Foreign Language Forum

Discussion in 'General' started by ice-9, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Hey guys, I'm thinking out loud here, but how does the idea of a non-English forum sound? (I realize posting this in English is in of itself self-selecting, but...) Basically, it's a general/VF/Jamboree forum for non-English speakers...anything pretty much goes. I don't know about Myke or Moby, but I can only understand Chinese and Indonesian after English, so mods won't be held responsible for whatever's said there.

    I have had a lot of folks from Europe (France, Germany, Netherlands, etc.) who have e-mailed me in their native language to ask about VF, so I know there's demand out there. Further, we can draw audiences from Korea, Hong Kong, or even Japan. Wouldn't it be cool to see someone like Chibita coming to post once in a blue moon?

    Anyway, we can start small and have the forum open to all non-English languages, and if any one particular language emerges dominant, that language can inherit a dedicated forum of its own.

    What do you guys think?
  2. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Would singlish also be thrown in? Chinglish too?
  3. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    LOL...that was quick. Dunno about Singlish/Chinglish...I don't mind seeing S/Chinglish, but then I understand most of the slang.

    Anyway, just thinking ahead, the forum could be one confusing place, and a system would probably have to develop to indicate what thread is written in what language. I'm guessing that computers may be interpreting the type face used in different ways.

    I.e., I'm guessing subject headings such as...

    KR: Met Shinz today in Seoul

    GR: Any VF players in Berlin?

    HK: I am the strongest Wolf in Causeway Bay!

    Or something like that. Thread heading in their respective language.
  4. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    My gut reaction is that the Jamboree forum already covers most of the posts related to local gatherings; plus I really don't know if Taiwanese, Korean or Japanese gamers would abandon their existing forum infrastructure just to post here...? Personally, I'd sooner see character-specific forums... but all this is just IMHO.
  5. Chanchai

    Chanchai Well-Known Member

    Yeah, a prefix in the subject would be good.

    I'm not opposed to a Foreign Language forum since we're starting to get people speaking in their native languages from various places. It's not like the foreign language posting is an explosion of some sort, but it just seems like there are those who prefer to post in their native language and I personally don't mind it. Particularly if it was in another forum in VFDC.

    The only thing that might bug me is some growing demand for specific forums and conflicts and what not... but who knows... Maybe we could give it a try for awhile.

  6. Yamcha

    Yamcha Well-Known Member

    Sounds like it's worth a shot to me. Like you guys say, you might get more international players posting here, and it might give the rest of us a chance to polish up on our foreign language skills. You can always kill it if no one ends up using it.
  7. vf4akira

    vf4akira Well-Known Member

    Actually, I wasn't sure if I should "flaunt my warez" here but I setup a forum (Japanese/English) for VF4 (and other games) before I found this board. It's been sitting idle for a couple months now since this board fills the gap for VF4 discussion. If anybody wants to practice their Japanese or whatever, then you can use my board.

    The address is in my profile.
  8. SummAh

    SummAh Well-Known Member

    Actually...I'm with Feixaq on this.

    Right now, what this site need is content IMO.

    Just so there's no misunderstanding, I think the idea of having Foreign Language Forum is not a bad idea.

    It's just that all our FAQs are currently in English. Perhaps we'll have to find someone who has absolutely nothing to do to translate it into say...French, Spanish etc etc.

    Otherwise....the existence of Foreign Lanaguage Forum is simply gonna end up with them asking questions with no answers given to them.
  9. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Summers: Well, the idea is to get German VFers to speak with German VFers so they can exchange ideas and help each other out. A German forum doesn't necessarily have to preclude German content for the site itself, although if there are those who want to write German FAQs we would be more than happy to host them.

    Chris: Jamboree is for those that can speak English...the international language forum would have threads composed in other languages. So, German VFers who want to get together but can't write English can congregate in the forum. As is, right now, non-English posts are strongly discouraged on all forums.

    And as Yamcha said, if it doesn't work out, oh well, just take it down.
  10. feixaq

    feixaq Well-Known Member

    Might be worth a try... guess there's really no harm giving it a shot!
  11. ice-9

    ice-9 Well-Known Member

    Alright guys, check it out, the International Forum is up!

    For those of you who are bilingual, please help spread the message! And help translate my initial post in your language and maybe start a new thread or two to get things going.
  12. Rulakir

    Rulakir Well-Known Member

    Here's an alternative, but would probably take some major program tweaking and resource dedication...

    Users already have their preferences inbuilt into their profiles right ? So how about "translating" the board verbatim ? E.g. Lets say I set my language preferences to "Chinese". The board is generally in English, so I was wondering, could we not just "Translate" the entire board content from English to Chinese ?

    That's for Thread display, but I'm not sure how it'll work out if the User keyed in his reply in Chinese though... Maybe translate the Chinese bits into English for a User with English settings? Dual functionality is achieved, since you integrate a language option into the existing forum, and do not have multiple forums to juggle with / maintain. Makes things easier, but this is just a suggestion on my part...

    Its going to be hell to implement though.... /versus/images/icons/frown.gif Thoughts ?
  13. Moby

    Moby Well-Known Member

    That's a great idea Rulakir, to translate typed text on the fly according to preset preferences. Unfortunately, the short answer is that UBB, vBulletin or any of the other products in this market do not support this feature.

    The long answer: it's just not possible to translate foreign character sets to another character set on the fly, on systems that don't support Unicode (which is a standard for defining how different character sets interact with each other). And Win95/98/ME doesn't support Unicode, unless you use the MSLU (Microsoft Layer for Unicode) to specifically develop unicode applications for those operating systems.

    But even if we did that, we can't exactly hack into UBB's code and add in this feature ourselves; as you may or may not know, UBB is a commercial product just like any other software product, and you can't modify or reverse-engineer other people's code without their permission. /versus/images/icons/smile.gif

    This problem has been looked at by millions of developers for a long time now though, because language support in applications in general is poor. Heck, Microsoft didn't even include Unicode support into MS Office until after Office 97.

    But even ASIDE from all that, technically transliterating from one character set to another on the fly on HTML-based forums like UBB is not possible, not unless Infopop (makers of UBB) include a MSLU-type API set into UBB, or use something clunky like a java app built in (which would be horribly slow for database-driven forums like this).

    If there are any unicode developers reading this who knows better than I do, please followup, as I am interested to hear! And perhaps somebody can hack out a solution that doesn't require unicode to do what you want, Rulakir... but it'd be beyond my expertise.
  14. Myke

    Myke Administrator Staff Member Content Manager Kage

    Just my 2c:

    We are allowed to freely modify the source code behind UBBThreads -- I do so almost every time we upgrade because of all the customised scripts I've written. The only catch with that is that Infopop won't provide support for the mods you make.

    As far as the translation is concerned, I would think this would take a hefty amount of additional (and expensive) software added to UBBT to be able to translate all the languages it currently supports. This alone would probably make the product much too expensive to the majority of the licensed members.

    Also, translation software has a long way to go yet IMO. I'm sure all of us have tried going through a babelfish or cafeglobe translation of some Japanese website and experienced how difficult it can be. Can you just imagine what it would be like for a non-English speaking person trying to read a translation of a random Versus City post? Half the people here can't spell or the grammar leaves a lot to be desired. I can just picture the translation software dying horribly in the ass; imagine translating this: "wut do u do wne u block akirra's srm??????"

    Finally, you can always browse versus city (or the entire site) through the likes of babel fish or cafeglobe. While it's not as convenient as what Rulakir suggested, it's the next best thing, and the results are just as good (or bad, depending) /versus/images/icons/smile.gif

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