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OpenACS Home : Forums : OpenACS Q&A : How to deal with non english speaking users

Forum OpenACS Q&A: How to deal with non english speaking users

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With the current influx from spanish speaking members into the openacs community I was wondering if it wouldn't be fair to create a seperate "OpenACS on Espanol" forum for them, so the language barrier is not a language barrier any more. Furthermore, we should think about the possibility to post bugs in Spanish (e.g. using a seperate instance of bug-tracker?).

I was wondering though if it wouldn't make sense to have a whole "Spanish" subsite, with it's own bug-tracker, file-storage and forums.

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Posted by Robert Taylor on
I would say yes for both because if there is a language barrier, they cannot contribute or get help from the english section anyway (beyond what minimal english skills they may have).

my only worry would be forums essentially being 'forks' and information not flowing back and forth, but thats not happening anyway, so i say yes to both ideas.

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Posted by Eduardo Pérez on
Why not just have the interface totally translated to Spanish and just "post to the normal forums in whatever language you like preferably in English".

This way we can avoid having two different communities that people that understand both languages would have to track.

Once a forum message or bug is submitted in Spanish, someone can do a quick translation to English or just resolve it.

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Posted by Torben Brosten on
Are we to have a different set of forums for each language? Would this mean we would have to search each language set for solutions?

I like the idea of using the existing forums. Users post in whatever language they feel best conveys their message. Replies might be in a different language, too. Maybe search could be modified to filter by locale?

I find myself regularly googling to pages where the solution is in a language foreign to me. Often the information is useful, because the code (consisting of reserved words) tend to be consistent. If I need to translate, I ask for help.

That stated, I am sure that a locale-oriented openacs website would be welcome, and may be a way "demo" il8n features.

I think is better to stay with just the actual forums, and in the best case enable the i18n. Allow the users to post in different languages in the forums & BT.
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Posted by Bart Teeuwisse on
How is the use of multiple languages going to facilitate communication within an international community?

For example, are you expecting developers to understand/translate bugs logged in all languages?

I think that promoting more than one language at openacs.org is a mistake and will lead to isolated conversations and more noise (as questions may need to be reposted in a different language to reach members who can answer it).

My 2 cents.

/Bart

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Posted by Eduardo Pérez on
> How is the use of multiple languages going to facilitate communication within an international community?

The problem here is that lots of people in the world don't know English, so either we ignore them or we allow them to post in any language in the hope that their info would be useful.

> For example, are you expecting developers to understand/translate bugs logged in all languages?

Of course no, but it's better to have a bug report in a non English language than no bug report at all.

> I think that promoting more than one language at openacs.org is a mistake and will lead to isolated conversations and more noise (as questions may need to be reposted in a different language to reach members who can answer it).

I already proposed to keep conversations English whenever possible.

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Posted by Ben Koot on
Hi folks,

A quick and dirty option...

In my travel trade network I face a similar problem. I have created a weblog that shows a category called "BreakingNews" and lists all countries in the world. eTurboNews has local correspondents in 150 countries. The idea is to contact the local reps and explain them they can communicate with their local audience in their own language.

The only prerequisite is that users change the default language setting. This will create a multi lingual news site, where the navigation is localized using OACS internationalization.

Behind the scenes the local reps, who speak English, take care of creating an condensed English language edition, so important issues are dealt with.

The full blog will look rather stupid with all those languages, but if users subscribe to their own (country category)language prefference it all starts to make sense.

It might be an idea to highlight the "change language" feature on oacs.org because the functionality is hidden, conterary to the default oacs install.