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Old 03-02-2006, 08:05 PM   #1
aldimeneira
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LQ.org en Espaņol (LQ.org in Spanish)


Hi,

I was thinking that it may be a useful option to have a wider language selection other than English in the forums (a separate subforum, or even a subdomain... like Wikipedia.org >> en.wikipedia.org, es.wikipedia.org). I speak Spanish (native language) and English, but others only know their native language or know many ones but not English.

FOSS is about freedom, Linux is FOSS. So why not make it more accesible to the whole world?

If it's because of a lack of moderators I offer to be one.

Last edited by aldimeneira; 03-02-2006 at 08:12 PM.
 
Old 03-03-2006, 04:15 AM   #2
titanium_geek
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Believe it or not, this HAS been brought up before- search for "other languages"

Basically, there are a couple of main points-

1. moderation. sure you're offering to be a moderator, but the reason other languages aren't permitted on the forums is so that the mods know what is going on.

2. other languages- if spanish, why not french, hindi, aramaic, german, greek etc etc.

3. Repetition. something answered in one language will probably need to be asked again. which leads us to:

4. space. Can LQ really afford all the extra space that having repeat information would need?

5. technical terms. Like it or not, english is the language of the internet and things technical, thanks to the language of those who invented it. (sure you can talk about "la red" but most spanish speakers that I know will talk about the internet. We talk about windows, not ventanas.

That said, I think that spanish is a fantastic language, and it is great to read in your mother tongue for comprehension, but I think that you get maximum benefit reading an article in the language it was composed in.

However, maybe it would great to have translations of the LQ answers, tutorials, and articles. The wiki is too fluid.

are there an LQ-fansites? I know in the past someone has asked to translate the answers/aritcles/tutorials to other languages- perhaps search for that too.

titanium_geek
 
Old 03-03-2006, 02:00 PM   #3
aldimeneira
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Were's 'other languages'.

1. what about mods that know more than one language?!

2. I was talking of Spanish because that's what I know. If there's someone that know another language then he/she can help with it.

3. If someone don't know English he/she will not be answered at all. That's not what a community is supposed to do.

4. It's text. And maybe there will not be many people using it, because if they know English it will get more audience if the question is asked in the "default language".

5. Eh, haven't heard of utf-8, unicode, etc?! Technical terms has nothing to do,

"necesito ayuda para usar WiFi en FreeBSD"

"I need help for installing WiFi in FreeBSD"

...seriously, is that so difficult? (to use specific computing terms in english and the rest in another language)

"(...)but I think that you get maximum benefit reading an article in the language it was composed in. "

Sometimes the 'composition' is done in another language. Sometimes I need to go to wordreference.com just to translate one word from Spanish to English.

LQ-fansites? ...why not LQ.org in Spanish?
 
Old 03-03-2006, 08:18 PM   #4
J.W.
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My 2 cents: I think having support for languages other than English would be a great goal for the future, but would be very difficult to implement at least at this point in time. Providing multiple language support for a forum-based website that is driven by dynamic content is pretty complicated, and requires a lot of work to do it well.

First is the issue of resources. LQ is a 100% volunteer effort -- everybody here, from the founder to the mods to the members all the way down to newbies who just signed up today, are all participating on LQ in their spare time. In other words, LQ is not some big giant company with a paid professional staff, and taking on a project to build a parallel site in another language would impose major financial burdens and would require significant programming and maintenance efforts. That's a huge undertaking, and I am guessing that the site admin would not want to commit to building such a site unless it could meet all the same standards as LQ does today.

Secondly, and more practically, how should all the existing and all future posts/threads be handled? Should each and every post/thread exist in both languages? If so, it creates the need to translate each one into the other language in real time. I'm not sure how that could effectively be addressed with an all-volunteer "staff". If not, then would it make sense that comments and information in one LQ site be absent from the other? I'd say No, and if we agree that LQ's goal is to be the best single source of Linux information on the web, then creating separate "islands" of information depending on the language would be at cross purposes with that goal. As a result then, if a parallel LQ site were to be established, I think it would necessarily require both sites to contain the same information, threads, posts, and content. That's a mighty tall order.

