Is creating a multilingual community really such a rare occasion?

Joel R

Fan
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
779
I am not sure what you mean by that and if I agree with that.

Why nearly impossible? On the contrary, very easy to accomplish, see Wikipedia.

Surf any Wiki article you want, as example the Berlin article.

View attachment 53387

You see on the left sidebar, with one click you can switch the content to a specific other language.

Imagine a thread, which would have a setting/filter like that. Just click on the language (if available) and the content would switch to that language. Not an auto-translation of the main language, an entirely manually made translation (of course if someone provided that content). And the replies would also be unique to that language.

So, let's say my thread is "How are you today" with 17 English replies. Switching the language to German, of course if someone provided a translation of the question, then it would have its own replies, maybe only 4 replies to that thread.

Not sure why this should be impossible? It would be just a reloading of the page with a different thread ID, where somewhere in the database it links those 2 threads to each other, so the choosing language process knows which thread to load by selecting a language.
There's a big difference between a static Wikipedia article and a dynamic topic with back and forth posts.

Yes, you can translate a static article into multiple languages. But how would a forum topic go? Would a user voluntarily provide multiple language translations for one post with multiple responses from multiple people with multiple levels of language skills? Wouldn't that lead to fractured and broken conversations? You can't have post #3 available in English and German, but post #4 available in only English, and post #5 available in German and post #6-9 available in Esperanto.

Even in Woltlab, they don't mix the German and English in ONE discussion item. They have completely separate boards.
 

mysiteguy

Fanatic
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
3,027
There are plenty of forums that would love to be multilingual. My suggestion for language nodes is the 26th most popular suggestion for xenforo. So its not that there is no demand for it.
I wonder how much that translates to in real-world percentages of forums which would like to be fully multilingual, and have the multi-lingual staff to moderate it?

Question, how did you arrive at the number 26? I see it listed as 6th on the 3rd page when sorted by reaction score, making it 45th (the first reacted topic doesn't count because its the topic about how that forum section works).

The most successful forum on the planet (Reddit) owes its success partly because of its availability in every language. Its amazing that its still not possible to set forum language or filter by language with xenforo or IPS.
Reddit's founders didn't cite it as any part of the reasons Reddit has grown steadily over the years.
2012 is 7 years into Reddit's history, long after they reached critical mass, and it hasn't changed their linear growth pattern (doubling in size every 12 months on average). They were already at nearly 2 billion page views per month by the time it rolled out.
 

sbjsbj

Fan
Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
633
There's a big difference between a static Wikipedia article and a dynamic topic with back and forth posts.

Yes, you can translate a static article into multiple languages. But how would a forum topic go? Would a user voluntarily provide multiple language translations for one post with multiple responses from multiple people with multiple levels of language skills? Wouldn't that lead to fractured and broken conversations? You can't have post #3 available in English and German, but post #4 available in only English, and post #5 available in German and post #6-9 available in Esperanto.

Even in Woltlab, they don't mix the German and English in ONE discussion item. They have completely separate boards.
I am not sure if I speak English or why people still don't understand what I am proposing.

No one is saying to translate the responses.

The first post of a thread, which defines a thread, IS a static content. Based on that first post (with the thread title) a forum topic gets replies. Just like the thread we are reading here.

Now imagine someone voluntarily translating the first post (+ thread title) ONLY, and only the first post, creating another thread. That second thread, being in a foreign language, can now have its own discussion tree with its own replies.

upload_2019-9-29_14-21-48.png
 

Alfa1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
3,929
Question, how did you arrive at the number 26? I see it listed as 6th on the 3rd page when sorted by reaction score, making it 45th (the first reacted topic doesn't count because its the topic about how that forum section works).
You are correct. I miscalculated and was only a tiny bit off. o_O lolol. 45th is still quite popular though.
Reddit's founders didn't cite it as any part of the reasons Reddit has grown steadily over the years.
2012 is 7 years into Reddit's history, long after they reached critical mass, and it hasn't changed their linear growth pattern (doubling in size every 12 months on average). They were already at nearly 2 billion page views per month by the time it rolled out.
As I read your post you seem to misunderstand my post about Reddit. I made two separate points about Reddit:
  1. Reddit uses a modern translation system introduced in 2012.
  2. Reddit owes part of its success to being multilingual since pretty much the beginning (2006).
See:
https://redditblog.com/2006/02/20/reddit-becomes-multilingual/

That offering a multilingual platform is part of Reddits success is logical to me. Currently Reddit has 330 Million monthly active users. There are less internet users on earth that speak English as their first language. It could not have grown this much without being multilingual. Growth would have stopped long ago. Most of the world speaks different languages than English. And it was part of their formula pretty much from the start.
 

Nev_Dull

Anachronism
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
Messages
2,025
Not true. I think the user agent also saves in which language someone browes that site currently. It is not perfect but 99% the language someone has his device/browser set in will also be his native language.
That's a bad idea. How does the site choose, if the visitor's browser is set to something other than English or German? That is a usability nightmare. It's far better to let the visitor choose which language stream she wants to follow.

