On last Thursday I participated in the German conference "Zukunft Online-PR" (the future of online PR). There were PR people, Digital Natives, students, teachers from Germany and even from Austria. So there also was a lot of live twittering and blogging from the conference – all in German. I also twittered in German because of the German character of the conference and the audience (local and in the web).
But on late Thursday afternoon (CET) Roxanne asked me:
@fwhamm would it be possible 4 efficiency to let English be universal language w/o others felling dissed or English-spkrs feeling superior?
Meanwhile I have some English speaking followers and from time to time
I try to twitter and not to "zwitschern" (the German expression for "to
twitter") so they don’t feel disturbed and they understand what I’m
telling. But my English is quite rusty and this might
have been a
reason to zwitschern in
German and not to twitter in English most of the time. Roxanne’s tweet made it absolutely clear to me that I have to find a resolution for my English speaking followers. Twitter wasn’t made for monologue but for dialogue and I like to communicate (even in English :-)). I thought about this whole language thing that is a loaded topic for many:
@fwhamm I was just thinking about the whole language thing. A loaded topic for many!
Yes, Roxanne, you’re absolutely right! Especially because a lot of subjects (like a conference dealing with Public Relations) are of common interest to German and to English speaking followers as well. I thought about separate accounts for tweets in German and for tweets in English but this might confuse my followers and me as well. I suppose almost all of my followers understand English so this is it:
- I generally will twitter in English from now on even from German conferences (although the latter will be a great challenge for me).
- I will reply to German tweets in German. Don’t hesitate to contact me via @fwhamm or direct message in German if
you like to (Zögere nicht, mich via @fwhamm oder Direktnachricht in deutsch zu
- I will left German tweets untranslated when retweeting (quoting).
I apologize and I hope that my English speaking followers will forgive my humble English ;-)
P.S.: I will continue to blog in German except for seldom occasions like this. I guess it will be a greater challenge for my readers to read an English blog post from me than for me to write it in English …