How many languages does your blog speak? For some reason this morning I was thinking about Christmas – the traditional winter holiday of most of us whites here in the United States. and that’s exactly how the thought showed up – with the recognition that most religions and/or peoples do celebrate a winter holiday.
That led me to poke around on my Google analytics to see just where everyone who reads or at least looks at this blog comes from .
This blog it turns out is read in some 67 countries. Admittedly mostly English speaking in many varieties, with the United States and the UK having the highest numbers. I’m fairly impressed with the idea that I’m being read to one degree or another in 67 countries.
Typical white American that I am, I speak only one language well. I have a smattering of splintered Spanish and that’s it. Lots of people in this close to the border with Mexico where I live are truly bi-lingual. It’s embarrassing.
So what I’ve done is add a translator widget. You’ll find it over on the right down at the bottom… an orange button that says ‘Translate.’ Try it. I’m told the translations are pretty good.
It’s official – my blog now speaks many many languages I don’t. I kinda like that idea somehow.
Of course, it will only translate words. It can’t figure out, for example, what winter holiday is celebrated in Spanish or Japanese or in Zimbabwe.
It’s up to us to provide at least a modicum of cultural sensibility.
Which brings me back to Christmas, and, come to think of it, Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, of course, is supposed to commemorate a winter harvest celebration by the Puritans back in the 1600s. There’s even a totally false addition of how the settlers and the Native Americans celebrated together. That’s myth and has gone quite a way toward disguising what happened when Europeans began to settle this continent. And I don’t think it’s ever included those stolen from Africa.
Christmas, reputed to celebrate the birth of Jesus the Christ has become much more about buying and consuming more stuff. Still it’s often a great family time. That family time does give this writer a chance or two to talk about other folks and maybe introduce some awareness. Or maybe they just tolerate me.
Adding a translator so my blog can speak in many languages may be a pointer to more cultural awareness and sensitivity, but it’s only that… a start perhaps.
Your thoughts always appreciated in comments.
Write well and often,