Can we come up with a better way to handle foreign language posts?

So tired of seeing people get flagged for using a foreign language in this forum.

Yes, it’s true that there is a separate section for foreign languages.
And yes it’s in the Forum Rules that “Mainly English is allowed”.

But throwing flags at people who are trying to join a discussion just because they don’t speak English is rude & exclusionary. Conversations in the English parts of the forum are obviously more robust, informational, and dynamic. And I think it’s pretty backwards thinking that anyone should be barred from participating just because YOU can’t read their words.

What kind of experience do you think this user is going to come away with:

Their very first post, their comment applies to the conversation at hand, and they’re flagged without explanation (it’s simply a non-English post, nothing more). I would be willing to bet that they might not even know what they’ve done wrong, they were a member here for exactly 1 day, maybe less. Throw them a freakin’ bone for chrissakes.

A flag doesn’t need to be the first response to a foreign language post. You can reply to them to please edit their post with an English translation via Google. You can quote-post them and provide the translation yourself if you’re feeling especially helpful. Or you can just ignore it and move on with your day since nothing in that post is harming you anyway.

You could even post a link to the relevant information since it’s clear they haven’t seen it, there’s a whole section in the Foreign Language category with the English rule translated into 9 additional languages.

This is a worldwide game, and quite possibly has more non-English speakers than those of us who do. And their input is just as valuable as yours and mine. How would you feel if you tried to join a conversation but were immediately anonymously flagged and subsequently ignored, without any explanation whatsoever? There are more respectful ways to handle this, please try to see how it looks on the receiving end. Especially for brand new members (the poor guy didn’t even get the customary “Welcome to the Forum” greeting first, smdh).

The other side of this discussion is: it looks like many non-English speakers could use a little help reading/understanding the rules in the first place.

9 languages is a drop in the bucket compared to everywhere this game is played. The “English only” message is just 4 sentences long, if anybody reading this could provide additional translations I’m sure it would be greatly appreciated, you can add it to the existing thread here.

They currently have translations for: Russian, French, Romanian, Dutch, Spanish, German, Portuguese, Turkish, and Polish.

Any kind polyglots out there who can help fill in the gaps?

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Great post @Disposable

Sometimes mods have the time and energy to edit and translate but there are lots of times when we don’t.

A more inclusive way to encourage non-english speakers would be great.

Some foreign language players use a plug-in that does the translation I believe.

@ArktikaTF, do you use an app or website for automatic translation?

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My thought is, anyone who recognize the language could offer the translation in English or offer to use Google translation instead of that quick flag that one often find on such posts. This would help to ease the work load on our dear moderators!

Also agreed that using the author’s language, the author should be educated on the need to translate posts to English for general comprehension.

This way, we continue to encourage that robust and diverse participation.

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I’ve also noticed that they often get flagged fairly quickly, and it’s concerning that the community might be interpreting this as the proper way to handle non-English posts. Hopefully we can change some minds :slight_smile:

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If someone starts a thread I will copy paste into English and flag for moderaters to see what they want to do with.

I can only imagine that, for any foreign speaker to have responded to any English thread ,for understanding, it is most likely they have translated a few English posts into their language.

Therefore , it would only be fair that we should encourage their further participation by showing them to continue the translation of their posts to English thereon, instead of shutting them down with flags.

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@JonahTheBard To read forum posts, I enable the translate page feature in Google Chrome. And to translate my messages into English, I use the online translation services of Yandex and Google.

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@Disposable Thank you so much for the topic, dear friend! I hope the forum community will hear you!

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Could we encourage more use of this, I wonder?

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I guess I’m guilty of quickly flagging these posts but I always state “requires translation”.

I’m not technically savey enough to figure out Google translate. May I make a suggestion?

Are there any regular (as in frequent) forum users who would be willing to be tagged in order to do the Google translation and have a prepared statement regarding the preference for English being used in the forum.

