Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Why I Write My Blog in English

Sometimes people ask me why I write my blog in English while my family and thus my family research is in the Netherlands. Why not write in Dutch, they ask me. Well, there’s several reasons for that:


1. I’ve got family in Australia and Canada. The Australian family I know, the Canadians I don’t. Maybe this English blog will be cousin bait for the family I know emigrated to Canada, as well as their descendants. I’ve also got relatives in Germany, and English seems to be the language most people are able to read, so hopefully they will find their way here as well.

2. The genealogical community – most genealogists are English-speaking, and US based. They have a very broad knowledge base and a far larger precense on the internet. At least, that’s what I’ve experienced. To be able to easily communicate with that group, belong to that group by virtue of blogging in the same language, there’s a virtual army of people who can help me, point me in the right direction, or point out errors.

3. There might be a lot of people interested in doing genealogical research in the Netherlands that do not speak Dutch and don’t live in the Netherlands. If all Dutch genealogists only write in Dutch, how will they learn? Yes, there’s research guides for research in the Netherlands, but they usually deal with the common sources. If you want to go any deeper, research becomes harder, sources become more ‘hidden’ and the best way to discover them is by looking at what other genealogists are doing. I know I’ve found a lot of sources simply because other people were using them in their research and then blogging about it. So this is me, spreading Dutch genealogy across the globe.

Do you blog in English while it’s not your countries language? Why do you blog in English?

4 comments:

  1. I blog in English and have found German cousins. I put a Google translate link on the blog and have used the link when I send emails. I live in the US.

    It is great because without it I probably would not have found them.

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    1. English is more and more an international language a lot of people speak. And for those that don't, there are indeed lots of free translation options. Great for finding those cousings across the border!

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  2. My research is global (Netherlands, Germany, USA, Norway, UK, Indonesia) so my blogging and web language needs to be understood globally. Same as yourself, I'm Dutch, but blog (although not very regularly at the moment) in English, as my wife and her relatives are American, a large part of the genealogical community speaks English, and, as you say, to reach out to non-Dutch speakers all over the world to help them on their way with the Dutch part of their research.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your research sounds very interesting, and global indeed! It's a good thing so many people speak English nowadays, it makes communicating so much easier.

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