Overall therefore, I think extending LQ to include other languages is a great idea in theory, but at least right now, the level of resources it would require just exceeds what is available. That's just my own personal opinion, speaking only as a regular LQ member.
 
Old 03-04-2006, 04:53 AM   #5
floppywhopper
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I remember bringing this issue up some months back and I believe Jeremy was looking into it.

Maybe it is time to run a poll on the major languages to gauge what are the most popular languages used, it would be almost pointless setting up a Spanish forum first if the biggest need was Zulu.

cheers
floppy
 
Old 03-04-2006, 10:46 AM   #6
jeremy
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Long term, I think this is definitely a direction we will go. At this point though, as a couple people have pointed out, our resources are stretched a bit too thin for this. Feel free to continue the discussion, as since it is something we do plan to explore at some point having feedback on it is a good thing. Just understand that it's not a short term goal, but more of a midrange one.

--jeremy
 
Old 03-04-2006, 11:41 AM   #7
aldimeneira
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I don't think translating every bit of information is necessary; just the significant information (although defining what's significant and what not may be an issue... useful answers, maybe using a user-powered rating system will be put in a queve list for translation among volunteers). A wiki of faqs in different languages may be a good start.

I understand that it's a mid to long-term project, but I'm glad it's taken into consideration
 
Old 03-04-2006, 01:43 PM   #8
LinuxLala
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I find that the phrase "English is the language of the internet" is well accepted. But with the easy access of internet to many people who only know their native tounge, a localized LQ would be a boon.

That said, I do understand the hassles involved. The only reason why I don't see this as a major use in forum boards is because of redundancy. Not trying to start a flame war, but people don't normall search for answers before as king their question.

Even if we translate some of the best questions into local languages, following a set voting system, what is the gurantee that their won't be a repeat of that question. This creates another problem:

Only a spanish speaking member of LQ can answer questions in spanish, thus limiting the LQ talent base. It is the mass of LQ that serves as its biggest advantage and by localizing we lose that.

If the spanish speaking population of LQ does not know the answer, must the member who asked the question be left clueless?

This is my 2c.

P.S. Me choosing spanish in the words above, was just an example, following up on the original post. Please don't flame me
 
Old 03-04-2006, 02:15 PM   #9
Orkie
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I think that translating wiki articles would be possible as each article name could just have the country code appended on the end for localised versions (so for example, an article on FAT32 would be FAT32:es in Spanish or FAT32:fr in French). This way, the wiki could be gradually translated as people get chance, the only problem being that a non-English speaker may add something to the non-English page, causing the article to split. This could be remedied by having a 'This is a translation' check box like the minor edit one. If it isn't ticked, then people who wish to translate an article could look through the edit history and then resynchronise the content.
 
Old 03-04-2006, 06:09 PM   #10
JoseVilla
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I really don't figure out how someone could manage properly through linux without some english basics (commands tend to be intuitive...in english). But not knowing english at all is not a sin and of course LQ community is not responsable for solving every problem/difficulty in the world.
So, a possible solution could be "translating engines" (not sure about the term). If I speak german, I ask in german and got the answers in german but everything in the server is kept in english (questions/posts and answers/posts); this way there won't be separate islands of knowledge and isolated groups of people. Of course, the hard thing is server resources and a good way to do the translations stuff.
What do you people think?
Sorry for my english...my mother tonge is spanish.
 
Old 03-05-2006, 12:32 PM   #11
aldimeneira
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LinuxLala, if that's the case (not-native english speaking community not knowing the answer for a particular question) some volunteers can ask the question in the english forums and then translate it to the native language (clearly marking the answer as a translation). Yes, accesibility (localized languages is but the most basic of accesibilities, we haven't even start thinking of other populations... ie: blind or deaf people ...but that's another discussion) need some resources; but IMO it's only fair (I cite Wikipedia as example of this kind of accesibility).

Actually, analizing the situation for the future the 'emerging economies' are clearly choosing Linux and FOSS for their developement:

- China (goverment) is promoting Linux and FOSS (maybe because they see it as "cheap", but either way they are choosing it). Brasil is also promoting it.

