There might have been times when you wanted to publish a magazine in a native language but then dropped the idea. Or if you went ahead, you were unsure whether it’ll attract readers or entirely go unnoticed. The reason could have been any like the restricted audience, limited vocabulary, the perception of a huge market share of English publishers, or peer advice.
Under such circumstances, English is often seen as an obvious choice to publish a magazine and make quick profits, but this isn’t absolutely true. According to stats, English stands third in the most widely spoken languages around the world. Chinese and Spanish languages rank first and second respectively. Also, it becomes extremely difficult for non-native speakers to write in English. Even in the case of English speakers, there are seven different types of English languages with different spellings and pronunciations. Thus, a writer has to choose whether to write in American English or British English or Irish English and so on.
Other than that, there are approximately 2700 languages with over 7000 individual dialects spoken around the world and thus, provides a wide platform for local publishers to come ahead and delight their target, well-defined audience. Being aware of their needs, likes, and dislikes, homegrown publishers have an edge over their competitors.
Thus, there is immense importance and various perks of publishing in a local language. It’s an outstanding way to provide value to the native readers and give them a worthy piece of writing that they’ll cherish.
Still on the fence to publish a local magazine? To make it simpler, we’ve explained the following aspects of why you should put your foot forward.
Create an instant connection
Connecting with the readers and keeping them engaged is a prerequisite for your magazine to be read and loved. Agree? This can’t be done better than presenting your message in a local language. Conversing in a native language brings immediate comfort, sense of pride, cultural value, and moments of delight. It results in effortless bonding and assists a writer to go beneath the surface of writer’s aspect and become a companion, motivator, or an influencer.
An article written in Spanish, explaining a living room scene and breakfast table will connect better with the indigenous audience. It’ll convey the exact emotions and get them instantly involved by reminding them of their own living rooms, the smell of mouth-watering breakfast dishes, and family gossips. At the same time, the mentioned breakfast and the living room setup may not attract the Americans or Germans. Similarly, a specific phrase in French may bring instant excitement and thrill to the local audience while it may not make any sense to others.
Translation lessens or loses the impact
Translations end up being funny or go wrong. Hundreds and thousands of works are translated daily into other languages, with some of them being welcomed by the audience, while some losing their sentiments and warmth on the way.
Numerous words, sayings, and phrases are often lost in translation. Say for example, “antier” is a Swedish term which means the “day before yesterday”. Do we have any English one-word to say the same? Similarly, “lagom” is another Spanish term that beautifully explains moderation. It’s all about the right amount, not too much and not too little.
Also, there are other words known as “false friends”. These words look or sound similar but have different meanings in different dialects. “Fart” is one such example, it’s a well-known English word but do you know what it means in Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian? It means “speed”. Thus, when in Denmark, if you see “Fart kontrol” written somewhere, don’t panic as it just means “speed check”. “Gift” is another such term which means “poison” in German, that being said, you better not ask for a gift, when in Germany.
Nurturing linguistic diversity
An American presents a “flower” to his wife, while a German presents “blute”, and a Vietnamese presents “hoa”. Interesting? Here’s more, in the night sky amidst the stars is “moon” in English, “luna” in Italian, and “mond” in German. Similarly, a duck says “quack-quack” in English, “coin-coin” in French, and “rap-rap” in Danish, isn’t this cool?
Different grammar, different vocabulary, different local tales and sayings, such is the beauty of diversity. Every language is a unique window to the world, it provides
new angles to think and believe, distinct ways of looking at problems and finding their solutions, and altogether a fascinating approach of imagining the world around.
Prevents language decline or extinction
Publishing a weekly, monthly, or yearly magazine makes the readers happy and offers one more priceless benefit. Your native language gets documented. Are you wondering how’s it priceless? It reduces the possibilities of your language declining or going extinct in near future. As per a survey, 231 languages have been completely lost and 2400 languages are on the verge of dying. It is also estimated that a language dies every two weeks.
With such a high rate of extinction, many linguists, governments, community groups, and other concerned people have overtime taken measures and adopted practices for language revitalization. “Hebrew revival” and “Gaelic revival” are two such famous examples where humans became successful of revitalizing these precious languages. If these measures are taken at the right time, then there is no requirement for such revitalization programs. Thus, we should stand up for a cause when there’s time rather than grieving for the loss later on.
Preserving ethnic diversity
In continuation to the above point, keeping our works intact and documented plays a pivotal role in maintaining cultural diversity. Magazines can help in simultaneous entertainment, learning of language, and cultural knowledge. Children magazines are a great way of fun educating the kids about a local language. Those in school may be engaged by magazines telling ancestral stories, famous traditional tales, informing about eminent native personalities, and festivals. Other magazines may be published to motivate adults to contribute to their community and share important information or joyful moments amongst the readers of their community. This will firmly instill a sense of pride in local people, give them a unique identity, and stimulate them to sense the moral obligation towards the upliftment of their local language and community.
Gain loyal consumers
There are numerous magazines publishing out there, but a local magazine has its own advantages. As mentioned in the first point above, it immediately grabs the reader’s attention and connects with them. There are many families and individuals of a community who any day prefers to read a local author above any other. It makes them feel comfortable and joyful while reading what they’ve grown up with and encounter their environment.
Economic upliftment of local writers, editors, and publishers
Publications in the native language open up door of opportunities for the native people. Whether carried out at a small-scale or large-scale, this involves a writer to write a great copy, an editor to make that copy flawless, a publisher to make it tangible, a seller or distributor to help it reach the target audience, and many others. Though with the advent of self-publishing practices, all these steps are optional and if wished can be carried out by an individual alone.
Hence, producing more number of native magazines enhances the magazine circulation in local markets and expand their global reach. Thereby, generating revenue and empowering the indigenous community.
Publishing a magazine in the local language is much more than what we think of. It is self-promotional, delivers quality, boosts community’s confidence, and above all preserves traditional values. It helps us know about our previous generations and gives us a chance to transfer our values and practices to the coming generations. A native magazine ignites the enthusiasm to imagine things and have an individual perspective in this wide world of the myriad of cultures and languages.