Foreign Language Posts? Bien sur ou mais non? June 11, 2010 8:38 AM   Subscribe

What is site policy on posting to MeFi or AskMe in a foreign language?

We have discussed International Language Support and we have discussed linking to a foreign language page but this question got me wondering about the matamyntex policies on posting to the green or blue in a foreign language.

From jessamyn's comment above on links I would guess such posts are not ideal and would cause some wtf? headaches for the mods. But are foreign language posts automatic deletes?

For example, presumably there are enough French readers on the site that a general AskMe posted in French would get answers and be of value to the OP. Obviously the OP would accept that they have definitely limited the audience for their post. But would the post be deleted or allowed to stand?

Apologies if this has been previously addressed.
posted by pixlboi to Etiquette/Policy at 8:38 AM (81 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Delete with prejudice. UnEnglish=UNAMERICAN DAMMIT
posted by Think_Long at 8:47 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


They're not automatic deletes at all, pretty much nothing but self-links are auto-deletes.

However, we've only got a few other major languages spoken by members on this site [I know people speak Spanish, French and Japanese and to a lesser extent Russian and Korean and Chinese and Italian and I'll assume German and Dutch and Arabic and a few others less commonly] so I'm presuming it would be in one of those languages. If you're posting to AskMe it would be nice if you included a translation. If you posted to MeFi it would be nice if it were crystal clear why you were posting in a language that the vast majority of the site's readers can't read. That said, every post doesn't have to appeal to everyone. If there's a good reason, if that reason is clear and you're not someone who is known for being a pain in the ass on the site in other ways then yeah, sure, go for it.

This does not apply to ZALGO, incidentally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:47 AM on June 11, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't know how the mods would handle this, but I'm wondering why you would want to post on the front page or the green in a foreign language, unless you also mean to post a translation. Very few MeFites would be able to read it, which decreases the value/utility of the post severely.
posted by orange swan at 8:48 AM on June 11, 2010


I don't see any problem with a foreign-language post to AskMe. Either it'll get answers from people who know the language, or it'll go unanswered, but so do many questions.

Doing an FPP on MeFi seems different. There at least needs to be a warning. Wait, do you mean an FPP that links to a foreign-language site, or an FPP entirely written in a foreign language?

But really, I find it hard to imagine someone who finds it worthwhile to generally use Metafilter but isn't able to at least include an English translation. If there is a translation, I can't imagine anyone seriously objecting to side-by-side French.
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:50 AM on June 11, 2010


h̫̙̦̦̮̪͙ͪ̒ͧe̳̍ͦ͑̅̈́ ̬͎i̗̫̤̲̿ͮ̈̽ͅs̥̙̠̰̯̖̎ ̻̯́ͦd̠̗ͭ̈̈̎͌̐͆e̺̬s̙͔͙̻͙͇͖͂̑c̫̏̄́ͣͩͧ̅r͔̹̞i̠̬̠ͫm̹͈͚͖̗i͉̻͎ͭͮ̇ͩ̋n̖̯̲ͥ̐͂̓ͧ̇͌ȁ͔̺̲̠̯͉t͚̳͇̠͈͍͐e͚̺̤ͭ͐̃̆d̫̘͛ ̓ä̱͉́g̠͍̫̼̭̎̓̃̍̓̒ͥả̗̦ͨ͌͋̊i͔̞̤̰̗͂̈ͭ̉ͧ̊͒n̗͓̹̩̒͋̍s̝͔̝̲̱̺ẗ̹̤́
posted by DU at 8:54 AM on June 11, 2010 [16 favorites]


But really, I find it hard to imagine someone who finds it worthwhile to generally use Metafilter but isn't able to at least include an English translation.

Sorry, I withdraw this statement. I can imagine someone who's in the process of learning English and actually really enjoys checking the links on MeFi, but whose English is shaky enough that they'd have a much easier time writing in English and not bothering with the translation (even a quick online auto-translation, which won't be 100% reliable and could be held up to ridicule).
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:56 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Rather than deal in hypotheticals, just take each thing as it comes. In the case of the post you linked, there's absolutely no problem. Besides, it will do you good to learn a bit of Français.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:56 AM on June 11, 2010


shaky enough that they'd have a much easier time writing in English

Argh, of course I meant "easier time writing in their native language."
posted by Jaltcoh at 8:57 AM on June 11, 2010


It's okay if you consider English a foreign language. As long as the foreign language you post in is English.
posted by Eideteker at 9:01 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually, I'll take back my unqualified "absolutely" and just say there's nothing wrong with the verbiage of that post. The videos are kind of lame.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:06 AM on June 11, 2010


