniúr, nó fiú na céadta duine, cosúil leat féin, ag podchraoladh go laethúil as Gaeilge. Fhad 's a bheidh an comhrá as Gaeilge ag laghdú, nó in easnamh, is tríd an phodchraoladh amháin is féidir an taoide a iompú i bhfábhar an teanga Gaeilge. Is trua liom go bhfuil an líofacht de dhíth orm. Is tríd an teanga (ard-chaideánach) a chloisint, go minic, is fearr an fhadhb sin a réiteach dom. Le teacht aois an Alzheimers dom, is é an aclaíocht intinne atá riachtanach chun an Ghaeilge a labhairt go líofa, an cosc is fearr ar an tinneas uafásach sin. Sin é mo leithscéil chun leanúint ar aghaidhh, agus táim chun fanacht leis.

Go néirí leat ar do bhóthar, pé slí a dtéann tú!

Proinsias

17 Feabhra, 2006 05:59  
Arsa Blogger Conn ...

Actually Tom, Niall Kennedy has a "cúpla focal" - but of course you are right! However, I'm not sure I have already made up my mind. As Keola says, do I really need another blog?

It's not just tech stuff I want to talk about either. Keola's blog is an excellent example of how blogging is enriched by the international dimension. I've learned that the Hawaiian and Irish languages face issues which are almost identical in many respects. Our two cultures share a struggle against erosion from English - but without English we could not hope to communicate with each other.

Again - thanks everyone. I really appreciate the feedback. Keep it coming and I'll have a detailed response on Monday.

17 Feabhra, 2006 11:20  
Arsa Anonymous Michele ...

Maybe something in the middle might be the solution.
Blog in Irish and in English when you feel you should or provide a brief summary in English of some of the Irish posts. My Irish is simply not good enough to understand what you are talking about

17 Feabhra, 2006 13:45  
Arsa Blogger Nicole ...

As much as it pains my conscience, I'll write in English. (If I wait to collect my thoughts in Irish, you'll get them in three years' time.)

Blogging/podcasting in Irish is a lonely proposition. It matters very little how funny or insightful or poignant you are: many who would appreciate your insights are not able to understand fully enough (or at all) -- or, if they are, perhaps don't have enough of a grasp of the language to respond back in any meaningful way.

On the other hand, I'm sure that there are quite a few people who wouldn't read a blog or listen to a podcast had it been written in English -- the cachet of it having been written/spoken in Irish would attract those people.

I think that -- between the time you started podcasting and now -- there has been an explosion in the number of blogs in the Irish language. I think that much of that has to do with the good example that you have shown. I know that I started blogging in Irish primarily because I was so impressed with an tImeall. (For the moment, let's ignore the fact that I blog infrequently and poorly... :-)

It is a credit to your talent and your wonderful personality that people are as passionate about this as they are.

17 Feabhra, 2006 18:59  
Arsa Blogger Cionaodh ...

Tá súil agam go ndéanfair rogha mhaith, a Choinn.

Gheibhim blas ar do chuid oibre.

17 Feabhra, 2006 20:19  
Arsa Anonymous maca ...

I really value your blog Conn, and i'm delighted to read that you won't be giving up blogging or podcasting in Irish.
A number of bloggers blog in two languages as you know; Antonio (An Cat Dubh) posts in Italian with an English translation, Rhys (Gwenu dan Fysiau) runs a Welsh blog but also has an English blog and others like Somhairle (Blag Shomhairle) blogs in Irish but with the odd post in English. It's this 3rd option I like best.

Whatever you decide please keep the Irish posts coming :)

18 Feabhra, 2006 13:35  
Arsa Anonymous Kay Uí Chinnéide ...

Nuair a chonaic mé Béarla, cheap mé gurb é sin a bhí sa phodcraoladh chomh maith agus níor bhac mé leis. Ach ní mar a shíltear a bhítear agus bhí áthas orm go raibh podchraoladh nua fágtha agam don deireadh seachtaine. Maith thú a Choinn.

18 Feabhra, 2006 20:29  
Arsa Anonymous John Handelaar ...

On the other hand, if you stick with Irish I'll have to learn it to figure out more than about 15% of what you just said about me.

I'm not remotely sure whether that's a vote for or against, though. Something'll force me into it eventually.

[Of course this new site of ours is not yet bilingual and someone who spent his first 30-odd years in London really isn't the person to fix that. Hint, hint.]

20 Feabhra, 2006 01:06  
Arsa Anonymous James Corbett ...

I thought Bernie Goldbach made a very good argument as to why you should keep posting in Irish Conn but I nevertheless hope you mix in the odd English post. I'd love to learn from your experiences in Podcasting and to share in the discussion, which as you correctly point out is what blogging is all about.

