Foreign language links October 25, 2013 11:19 AM   Subscribe

There's a wonderful celebrity meltdown happening in Paris right now. I could put together an interesting post with basic summaries in English, but the best links would be in French. Does MetaFilter have a policy on non-English links? My thoughts are to provide them, and offer an English translation of one or two key paragraphs. (I would think this would have come up before, but didn't find one in the FAQs or through searching, but I might have missed this).
posted by kanewai to Etiquette/Policy at 11:19 AM (63 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Does MetaFilter have a policy on non-English links?

Non.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:20 AM on October 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


Links to foreign language stuff are okay with the understanding that a lot of people will not be able to access the material in them. Usually we ask people to try to get some sort of thing in English even if it's not the main link. Making a post deliberately obscure through use of non-English content isn't really okay. Doing your own translations of the links really isn't something that we tend to do because then you're not linking to something on the web.

I'd also think about whether "Wonderful celebrity meltdown" is something really requiring this sort of attention or if it could wait until there are more accessible articles that more users could read. Breaking news stuff doesn't always make good posts here in the first place.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:22 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


You're welcome.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:23 AM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Your solution (links in French, with summaries in English) is frickin' awesome and far and above beyond the call of duty. God bless your family, and God bless your cow.
posted by Melismata at 11:23 AM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


1, 2, 3...
posted by Sys Rq at 11:24 AM on October 25, 2013


Yeah, what Jess said. I think in principle it's fine to do something that's centrally non-English language if it's something neat and ideally a little accessible to the vast majority of mefites who will be non-fluent in whatever the language is (whether through existing English-language backup sources or because it includes some interesting extra-linguistic content), and folks have done that sort of thing successfully in the past for sure.

Whether celebrity meltdown is really a great candidate for that is its own question; to some extent I feel like celebrity meltdown is a dodgy basis for a post regardless of the language involved, but if there's something legitimately interesting and unique about whatever's going on looking at a way to make a post out of it is okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:27 AM on October 25, 2013


I think a post just about the "meltdown" wouldn't be sufficient. I'd prefer to read something about the film; why it's important; who says so; how it fits into previous treatments of same-sex desire in film (particularly female); that sort of thing. This bit about his little tirade is an afterthought, in my opinion, not the real story.
posted by mykescipark at 11:28 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


My thoughts are to provide them, and offer an English translation of one or two key paragraphs. (I would think this would have come up before, but didn't find one in the FAQs or through searching, but I might have missed this).

Mon aéroglisseur est plein d'anguilles.
posted by Wordshore at 11:32 AM on October 25, 2013 [8 favorites]


In the past, I've linked to the original pages and included a link to Google auto-translated views of the pages, noting them as such in the post text.

In the cases of current events, I for one appreciate more context than usually appears in local/ native language papers and press, as those publications generally assume you have passing knowledge of the events that lead up to the current story.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM on October 25, 2013


There are also past examples of translations of non-English text being included in the post.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:44 AM on October 25, 2013


kanewai: "There's a wonderful celebrity meltdown happening in Paris right now."

I don't think it's wonderful. I think it's unfortunate and self-centered -- and that it would be a shame if a conversation about an interesting movie on the Blue was eclipsed by the director's ridiculous ego-trip. But your own mileage may vary.

His film has been getting some nuanced, in-depth reviews and most but not all of them have been flattering. He seems to be taking it far more personally than he needs to.
posted by zarq at 11:47 AM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


There are also past examples of translations of non-English text being included in the post.

I know it's somewhat nitpicky, but having some text from one of the links translated by someone else, is different than having the OP do their own translations as part of the post. That post also had ample links to English language sources. Regardless, it seems like this is the sort of thing where 1) there will be English language sources available to supplement and 2) it might be helpful to include some backstory for folks who aren't really sure what's going on in the first place (I would be among those people)
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:56 AM on October 25, 2013


Le Figaro weighs in.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:08 PM on October 25, 2013


I was being a bit tongue in cheek with the "wonderful celebrity meltdown" comment - I do think there is enough of interest to warrant a good post. Let me work on it and we'll see ...
posted by kanewai at 12:12 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a wonderful celebrity meltdown happening in Paris right now

A "wonderful celebrity meltdown" is terrible phrasing and sounds like the worst of a snarky gossip rag that thinks it's oh so very smart. Surely there's something more intelligent that one can post concerning a film about young lesbian lovers that went over schedule and budget, while becoming known for its long and graphic sex scenes, along with repots of terrible production conditions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:15 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: I know it's somewhat nitpicky, but having some text from one of the links translated by someone else, is different than having the OP do their own translations as part of the post.

