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Mr_M's avatar

On a scale from 0 to 10 (where 0 is "It Sucks" and 10 is "Brilliant Idea"), what would you think of this site if it had a mixed bag of languages instead of just English?

Asked by Mr_M (7596points) October 22nd, 2008

Ex., the first question would be in English, but the 2nd would be a question from Spanish people and so would be in Spanish, the 3rd might be from Italians in Italian, then an English one again, then maybe a Tagalog, then one in Chinese from Chinese speaking people, etc.

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27 Answers

deaddolly's avatar

2 For no reason, than other languages have their own sites.

benseven's avatar

I think that’s a completely unintuitve way to lay out a website for someone from any country – with a little more thought, you could specify languages you speak in your profile and that could affect what questions you see.

-2 / 10 for a bad idea, 7 out of 10 for if it were deployed in a more sensible fashion.

Mr_M's avatar

It would be deployed EXACTLY as Fluther is now. No changes to design.

fireside's avatar

People are already complaining about having to wade through too many posts about politics.

Can you imagine the complaints if everyone was wading through Tagalog posts too?

it might be a good learning and networking tool, but would definitely take some redesign. I’ll give it a 2.7

Mr_M's avatar

How would it be a good learning and networking tool? There would NOT BE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS.

fireside's avatar

That would be a part of the redesign…
Now i give the idea a 1 because you’re not open to modifications.
It’s all a part of the creative process that brings great ideas to life.

bpeoples's avatar

1/10 if deployed as you explain.

would need to be: (jes, I want an esperanto fluther!)

Mr_M's avatar

@fireside, yeah, there’s a reason I’m asking the way I am. No modifications except a mixed bag of languages.

Understand, too, I’m not proposing anything or asking if people would like Fluther changed this way. I’m asking what would you think of this site if there were a mixed bag of languages (or ANY Q&A site, for that matter). Thanks,

poofandmook's avatar

poofy cats love English. And Meowlish.

Harp's avatar

There have been a few questions posted in non-English languages before, but not many, for the simple reason that the asker stands a better chance of getting answers when more people understand the question. That consideration alone would keep non-English posts rare. To the extent possible, people use the languages that reach their audience best.

The same principle applies to the use of non-English languages in America. If I’m trying to sell a product, I’ll use the language, or languages, that speak to the consumers I’m trying to reach, knowing that if I choose not to use English, then I won’t get many English-speaking customers. That may be OK with me, because English-speakers may not be interested in what I’m selling anyway.

I can’t for the life of me understand why people feel so threatened by seeing non-English languages around them in the US.

poofandmook's avatar

@Harp: My issue with it is that so often, when you step outside the US, English-only speakers don’t get the same courtesy. Also, I’ve seen one too many cases where someone pretends not to understand English, on purpose. Don’t ask me the reasoning behind it, but I’ve seen it happen.

Mr_M's avatar

@Harp. Ok. Say it gets to be a LOT of questions in different languages. Then what would you say?

poofandmook's avatar

Now, if you’re talking about something where you could go to “whateverlanguage”, and what’s posted here is translated and shows up in their language… in other words, the only way it would affect us is that other people who normally couldn’t are now able to contribute… that could be interesting. But I wonder if that would even be possible.

asmonet's avatar

I wouldn’t use it ever. That seems cluttered, nonsensical and counter intuitive. This site is mainly English speaking, same as me. Give me the option to choose what language I see on what parts of the site, fine. But addign them in without asking me? Peace out.

gailcalled's avatar

Note the enthusiastic response of only five people to Hobbes’ recent question about Latin;

Hic sunt leones.

“It sucks” wouldn’t count as English in my book.

augustlan's avatar

@MrM: Are you trying to draw a comparison between Fluther as English-only and America as English-only?

Harp's avatar

The majority of English questions on here don’t interest me. It doesn’t bother me that they’re here; there’s usually someone who’ll be interested enough to respond. I keep checking until I find one that means something to me. If there were posts here in other languages that I don’t understand, I don’t think I’d feel any differently about that than I do about a ‘teen love’ question or an i-phone question; I’m not a teen and I don’t have an i-phone, so I just move on.

When I see a sign in Polish or Greek or Chinese here in Chicago, I just assume that I’m not the target demographic that message is aimed at, and move on. As for multi-lingual signs, I think it makes all the business sense in the world.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

1. I think this site is great the way it is.

2. There are already non-English questions. I’ve answered them. They’re fun. There’s nothing in the guidelines against it.

So, in theory, I think it’s great.

In reality, I don’t see it ever happening the way you’ve described, because not only do the the previous responders have little desire to wade through mandarin to find a question they can understand, but more importantly, I don’t think four speakers of tagolog would be all that excited about getting on an English-dominated site and wade through hundreds of questions to find one they could understand.

There just wouldn’t be enough answers. Have you looked at the first few fluther questions ever asked before there were a good number of people to answer them? Ben just answers his own questions over and over again. Not exactly a barrel of fun.

Mr_M's avatar

I think the concept, exactly as I described, is ridiculous. It would be a horror for ANY ethnic group to use the site, having to comb through pages of questions in other languages.

If it were a good idea, other sites would mix languages. But you don’t see that, especially on the Q&A sites. And you don’t see that in newspapers, magazines, books or anywhere I can think of. That says something.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Speaking of “horror”, your confusion between when you should use the word “linguistic” versus the word “ethnic” was a lot more horrifying than your idea that you yourself think is crappy.

I don’t understand why you asked this question. Could you please expain it to us?

Mr_M's avatar

a. Thanks.

b. No

scamp's avatar

You mean another place I would have to press 1 for English?? No thanks.. I give the idea a big 0. Not only would it suck, but it would suck swamp water! (That’s a joke, son..ha ha!!)

El_Cadejo's avatar


now if there was some way to have a efficient online translator (YEA RIGHT LOL) that could translate the Qs and quips to other langs for people who dont speak english thatd be kind of cool, but pretty unlikely.

waterbearer's avatar

Everything about the site is in English. So, the posts (questions, answers, comments) should be, too.

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