It is early, early days - and for now, only the faintest of rumblings of expansion into other languages.

But this will one day be a large area of growth for Narrative...

It feels like the community already counts many members who feel connected to more than one culture and who have a command of more than one language.  

Like others here I have relationships in several countries and across many potential Narrative niche focuses in those other languages. 

I wonder what role our members who straddle several languages can play when Narrative opens up to new languages?  I think we could help to build bridges and kickstart activity for them.

For the time being, those who are interested could post their language proficiencies and cultural ties so we can start gathering some data?

As an example, mine are as follows.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

FLUENT: English, French

SEMI-FLUENT: None

BASIC: Spanish, German, Japanese

VERY BASIC: Portuguese

Three year forecast: I expect to be semi-fluent in Japanese and Portuguese by 2020

Main non-English cultural ties: France, Japan, Portugal

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

If we put this information together here, when it comes closer to the time for this to be useful for the expansion, we can update and collate the data and have a ready-to-roll community of bridge-makers into the new language worlds?

Onwards!

Original Post

Harj - translation is a fantastic idea.  I'm a big fan of auto-translate, with the option of reverting to the original language.  It has made so much possible that otherwise would not be.  

This would be a great feature to include early on in Narrative, long before the other languages open up - making Narrative more accessible to the non-English speaking world?

What would be nice is to provide flexibility between auto-translate features and handwritten translation that can be made by the author or another contributor (Something similar to the subtitle system on Youtube).

By the way, I'm speaking the following languages:

Fluent: French (native), Portuguese and English.
Basic/Learning: Spanish (I'm leaving in Spain at the moment)
Forecast: Arabic / Russian ?!?

frenchinho posted:

What would be nice is to provide flexibility between auto-translate features and handwritten translation that can be made by the author or another other contributor (Something similar to the subtitle system on Youtube).

By the way, I'm speaking the following languages:

Fluent: French (native), Portuguese and English.
Basic/Learning: Spanish (I'm leaving in Spain at the moment)
Forecast: Arabic / Russian ?!?

That makes sense - there may be many users who have the desire and the ability to translate their own content...

 

1st thought was great to get cross polynation of ideas if we kept everything together and used translation.

But I think it would work better if each language had its own unique Narrative platform which would really go beyond what translation could do.

MALKAZOID, you bring up an excellent point regarding the need to integrate other languages into the platform besides English. If and when Narrative does expand, it would be extremely ill-advised businesswise not to tap into non-English speaking markets, such as Japan, China, Korea, Russia, etc.

Further, one must consider the cultural and political differences between various nations. Otherwise, Narrative may never reach its full potential internationally.

Therefore, for something like Narrative to go global you may need to cater to these foreign markets, by having something more than just a simple translation feature integrated on the main site. Perhaps, in the future, something to contemplate as one of the many options is dividing the Narrative into subdomains or registering contrary domain name extensions and dividing the website by country.
Ultimately, helping build online credibility with readers in other nations by publicizing content in their language about things they care about. 

berez posted:

Further, one must consider the cultural and political differences between various nations. Otherwise, Narrative may never reach its full potential internationally.

I admit that the Chinese, Indian or Russian internet truly have their distinct particularities. On the other side, my sentiment is much more mixed for occidental countries (such as US, EU or even South America).

berez posted:

Therefore, for something like Narrative to go global you may need to cater to these foreign markets, by having something more than just a simple translation feature integrated on the main site. Perhaps, in the future, something to contemplate as one of the many options is dividing the Narrative into subdomains or registering contrary domain name extensions and dividing the website by country.
Ultimately, helping build online credibility with readers in other nations by publicizing content in their language about things they care about. 

 The main difficulty seems to find a good compromise: separating too much the languages will make harder polyglot's life (readers but especially content creators if they have to publish in different places), but mixing everything together makes it harder for people that doesn't speak english (my parents are a good example). I say english because it is the internationally-admit language of the internet (for the better or for the worse ) and there is always more content available in english. This problematic is even more important since Narrative is going to start as an English website: should I publish something in french there?

As a polyglot, I really like the way Wikipedia handled the problem: making it easy to switch from one language to another on one particular topic.

China and India make up over 35% of the total global population, so such markets should not be ignored. 

Regarding wiki, I agree they have a very nice layout. As you may know wiki content can differ a lot depending on a langauge. Also, wiki uses subdomains to distinguish languages. For example, https://ja.wikipedia.org is Japanese. Lastly, in most cases wiki has different contributors for each language. In my opinion, a similar model can apply to narrative. 

 

 

Malkazoid posted:

Harj - translation is a fantastic idea.  I'm a big fan of auto-translate, with the option of reverting to the original language.  It has made so much possible that otherwise would not be.  

This would be a great feature to include early on in Narrative, long before the other languages open up - making Narrative more accessible to the non-English speaking world?