I don't see why non-English posts would be any different to, say, baseball posts. Most users won't care, and they can walk on by to something that interests them.
posted by pompomtom at 9:07 AM on June 11, 2010 [8 favorites]


merde
posted by philip-random at 9:10 AM on June 11, 2010

matamyntex
I will hate you forever and ever.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:15 AM on June 11, 2010


I think it'd actually be nice to see some non-English language posts -- MeFi is a wonderful thing, and I see no reason to limit to those with a particular command of English, even if English is essentially the lingua franca of MeFi, if not the internet. It would remind everyone that it's a big world out there, full of different languages, cultures, and perspectives. An of course, if it some point down the road it would always be possible to hive off separate language sites if enough users felt that was useful.
posted by modernnomad at 9:20 AM on June 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


I wonder if there might be the possibility of using metafilter somehow as a way for people to learn or practice a foreign language. What if we had http://francais.metafilter.com just for the francophone members of the site and people learning to speak French?
posted by empath at 9:21 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't see why non-English posts would be any different to, say, baseball posts. Most users won't care, and they can walk on by to something that interests them.

Do you have some sort of greasemonkey script running that blocks all MetaTalk posts where someone complains that the subject content of a particular post is boring to them? Also where do I find this script?
posted by edbles at 9:21 AM on June 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'd seriously LIKE to see more foreign language posts on mefi in general.

I wonder if we can do an experiment where we encourage non-anglophone members to post links to non-english sites/news for a month and see how it plays out?
posted by empath at 9:22 AM on June 11, 2010 [3 favorites]


What about a post which is in english, but is primarily about, say, a beloved German comedian whose work is primarily in German, but whose cultural importance to that country across many decades is undoubtable? I've been wanting to put together a Loriot post for a while, but have shied away from it because I fear it'll be lost on most.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've been wanting to put together a Loriot post for a while, but have shied away from it because I fear it'll be lost on most.

Well that's really the thing. There are two issues.

1. Can I make a foregin language post without it getting deleted? Probably.
2. Can I make a foreign language post without it being lost on most MeFites? Probably not. If you have some resources that are in another language, that's fine. An effective post would probably have at least some resources in English, though this is not at all a requirement.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you have some sort of greasemonkey script running that blocks all MetaTalk posts where someone complains that the subject content of a particular post is boring to them?

It's all rather meta. You see, you can apply the same "move on" approach in MeTa as in MeFi.

Posts about greasemonkey, on the other hand, are something for which I will not stand. For fuck's sake, I use safari!!
posted by pompomtom at 9:39 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


You'd think that non-English language posts would naturally attract non-English language comments. That'd potentially pose a problem as far as moderation's concerned, wouldn't it? It's impossible to police a thread you can't read.
posted by chmmr at 9:42 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


We've had a number of posts in the blue that linked to sites in other languages because the important thing was the graphical content. That isn't what is being asked about, but I don't remember anyone being upset by this. We've also had posts on resources to learn languages on the blue as well as the green.

Personally, I don't mind content in languages besides English, but I'd hope a post to the blue had at least one or two links to something in English, so we have a better chance of getting a conversation going. It is hard to really share without a convo.
posted by QIbHom at 9:44 AM on June 11, 2010


Not every FPP needs to "get a conversation going." Doesn't it say this in the FAQ?
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:51 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


modernnomad: "think it'd actually be nice to see some non-English language posts"

There's a "mother language day" celebrated by a lot of Indian bloggers, in which you blog in whatever language you grew up speaking. It would be fun to see something like that pop up in Metafilter.

I've recently become a big fan of Worldwide Lexicon. It's a crowdsourced translation engine that's available both as a Firefox plugin and as a CMS plugin. It's a cool today, but it still needs a pilot site to prove how universally useful it is. A multilingual Metafilter, if you will. Or perhaps more realistically, a multilingual Digg.
posted by roll truck roll at 10:08 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Insert whatever word you want inbetween "cool" and "today."
posted by roll truck roll at 10:09 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


There's a "mother language day" celebrated by a lot of Indian bloggers, in which you blog in whatever language you grew up speaking. It would be fun to see something like that pop up in Metafilter.

I like this.
posted by empath at 10:24 AM on June 11, 2010


One note is that as of a year or two ago tags did not support the full Unicode character set - definitely not Chinese characters and as I recall it would even strip the accents off of some Latin characters. (Though pb said that Unicode is supported throughout posts, comments, and mefiMail.) Not a show-stopper by any means but it's a pony that I'm sure would be requested if non-English posts became prolific.
posted by XMLicious at 10:41 AM on June 11, 2010


I like the idea of a "mother language day" a lot. Could be a very cool experiment.

