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Greetings. I've been blogging for a while now and I do it in Russian. But, some of my English-speaking... AHEM "Internet-friends" are unable to read my personal blog, 'cause they're just not familiar with my native language. When I do a post or two, and share it with my Facebook account, they're often comment the pictures, but not the posts itself. So I thought about starting to blog in English, which could help few of my goals:

  • To learn English better: the grammar, the rules, words-construction and so on
  • To share my life with my English-speaking Internet-friends
  • To improve my communication and translation skills

But I don't know, if I ever should start doing this because I don't know if my pals will be interested in reading what I write, not just looking the pictures. And if I should start doing the copy of my blog, should I do it on the same blogging service provider or should I switch to some other platform, which is more popular? What platform could it be? Currently, I use Livejournal and I like it.

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Ultimately, this is going to be a personal choice for you. There are a couple things you could think about when making your decision: Do you have the time to write two blogs? Are you proficient enough in English to write a blog with minimal errors where native speakers won't have many problems understanding you? Is it worth the effort you'll need to put into it? Is it worth two hours of work (just a guess) for three readers?

If you answered yes to these questions, then go right ahead. It probably would help you improve your own language skills in the long run.

As for which provider, I've used both Blogger and WordPress and I've enjoyed them both.

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I have the same problem, Hebrew being my native language. I chose to blog in English, because by blogging in Hebrew I limit my audience to those who can read the language. I believe that by using English you will address a larger audience. Writing two copies of the same blog entry will probably tax you to the point in which you will drop one language, or stop blogging at all. Judging from the only English writing sample of you I have (your question), you already have good writing skills in English, so that should not be a problem!

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If you have enough cyber-friends who don't read Russian who have commented on your non-English blog, then yes, do one in English. If nothing else it will improve your facility with the language.

I like Blogger, but if you're comfortable with LiveJournal, stick with that.

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I use the Wibiya toolbar (http://www.wibiya.com/), which allows for a user to translate a page.

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    Computer generated translations are rarely accurate. – Ralph Gallagher Feb 23 '11 at 15:49
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Writing a full translation will approximately double the time you spend creating each post, so as other answers have said, you'll need to consider the cost versus benefit. However, thee's another approach you could take: keep writing in your native language and provide a summary in the other language. Writing a paragraph or two in your non-native language will be easier, and in that summary you can offer to answer questions or translate parts if people ask. Somebody who, for example, wants to know what you said about the third photo you posted can ask and you can answer, but you don't have to translate the detailed explanations of the other five pre-emptively. And if, over time, you're getting more engagement from English speakers and want to expand what you include in your summary, you can do that.

You're using LiveJournal, which has the "lj-cut" tag that you can use for this purpose. Add your English text and put it behind a cut labelled "English summary"; those who want it can easily click through, and those who are reading in your native language won't have to skip past it. I would put this cut at the beginning, because people who don't read your native language might not scan to the end to see the link.

(If, like many people, you've moved to Dreamwidth since asking this question, they have the same feature and, further, expanding or collapsing a cut can be done in place without a new page-load.)

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I’ve blogged in English and Spanish in the past and I can give you some experiences I collected along the way:

  1. Blogging on different languages is time consuming. Expect to add an additional 2 hours to your blog post.
  2. Do not write in Russian and then translate to English. Write in English and then translate to Russian. That way you make sure you have enough knowledge to write the post on all languages and that you actually do. If you do it the opposite way you’ll end up with lots of post not getting translated.
  3. Choose a platform that supports multi language in posts. I’ve used with success both Wordpress and Drupal. Both have the ability to chose the language for the post as a drop down flag and automatically detect the language based on browser configuration.
  4. Chose a platform that makes translating easy. It should allow you to see current translation state of all your posts and allow you to refer to the original test when you are translating it.

Finally, posting in English is always a boost in readership reach not only limited to your Facebook friends. You’ll get more readers (assuming quality content not centred around local topics) coming from google. English is the de facto language of the internet. You should expect a huge extra reach by posting in English as compared to, for example, translating to Spanish or German. The reason comes from the fact that English is either the main language or a second language for almost everybody.

In addition,blogging in English (not translating to English but actually blogging IN that language) is an excellent way of learning the language. In time it will force you to think in English and use English expressions, it will help you understand where your limitations are and, by virtue of wanting to use a particular expression, it will develop your vocabulary and understanding of the language. Specially, it will develop the complexity of the phrases you’re able to use as opposed to your fluency (which is improved better by consuming spoken material like radio or movies).

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