Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Video: Stephanie Booth

Stephanie Booth's presentation about Multilingual blogging given at Blogcamp Switzerland is now online. Stephanie discussed blogging in multiple languages. Her own blog is in English and French, however, she doesn't post translations. Sometimes she writes a post in French, and other times she will write in English. She also discusses the difficulties encountered with posting in different languages and how differences in language and culture can separate people.

My question for Stephanie is: Do you notice that people often have a different personality when the speak (or write) in a language different to their own? I think I myself am a bit different when I'm speaking German than when I am speaking English. Another example I've noticed is the difference in Michelene Calmy-Rey's (a Swiss political leader for you folks not here in Switzerland) persona in German vs her persona in French. The first time I saw Calmy-Rey speak in French I was amazed at the difference to the way she spoke in German.


Expat Traveler said...

I got introduced to Stephanies blog back in 2004 by a fellow blogger living in Lausanne..

She's so impressive and been blogging for some time...

That is a great question...

I think at least each language has very different tones, especially swiss german to English...

Are you fluent in German?

Greg said...

E: It is pretty impressive that she can keep on coming up with things to write about that are interesting. I was just now thinking about the question I ask here, but I realized that this is something she covers in the talk. She uses the example of Loic LeMeur. I was reminded of this when I was watching Loic LeMeur last night on CNN during the French election coverage.

Is there any American fluent in German without at least one parent that speaks the language? A few of my American friends mention that they think my German is "Perfect". When I talk to IT recruiters over the phone, they think my German could be better. After about two years, I'm now to the point where I can just speak German without having to think too much, but there are times when I'll just go drop an English word into the conversation because I don't have the German word in my head. Sometimes, I'll get into conversations where I'm speaking English and the other party speaks German, or vice-versa. I speak better German than most of the other english speakers I know. In fact I rarely speak German outside of the house except when I talk to other native English speakers (with the exception of when I'm in France.....)

Here in Switzerland though, I'll be speaking Baslerduetsch and someone speaking Zueriduetch or Baernduetsch won't understand me. To make things worse, my wife and her family mostly speak Walser (NOT Walliser).

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