Chmmr raises a good point. How would you moderate a foreign language thread?
Or is it mostly a "we'll cross that bridge when..." kind of thing?

Btw, I was asking the original question out of general curiosity. I am bilingual but English came first so I don't need to post in anything else. But the site is getting bigger and bigger.
posted by pixlboi at 10:44 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


February 21
posted by roll truck roll at 10:49 AM on June 11, 2010


Hey, maybe we could sign up as willing to translate specific posts' languages. Like, if you want to post in, say, Haitian Creole, someone who speaks it could dash off a translation when contacted.
posted by umbú at 10:49 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


What if we had http://francais.metafilter.com just for the francophone members of the site and people learning to speak French?

Moi, j'aime l'idée, mais mon crainte est qu'il va être un cauchemar pour les modérateurs. Il faut avoir de modération basé sur une langue sécondaire ou sur les imprécisions de Google Translate, ou d'engager un modérateur seulement pour superviser le contenu de la site. Et avec les différences du localisation, je ne suis pas sur que une service de traduction automatisé sera capable d'interpreter les choses fidèlement.

Je ne suis pas sur d'ou va venir le contenu pour tel site aussi -- des traductions des entrées courants? De nouveau contenu proposé exclusivement par les membres de "FrancoFilter"?

Que pensez-vous d'une branche de MetaChat exclusivement pour des francophones et français-langue-sécondaire? Pour discuter les entrées ou simplement pour jaser...
posted by Shepherd at 10:50 AM on June 11, 2010


I would be happy to see new FPPs from miguel even if they were all in Portugese or matteo even if they were all in Italian. IANA moderator, though.
posted by jfuller at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Que pensez-vous d'une branche de MetaChat exclusivement pour des francophones et français-langue-sécondaire? Pour discuter les entrées ou simplement pour jaser.

I dunno, but I'm pretty happy that my high school french was able to tease out about 80% of what you just said.

I really need to read foreign language sites more often.
posted by empath at 11:04 AM on June 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, I was just throwing out French as an example -- I think a site for specifically non-english discussion would be interesting and good for people trying to learn another language -- just people who already know each other and who already have common interests, more or less, being able to practice, as well as of course native speakers. There's no reason why you couldn't have one page for all non-english posts, though.
posted by empath at 11:08 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mīn ácennedlic geþiode is Anglisc.
posted by Meta Filter at 11:08 AM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Or is it mostly a "we'll cross that bridge when..." kind of thing?

Yep, same as everything. People screwing around in other languages will be dealt with same as people screwing around in English.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:09 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sometimes an FPP might, by its very nature, deserve to be in a non-English language. For example, any additional Magma posts should be made in Kobaian, if you ask me.
posted by .kobayashi. at 11:19 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


There's no reason why you couldn't have one page for all non-english posts, though.

Well, as I said above (in my flawed French), it would be a moderation nightmare. Google isn't up to regionalisms or slang; there'd be effectively no quality control over a chunk of the site except for self-policing by speakers of the language in question. If I decided to sacré in Quebec French, a Parisan-educated French-speaker would wonder why I was nattering on about church artifacts, for instance, while a Quebec French-speaker would be horrified. Kind of like the semi-constant debate over certain English swears of differing severity on either side of the pond. I'm fluent in French (although not perfect), and I can't imagine having to discern what is or isn't acceptable for such a site.

I imagine. I'm not a moderator, so I'm not really equipped to say for sure.

I would love to parlez français ici more often, but from a bystander's point of view, the logistics of quality control seem hellish.
posted by Shepherd at 11:21 AM on June 11, 2010


I'd swear there was an fpp in Klingon once.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:22 AM on June 11, 2010


大丈夫かな。。。
posted by whatzit at 11:23 AM on June 11, 2010




Come to think of it, does right-to-left work? I've never tried to paste in whole paragraphs of Arabic or Hebrew, just individual words. Trying it out:

בראשית ברא אלהים את השמים ואת הארץ. והארץ היתה תהו ובהו וחשך על פני תהום ורוח אלהים מרחפת על פני המים. ויאמר אלהים יהי אור ויהי אור‏

...so I don't think that's quite working, then? Or at least it isn't properly right-aligned and if I try to put a period at the end it goes in the wrong place. I tried adding <p dir="rtl"></p> but it got stripped out. So does <p align="right"></p>. The <bdo></bdo> tag doesn't get stripped but its "dir" property does.
posted by XMLicious at 11:27 AM on June 11, 2010


Lo me gusta.
posted by Mister_A at 11:27 AM on June 11, 2010


I think it's worth noting that the way other popular sites have addressed this is by creating non-English offshoots, e.g. slashdot.jp and fark.ru.
posted by chmmr at 11:35 AM on June 11, 2010


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum?
posted by ericb at 11:42 AM on June 11, 2010 [6 favorites]


Obviously the solution is Esperanto.

