Non-English forums

I was just looking at another message board and I noticed they had a section of forums in languages other than English: French, Spanish, German, etc.

Has the SDMB ever considered this? Obviously you would need moderators who spoke these languages but they could presumably be found from the people using these forums.

In general, it would seem like a good way to expand the board to a new audience.

I asked for that many a time in the past. Starting with a spanish-speaking forum, in particular, since there are so many spanish speakers here. I too wish there would be a more diverse audience on this board.

However, not only the powers that be didn’t seem interested, but many posters don’t like the idea because they couldn’t understand the foreign language speaking forums…

That seems like a strange point to make an issue out of. But I’ve seen some of my fellow Americans get screwy ideas about the English language.

Been discussed both on and off the board in the past.

While on the one hand it would open up the board to those who understand languages besides English, it would be a nightmare for us as mods and admins to cover – some of us are bilingual but others are not. Hard to get coverage and difficult to know what’s going on when you don’t know.

The Straight Dope is a lot of things but cannot be all things to all people.

The problem might be moderating those forums.

Right. My guess is that such forums exist on non-moderated boards. We got no way of telling whether personal insults are being used if the posts are in Farsi.

It’s already bad enough that we let people post in Canadian, Australian, and whatever language they use in the UK.

Yeah! And don’t forget about them dang New Zealanders, either! :stuck_out_tongue:

Why would it be difficult to monitor a Spanish language forum (to give one example)? If a few hundred Spanish speakers started posting in a forum here, I’m sure you could find some of them to also be moderators - just as English-speaking members have been found to moderate on the rest of the board.

Check out the other thread on how banning works on ATMB.
All of the mods and admins have to discuss whether or not to ban people.
How would that work if they all speak different languages?

And true, I guess you could have a separate Spanish, German, Chinese, etc mod and admin team. But the English one is the one with the most experience.

Overall, I don’t really see the point. It seems like it’d just lead to multiple different communities on the same board with little overlap.

Not to mention, all of the sites I’ve seen this happen on, the other languages are very inactive compared to the English boards.

I’m not sure what the point would be. The column on which this site is based is in English, so anyone attracted to the site for that reason already at least reads English. So do any current members who are posting on the site.

Spanish speakers are probably our biggest foreign language contingent here, but I don’t think there are enough of them here to support a very active subforum. What would be the format of the Spanish section? Would it have individual forums parallel to the English part of the board? If so, it might be even more of a headache to moderate.

While this is somewhat a chicken-and-egg situation, in that we don’t attract more Spanish speakers because we don’t have subforums in Spanish, I’m sure there must be Spanish general interest boards that would be of more interest to Spanish speakers in general. From a commercial point of view, there might not be a lot of return from advertising in English to a Spanish speaking audience.

Not to be a wet blanket, but the mod who’s deals most with Spanish and lives in a Spanish-speaking country, it just seems to be more trouble than it’s worth.

How would you pick out the good poster to make mods when you can’t read what they’re posting?

Not everyone gets here via the column. I first got here via a link to threadspotting.
I think the point is less give foreign speakers a place to chat than to create an area where posters who want to learn a new language can practice with guidance from people they already know. I was much more comfortable getting critiques on my spanish from OneCentStamp than I was from going to the forums on say, Wordreference.

Probably pick bilingual posters with a history on the English section.

But I agree with the concerns for moderation that Mathematics and Colibri pointed out. Oversight of moderation here is typically done by a system of communal policing, i.e. internal moderator debate. It’s going to be very difficult for that to occur when some (many?) of the moderators don’t speak the language of the original, and have to rely on someone else’s interpretation of what was said and meant to form their opinion, rather than read for themselves and understand the nuances of that language and social connotations, etc.

There probably would be some cross-pollination from bilingual members, but a large portion of members would be isolated to one or the other section.

And then there would be the inevitable people posting in Spanish (or whatever) in the English board threads, and we’d have to moderate that. More hassle for little worth. Yeah, they wouldn’t have to read the comments to tell the poster “this is the English side”, but it still would be additional effort for the mods.

Dyn ni’n gallu postio yn Gymraeg nawr? Cool beans.

Does gen i ddim problem gyda Chymraeg.

Let stalk Strine!

That’s a highly provincial attitude. A non English section could seriously make this board a better place. And I have seen it at other places, which are otherwise less than SDMB.

Iay ouldcay ebay ethay oderatormay orfay ethay iglatinpay oardbay. :slight_smile:

See, then we’d just have to correct you. “Iay” is poor Pig Latin. It’s “Iday” in my dialect, though I believe “Iway” is standard. Now that I check Wikipedia, it grudgingly acknowledges “Iay” as a possibility. Humph.