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multilingual forum

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 12:01 pm
by Joan Sallas
It's very frequently that in discusion forums many members don't participe and remain pasiv a cause of language problems. Today, near everybody can read more other less english, but is not the same read other write. Myself I have really problems to write minimal correct in english, and frequently somebody must help me before I send a message. For this reason I propose that in this forum will be recomended to write in english as global language, BUT accepted that everybody can write in the language in which is possible to explain his informations an ideas. The concept must be "better to have a interesting information in korean like don't have this information". If the non speaking members can make an efort to undertsand english, the english spieaking member can make an efort to understand other languages too. Exist google translators and other programs. Another reason that suport this proposition: wenn we publish a message with an historical text, if we are serious, this historical text must be mentioned in the original language, if english or not. I think we must make an efort to see this forum as a multilingual forum, as positive challenge that bring more participation, not like a problem. I hope that our administrator, Nick Robinson, will agree it.

En foros de discusión se percibe frecuentemente que muchos miembros no participan y restan pasivos a causa del problema de la lengua. Aunque hoy casi todo el mundo puede leer mas o menos en inglés, no ocurre lo mismo con escribirlo. Yo mismo tengo problemas para escribirlo minimamente correcto, y frecuentemente alguien debe hecharme una mano antes de mandar el mensaje. Por esta razón, aunque en este foro se recomiende el inglés como lengua global, PROPONGO que se acepte que cada mienbro pueda escribir en la lengua en la cual le sea posible expresar mejor sus informaciones o ideas. El concepto deberia ser "mejor un mensaje interesante en coreano que no que se omita este mensaje". Si los miembros de este foro que dominan poco el inglés se esfuerzan por leer y entender esta lengua, los los miembros de habla inglesa también pueden hacer un esfuerzo para comprender otras lenguas. Y más teniendo en cuenta que existe Google y otros programas de traducción. Otra razón que argumenta esta propuesta es que cuando en un mensaje incluso en inglés citamos un texto histórico, este debe permanecer en su lengua original sea inglés o no, si queremos ser serios en la investigación. Pienso que debemos hacer un esfuerzo para ver el foro multilingue como algo positivo, como un reto que va a aportar más participacion y no como un problema. Y espero que el administrador del foro, Nick Robinson, esté de acuerdo con ello.

Häufig merk man in mache Diskussionsforums wie viele Mitglieder nehmen nicht Teil und bleiben passiv wegen Sprachprobleme. Auch wenn heute fast jede can mehr ode weniger auf english lesen, es ist nicht dasselbe beim Schreiben. Ich selbst habe ich akute Probleme um diese Sprache minimal korrekt zu schreiben und häufig muss jemand mir helfen bevor ich die Nachricht sende. Deshalb auch wenn in deisem Forum die Verwendung der englische Sprache als global Sprache empfohlen wird, ich SCHLAGE VOR dass es akzeptiert wird dass jede Mitglied in die Sprache schreiben kann in welche möglich ist seine Informationen und Ideen zu berichten. Das Konzept sollte sein "Besser eine interessante Mitteilung in koreanisch als gar keine Mitteilung". Wenn die Forummitglieder die englisch schwer beherrschen sich Mühe geben um diese Sprache zu lesen und verstehen, die Forummitglieder die englisch beherrschen können auch sich Mühe geben um die andere Sprachen zu verstehen. Besonders heute als man Google übersetzter und andere Übersetzungsprogramme zur verfügung hat. Ein anderer Grund um den Vorschlag ein mehrsprachliche Forum zu haben, zu unterstützen, ist dass wenn man eine Mitteilung sogar auf englisch eine historische Erwähnung trägt, diese soll in der original Sprache, egal ob diese englisch ist oder nicht, vor allem wenn wir wollen gründlich in der Erforschung. Ich denke wir sollen uns Mühe geben um diese mehrsprachige Forum positiv anzusehen, als eine Herausförderung die mehr Beteilugung der Mitglieder bringen soll und nicht als Problem. Und ich hoffe der Forumsverwalter Nick Robinson wird damit einverstanden sein.

Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:35 pm
by Nick
>I hope that our administrator, Nick Robinson, will agree it.

