Forums : Ohloh General Discussion

Natural languages besides English?

I've been playing around with Ohloh for the last few days and I'm impressed by the breadth of projects already represented. Despite the fact that many of these projects have been created and maintained by non-native speakers of English, it looks like the vast majority of project entries are in English. However, I just came across the "GSW" project that has a description in Portugeuse.

My question is this: What do the people running and using Ohloh think of this? Should all entries be written in English as a lingua franca or should they be in whatever language the original poster decides to use? Should it be possible to categorize or tag projects with their language affinity? Should it be possible to maintain descriptions in multiple languages?

I don't expect there to be canned answers to any of these questions, and I didn't see any discussion in the archived forum posts (I searched for "English"). I was thinking about translating the GSW entry into English, but then I figured I'd ask what other people think. One potential issue I can see with translating such entries is that it could give the false impression that the developers of these projects are willing and able to deal with people speaking languages they may not understand.

Mike Dillon over 12 years ago

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kind words about Ohloh.

Your question about language is timely, since we were just discussing it. Almost half our traffic comes from non-English speaking countries, so we're open to having entries written in the language that the author chooses. We also post press items on our site regardless of language. We even do occasional interviews and e-mails in French and German. With that said, It seems that the default language for Ohloh users is English.

I think it would be great if you could translate the entry into English. I know I would appreciate that. I really like your idea of descriptions in multiple languages. As for tags, it is problematic for us to normalize tags across languages, so I don't think we will be doing anything with multi-langauge tags any time soon.

If you or anybody else has more thoughts or opinions on the subject I would be thrilled to hear them. This is one thing that we very much want to get right.


Scott Collison over 12 years ago

Thanks for the reply.

When I was talking about tagging projects for language affinity, I was really talking about using tags like "portuguese", "brazil", or "brazilian" on projects, not about translating tags themselves (although that's its own can of worms). If you wanted to get into real i18n/l10n, you'd probably want to represent the languages used by a project as first-class metadata, not just normal tags. That way you could localize the description of which language(s) are used/supported by a project's developers and user community into the site user's own language. As you say, localizing tags in the more general case could be problematic to say the least.

After I posted my message, I noticed that the GamesToolsBr project already had descriptions in Brazilian Portuguese and English. This works when the descriptions are short and there are only two languages, but the 800 character limit could become a problem when you start getting longer descriptions and more languages. I'll take a stab at translating GSW since the description is relatively short; I'd imagine that anyone that gets interested in the project will quickly notice that the developers and users are all using a language other than English :)

Mike Dillon over 12 years ago

Ah, of course. Yes, I think tagging by language is a great idea. And thanks in advance for the GSW translation!

Scott Collison over 12 years ago

OTOH tags should be "normalized" anyway.. there are many projects out there with tag sets such as "crypto cryptography cryptology encryption" or "math mathematics maths", would be nice to let user say "this tag is an alias of this other tag, automatically use that when people try to insert this".

Lapo Luchini over 12 years ago

Controlling tags can result in crap, because you can't be sure that two words are the same..

I think it's safe to allow the chaos, the tag-recommendation tool is very usefull and people shouldn't start new tags if they don't think that they are necessary.

Tags for different languages sounds like a heap of work..

What ohloh definitely needs are GUI translations, this is really important, since not all speak english. once the project is inside ohloh, chances are high that english speaking ones will find it and tag it accordingly.

take a look at Jamendo for inspiration maybe..

Any chances that you will start a translation project real soon? I can work on a german one!

I heard bad things about on inkscape's irc I think btw, I think it was license-related (they require you to use cc-by 2.5? - likely to be wrong info)

Iwan Gabovitch about 12 years ago

Ah, of course. Yes, I think tagging by language is a great idea. And thanks in advance for the GSW translation!

See: English Business Communication Course

lizjmaes 15 days ago

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