Evidente la solvo estas Esperanto.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:52 AM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think it's worth noting that the way other popular sites have addressed this is by creating non-English offshoots

Don't know about other languages but a non-Sense offshoot of Metafilter would get my vote. Metafilter.dada (or some such)

get offshoot a languages vote my don't about would Metafilter sense know non other but

(or words to that effect)
posted by philip-random at 11:56 AM on June 11, 2010


거의 읽는 사람들이 다른 언어를 모르니까 보통 매타필터에 쓰면 영어로 쓰세요.
posted by smorange at 12:03 PM on June 11, 2010


We be needin' More Pirate Posts!
posted by zarq at 12:30 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Tractor force green hegemon, philip-random.
posted by Mister_A at 12:30 PM on June 11, 2010


Once I got a "Best Answer" for answering in spanish... in limerick form...
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:31 PM on June 11, 2010


1111010
1011110
1101
1011
101010

posted by FishBike at 12:42 PM on June 11, 2010


Well, there was this question on AskMe just last month...
posted by Jelly at 1:05 PM on June 11, 2010


You can post in any language you want. As long as you want English.

www.metafilter.co.uk
posted by blue_beetle at 1:36 PM on June 11, 2010


jessamyn: "Yep, same as everything. People screwing around in other languages will be dealt with same as people screwing around in English."

But "screwing around" and "not a good post" aren't the same thing. If someone posts something in, say, Russian, are the mods going to get it translated? Otherwise, how is it determined if it's Metafilter worthy material?
posted by Chrysostom at 1:55 PM on June 11, 2010


Babelfish?
posted by zarq at 1:57 PM on June 11, 2010


We'll run it through a translator if a lot of people are flagging it. It's not rocket science. We sort of figure that people who speak Russian will take a look and let us know and if it's just pointing to some LOLBUTTZ somethingorother only in Russian, we'll delete it and give the person who posted it a talking-to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:57 PM on June 11, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why do you need to know French to understand my post? N'importe qui is the name of the group; it doesn't matter what it means. The link is to an English page. The videos are subtitled in English. Allez is a basic enough word, like gracias, that I didn't think anyone would be confused by it.

There was a recent FPP, partly in German, that I just skipped over because I couldn't be bothered; it seems like that would have made a better example.
posted by desjardins at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2010


Seems to be the right thread for this? What's a good Latin translation of "Fuck That Shit"? As few words as possible. I'm thinking for a t-shirt design.
posted by philip-random at 2:55 PM on June 11, 2010


Jag fattar fan inte vad ni snackar om.
posted by mr.marx at 2:59 PM on June 11, 2010


Jeg snakker ikke so godt Norsk.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:16 PM on June 11, 2010


Slapp av, du snakker brukbart norsk, men men du må finne "å" på tastaturet ditt.
posted by Dumsnill at 3:33 PM on June 11, 2010


[string of Ikea product names]
posted by Burhanistan at 3:39 PM on June 11, 2010


[string of Ikea product names]

now that's a t-shirt
posted by philip-random at 3:40 PM on June 11, 2010


WEREWOLF HULK WOULD LIKE KNOW IF HULK-SPEAK IS DIALECT OR PIGEON. ALSO IF ACCEPTABLE FOR FPP.
posted by WEREWOLF HULK at 7:33 PM on June 11


I dunno I think you just need to read On Writing Well and you'll be good to go.
posted by edbles at 4:37 PM on June 11, 2010


In Soviet Russia, Butts LOL at you.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:47 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks, Dumsnill, but the extent of my Norwegian is "Jeg snakker ikke so godt norsk" and "Er du gift?"

I also used to know how to say "Would you like to meet me behind the school?" But I remember ikke so godt.

Better than my German: Ich habe in meine hosen gescheist.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 5:02 PM on June 11, 2010


My limited German: Spritzen Sie mich bitte zwischen meine Titten.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:24 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


整いました!「メタフィルター」とかけまして、「古谷一行」と解きます。その心は?「オレゴンから愛を込めて」お送りしております。ミソっちです!