If people have no English skills at all, they will find it very difficult to discuss (or read) existing threads. That said, if someone has knowledge they wish to share and can only do it in their own language, I've no objection, but the opportunities for being "lost in translation" are huge.

Imagine I see a post in Spanish - I use google to translate, probably missing a lot of the subtlety. Do I then reply in English (in which case the author will have to translate) or use a translator myself to turn my reply into Spanish, with again possible mis-translations?

I think we need to consider what the majority of users would find easiest and probably, this would be to translate texts into English before posting. If the forum has posts in Spanish, German, French etc. it may cause frustration for many.

Maybe we could ask people who must post in their language to also include a google translation?

What do our other members think? I've created a poll, but please discuss as well.

Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 4:05 pm
by Joan Sallas
Hi Nick, about the poll:

In my opinion the option „English only“ is not an option. Or better it's a not-academic option, because the original mentions from old historical texts/witness MUST writed in the original language, if possible with an explanation in the same language (wenn dificult to understand the sense, to be understable for all the members) and/or with a translation/explanation in english (to be understable for the only-english speaking members).
For example, the oldest folding instruction step-by-step were published 1746 in a dutch book, of course in old dutch. Two years ago I needed a team of four persons (two germans and two dutch) and many weeks to understand the text and to translate it in german modern. If we want discute about this important document, the text of reference will remain the original old dutch text, which nobody speak today. In the case of mentions, we can try a discussion with all the interested members on the subject, if possible in english, but we must write allways the mention in the original language, and we need help us one to the other to understand the contents. So, I don't will agree this option.

The option „English with other language only where necessary“ would sound better if „ ..only where necessary or where the poster can't write english (with or without mistakes)“. I know, so long, but better, I think. So, I will agree this corrected option.

The option „Poster should translate and post both versions“ don't encourage to participe the members with interesting informations or opinions but with dificulties to write in english. I don't will agree this option.

The option „Posts in the authors own language“ would sound better „Posts in the authors own language if they only can write his own language“. I will agree this corrected option too.


Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 8:20 pm
by BRDParker
I'm wondering if it wouldn't be possible to have a "request translation" button of a sort.

Here's what I'm thinking. Someone who doesn't read the specified language can click the button, choose a language from a list, and the post will be duplicated in an area with a translation queue of a sorts. People can check periodically for (or sign up to be notified of) posts that they have the ability to translate. They do so at their leisure, and there would be a notification to the OP about the translated text that they can copy-paste into their post. (If you are familiar with the eTutoring website, it's a similar concept, but I'm sure there are other examples out there).

I know only a small portion of the basics of web design, but do you think that would be doable?

Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 11:40 am
by ahudson
Realistically, I think we will only be able to translate a very small number of posts-- so perhaps translation shouldn't be a user-requested feature, but a moderator-controlled one. If somebody posts in a language other than english, a moderator might run it through a machine translator to check that it's on topic, and then forward it to a volunteer for translation.

Users should feel free to post in any language, but asked to use English where possible. This doesn't seem to be a high-traffic forum like Sajid Khan's site is, but I don't think anybody will have the time to translate the entire forum.

Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 5:22 pm
by BRDParker
The main issue with the translator program is that you lose a lot of nuance (or even get the flat-out wrong translation at times) that way.

What made me think of a user-controlled area was the site, which has a system where the users moderate all image/list/video links that are uploaded. You can even ask to have a thread or general post of yours moderated so that you get GeekGold, which is the currency of the site. And it works extremely well, IMO.

I think the community is trustworthy enough to have a good translation system going, and there could always be a "challenge" translation area where people do just that.

Re: multilingual forum

Posted: Wed Dec 07, 2011 6:23 pm
by Edwin Corrie
Many forums seem to have an "English only" rule, but obviously it's easier to express yourself in your own language, and I agree with Joan that if we're discussing old texts written in other languages it's important to have the original text. People can then discuss the accuracy of the translation too.

Machine translation tools can be surprisingly good sometimes, but they will never be completely reliable because language is such a subtle medium and translation tools can't understand nuances like a human translator. They are sometimes okay for "jisting", and certainly better than nothing if you don't know the source language at all.

Translating is what I do for a living, and (time permitting) I'd be prepared to translate posts where necessary from French, German and Italian (possibly Spanish), as long as there aren't too many. Or people could provide a machine translation and I could check for any major problems.