Editorial policy for the Our Languages blog

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So you’d like to write for the Our Languages blog? Great! Before you get started, read our editorial policy to learn about our objectives and our readers. You’ll also get some ideas on blog post topics and find out how we’ll guide you throughout the blogging process.

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Objectives of our blog

With the Our Languages blog, we want to:

  • provide relevant and engaging content
  • share our passion for language with our readers
  • become a meeting place for a community that takes a keen interest in Canada’s official languages
  • become a platform for consultation, discussion and learning

Who reads our blog

The Language Portal is not just for translators and other language professionals. Canadians from all walks of life can benefit from the abundant content we have to offer. While writing your blog post, remember that it could also be read by:

  • teachers
  • students
  • parents
  • journalists
  • accountants
  • engineers
  • administrative personnel
  • business owners
  • public servants

What to write about and how

Okay, so now you know whom you’re writing for, but a few questions still remain: What are you going to write about? And what format will your post take?

Here are a few examples of blog topics and formats to inspire you:

Language Portal showcases

Posts that showcase Language Portal of Canada content, such as quizzes, writing tips and resources from the Collection of Canadian language resources, that can be grouped together around a given topic to create a post.

Examples

  • The best quizzes for learning French expressions
  • Plain language: 4 articles to help you say what you mean
  • Resources to help you learn the Inuktitut dialect

Infographics

Posts that feature a visual representation (such as a chart or diagram) of steps, processes, comparisons, reminders or statistics. Infographics are very shareable on social media.

Examples

  • How to clearly communicate with your clients
  • Verb moods: A comparison
  • The ups and downs of capitalization

How-to lists

Posts that tell our readers how to do something, usually a very specific task. The information can be presented in the form of step-by-step instructions or checklists.

Examples

  • 8 simple steps for an error-free email
  • How to format your business’s blog posts to increase readability
  • A checklist for effective headlines

Listicles

Posts that feature content organized in a list.

Examples

  • Top 10 apps for learning a foreign language
  • 15 tips to help you improve your business writing
  • 8 English words you might be misusing

Case studies

Posts that feature content on how other organizations or people dealt with an issue to highlight different approaches or lessons learned.

Examples

  • How to launch a plain language program in your organization
  • The advantages of gamification in language learning
  • Before and after: How an email style guide changed the way we communicate

Reviews

Posts that feature reviews of language-related tools, publications, websites and events.

Examples

  • My day at the Trois-Rivières International Poetry Festival
  • A review of three terminology databases
  • A review of Look WAY Up, an online dictionary and thesaurus

Interviews

Posts that feature interviews with:

  • Language Portal ambassadors:
    • blog champions, guest bloggers, partners or networkers
  • other people working in the field of language:
    • authors, writers, editors, second language teachers or learners, interpreters, translators and fellow bloggers

These posts can be written in a question-and-answer format.

Examples

  • A chat with guest blogger Mary Jane
  • A conference interpreter’s typical work day
  • A lexicographer explains how new words make it into the dictionary

Blogging guidance

If you’ve got an idea for a language-related blog post, complete the guest blogger form and send it to us!

After we receive it, we’ll send you a welcome email to introduce you to the member of the Portal editorial team you’ll be working with. That person will be available to guide you from start to finish by answering your questions, discussing your post idea with you and reviewing your draft post to make sure that it meets our criteria for publication and the guidelines in the Canada.ca Content Style Guide.

And, along the way, if the editorial team member has any additional suggestions for you, he or she will share them with you by email or by phone.

So no need to worry! You’ll be well supported as you become a guest blogger for the Our Languages blog!

Copyright on your post and on the comments you write on the Our Languages blog belongs to you. However, by agreeing to have your post and your comments published on the Our Languages blog, you agree to waive your moral rights, which means you give the Government of Canada permission to use, reproduce, edit and share your post and your comments, royalty-free, in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. You also confirm that nothing in your post or your comments infringes third party rights (for example, the use of a text from a third party without his or her authorization.

The author’s name is displayed in a post when it is published on the Our Languages blog. By submitting a post for publication, you agree to have your name displayed with your post.

For information about the privacy of your personal information, refer to the privacy notice statement.

Blogging guidelines

Be respectful

Feel free to respond to comments about your blog post, but keep your responses respectful, relevant and non-discriminatory.

Consult the guidelines in the Government of Canada’s Commenting Policy.

Avoid endorsements

The Language Portal must avoid any real or perceived appearance of endorsing or providing an unfair competitive advantage to any individual, organization or private sector enterprise. However, we’re happy to promote tools, services or products offered free of charge by a government department or agency, a non-profit organization or a public educational institution.

Consult the Directive on the Management of Communications, section 6.9.

Link to Language Portal content

As you’re drafting your post, if you find content related to your topic on the Portal (such as quizzes, resources or writing tips), feel free to include the links to this content in your post. You can also include links to other related Our Languages blog posts.

Links to external websites, tools and publications relevant to the topic of your post may be fine, too. Our editorial team will simply review the links to make sure they don’t endorse or provide any unfair competitive advantage to the sites, tools and publications in question or their content. If they don’t, they can stay. If they do, we’ll simply remove them.

Engage your readers

It is important to build a community by encouraging discussion. We recommend that you add a few lines to the end of your post inviting readers to:

  • share their opinion
  • ask questions
  • share related resources

Share your posts

Once your post is up on the Our Languages blog, we’ll send you an email to let you know. We’ll also share your post:

You can share your post with your own network, too. Simply tag the Language Portal of Canada if you do.

More information

Privacy notice statement

Provision of the information is on a voluntary basis. We will use the information for the purpose of responding to your questions/comments, and to improve our Internet presence. The information will be held in Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Personal Information Bank number PPU 115 Internet and PPE 830 Intranet Services, and it will be retained according to the retention and disposal schedule established for this bank.

Your personal information is protected under the provisions of the Privacy Act. Under the Act, you have the right to request access to and correction of your personal information, if erroneous or incomplete. If you wish to avail yourself of this right or require clarification about this statement, contact our Privacy Coordinator at AIPRP.ATIP@tpsgc-pwgsc.gc.ca. For more information on privacy issues and the Privacy Act consult the Privacy Commissioner’s website.

For more information about your rights, visit Info Source. This is a Government of Canada publication available in major libraries, at government information offices and from constituency offices of federal Members of Parliament.

The Internet is a public forum and electronic information can be intercepted. This is not a secure website. Please do not disclose unnecessary confidential information about yourself or your accounts with PSPC.

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