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Should subforums stay splitted for English & German?

Please don't touch anything, I like the mess around here
2 (10%)
Let's reduce the clutter and merge EN & DE
16 (80%)
I have another brilliant idea (please tell!)
2 (10%)

Total Members Voted: 20

Voting closed: 2022/04/26, 01:30:56

Author Topic: Subforums English & German  (Read 260 times)

Offline vinzv

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Subforums English & German
« on: 2022/04/19, 01:30:56 »
What's this about?
Most topic areas in our forum have special subforums for German and English language posts. In addition, the topic areas themselves have posts as well.

For example:
  • Installation & Support: 148 topics, German and English mixed
  • Installation & Support (EN): 222 topics
  • Installations-Support (DE): 451 topics

Another one:
  • Software - Support: 431 topics, German and English mixed
  • Software Support (EN): 790 topics
  • Software-Support (DE): 1761 topics

My take
As you can see, that leads to quite a mixture of languages and fragmentation - which is unneccessary imho. I often find myself going back and forth between subforums looking for the right one. And I assume I'm not the only one.
Plus, the first visual impression of these many subforums is not the best. It looks a bit intimidating and confusing for someone who has never visited the forum before.
And furthermore, active topics tend to get buried by the structure of the main forum view as they are in sub-subforums and get displayed very small. (I slightly tweaked that a few minutes ago, with very little success)

Please vote - and discuss
So I'd like to know if and how we should handle that. Also, besides your vote, I'd like to hear opinions on the topic as well! E.g. what about adding "DE" or "EN" to each single topic as a distinctive feature?

Note: For inclusive reasons, I'd like to stay in English on this one.

Offline der_bud

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Re: Subforums English & German
« Reply #1 on: 2022/04/19, 09:01:47 »
Personally I completely agree with that fragmentation issues and would vote for merging. In times when several online translators are getting better and better, even mixing languages in one thread (as it already often happens) should not be a problem either.

We've had discussions about that several times before, fortunately the last one was long ago (like  https://forum.siduction.org/index.php?topic=2248.msg20247#msg20247 ). Mostly the majority did not mind merging and "allowing" mixing languages such as English replies in a thread that started German. There were always some members starting hot discussions about keeping 'their' preferred language as some did not understand one single english (or german) word, and in order not to scare them away, things always stayed the way they are now.
But, again, languagetools evolved and with some respect and a little good will merging EN/DE would be my preferred choice.

Just one note: as in that old discussions some mention they would not even start reading a thread if they can't understand the topic title, which could have effects especially in Upgrade Warnings Subsection, the moderators could probably have a closer look at topic names/titles in that subforum, to have D-U warnings easily understandable no matter what language (not "Habe mir heute schon wieder das System zerschossen" ;) )
Du lachst? Wieso lachst du? Das ist doch oft so, Leute lachen erst und dann sind sie tot.

Offline titan

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Re: Subforums English & German
« Reply #2 on: 2022/04/19, 09:53:28 »
Being a German distro it is understandable that is the first language of the majority of users, however English is probably the second language for a lot of others. I have noticed fewer posts in English  compared to a few year back, and there have always been relevant posts for a problem only in German, not a problem if you search the German section and translate. I think merging the forum puts all the posts in the right sections so makes it less likely to miss something, using a translator is simple.

Offline ds15

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Re: Subforums English & German
« Reply #3 on: 2022/04/19, 12:26:59 »
I think that a merge makes sense in topic areas that concern everyone (like "Upgrade Warnings" and "Announcements"). On the other hand, German and English subforums for "Errors in the manual" could be useful (as soon as the English manual will be available) and other topics that could concern only certain language communities.

My proposal concerning the question about mixing languages inside a thread (as mentioned by der_bud):
Inside the merged topic areas we could motivate our users to write the subject name in English. In case they do not have the necessary English skills, they could write the post in their respective native language and add an English translation generated by some translation tool.
The following answers can then be written in (maybe simple) English. I guess we can expect at least some passive knowledge of English nowadays, especially among users of a rolling release Linux distro.

der_bud's point about the quality of online translators today is also interesting. Such mixed language conversations are quite common in Scandinavia for example, as speakers of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian can understand each other quite well. In our case this probably depends on the willingness of non-German speakers to use such tools.

If siduction becomes more popular and, for example, the German and English communities become big enough to organize themselves, a further separation in the forum can be useful. At the moment, we have maybe a couple of posts a day. So the many subforums are more confusing than helpful right now.
« Last Edit: 2022/04/19, 12:41:49 by ds15 »

Offline vinzv

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Re: Subforums English & German
« Reply #4 on: 2022/04/19, 14:28:54 »
Thanks for the input so far!

I've been looking at how other communities/forums handle that and besides language specific areas for most of the time I came across topic title prefixes as indicators for the language. For SMF, our forum software, there's an addon which would give the possibility to add custom prefixes. See the example here:

While the addon is pretty general some features would be handy for our purpose:
  • Prefixes are either color plus text or icons/images (think of flag icons!)
  • Users can use the "tags" to filter (read: by language)
  • Prefixes can be made mandatory to choose while posting.
  • Making things mandatory can be done on a per subforum basis

Offline Mister00X

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Re: Subforums English & German
« Reply #5 on: 2022/04/21, 10:26:16 »
I think that a merge makes sense in topic areas that concern everyone (like "Upgrade Warnings" and "Announcements"). On the other hand, German and English subforums for "Errors in the manual" could be useful (as soon as the English manual will be available) and other topics that could concern only certain language communities.
I completely agree on this. Also stuff like the free speech section should/could stay separated. 

On the other hand the troubleshooting steps and solutions in "software support", "hardware support" and "installation support" could concern everyone. 
Therefore I would propose something like a mixed approach: Let's merge DE and EN on "software support", "hardware support", "installation support" and "siduction news" enforce the use of language tags there (Art&Design should be merged too Imho) but keep "free speech" separated.

If that's not possible or too controversial, I would prefer "merged DE&EN with language tags" over the current status quo.
Arguing that you don't care about the right to privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different than saying you don't care about free speech because you have nothing to say. – Edward Snowden