True. Is having a fellow MeFite translate a poem or a portion of a webpage better or worse than doing it yourself?
posted by filthy light thief at 12:29 PM on October 25, 2013


Melismata: "Your solution (links in French, with summaries in English) is frickin' awesome and far and above beyond the call of duty. God bless your family, and God bless your cow."

I'm with Melismata, and I always appreciate when people frame links in that fashion. Also I would be interested in the general topic of a pop-culture meltdown. I can use the translate button in google if I want more. Que Dieu bénisse votre famille, et que Dieu bénisse votre vache.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


While we're debating the merits of trashy international BREAKING NEWS-type stories, I'm surprised no one has made a post about the incredibly fucked-up and overhyped (also apparently completely bogus) "Little White Girl Abducted by Gypsies!" brouhaha out of Greece, especially in the wake of the recent heated Meta about the widespread prejudice against the Roma people.
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:49 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is having a fellow MeFite translate a poem or a portion of a webpage better or worse than doing it yourself?

Nominally better. In short: it's very difficult to do this right and people should ask if they have questions about their specific instance since there are no hard and fast rules about this sort of thing.

The failure mode we see for this sometimes is where people translate something themselves and put it in pastebin or whatever and link to it. At this point you're now linking to something you yourself created even if it's with every good intention. This is ungreat and should be avoided.

I'm surprised no one has made a post

I am quite grateful, actually.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2013 [7 favorites]


You're right. Forget I said anything, everybody!
posted by Atom Eyes at 12:59 PM on October 25, 2013


incredibly fucked-up and overhyped (also apparently completely bogus) "Little White Girl Abducted by Gypsies!" brouhaha

I was waiting for the DNA results. You think it'll be anything but a "look at this bullshit" post, though?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:01 PM on October 25, 2013


I was waiting for the DNA results. You think it'll be anything but a "look at this bullshit" post, though?

Oh, it's possible to construct a decent post about the subject, but I'm not sure it would matter much. It's an inflammatory subject and I suspect people would be reacting to what they think and feel about current headlines, as opposed to whatever the post was about.

Thinking out loud a little more, what fascinates me about the subject are the genetics, the human perception of what genetics should do and the instances of it that don't fit those perceptions. So I'd make about the latter subjects and just leave the current big headline story out of the post, 'cause the genetics aspect are much more interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:10 PM on October 25, 2013


... I'm surprised no one has made a post about the incredibly fucked-up and overhyped (also apparently completely bogus) "Little White Girl Abducted by Gypsies!" brouhaha out of Greece ...

I (briefly) considered doing an FPP, also blending in the recent case in Ireland.

However, partially as I've had a bad run of recent posts (mind is not really chiming with MetaFilter) and am a bit low on confidence for doing a good MetaFilter-worthy post, and partially as it seems just too difficult to do a post which is unlikely to kick off some kind of angry thread discussion, decided against it. Easy decision.

Next post will probably play it very safe; cats in pajamas, or Icelandic ambient music.
posted by Wordshore at 1:12 PM on October 25, 2013


The DNA results are in. I think MeFi's the most likely place to get an illuminating story about it, but it would really require some good backgrounders to sensitively explain why there's post-crisis migration from Bulgaria to Greece and suchlike.
posted by ambrosen at 1:16 PM on October 25, 2013


i hope if the french celebrity meltdown thread is made, that you also include the author's opinions on how it has gone. to just discuss the actresses and the director misses a bunch of the story, i think.

as to the roma child story - after i saw the dna results i briefly considered a post, but was more thinking "look at this fucking shit can you fucking believe it" and that's a bad place to make a post from. there has been some great writing out there about it, but even if the post focused on those, the thread would be something else all together.
posted by nadawi at 1:24 PM on October 25, 2013


Oh, it's possible to construct a decent post about the subject, but I'm not sure it would matter much. It's an inflammatory subject and I suspect people would be reacting to what they think and feel about current headlines, as opposed to whatever the post was about.

Yeah, this kind of gets to the heart of the MetaFilter experience, from the perspective of FPP creation, for me. Does one construct a post wholly with the aim of making a well-formed, well-cited, impartial, rounded post? Or does one construct for the (hoped for) benefit of the audience, be it MetaFilter users and beyond?