This would indeed be a great feature. One could write and read in their own language. Who talks about language barriers nowadays!

berez posted:

one must consider the cultural and political differences between various nations.

I was just going to chime in and say this, too. Languages aren't just words. They shape, and are shaped by, unique world-views & perspectives. You don't have to browse far using Google's page translator to be thoroughly confused in any language. 

For example, it wasn't until I read "cross polynation" out loud and paid attention to the phonetics of what I was saying, that I understood it to mean1 "cross-pollenation". If polynation didn't also mean something (many nation) I might have gotten to the intended meaning faster. Not a critique, just an example of what can happen when language, grammar, and syntax get all stirred up! 

For the record, I speak:
English (fluently to certain age groups)
Auld English (a.k.a. Anglo Saxon, a.k.a. Olde English, a.k.a. Old English: studying loosely on the fringes of my free time...).

Which brings up an important question:

Is the plan to launch an Old English version of Narrative immediately, or just wait until the Fall of 2018? 

Dear team, may I ask when additional languages are scheduled? Do you have by chance a recent blog article about it? I heard about Spanish and German, but I hope that Chinese will follow soon, it would be a shame to leave a market of 1 Billion people aside. And furthermore, NEO is China's top cryptocurrency, it has many supporters there. Thank you! @MOLLY O @Melanie Mathos @David Dreezer

The restriction to English content seems arbitrary.  Why not let this decision be made organically by allowing people to post in whatever language they choose?  An auto-translate button could be incorporated into the site, but this capability is already available as a plugin for most browsers.

I note that there are several proposed niches devoted to other languages.  How would that work if posts are restricted to English?

 

You raise good questions Robert - I'm not entirely sure what the reasons are.

I know other content platforms have proceeded in the same way.  Quora, for instance.

Moderation may have something to do with it.  While moderators for all the languages could be found, the Tribunal can't be expected to appropriately deal with content in languages they don't speak.  Automatic translation is great for giving a fairly good idea of what is being said, but Tribunal decisions would often require an appreciation of nuance that would be lost with automatic translation.  And in some languages, automatic translation is prone to more serious problems such as selecting the wrong pronoun, or even inverting the desired meaning of a sentence.

This is just my guess - I'm not staff.

Which niches are you referring to?  There are a lot of niches dedicated to learning other languages, and they would function on the understanding that they are for an English language audience, with some foreign language content for the purpose of study.  This is what I assumed.

Moderation does seem to be a legitimate issue.  

As for niches, I've seen a number of proposals for things like Spanish Stories.  So far, as far as I can tell, niches that are specific to other languages (with the exception of language learning) have been rejected, albeit narrowly in some cases. 

I wonder if the community is aware of the English-only restriction?  "Foreign language" is NOT one of the listed rejection criteria.  

 

That would make a good addition to the quick list of niche approval voting guidelines.  A quick tip: when you want to alert someone to your post, you can tag them in it using the @ symbol, and then their name - as you start to type, you'll see the font will turn to bold and if you wait a sec or two, a list will pop up attempting to autocomplete the name you are typing.  

When making a recommendation to the Narrative team, you can tag them with @Narrative Network Team

Robert Nicholson posted:

Moderation does seem to be a legitimate issue.  

As for niches, I've seen a number of proposals for things like Spanish Stories.  So far, as far as I can tell, niches that are specific to other languages (with the exception of language learning) have been rejected, albeit narrowly in some cases. 

I wonder if the community is aware of the English-only restriction?  "Foreign language" is NOT one of the listed rejection criteria.  

 

It is a good question you raise. I agree with @Malkazoid that I think the need for the tribunal to be in their spoken language is important. I also think that it is also just a giant undertaking to get this thing off the ground, even in their own English language. I think it is prudent for them to be working all the kinks out first in only one language, then progress.

As for your noticing  niches like Spanish Stories (actually this isn't one). When niches such as Spanish Narrative have descriptions that ask for content "IN SPANISH" the community has rejected them, based on the current English only rules. If there was a niche that was Spanish Stories written in English, i think it would be accepted.

I think it will be a really great day when other languages are introduced, but for now, I really can understand why they need to focus on only one language until after beta is realized.

Great observation!

I really like this topic because I'd love to see Narrative expanding into other languages. I think it was a very unfortunate decision for Medium to shut down their multilingual "branches". Many people were disappointed... and what swiftly followed was pretty much shutting out the non-US English speaking world too with their newsletters saying "We're sure you are anxious about midterms..." No, we're not. We're anxious about Brexit. And the English language comes from England, heeeellllloooo! (Ok, frustration speaking). 

So, I would very much like to see Narrative as an international venture, not so much America-centred.

So, about me:

FLUENT: English, Polish

SEMI-FLUENT: Czech

BASIC: French, Italian

VERY BASIC: Russian

Three year forecast: I expect to be semi-fluent in French and Italian and fluent in Czech. (And a bit better in Russian, hopefully).

Main non-English cultural ties: Poland

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