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Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 00:16:49

Qi 
Level 55
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Niko's initiative for a French Community has brought to my attention something interesting: he said it is harder for non-native English speakers to get their voices heard on the Forum.

Perhaps having a few mini-forums exclusively for non-English languages would help certain players learn more about the game and enjoy the website more.

Possible mini-forums: Polish, Spanish, French, German, Russian.

I'm sure each of the above languages has its own unique characters who could add to (or detract from) the WL experience for other speakers of their language. But many of these people would not participate in the English Forum's discussions for one of the following reasons:

- a majority of English Forum posts are disrespectful, emotional, nonsensical/illogical, win-lose arguments/attacks, or otherwise negative or non-constructive in nature: the style or tone of many posts don't necessarily translate well in other cultural contexts
- the English Forum is dominated by a select group (ie, the same people tend to control the discussions, for good or ill), who tend to be native (or highly proficient) English speakers
- native speakers criticize non-native speakers' English in threads or posts frequently enough to deter some non-native speakers from participating

In a nutshell: If WL's Forum is only in English, fewer people participate; if mini-forums in other major languages existed, more people would participate, the game would be discussed more, and there would likely be spillover discussions from one forum to another. And since many non-native English speakers don't currently participate in the English Forum but would participate in a Forum in (an)other language(s), it would be a net gain of people discussing the game.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 01:21:39

RvW 
Level 46
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|> Niko's initiative for a French Community has brought to my attention something interesting: he said it is harder for non-native English speakers to get their voices heard on the Forum.

Don't you think creating subforums in other languages would further reduce the chance for those people to be heard on the main (English) forum?

|> a majority of English Forum posts are disrespectful, emotional, nonsensical/illogical, win-lose arguments/attacks, or otherwise negative or non-constructive in nature: the style or tone of many posts don't necessarily translate well in other cultural contexts

While I fully realize different cultures have different standards, I doubt a Polish, Spanish, French, German or Russian forum will remain free of non-constructive posts. (Actually, if you allow people to rant in their native language, it's actually likely to get worse I think... If you have to think about every sentence, your anger will greatly reduce before you've finished your post, maybe even enough to not post it at all, or at least completely rewrite it in a friendlier tone.)

|> the English Forum is dominated by a select group (ie, the same people tend to control the discussions, for good or ill), who tend to be native (or highly proficient) English speakers

I suspect (speaking from quite a lot of experience on various forums and mailing lists) the exact same thing will happen (with a different group of vocal people of course) on sub-forums in other languages. That's just how forums always turn out.

|> native speakers criticize non-native speakers' English in threads or posts frequently enough to deter some non-native speakers from participating

To be perfectly honest: I cannot recall a single instance of that on the WL forum; could you maybe link some examples? I don't deny it happens in other places, but here I haven't seen it. There have been one or two posts which were answered with "I'm sorry, but I have no idea what you're trying to say" or "Are you from Poland by any chance? Just ask your question again in Polish and I'll translate.", but I don't consider it "criticising" to polite ask for a rephrase if you honestly don't understand what someone is trying to say. Or, more to the point, I don't think people will feel unwelcome when that happens.
To me personally, having to post in English (on websites in general, not just WL) hasn't been a deterrent for many years. That probably means I'm not qualified to estimate how much people with lesser English skills (no offence intended of course!) will feel deterred. But, I'm pretty sure native speakers (or highly-proficient non-native speakers) being jerks about the quality of other people's English are an issue.

|> In a nutshell: If WL's Forum is only in English, fewer people participate; if mini-forums in other major languages existed, more people would participate, the game would be discussed more, and there would likely be spillover discussions from one forum to another. And since many non-native English speakers don't currently participate in the English Forum but would participate in a Forum in (an)other language(s), it would be a net gain of people discussing the game.

WL is essentially a multiplayer game; if you want to split the forums, wouldn't it also make sense (maybe even more so) to mark each game with a language tag, to denote the language participants are expected to speak in chat?

Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favour of translating some FAQ / Getting Started into lots of languages, to make sure people have a place to start and language issues won't completely prevent them from playing the game. But to really get into the multiplayer, being able to communicate with your team mates is pretty essential, don't you agree?

So, what would splitting the forum accomplish...? Lower the incentive to learn English, and keep the segregation in place, nothing else. Unless you're in favour of running completely separate warlight.de, warlight.fr, warlight.pl, warlight.fr (with the only connection being they all run the same game code), splitting the forum seems like a bad idea.