Congrats on getting your promo on Adam Curry (I'm only catching up now) and for making the shortlist in the Irish Blog Awards. See you in Buswells! :-)

20 Feabhra, 2006 11:43  
Arsa Anonymous Anonymous ...

Hi Conn,

Oh, mo náire, tá an teachtaireacht seo tosnaithe cheanna féin le Béarla! "HI". Oops.

Bhíos ag iarriadh a rá ar dtús gur éisteoir nua (den podchraoladh) mé a thosnaigh síntúis mar gur raibh podchraoladh gaeilge ag teastáil uaim. Mar atá ráíte, tá an-chuid phodcraoltaí agus blagannaí amuigh ansin i mbéarla, agus mise mar éisteoir de chuid acu comh maith, ach mar a dúras, sé an chéad fáth gur chur mise suim i do podchraoladh agus blag ná an Gaeilge. Go cinnte, tar éis dom an craoladh a cloisint, tháinig mé ar ais mar go raibh plé á dhéanamh agat ar téamaí suimiúla 7rl.

Maidir le do cheist faoina beith ag scríobh i mbéarla, caithfidh mé a admháil (arís, cé gur an Ghaeilge a tháining mé anseo ar dtús) go bhfuil seaghas ionadh orm go bhfuil an méid sin ráite in aghaidh an béarla ag cúpla daoine. I mo thuairim, is leatsa an blag seo, and is duitse amháin ar chor an blag seo a leanúint. Má ciallaíonn sé sin go mbeadh mír á scríobh agat i mbéarla anseo is ansúid chun go mbeadh tú ábalta bheith i do bhaill den "chumainn" bhlagadóireacht mar a chur tú ar, maith go leor, beidh mise fós anseo, and tnúth le do thuairmí a léamh!

Rud amháin a sheas amach domsa ón nóiméad a thosnaigh mé á léamh an blag, agus ag éisteach leis an bpodcraoladh ná go raibh an-ghrá agat don gaeilge,agus nach ligfeá a riamh don béarla chur isteach ar do tuairmí a chur amach ansin i ngaeilge. I mo thuairmse, níl an baol sin ann go fóill!

Mar a sheasann sé anois, tá an dara blag tosnaithe agat. Ádh mór leis; tá súil agam go mbeidh tú abálta gach rud a fháil uaidh, is atá uait. Cuma céard a tharlaíonn amach anseo, fhad is atá an podcraoladh amuigh ansin, agus an blag anseo ag seasamh leis, beidh mé in éineacht leat.

20 Feabhra, 2006 14:32  
Arsa Blogger Conn ...

Fáilte John! I left a comment on your blog.

Tá John ag tagairt thuas don tionscnamh Vocal Voter go ndeineas trácht air Dé hAoine seo chaite. He's looking for help to bilingualise the site. Más suim le h-aon duine cabhrú leis, geobhaidh sibh tuilleadh eolais anseo.

21 Feabhra, 2006 05:12  
Arsa OpenID praiseach ...

Ní rabhas fucked ach na chéad cúpla freafairt a léamh so tá brón orm má tá aon rud ráite cheanna féin.

An gcuimhin leat nuair a raibh 'Kinga' thuas agus d'fhéadfá na mblaganna gaeilge uilig a fháil in aon áit amháin? Ceapaim go mbeidh sé sin freagra amháin.

Freisin, ó thaobh bhlag dátheangach de, ní scríobhaim féin ach ó am go ham trí ghaeilge. An smaoineamh taobh thiarr sin ná go gcuireann bhlag lán ghaelach as don phobail béarlach nó leath-bhéarlach. Más díreach ó am go ham a scríobhaim as gaeilge tá seans níos fearr ann go ndéanfaigh daoine iarracht é a léamh.

Anois, táis ám nach é seo a mbeidh á dhénamh agat féin ach bhíos ag ceapadh gur fiú mo dhá phingin a chuir isteach mar pointe suim

26 Eanáir, 2009 20:33  
Arsa Blogger Conn ...

A Phraisigh - a chara,

GRMA as do dhá phingin. Tá géar-ghá agam leis in am seo an chruatain.

Is maith liom do bhlag freisin - coinnigh ort, sa dá theanga!

Maidir liom féin - tá sé thar am agamsa tosnú ar an blagadaíocht athuair. Lá éigin anois, le cúnamh Dé!

Conn

28 Eanáir, 2009 14:45  
Arsa Anonymous Anonymous ...

Cuir neasc ar www.catholicheritage.blogspot.com le do thoil.

15 Iúil, 2009 17:38  

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