Saturday, 25 October 2008

I'm blogging in Italian!

Given that I don't speak Italian, it may seem a bit strange that I just started an Italian language blog on

Kaj's Italian blog

But I do have a point with my blog. Let me quote Google Translate's automatic translation of some of my "writings" -- deliberately doing so without making any improvements on the automatic translation:

Why this blog?
"Of all the languages that I do not speak, I speak Italian the best."

This is my motto when it comes to speaking Italian. Moreover, Italy is my favorite country to visit for pleasure, so I decided to start a blog in Italian.

The purpose of my blog is

  • Learn more Italian

  • to learn more about Italy

  • inspired to visit Italy more often

I go to Italy for both work and pleasure, and I use the blog for both purposes.

Why not write a blog in Italian?
The fact that I do not speak Italian is no longer an excuse, not to have a blog in Italian.

I want to prove a point: these days, it is perfectly possible to create a blog in Italian only by pretending to speak Italian.

I like to say "Of all the languages that I do not speak, I speak Italian the best, but what enables this blog is Google Translate. I normally write in Swedish, but unfortunately, the translation has a higher quality if you start from English. This is why I initially write something in English. So, I ask Google to translate my text into Italian. I read the translation and make a first proofreading if it might be understandable. Finally, I ask Google to translate again from Italian to English. If I can still understand, I finally publish my text.

Let's see where this experiment takes me!

I spoke Italian to 4 minutes 12 seconds!
Today I delivered a speech in Italian. Many thanks to Giuseppe Maxia, who translated my speech yesterday by the French. I pasted here:
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this informal meeting to celebrate and discuss the acquisition of MySQL by Sun Microsystems.

My name is Kaj Arno, and the Vice President for the Community of MySQL. I come from Monaco, but not the Bavarian. Finnish are as Monty, the creator of MySQL, and many others.
During the integration with Sun, I also the role of Ambassador of MySQL, that I visit all the offices and explain what Sun MySQL. [...]

Now, you may ask yourself: Why speak Italian, when it is clear that I can not speak it?

I tried to explain why I do my blog in English. Some central parts of it:

The "Why" and "How" to do more local presentations of what can be done in English

The English as a language of communication is highly overrated. In an international context, English may be sufficient to transmit meaning, but has serious shortcomings when it comes to establishing a social relationship, showing respect, to create a climate of trust, and to have fun.

All in all, there's nothing wrong with English. It is a good language, like many others. But just as in biology, monoculture comes with many risks, and diversity is good. Let us celebrate, let us enjoy, and we try to derive commercial benefits out of it!

"Egosurfing" in Italy
The term "egosurfing" is used to describe the act of entering his name into a search engine site to assess its presence and relevance on the Internet. It can be seen as selfish, or at least vain. However, they are not free of those sins.

I decided to do some "egosurfing" specific to Italy, adding "site:. It" for the research: "Kaj Arno" site:. It. To my surprise, I found 135 items!

Here are some results: [...]

For those of you who, like me, sometimes pretend to read Italian, I suggest you to take a look at these pages that I pretended to write, and for which I used no other help than what can be obtained through Wikipedia and Google Translate (specifically, I used no human / Italian help):

What I want to say at this point is: Thank you, Google Translate!

And what I really wonder is, what will Giuseppe say? And Ivan Zoratti? And Maurizio Gianola? And Massimo, Emanuela, Raffaella, Luca, Franco, Ettore, and all my other Italian friends and colleagues?


  1. [...] Esta vez, pedí Google Translate de traducir para mí Google Translate, como para mi blogs italiano y ruso. Esto hizo posible para mí a entregar una nota más personal, con cambios de última hora, [...]