29 Dec 2008

I wouldn't consider myself as an expert in blogging,but hey,I've been around since 2006 and still kicking.I've seen blogs born and die,with some dying as fast as they were born.When going through some discussions in Jamii Forums I found a thread about January Makamba's blog.Putting aside the usual unpleasantries in a public forum,one notable point in the said discussion was how should bloggers communicate with their audiances.For instance,I'm Tanzanian,my national language is Kiswahili,and most of my blog posts are in that language too.But in so doing,am I not limiting my audiance?Talking of audiance,is it the people you share an expertise with,fellow countrymen and women,or anybody who has access to the internet?And,in blogging,should the top priority be on what I want my audiance expect from me or is it what I want them to hear from me?

Perhaps in finding answers to such questions,it's worth looking at how other bloggers from different countries blog.For instance,are most Chinese bloggers blog in Arabic?The answer is definitely no,though I do not have supporting statistics on that.May be the Chinese example doesn't do enough justice because of the number of Chinese speakers in the world.

Why do some bloggers prefer a foreign,or rather an international language,instead of their own?Is it because they are targetting a wider,global audiance?Is it because they master some languages other than their own?Or is it just a personal choice?

In one of the threads in Jamii forum,I found another discussion about a UK-based Tanzanian scholar,who was being criticised for using "poor" English in one of his articles in the web.While not passing my judgement on the said article or his critics,I was just wondering if anyone would be bothered if the article had been written in "poor Kiswahili".My assumption here is,a foreign langauge could easily become vulnerable to criticism.And this might be ONE of the reasons as to why many Tanzanian bloggers prefer using Kiswahili to English.However,there could also be a cultural factor.That is,Kiswahili is my national language,and it's part of my culture.So why should I not be proud of using it to communicate with my people?Cultural relativists might question,though,about those non-Kiswahili speakers?

Anyway,personally,I will continue using Kiswahili in most of my posts,especially those I deem of interests to my fellow Kiswahili speakers.However,English will also be used particularly when I give my analysis or opinion on news articles written in English.I am one of those who believe that although a personal blog should largely remain personal,in the sense of choices of words,language,pictures and even accepting or rejecting comments,it also attains a public status soon as it published because it could be read by anybody anywhere,and that necessitates being considerate TO and OF others.


  1. Thanx alot Brother. I do believe in what Cyril Connoly said that "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self." Nobody has to agree with me because this is the way i see it.

  2. I totally agree with you,brother.



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