You're probably going to think I'm an arrogant prick for saying this (please keep in mind English is not my native language either), but I actually think it's a good idea if people learn enough English to be at least conversational. It doesn't have to be perfect, just so long as it's understandable. This world is rapidly becoming smaller, so also in the grand scheme of things, it's a good idea to learn.

Also, there's a practical problem: who would moderate subforums in languages which Fizzer doesn't speak...?
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 01:46:17


Richard Sharpe 
Level 59
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100% agreement with RvW
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 02:06:54

Qi 
Level 55
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*Don't you think creating subforums in other languages would further reduce the chance for those people to be heard on the main (English) forum?* No, I don't. If they are not saying anything at all on the English forum but would on a mini-forum in their own language, I'd assume that if they had anything truly worth hearing, somebody from their mini-forum might bring the idea to the English forum.

*Actually, if you allow people to rant in their native language...* I agree. Nowhere did I say this wouldn't be the case. Some non-native (and native!) speakers don't participate in the forum because the English language and Anglo-American internet-culture (styles of discussion, values, manners of expression, etc.) is what it is. Put them in their own cultural milieu (using their own language!) and they would participate according to their own 'internet-cultural' standards, and not someone else's.

*...native speakers criticize non-native speakers' English in threads or posts frequently enough to deter some non-native speakers from participating).* I've seen it happen at least a dozen times. I don't read everything posted. So I assume it happens more frequently. But not all deterrents need to happen too frequently to have an effect: Speaker A is sensitive about his English ability; he reads 1000 posts by native speakers; one post is about a native speaker criticizing a non-native speaker's English; Speaker A decides to never post anything to avoid such humiliation.

*Split the forums.* The forum is already split. If your English is not good enough, you are much less likely to participate. If the Anglo-American internet culture and discussion styles don't appeal to you, you are much less likely to participate. If a dozen of people tend to gang up and criticize anybody for no apparent reason, you are less likely to participate. If the goal is full participation (like 'full employment': only a goal, never a reality), mini-forums would unite more than they would divide: good moves have a language of their own; being able to discuss the game itself in any language would add to the game.

*Your idea: to play multi-player games you must know conversational English; therefore the forums must be in English.* "View teammate's orders" is a useful tool. Conversational English is not the same as the more advanced English on the forums (used to joke, analyze, criticize, etc.).

A personal question: RvW, why is it that you hide behind a mask (RvW: 2 games played, yet you speak with experience) to post your ideas on the forum? What prevents you from using your main account? Your English is great, yet it seems you fear something. Imagine if your English was only conversational. Would you take the time to create your forum mask (RvW) to participate in the forum (half of which you wouldn't much understand)? I always thought the anonymity of the internet (fake user name + fake image = fake persona) was already enough of a mask...
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 02:13:29

Qi 
Level 55
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a simple Google search: http://www.ejisdc.org/ojs2/index.php/ejisdc/article/view/536/275

*ABSTRACT*
*While the case for information and communication technologies (ICTs) for development is
largely accepted, it should be remembered that ICTs carry embedded in them sets of cultural assumptions. Efforts to close the digital divide are insufficient if those efforts remain oblivious to the cultural dominance of English language content available on the Internet. This paper discusses how the proliferation of the Internet has resulted in a cultural homogenisation via the lingua franca of the Internet, English. It then discusses the case of Latin American Internet portals to illustrate how local content provision on the Internet can be successful in attracting a local audience.*

What I am saying is nothing new. If your English is excellent, if you are a native speaker, perhaps you disagree. In history, the dominant rarely gives up his/her dominance and instead prefer others to become like him/her, rather than allow others to be themselves.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 03:31:39


myhandisonfire 
Level 54
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100% agreement with Gui
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 04:02:21


[WM] Dazed & Insane 
Level 50
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It's not hard for people to get together with others of their own nationality w/o there being dedicated sub-forums for them. Just title your game "Seeking single spanish boys to talk to" or w/e. Also if annyone wants to be "heard" they can easily email Fizzer with any ideas they may have.

That being said I don't think it's a bad idea, it could help the game grow.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 04:58:33

Qi 
Level 55
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Yes, they could. Though having something ephemeral (a thread or multi-day player game) wouldn't have the same effect as having a designated, permanent location (or *forum*, which literally means 'meeting place'). McDonald's and Starbucks base their expansion on starting new stores in centrally located shops. Try to find Niko's thread called *Mise en place d'une communauté francophone* (or something like that). If you were open to joining a French community of players, you probably wouldn't know it existed, due to the thread's poor location (currently on page 2; soon, page 3; later, oblivion) on the website.