Ah, right. That is possible right now anyway. But it is not convenient and this way you lose the connection to the original thread, which then later gets translated, unless you manually also put a link. But, wiki's system is much more intuitive and convenient, just press a button and you are good to go without trying to find the correct node and copy/paste stuff.
I agree, it isn't convenient. However, it's the only way to create the same thread in multiple languages, unless the original poster (A) is fluent enough to create the thread in both languages, and (B) wants to have the thread appear in both languages, even though he will likely only follow one of them. Threads are not likely to get translated later, unless someone (i.e., a mod or admin) decides to do it. Even then, it is much faster and easier to create a summary post, as I've suggested, than translate every post in a thread.

If a forum is providing services in multiple languages, the onus is on the forum staff to provide translation when needed.
 

sbjsbj

Fan
Joined
Feb 9, 2015
Messages
633
That's a bad idea. How does the site choose, if the visitor's browser is set to something other than English or German? That is a usability nightmare. It's far better to let the visitor choose which language stream she wants to follow.
I think your lack of understanding the situation is the problem here. The idea is not bad.

As said, the forum has already a built-in default language setting. Anything, which is outside of the installed languages, will default to the default language.

Also, the language chooser is ALWAYS present. Nobody is disabling that feature. A visitor can always switch the language to whatever he wants as long as there are installed languages available.

The automatically language setting process is for those visitors who visit for the first time. So, when I visit your forum for the first time and I am from Germany, and you have the German language pack installed, it would be nice if the forum would default in my case to German. So I feel "at home". I can later switch to English or any other language. Do you understand?


I agree, it isn't convenient. However, it's the only way to create the same thread in multiple languages, unless the original poster (A) is fluent enough to create the thread in both languages, and (B) wants to have the thread appear in both languages, even though he will likely only follow one of them. Threads are not likely to get translated later, unless someone (i.e., a mod or admin) decides to do it. Even then, it is much faster and easier to create a summary post, as I've suggested, than translate every post in a thread.

If a forum is providing services in multiple languages, the onus is on the forum staff to provide translation when needed.
Again, you misunderstand heavily. Nobody is asking anyone to translate every post in a thread. That is non-sense. Maybe in future when we have bots capable of translating well enough, then one can opt-in for that, but this is not relevant right now.

Also, nobody expects from a thread owner to provide content in multiple languages or from the mod team. I think you guys still live in the last century. Do you heard of Youtube? If so, you might have seen that some Youtube videos provide you subtitles for more than 1 language. Do you know how those are created? Yes, the community provides those subtitles.

So, imagine you creating a thread. Well, if one random user wanted, he could create a translation of the thread (ONLY OF THE THREAD TITLE AND FIRST POST, not every post). And done.

This would be like wiki. Where someone creates a wiki article in English and someone else voluntarily creates translations of those articles in other languages. One could treat threads as articles and let users create translations.

Anyway, this is very niche and not interesting for many people. Forums are still 10 years behind the current technologies and possibilities.
 
Last edited:

overcast

Adherent
Joined
Mar 17, 2019
Messages
417
By the way I have seen many English communities making use of Spanish port because south and central america does have enough speakers who want such communities. I think in WP communities there is definitely multilingual plugins for this.
 

Alfa1

Administrator
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
3,929
I wonder how much that translates to in real-world percentages of forums which would like to be fully multilingual, and have the multi-lingual staff to moderate it?
In Europe learning one or two foreign languages is mandatory.(from age 9 or so)
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-ta...-language-a-must-in-europe-not-so-in-america/
Some countries have multiple official languages.So its no problem to moderate multiple languages.
Basically what this boils down to is that if you have a successful forum in your countries language(s) then its a logical step to make to add a section for a major language or a language of a neighboring country. And conversely, if you have a successful forum in a major language, then it makes sense to add a section for your native language. This is what I did. I started in English (I'm Dutch) and later added a section for Dutch and as my members requested it I added sections for other languages.
 
Joined
Sep 22, 2010
Messages
978
Some countries have multiple official languages.So its no problem to moderate multiple languages.
Basically what this boils down to is that if you have a successful forum in your countries language(s) then its a logical step to make to add a section for a major language or a language of a neighboring country. And conversely, if you have a successful forum in a major language, then it makes sense to add a section for your native language. This is what I did. I started in English (I'm Dutch) and later added a section for Dutch and as my members requested it I added sections for other languages.
Agreed - so long as your forum software has the necessary language packs, going multilingual shouldn't be that hard - even for Americans. I have a multilingual software support forum and am an admin on another one. Although the main bulk of the forum is English, we have sections specifically for other languages so having entire threads in German or Russian or Spanish isn't a problem. And even when we don't have a moderator or support person currently active for that section, Google Translate does a good enough job so that non-English support requests can be handled adequately.

So unless you need messages and threads handled in a way that is programmatically difficult, going multilingual depends on what the software offers in language add-ons. And any software offering multiple language packs should also have a way for guests to choose their language if it's installed.
 
Top