Default to English Language – minimalism in practice

Sometimes hard decisions can unlock new possibilities. That’s how I feel about resigning from creating new content in Polish language. While it would be great to offer my creations in my mother tongue, it is simply too much overhead. I strive for minimalism, and with this one hard decision, I eliminate 1000 more decisions in the future. Overall, it creates more time for productive creativity.

Satirical comment in Polish on a dumpster

English is my first language

I was born and raised in Poland, where Polish is the only language in use. Video games, then movies with subtitles, and finally travelling were the environments that taught me English. In the last two decades English became my everyday tool to perform work, learn, and enjoy global entertainment.

Although I’m not native, it’s more practical for me to think and create in English. All articles in this website are first written in it. My conversations with fellow digital nomads are primarily done in that language. Moreover, I always set English in every app or device I use. Researching solutions, features and configurations is way easier in English, than in Polish.

English is the world language and the lingua franca. Exploring offline and online worlds is more convenient by the day, as more and more people use this language. I’m one of them, treating it as a life-long journey, and mastering my writing and speaking skills.

British English, American or else?

I initially started writing my content in British English. That’s the dominant system taught in Polish schools. Also, in 2014 I registered my company in the United Kingdom. With that, I wanted to stay true to British literature roots.

After some time, I decided to switch to American English. That was a similar one decision that removed 1000 further decisions. The US English is predominantly used in the Internet – due to large native population, and influence over global pop culture. My work and my online conversations, even if conducted with non-Americans, are with this version of written English.

Moreover, I’m an avid user of grammar checkers in the form of browser extensions. They automatically detect and suggest corrections in text input fields. Grammarly is the one I used for a while, and currently I stick to LanguageTool, as it supports multiple languages. That’s especially important for fellow multilingual folks that need to constantly switch between languages on their devices.

WordPress multilingual compatibility

Just to be clear. As a bilingual person I highly understand the importance of translation, localization, and cultural diversity. The world wants to learn English, but at the same time we should facilitate tools and encourage preservation of all native languages.

WordPress is the platform I use to create websites, including nerdontour.net. WP community is doing a good job in multilingual support. For years, I have been using WPML and Polylang plugins in my international projects. While I’m awed by what they provide, it’s also very time-consuming to stay on top of all languages, their taxonomies, and SEO implications.

It’s likely that the fourth phase of Gutenberg editor will implement native multilingual support in WordPress core. Billions of Internet users will benefit from such solution. But it won’t arrive here sooner than in 2024 or 2025. And even when the integration will be seamless, one have to organize time for each language.

My previous articles written in Polish

Majority of articles on this blog has been first written in English, then translated with sophisticated translator DeepL, checked with LanguageTool, and slightly edited to sound good in Polish. Grammar rules are important to me, so I make sure to keep everything intact. But even when using these automation tools, writing Polish articles is too resource-intensive.

I want to keep my English articles updated, but since I’m not going to write new Polish articles I won’t be updating the Polish equivalents. Therefore, the Polish URLs are now pointing to a simple site at nerdontour.pl. This minimalistic one-pager set on Carrd is not a blog. It’s a static website serving as an explainer for all Polish-speaking readers.

This decision also applies to my podcasts. The English “Nerd on Tour Podcast” is created with and for international digital nomads. I want to focus on it. The Polish podcast “W Podróży” will remain accessible with show notes at nerdontour.pl, but its further development is not a priority.

Minimalism in practice

There are plenty of projects that I’d like to materialize in my life. Nothing else has been as helpful as self-imposed constrains (aka minimalism). That’s why I’m deciding to remove Polish content on nerdontour.net and keep only the basics on nerdontour.pl.

If you’ve been one of the readers of my Polish articles – thank you for your attention! I encourage you to continue reading the new content in English. Remember that you can always aid yourself with built-in translators in Safari and Chrome, or use DeepL for that.

For everyone else – this decision is great news! It means I gain more time for productive creativity. I’m going to publish new podcasts from my backlog and write new English articles for the benefit of all multicultural digital nomads. Onwards!

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