Why I blog in English

Virginia asked me a very good question: Why do I blog in English? That’s actually a very good question, and the answer, while straightforward, is something that in my opinion merits something more than a simple comment reply.

I am (surprise) Hispanic in my culture; as for race you could probably say that, although if you really dig into my racial heritage you’ll find a lot of backgrounds, from Russian to American Indian and everything in between (big deal. Yeah, right). My mother tongue is Spanish, and I understand some Guaraní, which is the indigenous language of this part of the world. So, why do I blog in English? Why don’t just settle down and blog in Spanish? After all, the Spanish-speaking blogosphere is noticeably smaller; therefore, a Spanish-speaking blog has less ‘competition’ for the audience, right?

The first reason is personal. I blog in English because it gives me a great opportunity to practice and keep alive my knowledge of the language. Since it is not my mother tongue, practice is required; and, for a second language, reading is one thing, and writing is another. Thinking, writing and exercising my creative vision into another language is a great way to keep a language current.

The second reason is practical. Whether one likes it or not, English is the lingua franca of the Net (and of the world right now) and, sadly, the Spanish-speaking people is extremely under-represented in cyberspace. Thus, writing in English helps ensure that this writer’s ideas will be accessible to a great number and variety of people.

The third reason is hermeneutical. This is perhaps the most important reason of all.

I blog in English because I would like to be a bridge. I’m sick and tired of reading that the Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon cultures are different, diveregent and in opposition. My position is that the greater Hispanic cultural complex (and note that I do not refer myself to Latino culture in the U.S., which is a subset of the latter) is in fact another expression of Western civilization, so we share a lot more than the things that obviously keep us apart. I take strong exception to everyone who would classify us Hispanics as non-Westerners.

Of course you can find strange, non-Western dominant features in some Hispanic subcultures; but then, taking them as true representatives of our Hispanic world would be tantamount as taking Cockneys as being the measure of English culture, or Appalachians poor whites as the standard manifestation of American culture. It’s not entirely correct, right? Well, that’s how I feel sometimes when I see what people regard as true measures of Hispanic cultures. You can see Ricky Martin and Isabel Allende as manifestations of Hispanic culture; but remember that Borges, Xavier Zubiri and Berta Rojas are that and a lot more, too.

12 Comments

  1. Ok now I’m flattered, lol! well anyway, I think it’s great, when I asked you this morning, I did it for an insignificant reason, but all your answers are so justified that I feel we are having a great discussion here.
    I already told you I feel the same way about the culture, and if we start talking about blood Ohhh my get a pencil and paper so I can tell you where my grand parents were from! I can see we have a lot of things in common and our coutries are neighbors, so double good.
    Now the “Spanish bloggers” are more everyday, what makes me think you’ll have competition both ways.
    For now, tonight I’ll update my blog and you are a new link on it.
    Great post, loved it!

  2. Ohhh and I forgot!! thank you for naming Borges, being from Argentina, he is one of the
    most valuable pieces in my puzzle of pride.

  3. All makes sense, Eduardo. Personally, I’m glad you went with English simply for the selfish reason that I get to enjoy your wonderful insights. Of course, you always amazing fluency in English continues to shame me for my poor language skills.

    You raise a good point about Martin, etc. Go Borges! 🙂

  4. To everyone: Thanks for the kind words. I’m flattered!

    Virginia: Yes, our countries were a big, big melting pot of cultures and backgrounds… and they continue to be so. And welcome to my blogroll!

    As for Borges (that’s also for you, Tim): I haven’t seen any other writer EVER who could write with a style like Borges. He is so… perfect. My aspiration is to be able to express myself in Spanish like he did.

    Michael: Thanks for that. I also would have never known your age if you hadn’t say so. Your writing is flawless, excellent, and compelling.

  5. Well, even if you blogged in Spanish, I`d try my best to read what
    you have to say. 🙂 But your english is IMPECABLE. I`m not sure
    if you`ll take that as a compliment or an insult , but it’s meant
    as a compliment. 🙂

  6. Good Morning, Eduardo!
    I ended up here thanks to the link on Vir’s page. It’s interesting that you blog in English for the same reasons I do it in Spanish!
    Being an Argentinian who left my country 16 years, I felt the need to stay in touch with my roots and at the same time show that the cultural differences are not so huge.

    You have a great site going here. Congratulations!

    By the way, I took that personality test a while ago. I’m also a “Mastermind”. GO figure!

  7. Hey, I am seeing a lot of familiar “faces” over here (hey Flaca and Samira 😀 )

    Eduardo- I think that it was sometime last year that I realized that God created language. I think that despite my upbringing, I had somehow allowed the whole “cavemen grunting” thing to keep a small quiet hold in my sub-conscious. I rejected evolution in my heart and with my mouth, but had never really stepped back and examined all the little cracks, crevices, and top-of-the-closet-shelves that it had lain in so quietly and, seemingly, unobtrusively. By His powerful Word, he spoke the world into existence; by language He communicated with the first human beings He created; by His Word (Logos) He saved His people, and communicates with them still.

    Personally, I like it that you blog in English. I know it was too hard for Flaca to blog in both, but I miss being able to read it in my language. My Spanish is o.k. but not nearly good enough to read an entire post and catch the intended meaning. Babelfish doesn’t allow for all the coloquialisms or varities of Spanish that exist, so when I use it, it comes out as indiscernible jibberish.

    Also, if you blogged in Spanish, I wouldn’t be able to guest blog for you ;p

  8. Hi Pato, thanks for the kind words, fellow Mastermind!

    Rae: That’s completely right. God made language, and that’s because He’s a God who cares to get in touch with His creatures. Thanks for the kind comments and I look forward to read you here 🙂

  9. Hi there.

    Just stumbled across this page almost at random (google “Mastermind Borges” FWIW). Your English is indeed excellent – it’s far better than that on most of the English-Language blogs I have come across, clearly because unlike half the bloggers who do have English as a first language, you actually make the effort to use the language properly!

    I’ll have to read some more: your blog looks very interesting.

    Tom

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