Stupid Question 124: Is a bilingual tech blog a good idea?
Yes or no to bilingual tech blogs?
Now and then I hear from social media gurus that bilingual blogs are the way to go if you speak at least two languages. From an SEO standpoint it might be so, more text is often a good thing, and the two languages will help people that search in those languages find their way to you. Right?
I decided to do a poll on Twitter and ask my friends.
YAY or NAY: Blog posts in two languages? (First part in prime language, summary at the bottom in the other language or other combos)
( With tech blogs I mean blogs such as mine, irisclasson.com / in love with code)
You see, sometimes I can’t help but wonder if it’s old advice that has stuck around. As many responded, why not add a translator widget, or simply let the user use Bing or Google translate. While not a 100% accurate, they still do a fairly decent job.
I think that tech blogs probably won’t benefit as much from being bilingual,- but I had to ask the other developers.
90% said no to bilingual tech blogs. Reasons being:
Hassle for the writer, which means fewer blog posts. This hurts SEO
Maintenance hell. Might end up with inaccurate blog post translations if one bit gets changed but not the other.
Reading hell. Blog post gets very lengthy, and although you only read one bit, the eye still registers all the text.
Hard to pull off in a nice way. Can get rather messy with the layout. If images are used, do you add them a second time with the caption in the second language? Or do you use Fig.1 and let the user scroll like crazy each time you refer to an image
A few suggested that if you wanted to have a second language that you have it as a separate blog altogether.
Example of a yes answer: (just a small sample, got 100+ replies)
I say yes; bilingualism is awesome, wider audience, no harm to readers. Plus, that would be a neat dataset.
No answers: (just a small sample, got 100+ replies)
Nay! Let google translate do the lifting….
Use english and then add Bing translation feature to the site!
… mixing languages on a post doens’t make sense IMHO
Other: (just a small sample, got 100+ replies)
Single blog post, multiple languages selectable (like multiple tabs per blog post) would be cool.
stats from my blog irisclasson.com
I’m keeping my blog in English and English only, and rather focus on adding more good content in that one language instead. As for traffic, about 30% of the traffic to my blog is from the US, 13% from Sweden, 7.5 UK, almost 5% from India and Canada 3.5%
Last modified on 2013-01-10