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  1. #1
    Jon
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    Should we open a separate Spanish subforum?

    I'm considering open a Spanish subforum here. We have a lot of native Spanish speakers showing up in the Introduce Yourself subforum. I used to greet each one with a Google Translate translated-post. However, the response rates to my intros were so low, I've found that I'm just ignoring them and using the time elsewhere. I suspect that once they see a kludgy machine-translated response, they're walking away. We're wasting intellectual resources.

    I'm not 100% on the details quite yet, but here's how I see it now:

    PROS
    -More homemade tools.

    -Different language = different culture = different market = different supplies = different tools. I like seeing the tool building solutions from various countries. It's like homemade tool tourism.

    -Other websites have multiple language subforums. This isn't exactly new territory. Portugese or French would likely follow Spanish.

    -Every forum page has a language translation dropdown menu at the bottom. These machine translations are not great, but they're workable.


    CONS
    -Possible logistical issues with translating posts.

    -We would need to make some sort of allowance to ensure equal representation for award granting.

    -Multilingual users whose language skills include Spanish are now posting in English. They may shift to using whatever language is more comfortable.

    -Community bifurcation along language lines.


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Frank S's Avatar
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    I used to be on a forum for engineers while I was in the middle east it was a local forum for the region It started out as most sites do English only. This was well and good for Persons who were native English speakers and quite well for persons from most of the European and Middle Eastern countries Since English in much of the world is considered the grounding language Mandarin being the second most grounding language in other parts of the world. However Arabic happened to the the principal native language of 70% of the users of the forum So the site managers decided to include or create an Arabic sub forum All was well and good for a while until conversations within a given topic started straying away from engineering. The site managers started having to constantly monitor every single post in every thread.
    As one can imagine this shortly became very time consuming having to translate from one language to another than often times having to re translate it into 2 or 3 other languages then into English to determine the actual intended context of the posts. Eventually the site faded into oblivion. The ones who were serious about trying to help with questions soon became frustrated and simply stopped even trying to help the others. But a language like Arabic or say Mandarin for instance that do not use the the more world recolonized alpha numeric characters and symbols are difficult to interpret the poster's intent with the masculine and submissive undertones of the writings
    Spanish has it's share of these as well but then again so does English for that manor depending on the region it is being spoken or written
    I personally would welcome seeing a Spanish sub-forum even though I don't speak or read Spanish very well I have a few friends living in Brazil and we often converse in their native language which seams to be a Porugesee Spanish mix, but sometimes to understated them I have to translate to french or German then to Spanish and Porugesee then use a word here or there until when I translate my reply back into English it means very nearly what I wanted it to say before I sent it. It is a lot of trouble but at the same time worth it to be able to converse with someone I can no longer speak with in person since they do not speak or read English at all
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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  4. #3
    morsa's Avatar
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    As a native Spanish speaker, I thank Jon his concern about this issue, and I welcome this proposed subforum.
    I agree that it has pros and cons: besides the administrative issues, this spanish subforum, just for the language, would be a little isolated from the rest of the forum, but in the other hand, would encourage Spanish speakers with limited english proficiency to keep posting and following this subforum.

    Personally I'd rather prefer to keep posting in English, although (it's a proposal) I might include the translation into Spanish, as some sites do (v.g. Instructables).

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  6. #4
    Jon
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    I think we're going to implement this. It's very straightforward to just setup the forum with a basic title and description in Spanish, and to start referring new members who post in Spanish to it.

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  8. #5

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    Honestly I don't like this at all. The primary reason being where do you stop with language support because frankly there are many languages and cultures out there, some of those cultures very active in the DIY way of doing things. In other words will we see a German, French, Thai, Chinese or whatever forums.