The psychological process of describing Internet resources is a pretty fascinating one (side-point: kudos to the Scout Report FPP recently, and here's their selection criteria) containing elements of, well, psychology, library and information science and arguably Taoist philosophy.
posted by Wordshore at 1:40 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: "Does one construct a post wholly with the aim of making a well-formed, well-cited, impartial, rounded post? Or does one construct for the (hoped for) benefit of the audience, be it MetaFilter users and beyond?"

Yes. The first leads to the second.

(Am not doing a post about it. Have filled my FPP quota on difficult stories this week.)
posted by zarq at 1:53 PM on October 25, 2013


le FPP a été posté
posted by zarq at 1:56 PM on October 25, 2013 [4 favorites]


Another previous MetaTalk thread on this topic, and my own previous FPP with French-language links and translations.
posted by mbrubeck at 4:00 PM on October 25, 2013


If I may, I'd like to suggest one additional limitation to non-English posts: posts may only be made in a language *at least one* moderator is fluent in.... for instance, if the post is in Navaho, but none of the mods are fluent in Navaho, then the post is deleted without further discussion.

It just doesn't seem reasonable to permit posts that Matt & the mods *can't* mod, and almost feels as if by doing so, the poster would be trying to slide something possibly-unacceptable past them.
posted by easily confused at 4:12 PM on October 25, 2013


We actually had a problem with something like that a ways back (a post that just seemed to be in a different language was actually a bit of an axe-grindy post about bilingualism if I recall) but at some level we can often mod threads that we can't entirely read (and I have news for you - we sometimes don't click all the links anyhow!) and since we're rarely moderating for content anyhow--links to a racist hate site that was in Tagalog we could probably figure out--I think it's okay to basically have a general guideline that posts should be for this community and since people here speak English among other languages, posts should reflect that. It's exceptionally rare to have a post that is actually made in a different language as opposed to just linking to non-English content.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:19 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh moderator, do you speak jive?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:41 PM on October 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Chump don't want the help, chump don't get the help.
posted by 4ster at 5:12 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


Being stereotypically English, tend to only learn one phrase in advance of traveling to any non-English speaking country (lazy, I know).
posted by Wordshore at 5:22 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Jive-ass commenter don't got no spellcheck anyhow! Shiiiiit.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:24 PM on October 25, 2013


My first post was German songs, because I wanted to make sure that no one would enjoy it.
posted by klangklangston at 5:26 PM on October 25, 2013


Westküste liberal Arschloch
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:29 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


The other day I said to Mini McGee, who is four, "Explain to me, in your own words, why you are in trouble."

He replied, "Nanga nanga nanga? NANGA!"

(Pause) "Okay, now explain it to me in words mommy can understand."

What I'm saying is, modding metafilter is a lot like having a preschooler.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:36 PM on October 25, 2013 [19 favorites]


When you said there was a wonderful celebrity meltdown in Paris, for a moment I had a hope that another Reign of Terror had kicked off, and instead of le guillotine they were just tossing celebs and other deserving cretins in a big pot of molten slag.
posted by planetesimal at 7:29 PM on October 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


Eyebrows McGee: an excellent example. Your toddler, as a native Urdu speaker, is tell you he's stark naked which is probably not a good post for Metafilter.
posted by tavegyl at 7:52 PM on October 25, 2013 [5 favorites]


it's a wonderful celebrity meltdown!
celebrities are melting everywhere!
it's worse than Chernobyl and Fukushima!
look! there's Brad Pitt melting! over there!
Miley Cyrus, see? she's melting down while twerking!
and Paris Hilton's melting with the rest!
they're all melting, melting, mellllllllllting...
like they're all just Wicked Witches of the West
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:57 PM on October 25, 2013 [1 favorite]


incredibly fucked-up and overhyped (also apparently completely bogus) "Little White Girl Abducted by Gypsies!" brouhaha

Well, I'll be staying away from that one, I'll tell you right now.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:02 PM on October 25, 2013 [9 favorites]


Astute move, grasshopper. Welcome to the Minefield.
posted by y2karl at 12:05 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most of my Russian-language posts I just made up out of whole cloth. There is no such language as Russian.
posted by Nomyte at 12:41 AM on October 26, 2013 [4 favorites]


We actually invented Russia in 1915 as a way of keeping you line. It just kinda got out of control, as art movements do.
posted by The Whelk at 1:20 AM on October 26, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just a note: Blue is the Warmest Color was the subject of a post in June by MoonOrb, after the film won at Cannes.

