Forum Feature Request

The vast majority of users using Manager speak English as their native language. However there are users where English is their second language and users who don’t really speak English at all.

Would it not be possible for the forum to integrate with Google Translate somehow to support users who do not speak English. I don’t see why these users should be expected to struggle to understand English just in order to use Manager support.

I have more than once used Google Translate to convert into English what a forum user has posted and I consider Google Translate to be sufficiently good enough to provide multi language support for all users.

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I just used Google translate today to translate a contract and my lawyer thought it was great.

So yes, why not?

I would not encourage this. You may find a particular translation product acceptable. Others might not. Forum members are always free to use any translation method they like, regardless of whether one is built in or not. But sanctioning a third-party translation of a user’s posts would be unwarranted and make it impossible for users to adhere to the Terms of Service all agree to by virtue of their use fo the forum. Essentially, you would be passing responsibility for content from the user to the provider of the translation product.

It would also not be possible for NGSoftware to implement, as the forum is supported on a third-party platform.

I would not go as far as using Google Translate to do contracts lol. that would be extreme.

@Tut You are missing the point. Google Translate is not perfect and I would definitely not use it for translating contracts. But for supporting foreign Manager users, TOS is really not relevant. The content would be readable by us in English and whatever language the other people are using.

I am not saying it is viable but I do think the expectation that non english people be expected to understand and post only in english is not fair. I was able to answer the post of the person wanting support about where to find his NRG invoices. All I did was google translate and I presume he did too.

I believe it is better to have the forum in a single language. Because

  • Translation software will not translate a page with multiple languages accurately if at all.
  • It provides a single primary reference of the conversation not multiple computer generated variants.
  • Computer translation can be used to convert a single post to and from an alternate language relatively well already.

If I was to add computer translation anywhere I would suggest

  1. Guides display English → other language of preference

  2. a distant second, Forum post edit Other language → English

As an aside I dislike monopolies so avoid google products where I can.

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My comments were not related to translating contracts. They applied only to third party translations of forum members’ posts. I consider it unethical when others misquote me—even in English. To automate that without user consent would be worse. Those not fluent in English experience enough difficulty without others reading a version of something they did not write.

@Tut I did not say your post was relating to contracts. I was responding to Ealfarden’s point about using Google Translate to translate contracts.

So I was stating that I would never use Google Translate for that purpose. Nowhere did I say that you yourself were talking about contracts. I should not need to say person A said this and I am now referring to his point to make my point. It should be obvious as the conversation flows. You were not misquoted. You are just not reading the flow of the conversation.

@Patch, I agree I don’t think it would be advisable to have the forum in the native language of each user for the reasons you state. As you say one language will be far easier to follow a conversation especially when they get quite lengthy. also machine translations are not 100% accurate.

I am not a fan of Google either, but I don’t know any better product that translates as well. I agree I think the guides should be in multiple languages if google translate or other could support it.

I am not really sure whether it’s viable and obviously it doesn’t bother me as English is my first language. But the last topic I responded to, I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to support that person despite speaking a completely different language from him. So that prompted the question whether it was viable to incorporate the functionality for users like that one whom I presume does not speak any English.

Anyway it will be up to Lubos to decide if this is of interest to him and whether it is viable. I am personally happy to keep the forum English lol.

And I did not say you did. I was just emphasizing the context of my remarks. I did not miss your point.

It would be a burden on server resources if Manager Forum would use a discourse translation plugin (they exist). Better for those in need of frequent translation would be ti install a browser extension. THere are several were you select the text you want to see translated, click on the translation button and you can read (or write) the content in the language of your choice that translates it back to English when responding, so the forum remains in its default English but the user can go “native”.

Well that could be an option. Perhaps putting in the guide, instructions for non English users assuming that the Guides could be translated on the fly into whatever language that user is using. I am not saying that my idea is workable, easy or practical. I just think that it is something that could be considered given how easy it makes it to support non English users.

Your suggestion is what I would recommend i.e. the forum remaining English only, but the problem I can see how to ensure that users use English first if they can - for example @Hennie and various other people are Dutch I think, yet they speak English sufficiently well that a machine translation program is actually unnecessary and would cause more problems than it solves. They should speak English as their English would be better than machine translated English. But in rare cases where we have users who do not speak any English, your suggestion would work.

I think perhaps, offering some suggestions in the Guides might be the best option and then see how it goes?

@lubos do you have a lot of users who are non English who don’t speak English at all? I am not sure. I can probably count on one hand the number of times I have ever seen a post in a foreign language or the user obviously did not speak English well, sometimes making it hard to understand what they are saying because the grammar was so bad.

Google Translate already supports the ability to enter a URL, and it will translate the entire website in an iframe, including when links are clicked. So this is already possible using external tools for those that wish to use it.

I tried but Google translate does not seem to work with this Discourse forum (SSL certificate), try Google Translate

Increasingly one is advised to prevent an iframe inclusion for Phishing and otgher security issues.

The problem is not translating the website into a foreign language for non english users, but the other way around. Forcing a foreign language to be translated into English as we do get people who post in a language that nobody understands.

Not quite true, as the person posing the question understands it, and presumably other users using the same language will too - but we could ask that the poster uses Google Translate or similar to pose the question in english

It’s not unusual for a community to enforce a certain language. To put that another way, the Manager forum community enforcing that English be used is a common approach across many online communities.

The primary reason is moderation.

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In seven years, there has been only one case of a person posting in a foreign language and not changing to English when asked. This really is not a problem.