For first time posters, there could also be a friendly welcome in their own language to encourage them to keep posting - with translation.

Perhaps this would be a way to take the burden off our moderators?

Edit: perhaps for those forum members willing to act as host translators, they could even get a fancy translator title :grin:

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I know the moderators work hard at keeping things orderly and deal with a plethora of issues. Multiple threads about the same issue because posters are unaware of how to use the search tool :confounded:. Remember when Telly / Vela was first rebalanced… :confused:.

Forum rule…

I do find it intriguing that a foreign language post is made in a English language thread, as the poster must have translated the English posts to reply in their native tongue :thinking:. Making this process easier, would encourage better discussion.

I have flagged posts submitted in foreign languages, as asking repeatedly for a translation by moderators is not fair to them. Time is a precious commodity. I’m all for making the moderators lives easier! There are thousands of forum users and only a handful of @moderators.

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I don’t think it works like that though, as @ArktikaTF mentioned: one service translates the page into your chosen language, but you need to go to a separate translation service to write a post in another language (like English). With this method they are not actively translating the forum posts themselves at all, it’s translated within their browser automatically. I could easily see the confusion on the user’s end, even if it’s just momentarily slipped their mind - if you consider that they are looking at a page of their own language while typing, I think simple mistakes (like needing to post in another language) are easy to make.

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Agreed.

As to how to deal with it in a better way… You’re suggesting just NOT flagging the foreign language post? Although without a translation, any thoughtful post would / could be ignored? :woman_shrugging:

I’m happy to save flags :thinking:.

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Wenn ich einen fremden Text sehe, übersetze ich ihn oft. aber manchmal bin ich nur beschäftigt Oder ich möchte mich einfach nicht mehr anstrengen (ich bin nicht perfekt), also lasse ich es entweder für einen anderen Mod oder akzeptiere die Flagge. Ich akzeptiere die Flagge oft nur, wenn sie sich in einem Thread befindet, in dem ich nicht sein möchte (wie in einem Nerf-Telluria-Thread - dafür habe ich wenig Zeit). Vor kurzem habe ich die Dropdown-Option verwendet. Der Beitrag lautet also “Erinnerung daran, dass Englisch die offizielle Sprache ist” und der Beitrag plus Übersetzung befindet sich in der Dropdown-Liste. Es ist nicht perfekt, aber so spreche ich es an.

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I tend to just use the google translate page for longer text. I have to say it would be nice if regular members like me would just quietly pop in the translation without resorting to flagging.

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Agreed, it would be nice. And I think many would do this. The problem is you need to be a higher trust level (I.e. moderator) to edit a post. So if a regular doesn’t do it immediately, there will be a gap between posts. In some circumstances, that gap could be awkward.

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Maybe then just add the translation in the next post in the thread?

We could simply ask them to post an English translation, anything we type in English will show on their screen in their chosen language if they’re using a browser extension as described above, but even if they don’t there’s a good chance they’ll manually translate a direct reply.

“Hi, I’m sorry but it will be easier for us to read and respond if you could post an English translation? Or look for the Foreign Languages category for help from native speakers.”

I don’t know, something that will clue them into how it works. Neither us nor the mods would really have to do any translating, and if they stick around they’ll have to do their own translating eventually anyway.

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Good idea. The forum allows us to use “canned” responses as a mod. We don’t have many, but there are a few. I’ve just added this for @moderators to use as I think it’s a good approach. It’s intended to be used as a PM.

Hi, I’m sorry but it will be easier for us to read and respond if you could post an English translation? I’d note that English is the official language of the forum, but there is a #foreign-languages category where players can communicate in their native language.we hope you enjoy the forum. Feel free to reply to this message if you’d like to converse with a moderator.

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While I appreciate the thought, if they aren’t writing/speaking English then how are they reading and responding in the English threads? If you can read in English shouldn’t you also be able to write? Not trying to exclude, just a genuine question.

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