I live in a multi ethnic city. I am perfectly bilingual (French and English) – and by perfectly bilingual I mean that I screw up and make mistakes in both languages equally. My name is typical french. I’m proud to be a french canadian. Proud to be living in my city. I have french friends who consider me an anglo and anglophone friends who consider me franco. So why do I post almost solely in English?
This is probably one of the most asked questions I get when I meet people. “Pourquoi est-ce que les posts sur ton blogue sont uniquement en anglais?”
The answer goes back to a few years ago. I was watching a Q&A session during a music festival here in town where they had Gene Simmons (of Kiss) as a keynote speaker and main figure head. He was talking about branding and other business related topics. Someone in the crowd asked his opinion on bands that sing solely in French. His answer made up my mind, as at the time I was toying with which language to post in. Now these aren’t his words exactly, but this is the essence of what he said.
“There is nothing wrong with singing only in French. It is your choice to make. But if you want to have an international career and have your music accessible by people outside of Quebec and a few European countries, you need to sing in English. You can still throw in a few French lyrics if you want, but your songs should be predominantly in English if you want to reach out further than your province.”
And that is the same that I want to do with my photography and blog entries. Maybe if I were a portrait photographer focusing in clients in my city, that would be a different story. But I’m not.
The reason I chose to answer this question now is that in the past 3 days I’ve received emails from random people. One from San Francisco and one from the UK. I won’t go into the reasons of the emails, but if my blog was not in English, these people wouldn’t of wrote in. There are many people here in Quebec who can read and speak English. There are not that many people outside of Quebec that can read and speak French. It’s a choice I make and a choice I stick by.
Et pour la version française de pourquoi j’écris qu’en anglais? C’est simple… bien que je suis fier d’être un francophone et habiter à Montréal, je veux vraiment que mes photos et mon blogue soient accessible à plus que juste le monde d’ici. Alors c’est un choix que j’ai fait. Et je suis trop paresseux pour tout traduire dans les deux langues 🙂
Yeah I have done some sites where we translated everything (most of what I did actually) and it IS a lot of work. I totally understand the choice but wish it could be different. You have to write for the public you have/want not the one you wish you could have.
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