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Harp's avatar

If someone who speaks English poorly wants to post on Fluther, what should they do?

Asked by Harp (19142points) July 10th, 2008

Go back to school and return when they have a good grasp of the language? Run the question through an online translator and take whatever jibberish it spits out? Just go ahead and post as best they can and face the snide quips? Just go away and not bother the rest of us?

What are the responsibilities of both the poster and the community in this situation?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

39 Answers

shrubbery's avatar

I think they should ask the question as best they can, and if you can’t understand it ask them politely to rephrase the question or try again a different way. If that doesn’t work, I’d say go the translater next, and Flutherers can try again to interpret what it says. After that, well, they could find a friend who speaks both languages and ask them to type it up?

rockstar's avatar

I think as long as it is coherent then go head and post the question/comment. Its when I have to get my 2 yr old niece to decifer it that a problem occurs

cheebdragon's avatar

Oh please, read the their (pathfinder) profile, they are not being serious….....

nikipedia's avatar

I think it’s fair to go ahead and ask the question, but it would be helpful to mention in the post that English is not his/her first language.

jonno's avatar

If they’re not confident with their usage of the English language, that’s fine, as long as they mention that English is not their first language – it’s for their own benefit so that we can cut them some slack for any mistakes that they may make.

pathfinder's avatar

I gues.they should get dictionary ready.

pathfinder's avatar

the english degenerate becouse foreneres,at shool they teach stuff compleatly deffrend than is on streetes.sorry for my second answer.that yust me hury hury and i forgeting to concentrate on reading.

marinelife's avatar

I haven’t seen too much push back on questioners unless their question is literally incomprehensible, and then one has to push back a little to figure it out.

Is the site English-centric? Yes, but this is not surprising.

gailcalled's avatar

I have checked privately on writers who have ESL; it is usually depressing because our Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Faroes, Spanish, French, etc. friends speak English so well. It is often the youngsters who spell phonetically, use run-on sentences, and capitalize and punctuate at random. (See question from Susanc about Random. See creative variations on “definitely.)

I would say, simply mention it below leader.

nina's avatar

If you are a foreighner with poor command of English, one of the ways would be to run your question worded in your native tongue through an automatic translator
http://babelfish.yahoo.com
and then submit that. It is always a good start

shrubbery's avatar

nina- online translaters are not reliable and phrases could come out looking worse than if the person tried themselves. I learnt this the hard way; used a translater for a french assignment because I couldn’t be bothered doing it myself. I failed. Try typing something in english, translating it to another language then back to english. Yuck!

pathfinder's avatar

i write in a clues.Thanks for explainatione and help.I should handle that.I yust nead concentrate myself maybe switch rest of my brain on.Yes this is my gap.I will fill it up

nina's avatar

Shrubbery, you are absolutely right about translators. The caveat is to couch the text you are translating in simplest terms, and of course, use automatic translators only out of complete despeartion.

shrubbery's avatar

Well, I dropped french anyway but I’ll remember that :P but I agree, use only out of desparation

flameboi's avatar

I think we must be tolerant, helpful, nice, try to get what the person is trying to ask, we are a community, we have to support the members, even if the member can’t manage the language in the most appropriate way :0 never been clueless in your life?

jlm11f's avatar

i have to say this, only because two people spelled it wrong consecutively. it’s “desperation”

gailcalled's avatar

(OH, thank you, PnL. Now I don’t have to be the villain)

flameboi's avatar

no villains here :)

flameboi's avatar

oh! by the way, why are we whispering?

pathfinder's avatar

I did not log in to this comunity becouse it will gets my betther english.I log in becouse here are people witch are good in questiones and thinking.I gues atleast.This is what i do.If this is what you are pushing on.

gailcalled's avatar

off-thread and annoying to some people who don’t like editing.

@Path; Borat you are not. Moliere and Aristotle said that after three times, something ceases to be funny.

2late2be's avatar

Do what I do! LOL I’m learning English as many of you know, I just try to make myself as understandable as possible!!!

gailcalled's avatar

2late: You are doing a wonderful job. Congratulations. (period rather than comma after “know.”)

cheebdragon's avatar

Gail, i lurve you….....
you are one of a kind! (and i mean that in a good way)
; – )

scamp's avatar

I second what cheebdragon just said!
I have a feeling pathfinder is not who/what he/she says he/she is.

gailcalled's avatar

2late’s sentence is really interesting and shows why punctuation helps clarify things.

“I’m learning English. as many of you know. I just try to make myself as understandable as possible.”

Or: “I’m learning English. As many of you know, I just try to make…”

They mean the same thing, I think. But the emphasis is first on the learning experience and in the second sample, on being understood.

@@late: well-done.

susanc's avatar

Cheeb may be right about path. But she made that decision
instantly, with almost no evidence. I think we need to give people 3 tries before we get nasty, even if it means we get fooled.

pathfinder's avatar

I thing this is problem of modern civilization.they thing that if you came from somewhere else than those people among you want to be with. it is difficul becouse thrustness and the aboard betwin is language.

scamp's avatar

Reading the profile made me agree with her pretty quickly tho. The posts following look to me like someone pretending not to understand English. I didn’t see anyone getting nasty. Just making simple observations, (such as look we have a lawyer here) ha ha!

Knotmyday's avatar

@Gail- Moliere, Aristotle, and Judy Blume. The greats.

I’m having an interesting time attempting to justify how he/she understands the written responses well enough to respond in kind.

If it is a joke, only one person is laughing and we are wasting our time.

susanc's avatar

Yeah the profile is a bit of a tip-off. I apologize to Cheeb for
my belief that she attacks the vulnerable too readily. No one on Fluther would do that.

scamp's avatar

Of course not! I shudder at the thought! ha ha!!

marinelife's avatar

Is that blood in the water I smell? Yum.~

scamp's avatar

(theme song from jaws playing).... dun dun dun dun

cheebdragon's avatar

I’m sorry I just read my first answer, hahaha. I won’t be able to live with myself if I don’t correct it…....It should have said:
read pathfinders profile

wildflower's avatar

When I first started using Fluther, I felt quite cautious, almost discouraged by the culture of correct language and grammar use, that is very prominent on Fluther.

English is my 3rd language and it’s pure luck if I get the grammar right. I was never particularly good with grammar, even in my native language, and always focused on learning/using conversational English. Correct spelling is the second priority and grammar a distant 3rd.

It’s a regrettable reality that Fluther will miss out on a lot of interesting contributions due to language limitations. Some non-native English speakers may not feel brave enough to put their language skills to the test by posting on Fluther, whilst others might brave it, but may or may not have thick enough skin to endure the constructive criticism they will encounter.

Unless the Fluther gods decide to work on a translator, or having multiple language versions of Fluther, I don’t really see this changing.

scamp's avatar

Love it!!

josie's avatar

Do your best, take your chances.
Isn’t that pretty much the way it always is?

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