Author Topic: Language discussion  (Read 2669 times)

robb

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Language discussion
« on: May 21, 2011, 01:24:25 pm »
First of all, I want to express that I think Zentyal is a great product that fills a need for small and medium businesses and schools to be able to implement a great stable and affordable network infrastructure. Zentyal is apparently growing and IMO it is growing in the international world.

With this last remark I want to start a discussion about these forums. IMO it is not a good idea to have all information on these forums scattered between English, Spanish and Portugese sub boards. I know Zentyal has Spanish roots, but as I said, Zentyal is growing beyond their roots. It is time to bundle all knowledge and make the knowledge accessable for everybody. I think the only way to accomplish this is to make the boards 'English Only'

I am not a native English speaker, but understand and write it reasonably well. However, Spanish and Portugese are impossible for me (and a lot of non Spanish/Portugese speakers) to follow. This way a large part of the community can't use the valuable info that is available on the Spanish and Portugese parts of this forum.

With this post I want to start a discussion if the comunity agrees or not on this and what we can do to make information available for everybody using Zentyal.

regards,
Rob

Escorpiom

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 02:16:31 pm »
Well, I have my own opinion about that, perhaps it's useful to share it.
I do understand Spanish and Portuguese and some other languages, but I'm also in favor of an English only forum.
Zentyal is intended for professional use, in companies and by people who have some experience in the IT field.
 
In my opinion everyone working in IT should know at least some basic English. I cannot imagine some IT guy depending entirely on translated (into Spanish, for example) software.
That's simply not realistic.
I've seen many techs fail to resolve issues not because they are complicated, but simply because of a lack of English skills.

Running a separate part of the forum in Spanish or whatever language effectively isolates these people from the rest and makes them rely on information from Zentyal staff.
So I would rather stimulate them to learn English and form one group, if they could learn IT then English wouldn't be too hard, anyway it's practically a requisite these days.
     
In short, yes I'm in favor of an English only forum. For everyones sake. Information not shared is lost.

Cheers.
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Josep

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 10:58:27 am »
I do understand english, spanish and portuguese (among others), and I do also tend to favor english above the rest, because it has become a de facto vehicular language for everything IT (actually, thanks to Google Translate I believe I understand chinese as well :-P ).
Nevertheless, this should not be used to corner other people that may not have this flexibility with languages.
What it is odd to me is that there are no more language options, so that people can better express their concerns in using the system.

nachico

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 10:58:14 am »
Hi,

robb, Escorpiom, I understand perfectly your point. In fact our initial approach, when we were known as eBox, was that IT guys do (or should) understand English and thus we would use English as the only official language. However, this turned out to be a mistake: although Zentyal is used in several high-tech environments by very experienced IT professionals, a large part of its user base belongs to part-time sysadmins, small business managers, freelances, consultants, students and home users. These people, if they come from a non-English speaking country, do not use English on a daily basis and many do not feel confident enough to ask for support in a different language than their own mother tongue.

So, with our initial approach we found out that many users were left out and that we should consider localization as an important issue. We received several requests to open up a Spanish-language board, and then jquintao offered his help to be Portuguese-board moderator. These boards have proved to be very useful to provide support for non-English speakers. However, the main language is still English and most of the posts are written in this language.

Recently, mmullenders offered to start a Zentyal Users Group in the Netherlands, which I believe could be a great use for language-specific boards.

In summary, I think having language-specific boards is positive for the project for two reasons:

1) They allow us to expand our user base to those who have difficulties in communicating in English.
2) Users always have the alternative of starting their own Zentyal language-specific forum elsewhere instead of this forum, and that would not be good for the project.

I agree it is challenging to keep several languages in the forum and that they might look like isolated islands, but I also believe it is the best approach. Moreover, we can give more use to these boards as a communication channel for local users groups or for translation teams. Anyway, this is just my opinion and I am open to get convinced during the discussion  :)
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Josep

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 11:21:41 am »
I support the idea of having a separate language board whenever there are enough requests for that. Putting blocks to people's wishes does not stop them, they will just move somewhere else.

Escorpiom

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 01:51:03 pm »
OK, well I see your point there.
In that case it might be a good idea to put a sticky text on each subforum stating that the English forum is likely to yield more, better or faster responses.
This doesn't leave them on their own, but perhaps can stimulate people to post in the English section.

Anyway I will be reading both Spanish and English boards, and also a Dutch board if it ever comes online.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 11:10:08 pm by Escorpiom »
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mmullenders

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 03:05:02 pm »
Hi,

I also do believe that support related questions and issues should be dropped in the general forum board. The foreign boards could be used to exchange user events, like personal experiences or perhaps when for looking participants in local implementation jobs or to start main joined advertisement campaigns. Something like that. When Zentyal becomes more known and heard off then we all can benefit. Eventually, it will rise more leads/customers.


Kind regards

Maurice Mullenders

nachico

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Re: Language discussion
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 05:36:15 pm »
Hi Escorpiom,

I think the sticky text stating what the subforum is intended for is a great idea. I think it is obvious that the main language used in the forum is English, but it is never bad to insist in the message.
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