I think it’s great blogging has become increasingly popular – you get to work on your writing skills, get to know other people and cultures that otherwise you probably wouldn’t have the chance to and get feedback on your thoughts and ideas – It’s all very positive.
I would assume that most countries have their own blogging platforms – and I’m assuming that because we have here, in Israel, where most blogging is obviously done in Hebrew. Now, I don’t have any official numbers or surveys, but most Israelis speak at least 2 languages, and many speak 3 and it’s not that hard to find someone who speaks 4 languages.
I’d say the most commonly spoken languages are English, Arabic, Russian, French, Spanish and Portuguese.
Arabic is also the official language of Israel, but unfortunately, it’s not yet mandatory in all school systems. Not yet anyway. I think the ministry of education is trying to change that. (<= look at me skirting political issues!)
As for Russian, we had a number of big immigration waves from Russian speaking countries due to the right of return. Why immigrate? I guess a lot of it has to do with antisemitism and the hope of building a better future.
A lot of Israelis speak French as well. Some of them or their fathers immigrated from North-Africa (French colonialism etc.). Other French speakers obviously immigrated from France.
There’s also a very big Spanish-speaking community. During and after WWII many Jews fled to South-America. My father’s side of the family included. The same goes for Portuguese.
What about Yiddish you might ask yourself (or you might probably not). It was once the language spoken by Ashkenazi Jews (=European ancestry). Today it’s identified with Orthodox Jews, some of them are very closed off. I sometimes here it spoken in Jerusalem, but only on the rare occasions when I pass through their neighborhoods. It’s strange and funny at the same time, when I hear children talk in Yiddish, because I associate it with old people (my grandmother and parents speak Yiddish), as would a lot of secular jews.
There’s a lot more to say about the multiculturalism and multilingualism in Israel. I didn’t take into account a lot of variables and mentioned a few briefly (politics, history, nationalism etc.), the reason being It’s not my area of expertise. I started this post wanting to talk about my experience writing in a foreign language, and it turned into something completely different. I guess I just ran with it.
Does your country have a similar environment? Or does your country have more of a homogeneous society? I wonder how it influences everyday life in other places around the world.
I should also mention this is my first go at the Weekly Writing Challenge. Yay me!