(ネタが古いな…。)
posted by misozaki at 6:01 PM on June 11, 2010


Why do you need to know French to understand my post? N'importe qui is the name of the group; it doesn't matter what it means.

pixiboi just said it "got them thinking", not that your post required translation.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:02 PM on June 11, 2010


phillip-random: get offshoot a languages vote my don't about would Metafilter sense know non other but

RIP MarkovFilter
posted by carsonb at 8:02 PM on June 11, 2010


One note is that as of a year or two ago tags did not support the full Unicode character set

When I made my non-English FPP about the Vienna hip-hop scene, I discovered (to my dismay) that you still can't use words with umlauts in tags.

I'm totally cool with non-English posts, as long as it's relevant and doesn't completely occlude people enjoying the links. Speaking something other than English is kind of my Existenzberechtigung, my raison d'etre.
posted by dunkadunc at 8:31 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


BTW, I read English very well. Well, the kind used in the southeast that is, --ugh, the SE of Britain I mean, i.e. England. But I don't speak it so well; that whole thing with Rs throws me.
posted by Some1 at 9:40 PM on June 11, 2010


My over/under line for how many days before an askme is posted in a language other than English is 2 days. From right now.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:13 PM on June 11, 2010


I've done a few posts about Polish art / culture that had Polish links, but the posts themselves were in English. The audience here is English speaking, so let's help make foreign language stuff accessible to them is my take on it.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:58 PM on June 11, 2010


As an international site, it would be nice to keep this thing mainly in English, which of course is a very common second language around the world, but to encourage links to other languages with explanations in English.

Also, looking at that old Hama7 post: mystery meat links suck -- you should always tell people where you are sending them -- and a mystery meat link in a language most people here don't know is the double suck. Explain things for the majority of the people here, and that necessarily means you have to explain things in English.

It's a matter of inclusiveness. You want everyone on the site to be able to share in the joy your post in bringing, right?
posted by pracowity at 11:46 PM on June 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


Evidente la solvo estas Esperanto.

Cxi tiu ne finos bone. </Esperantist>

On a more serious note, I've been trying to practice some language skills and for my personal long term goals versions of MetaFilter in Spanish, French, and eventually German and Russian would be great.
posted by graymouser at 6:46 AM on June 12, 2010


My first post ever was in German.

And the comments quickly showed the folly of relying on high school German and a Deutsch-English dictionary.
posted by klangklangston at 8:18 AM on June 12, 2010


Lo me gusta.
posted by Mister_A at 2:27 PM on June 11 [+] [!]


¡Eso si me gusta!

porque "lo" es un pronombre complemento directo, y "gustar" es un verbo reflexivo, en lo cual "lo", o, sea, "eso," es el sujeto.

¿verdad?
posted by toodleydoodley at 9:15 AM on June 12, 2010


I've posted things in different languages. I just try not to be a jerk about it or at least make sure it's necessary. If anything, I try veeerrry hard to find an English language source first only because even if something is in a different language I personally want to be able to share it with as many people as possible and I want the level of entrance to not be too hard. Maybe it's because of my work and study in journalism, but if you want to tell other people a story there needs to be some sort of context as to why this could possibly be important to them. Even if it's at least one main English source. Then the rest of the primary sources I've found work as supplements, whether by providing translation or at least some basic summary. Then again my posting history is definitely more cultural things whether music, or say martial arts, which don't always need English-only sources to make any sense or for people to like. Still I do work hard to find something in English, whether it's my own explanation or something. But I draw the line if it comes down to me having to translate every primary source in the fpp. Even if it's music, you want to provide some kind of context if you're introducing the unfamiliar. I take the whole "Best of the Web," no self-linking and gyofb three-pronged approach to heart pretty much because it's such a good yardstick. If it's something I'm translating every single thing, then yea, maybe I might as well be posting it on my blog because at that point it ceases to be best of the web, and more best of my work, which hits all three of the no-no prongs. But that's just in general.
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:03 PM on June 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


empath: "I wonder if there might be the possibility of using metafilter somehow as a way for people to learn or practice a foreign language. What if we had http://francais.metafilter.com just for the francophone members of the site and people learning to speak French"

Well, some sort of ask mefi with language categories could be fine. It could allow people both to practice their language skills in a real communication setting and to search for first hand cultural information. I know it would be cool because that's what metafilter does for me.
posted by nicolin at 2:50 PM on June 14, 2010


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