- Latinamerica is a market with many "piracy"; FOSS is seeing as a legal solution that can have other advantages. Mandriva and HP realize that and will start selling HP boxes with Mandriva pre-installed.

And that's only the 'emerging economies':

- Europe (specially the government and academic markets) are switching to FOSS and Linux. 2004 and 2005 was a good year ...I remember some news about government agencies switching to various Linux distros.

- South-east Asia (the corporations) are even making their own standarized Linux distro: Asianux.

That's a lot of growing portuguese, spanish, mandarin, japanese, korean, german, french, italian, among others, FOSS & Linux comunities. I see more benefits in making an effort to bring all this communities to one forum that answers questions about Linux (and *BSD, *nix, FOSS, etc) and have an archive of useful wikis. I even think that some questions will be answered not in english but in the other languages listed above (and then translated to english and back to the other languages).

Orkie, that is a good idea for the implementation

JoseVilla, english is quite useful for commands and technical terms indeed (probably because of it's directness). However, I feel much more comfortable describing something (ie: a technical problem or an internal documentation of a class/object) in spanish when I've to use natural language.

Translating engines are too cold, and the end result is usually of much lower quality than manual translation.

Last edited by aldimeneira; 03-05-2006 at 12:36 PM.
 
Old 03-06-2006, 06:16 PM   #12
titanium_geek
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Quote:
This the Bablefish is an example of the translation between languages using.
As you can see, translation is dificult, (it had perfect sense in spanish) especially with languages like Spanish which have different adjective/noun structures (brown cow becomes cow brown in spanish) The engines tend to use word by word translations.

So hand translation is a must.
I say that we should start with translation of the wiki and LQ answers/tutorials. I can do spanish/english english/spanish translations. Maybe a standard where the original article is linked to at the top- "This is a translation link"

Anway.

Sorry if I came across as too much of a downer. I think it's a good idea, but yeah, a midrange goal.

titanium_geek
 
Old 03-06-2006, 07:32 PM   #13
JoseVilla
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The reason why I suggested using translation engines is that the amount of information would be extremely huge to manage. Jus imagine: 5 english speaking people, 5 french speaking people, 5 spanish speaking people...., try to have the same knowledge expressed in every supported language by hand.
Wiki faqs and articles are good candidates to translate by hand but:
Quote:
...This way, the wiki could be gradually translated as people get chance, the only problem being that a non-English speaker may add something to the non-English page, causing the article to split...
quoted by Orkie is a serious consistency problem.
My idea to solve this problem is making people aware of the fact that there's a paragraph written in another language (say french) not yet translated to the language at which the wiki page is being seen, maybe through a "show untranslated" option.
Finally, just english is not enough.
 
Old 03-07-2006, 03:11 PM   #14
Orkie
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I really agree with titanium_geek - computerised translation just isn't worth doing although a lot of the time you can make out what is meant, you can't always (and those confusions would cause more harm than good) and these engines can't determine which word to choose when it has homonyms as computers can't understand context. With a site such is this where much of the vocabulary is very technical, a translation engine would be rendered virtually useless. So basically, whatever you do, there is going to be a slight variation in the information stored, if only from translation errors. The problem with your single paragraph idea is that it doesn't seem to allow edits to be made in the other language other than for translation purposes and if you can't do that, then what is the point of the wiki?

I don't think there is an easy solution to this problem and all the solutions have major downsides as well as the advantages. I have never seen a website with any kind of emphasis on collecting vast quantities of information cater to all languages at once with the same information as it just isn't practical - look at the Wikipedia, they have to have entirely separate encyclopaedias for each language!
 
Old 03-08-2006, 05:24 AM   #15
titanium_geek
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Look at wikipedia then, as our goal. It has different encyclopedias for each language, but they don't try to be mirrors of each other.

You can do this with general info, because there will be always more info. But perhaps with linux info, it would be good to have some mirroring.

I suggest that volunteers translate the static articles, and then see where we go from there. (don't look at me- no seriously, ask me again during the holidays)

titanium_geek
 
  


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