    As for the Spanish speakers now posting, I understand the struggles of trying to communicate in a non native language. If their post interests me then it really is on me to work at understanding the post. There is significant value in different perspectives and as such we need to embrace them. If you have a section dedicated to Spanish speakers in all likely hood I would ignore it during normal trips to this sight.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    I'm considering open a Spanish subforum here. We have a lot of native Spanish speakers showing up in the Introduce Yourself subforum. I used to greet each one with a Google Translate translated-post. However, the response rates to my intros were so low, I've found that I'm just ignoring them and using the time elsewhere. I suspect that once they see a kludgy machine-translated response, they're walking away. We're wasting intellectual resources.

    I'm not 100% on the details quite yet, but here's how I see it now:

    PROS
    -More homemade tools.

    -Different language = different culture = different market = different supplies = different tools. I like seeing the tool building solutions from various countries. It's like homemade tool tourism.

    -Other websites have multiple language subforums. This isn't exactly new territory. Portugese or French would likely follow Spanish.
    Yes but then you need moderators or administrators that can handle the nuances of the language used in the forums. It is certainly doable but how do you police it? Google translate is not the answer here.
    -Every forum page has a language translation dropdown menu at the bottom. These machine translations are not great, but they're workable.


    CONS
    -Possible logistical issues with translating posts.
    Frankly I rather deal with really poor english, from a non native speaker, than some of the machine translations. I've traveled enough for work to understand the difficulties of verbal and written communications across different languages. It si the meat of the posting that is of value not the queens english.
    -We would need to make some sort of allowance to ensure equal representation for award granting.
    That is asinine. Seriously grant awards based on the quality of the post, not because of some ethnic, language or other characteristic that has nothing to do with the technology.
    -Multilingual users whose language skills include Spanish are now posting in English. They may shift to using whatever language is more comfortable.
    Which would be a huge negative in my mind. It separates people instead of bringing them together.
    -Community bifurcation along language lines.
    Yep! That is the real ugly.

    Thoughts?
    Personally I wouldn't do it. Mainly because I see it causing more problems than it solves.

  9. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    I think we're going to implement this. It's very straightforward to just setup the forum with a basic title and description in Spanish, and to start referring new members who post in Spanish to it.

    Hey, have fun.

  10. #7
    Jon
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    These are good points all around, but I'd still like to give it a try. If it fails, at least we know who to blame

    I'm not anticipating any other non-English subforums around here any time soon. Besides Spanish, there just isn't enough representation to warrant it. We would still limit new homemade tool entries, as well as the accompanying awards, to the main Homemade Tools subforum.

    morsa - can I get some translations for the subforum title and description? I was thinking of something very basic, like this:

    TITLE: Homemade Tools - Spanish
    DESCRIPTION: Homemade tools discussion in Spanish language.

  11. #8
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    Of course, Jon.

    TÍTULO: Herramientas Hechas en Casa - Español
    DESCRIPCIÓN: Discusión en español sobre herramientas hechas en casa

    If you give a try, I will follow and participate in this subforum, although as I said before, I'd like to keep posting in English. I'm sure you considered already: it would be advisable to send a notification to all native Spanish speakers.

    Regards, morsa.

  12. #9
    Jon
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    OK, I've just opened this new subforum: Herramientas Hechas en Casa - Español. Thanks for the help. I still need to:

    1. Write a standard message to post to new members who post their introduction in Spanish, and write a short email message to all Spanish speakers.
    2. Get the above two messages translated.
    3. Gather all usernames of 1-post users who posted in Spanish and then disappeared, and email them the above-mentioned message.

    That should be a good start. We can also potentially move all Spanish language introductory posts into that new subforum.

    While there are a variety of other languages represented in the new member introductions, at this time, there just isn't enough volume to justify a subforum for any but Spanish.

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  14. #10
    rossbotics rossbotics's Avatar
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    I understand that we live in a country that has multi languages, spanish being the prominent of them, I'm ok with the spanish thing as long as there posts aren't mixed in with the English speaking posts,

    It's a good idea though Jon, Just keep them separated

    Doug

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