If the [forum page](http://warlight.net/Forum) looked like this (with the mini-forums remaining separate from the main forum, and serving only as links to their respective forums), new voices would have a chance to discuss the game and multi-lingual players might have a chance to understand the game from new perspectives:

*Forums*

*General* General WarLight discussion
*Bugs* Find a bug? Post it here!
*Map Development* Anything related to WarLight maps
*Ladder* Discuss specific ladder games or anything about the ladders.
*Mini-Forum: Polski*
*Mini-Forum: Deutch*
*Mini-Forum: Español*
*Mini-Forum: Français*
*Mini-Forum: русский*
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 05:39:55


DeмoZ 
Level 56
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Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 06:04:21

Qi 
Level 55
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Yes, we could all use that to translate what others say in a language other than English, to learn from their ideas or to better appreciate their culture. Good idea, Vapor.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 07:28:45

RvW 
Level 46
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|> A personal question: RvW, why is it that you hide behind a mask (RvW: 2 games played, yet you speak with experience) to post your ideas on the forum? What prevents you from using your main account?

That stats page only shows multiplayer games; my (countless) singleplayer games do not appear there. Due to time constraints, I don't really want to get into multiplayer yet; I'm not sure if I can finish a game I start. Of those two games, the first was against Fizzer (who only invited me because he needed a second player in a custom scenario I built to demonstrate a possible bug; that game ended before I even saw the invite), the second is currently running and is to test a map; if I need to leave that game halfway through it would be a pity, but it wouldn't ruin the game for the other players.
If you want to more or less verify I've clocked a lot of hours in singleplayer, head over to the bug report forum and estimate how likely it is someone with no practical experience would report so many bugs.

|> Your English is great, yet it seems you fear something. Imagine if your English was only conversational. Would you take the time to create your forum mask (RvW) to participate in the forum (half of which you wouldn't much understand)? I always thought the anonymity of the internet (fake user name + fake image = fake persona) was already enough of a mask...

Oh believe me, I know perfectly well how annoying it is and how helpless you can sometimes feel when you can't speak the language everyone around you is speaking. That's just one of the things you quickly learn when you love travelling, by yourself, to places where the locals by and large don't speak English (nor Dutch, of course). But if I would want to *live* in such a country, yes, I'd start learning the local language. And yes, I do know how difficult that would be.
To me it seems odd to collect a small group of people around you, in the middle of a much, *much* larger community and semi-deliberately isolating yourself from them because you don't speak a common language. (For purposes of this comparison: the "local language" on the Internet is (bad) English.)

Also, I'm very curious why you seem to have a problem with me going by my initials (which I've done since as long as I can remember, at least primary school), when you yourself use an even more "anonymous" account name (or are you claiming you've been dead for a thousand years?). Also, how am I using a "fake image"; my account (unlike yours, I might add) has no image...
Not that I see the relation to the subject at hand of course.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 10:07:35

Qi 
Level 55
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*Also, I'm very curious why you seem to have a problem with me going by my initials...* I never said anything directly related to your name or (lack of an) image, though I did refer to user names and images in general, including my own.

Single-player: So you are an experienced AI slayer only? I didn't consider that. I assumed anyone who takes time to talk to people also enjoys playing with people. No mask for you then, RvW the AI Slayer.

*To me it seems odd to collect a small group of people around you, in the middle of a much, much larger community and semi-deliberately isolating yourself from them because you don't speak a common language.* I don't understand how allowing more people greater freedom of expression would be a bad thing. Adding other languages' forums could do WL some good (more ideas, more discussions of strategy, more overall traffic). I've never asked for mini-forums to replace the main forum. I simply think mini-forums could exist for players who otherwise wouldn't participate in any forum, and thus add to WL by supplementing the main forum. It is not a zero-sum, either-or proposition.

An analogy as a summary: I think forums in other languages could function like ramps for the physically handicapped. Though, the dissenting opinion seems to be: "I can walk just fine. They have legs too, or at least a body, just like I do. They don't need ramps for their wheelchairs or so they can walk more smoothly with their crutches. And if they need help, use Google Crutch. Why don't they just stand up and walk like the rest of us do, and if they can't do that, just roll their bodies enough to make it up the steps."
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 18:06:16

RvW 
Level 46
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Your analogy stinks:

- People in wheelchairs can't learn to walk; people can learn a language.
- "I can walk just fine": like I said, English is not my native language either. Sure, learning English is a lot easier if you start when you're eight (and your native language is fairly close to English) than starting to learn English when you're already over twenty (and your native language is wildly different (Russian, or even Chinese)). But if you never start, you'll never finish.
Besides, it's not like I'm proposing people learn an obscure dialect of Klingon, spoken only on WL; speaking English is a very useful skill in general. If that argument is not enough today, consider where we'll be in twenty or thirty years. Just compare the world of today, 2012, with the world of 25 years ago, 1987; was there a McDonalds just a hundred meter from the Red Square? Then guesstimate where we'll be in 2037. Like it or not, speaking English is *rapidly* becoming more important.
Just for the record, I never proposed to completely ignore people until they speak English; I'm in favour of helping them get started (hence my proposal for translated FAQs / Getting Started documents), I'm just saying I don't think separate forums will help. You know that proverb about "giving a man a fish"? I think you're doing just that with subforums in other languages (the "teaching him to fish" then of course corresponds to "giving him a reason to learn English").
- Also, I'm not sure whether that "use Google Crutch" was directed at me, but just in case: I never proposed using Google Translate, exactly because I don't think that's a workable solution. For one, it would only hide the problem, not solve it (see also previous bullet). Secondly, with the current state of technology, machine translation (even though I'm very impressed how reasonably-well Google Translate works!) at best can give a rudimentary suggestion what a text is more-or-less about.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 20:45:48


Moros 
Level 50
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Well, I must say Google Translate can sometimes give some weird results. Try translating the following text to any other language, and then copy that result and translate it back to English.
"Men are men and men should clean the house!"
I laughed pretty hard when a friend of mine told me that a few days ago.

And I'm in favor of translating a few Warlight pages, or even the wiki. But we should not make different forums for every language. Where does it stop? Maybe some Warlight player only speaks Swahili and we should translate the entire forum for him in Swahili, but then when it's up he is the only one there! On forums with approx. 10 people active you get very lonely.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:06:41


J Russell Mikkelsen 
Level 4
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Gui, your excessively wordy posts are a real deterrent to many users. They cause more efficient communicators to lose interest in your threads. Can we start a sub-forum for more effective communicators so we don't feel left out and our voices are heard?
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:22:06


Moros 
Level 50
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+1 for Russel's idea ;)
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:22:32


Gnullbegg 
Level 49
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@Russel: Now there's a pot calling the kettle black!
How about next time you write: "tl,dr".
Saves everyone about 1,5 seconds.
kthxbye
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:36:53


Moros 
Level 50
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tl, dr?

There should be a mini-forum for chatting too, where every message can contain 5 characters at most. Shouldn't be a problem for Chinese users though.
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:37:25

RvW 
Level 46
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@Gnullbegg:
+1

;)
Non-English Forums: 2/10/2012 21:43:08


x 
Level 58
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mucho longo; no lese.
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 06:22:38

Qi 
Level 55
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眼線男人
我媽曾經說 插入兩個人的對話沒禮貌

RvW
為了配合批評家對我的建議的綜合反應 我刻意使用了個較爛的比喻
以變相地錶示我對他們的邏輯如何 你也要看字裡行間吧

Moros
好想法 英文的文法太麻煩 中文幾乎沒文法 在論壇上我再也不想用英文了
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 08:50:15

RvW 
Level 46
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Did you write that yourself, or did you pull that out of Google translate?

Well see, there's the problem of subforums; I can't answer your question(s) / reply to your statement(s) and/or opinion(s) if I can't read what you're saying.
So let's say for argument's sake that you're asking a question about a bug in the game or something. It just so happens to be a question I know the answer to, and if you had posted it in English (even if rather badly mangled, but still just barely understandable), I could've answered it. Hell, seeing the question being asked in broken English, I'll even be nice enough to answer in as simple English as I can manage.
But you can't seriously expect me to pull every post I see through Google Translate (especially since the result will be *at best* badly mangled) because just maybe it contains a question I can answer. And if all those post where grouped together in one place (read: a subforum) it would completely ensure I'd never see a single one of those posts.

Also, you *still* haven't addressed the practical issue: who's going to moderate things in any language the current moderator (Fizzer himself, all by himself, to the best of my knowledge) doesn't speak?
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 09:22:18

Qi 
Level 55
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非英文的論壇為何不能與游戲一樣 即人有問題時 可按Report Player來解決
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 09:27:41


Matma Rex 
Level 12
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A more practical issue is who would actually write on these forums... I don't deny there's a large percentage of non-English-speakers (or non-native speakers) on here, but I doubt they'd all come rushing to talk when language-specific forums would be created.

Just look at English speakers: we have no numbers, but Warlight is a pretty big site now, with most users speaking English, and just look how many actively post on forums.
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 09:37:07


Moros 
Level 50
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这只是一个玩笑......
Non-English Forums: 2/11/2012 15:55:15


Ironheart
Level 53
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everyone needs google to translate pages for them
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