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.