MoonOrb linked to a blog entry by the author, Julie Maroh — but as supplemental, with the main link to Maroh's post leading to a pdf English translation of unexplained provenance.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:54 AM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


the previous thread is linked in the new thread.
posted by nadawi at 5:31 AM on October 26, 2013


Oh, I didn't see that it had been posted to the blue.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:08 AM on October 26, 2013


I realize that it is entirely irrelevant to the discussion at hand, but could someone give just the very briefest outline of what the 'meltdown' is about?
posted by sammyo at 6:32 PM on October 26, 2013


Metafilter: cats in pajamas, or Icelandic ambient music.
posted by medusa at 7:00 PM on October 26, 2013


sammyo - hard to deal with director makes a movie based on a graphic novel - movie wins awards, actresses and director fight about working conditions and the final product, graphic novel creator registers her disappointment with parts of the film, film gets generally favorable reviews, director goes on a tirade against the reviewers he thinks are trying to ruin him and the actresses. everyone pretty much looks at him and goes, "uh, whoa." also, the film has simulated lesbian sex with prosthetic vulvas, which is probably the main reason it's gotten all the attention it has.

this is a good timeline if you want to know more but don't want to read a lot.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 PM on October 26, 2013


I haven't even seen this movie yet and I'm already sick of hearing about it/this controversy. So congratulations to all involved?
posted by nathancaswell at 7:23 PM on October 26, 2013


...also, the film has simulated lesbian sex with prosthetic vulvas,
Wait what what what?
...the film has simulated lesbian sex with prosthetic vulvas,

...
*Gives head a gentle shake and then wanders off towards garden shed.*
posted by From Bklyn at 7:53 PM on October 26, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wise move, Bkyln. Wise, wise move.
posted by easily confused at 4:15 PM on October 27, 2013 [1 favorite]


nadawi: " also, the film has simulated lesbian sex with prosthetic vulvas, "

I remember reading that a few months ago. Any idea why they handled it that way?
posted by zarq at 7:51 AM on October 28, 2013


Here's an interview with the actresses in the sex scene. I'd imagine they had to use fake gear because of 1)the excruciatingly long scene required 10 days to shoot, 3) they are not lesbians IRL, 2) I'm guessing actual genital-to-genital contact probably would require additional permitting or oversight of some sort.
posted by planetesimal at 8:16 AM on October 28, 2013


Ah. Makes sense. Thanks.
posted by zarq at 10:33 AM on October 28, 2013


*not thinking of tagline*
posted by y2karl at 4:48 PM on October 29, 2013


Heck, I'll do it then. MetaTalk: actual genital-to-genital contact probably would require additional permitting or oversight of some sort.
posted by planetesimal at 5:27 PM on October 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Regarding Prosthetic Vaginas
First off: let's call bullshit on the whole thing. I don't believe for a second that either actress was wearing a prosthetic in any shot in Blue Is The Warmest Colour where their vulvas were on display. If they were, kudos to the prosthetic artist; that person deserves the Oscar, though I doubt the Academy in its wisdom would ever have the [excuse me] balls to give out a statuette for prosthetic vaginas. But taking the production at its word for a moment...
[...]
what difference does it make?
It makes none. Unless you are restricting the definition of "sex" to the only one that cannot, under any circumstances, apply in Blue Is The Warmest Colour's case - i.e., a penis entering a vagina - Exarchopoulos and Seydoux are having sex in Blue Is The Warmest Colour. Unless those convenient prosthetics also include steel plate that is keeping any neurons, on the part of either giver or receiver of the rubbing, licking and touching seen in the film, from perceiving any physical sensation, pleasurable or not, from either party, they're having as close to a sexual encounter as most people get in the average year.
posted by nadawi at 6:30 AM on October 31, 2013


First off: let's call bullshit on the whole thing. I don't believe for a second that either actress was wearing a prosthetic in any shot in Blue Is The Warmest Colour where their vulvas were on display... If you believe the bullshit mentioned above, this prosthetic must also be thin and unobtrusive enough to pass muster on camera as the real thing.

The idea that Hollywood makeup artists are incapable of creating a convincing prosthetic vulva is, frankly, ludicrous.
posted by nathancaswell at 8:50 AM on October 31, 2013


the rest of the piece is all about how it doesn't actually matter if it's fake or real because even with a prosthetic what they had on screen was sex in all definitions besides strict heteronormative ones, which i think is a pretty interesting point. i also enjoyed the point about trying to separate things like this from sex work.
posted by nadawi at 8:54 AM on October 31, 2013


Yeah, that was totally an interesting point. I just don't see any reason to distract from the general thrust (heh) of the article with conspiracy theories about the genitals being real.
posted by nathancaswell at 9:39 AM on October 31, 2013


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