Today is a special day for Vocabat–she turns one year old. One year ago today, I wrote a post titled ¡Conchudo!, and then I just kept at it. I don’t remember exactly when I got the idea to start a blog, but I know I’d had the secret longing to do so for a while. Although I was deliriously in love at the time, I was also swamped in loneliness. I was living in a new city and working as a translator from home. I didn’t have coworkers, didn’t have an office to go to, and I never even met my boss, Edgar. We just communicated though email. So there I was, asphyxiated by quiet for about 12 hours every day, translating spy novels I couldn’t care less about, slowly despairing and breaking down in that apartment that became a cell. A self-made prison, absolutely, self-chosen and self-perpetuated. Still, I didn’t know how to break out of that crushing solitude. Blogging became a very welcome release. A few months later, I made a difficult decision and left, breaking up with my boyfriend and returning to the U.S. Somehow, I kept writing. Amidst all the upheaval of the last year, this at least has been one constant. What by all appearances is just a silly little language blog has always meant more to me than I let on. It certainly hasn’t been the easiest year for me. This next year will be much better, though, thank God; I’ve made sure of it.
So, where has Vocabat been? Let’s consider this past year from the standpoint of numbers. Here are some basic stats.
I’ve had almost 20,000 visitors in all–19,591 to be exact. Not too shabby for my first year.
The top locations of my readers and visitors
1- United States
4- United Kingdom
I’ve had visitors from 118 countries. Here’s the map, although I’ve noticed that it doesn’t indicate visitors I’ve had from China and Cuba. Sometimes visitors come from countries I’ve never even heard of such as Brunei Darussalam or Saint Kitts and Nevis. I wonder if the one visitor from Guam will remember to say tumbar, colaborar, and no se pierde la corrida de un catre during his upcoming trip to Colombia. Did the two visitors from Uganda laugh at my jokes? What were the four visitors from Slovakia aching to say in the comments they forgot to leave me? I wonder how many people that I know read it. As language blogs go, it’s rather confessional.
The most popular posts on Vocabat
1- Bats in Colombian Spanish Far and away my most popular post, just look at the searches to understand why. I guess when Gutiérrez called Betty a chimbilá, I wasn’t the only one left scratching my head.
2- Cartoon characters in Spanish, Part Two A return to childhood (albeit brief) is always wonderful and exhilarating.
3- Greetings in Colombian Spanish If you only have the time to learn one thing excellently, I suggest that you master the greeting.
4- Cartoon characters in Spanish, Part One In which I got to sneak lines remembered from The Smurfs movie in Spanish (which I saw with my ex) into a blog post and call it educational.
5- Mitt Romney’s son speaking Spanish Everyone loves a rival.
6- ¿Me toca o me toco? Everyone also loves embarrassing stories happening to other people, especially if sex is involved in any way.
7- Punctuation marks in Spanish A surprise hit.
8- Slippery Spanish: Fashion, history and language This post drained me of every last ounce of time and energy, but it was all worth it in the end.
9- Breaking Up with Colombian Spanish A sad and painful post that I’m a little surprised I was even capable of writing. I think I just needed to shamelessly ask my readers (as well as everyone else in my life) to love up on me a little.
10- Valentine’s Day in Colombia? Not feeling the love Maybe I struck a chord with a lot of lonely hearts out there.
The most frequent search terms
3- spanish cartoon characters
4- chimbila animal
5- los increibles
7- diccionario de la real academia española
9- colombian greetings
10- spanish punctuation marks
I’ve written eighty posts, which comes to about a post and a half a week. I’ve received comments from sixty different people.
Just as many people who keep a diary will periodically reread it, I’ve just reread all my old posts to remember this past year. How things have changed! How everything has changed. Some of the changes have been vast improvements that were necessary and desired, and others still make me somewhat sad when I dwell on them. Pero bueno. No hay vuelta de hoja.
Some of my favorite posts have been Pardon me, but I think I’m in love with your Spanish; Flowery Spanish; Cowtalk; and García Márquez’ Ten Favorite Words in Cien años de soledad.
I want to write a post soon about where this blog is going, but first I just wanted to share an outline of where it’s been. I’m just getting warmed up blogging-wise, and I am bursting with ideas to share with you in year two. I also have several pointed questions to ask and feedback I’d like to solicit. Well, let’s celebrate my first year! Tonight I’m going to ring in the new blogging year by doing what I love most–I’m going salsa dancing. Whatever you do, feel free to raise your beer or glass of wine or cup of chicha or whatever in my direction. Thanks so much for reading this year! My fantastic readers make Vocabat hands down the coolest Spanish blog around. Muchísimas gracias.