Perhaps it's a bit too early but I thought it can't hurt to throw the idea out. Non-english speakers or speakers that are more comfortable using their own language would probably appreciate a small forum where they can speak in their own language. It doesn't have to be for all languages, just the most used ones like spanish, french or german. I can understand there would be a problem if moderators don't understand any of those languages.
how about some type of addon that could use google translation or something so the member of another language
can change the forum default lang to their own, so if someone was posting something in English, then it would convert to that members own language, and when they
type a post in their language then it would come out in English or whatever
the country that member has selected to be their default language.
It would be an addon that I would buy, because now you can offer more
language opportunities to those that can not type English very well,
and new opportunity = more traffic...
I feel this forum should be an English-only one. Not to try and single out anybody, but when things are being posted and questions are being answered in different languages, it only makes it more difficult for people with a similar problem to be able to find a solution.
I'd also be more inclined to assist someone where their post is in English, rather than translate (then understand, seeing as translations aren't perfect) their post into English, then translate my response into their native language.
Problems - a subforum here in another language becomes inaccessible to most Brits and Americans - we are famously bad at other languages. We are however the majority users here so that counts as a strong voice.
Then a subforum in Arabic, or Chinese or Spanish not only cuts out most English speakers, it cuts out all the other language speakers too.
Solution? If it was possible to do, an addon which applied a translator PER POST might be good.
Then the source material would stay in English, making it available to the great majority, and translatable as a common source to those that need translation. Someone struggling with the meaning could switch temporarily to get help.
But I don't know if that would be doable..
With or without a software solution, there are some basic guidelines that help when providing support to someone who clearly has limited English. I'll try to remember them because I'm so used to it I don't think about it. I mostly write like that anyway because of long years as a teacher.
Actually language made suitable for a non-native-English speaker is also excellent for sharp, focused clarity for any support work with English speakers too. We all feel a bit nervous when tackling what we do not know, so short, simple, childlike language is much easier and psychologically reassuring.
1. Do not use slang.
Use 'educated English' as much as possible as that is what foreigners usually learn. 2. Do not use short forms like 'max' 'min' 'mins.'
Learners tend to learn full forms first, short forms later.
It even helps not to use can't, doesn't - use cannot, does not. 3. Do not use acronyms (sets of letters as short forms) unless they are names of software without a long form in use eg. MSWord. 4. When using a word outside a child's vocabulary, like 'acronym' put its meaning in brackets as I did above. 5. Make lines or sentences as short as possible.
Aim for a child's book style. This keeps lumps of information small to digest. AVOID 'AND.' 6. Write in list form like this, not in paragraphs.
Single lines or two lines maximum are easier to digest, less intimidating. 7. Try to use one word verbs/ action words eg. use descend instead of 'go down;'
One word action words come from Latin a big root language for Europe. Most European languages have similar words inherited from a Latin word which will be similar so easier to understand. Our English Saxon habit of going up, picking up, etc is very strange to other cultures. 8. Avoid jokes, and clever comments. they do not translate well.
Lets not start with google translation. You would spend more time figuring out the garbage than performing moderator duties.
Well it does work on other forums but those forums usually have moderators speaking the language. So yeah I really think the major issue here is the moderation (unless the Broganator rips his shirt off and flexes his brain muscles to learn more languages in record time )
I think there's already a spanish and french xf site *unofficial* that offers phrase translations and provide support to each other. I mean it's not XF themselves but there is 3rd party support. I say spanish and french because I was contacted for my permission to create a phrase/language pack in the event I have phrases or whatever.
I think at the moment there we don't need official non-english forums. There are different unofficial forums and they are tolerated by KAM ..
Maybe, if the community is much bigger we can thought about this again.