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It seems non-english speaking residents are lost in the community platform


Torben Trautman
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Since the launch of the community platform I see a massive decrease of participation in the non english parts of the platform. While there is still some activity left in the international forums (can´t be all Irene posting there), in Answers there is nearly no activity. Best example though is the knowledge base as the number of views is displayed.

 

  • The top ten english knowledge base articles got an average of 4500 views since the lauch.
  • The localized versions of the knowledge base have an average of 6 views since the lauch (minus 2 because most of the articles were imported by two Lindens which counts as views)
  • Even if counted together all top ten international knowledge base articles the number of views is 0.5 percent of the english knowledge base articles.

I wonder why that is. Well, one of my thoughts is that if you can´t read english then you won´t find the information on how to find help in your own language.

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Hello, I had trouble understanding your point. I see plenty of non English Questions in the Answers forums and I have noticed that a lot of non native English speaking persons speak English as well as their native language, which could explain why an English based game/service/experience/platform such as these forums have a large amount of English in them. Perhaps?

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Torben Trautman wrote:

...one of my thoughts is that if you can´t read english then you won´t find the information on how to find help in your own language..


 

Agree. If I don't understand English, I see the forums and I leave the forums, I don't stop to look if there is something in my own language. So https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-3731

That isn't the only reason, of course. Convenience, laziness, long history of not seeking your own language in the "official" SL, and more. 

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I´m just describing my observations :) I´ll give you two examples. In the german answers section there used to be an average of like 3 questions per week on the old platform. Now there is one question in three weeks. That looks like a decrease of 90 percent. If you pick a random knowledge base article (like this one: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Ich_m%C3%B6chte_gerne_Second_Life_ausprobieren._Wo_geht%27s_los%3F) it had an average of 100 views per week. On the new knowledge base the average view is 2 views per week. That looks like a decrease of 98 percent.

Of course it´s possible that non-english speaking residents used the three weeks of the forums being offline to learn english...

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I think it's a matter of poor statistical sampling.  The new forums just haven't been around long enough to build a steady user base.  A lot of people are still stumbling around, trying to figure it out.  Frankly, I find the new Knowledge Base difficult to search myself, so it doesn't surprise me if the usage statistics there are all screwy.

I agree with Charolotte that I've seen a rather healthy increase in the number of posts in Answers from non-English speaking residents. Hardly a day goes by that I don't find myself responding to someone who posted in French or Italian. Fewer Germans so far, but again we may just be dealing with the statistics of small numbers.

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Huh. I still don't get it. Irene says she doesn't look in the foreign language section for help. The JIRA is for all of SL to be translated. That seems pretty cool. The decrease in the participation of non English speaking participants is the issue at hand right? Hm, I don't know why non English speakers activity has decreased since the new forums were implemented, or even if they have at all. I suppose I should just sit this one out. :smileyhappy: 

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There are a few comments around about a decreased level of use in general, though the forums are a work in progress with quite a few non-user-friendly elements still to be ironed out.

There are a couple of other factors to consider, for a fair comparison to the old forums, you should really be comparing the usage on the current format to the first 3 weeks of the old format, not posting levels at a point where everyone was used to the system.

Also, the search function on the new one is WAY better than on the old one & it is possible that people are finding solutions themselves from old posts a lot easier than they could previously. I don`t know if you have data available for the levels of search activity compared to the old system.

Just a thought :)

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It's still there in Phoenix, and there are several good free translators available in world too. I use the Phoenix system now, but I have used the Simbolic translator and found it fairly reliable.  Many people I know also use the Universal translator, also free.  None of the systems is perfect, but if you stick to simple, short sentences and avoid slang (and typos, my downfall), then they are good enough for most conversation.

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@Charolotte: Don´t give up on me :) It´s a well known issue that I´m not easy to understand...

I was raising this question in the context of an upcoming meeting of the Community Translation User Group. Some of us (community translators) are wondering whether it still makes sense to engage in providing localized viewers/help/knowledge base articles for very different reasons. One of those reasons is that if nobody uses the localized knowledge base then it would be a total waste of time and resources to keep working on them. So I guess I would have wanted to ask: Does it still make sense for us to work on a localized knowledge base?

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@Peewee: Fair enough, I remember the implementation of JIVE and it took quite some time for people to find their way around the back then new system. I also didn´t consider the improved search (although I really would love to see a comparison of search activity between old and new). That´s why I´m merely guessing when it comes to activity in the forums and/or answers.

What struck me was a simple comparison of views in the different language sections of the knowledge base. The number of views obviously are the result of the first three weeks and I would assume that both, the improved search and the fact that users have to find their way around, are true for english speaking residents and non-english speaking residents alike. The result is that the top ten articles in the english knowledge base have an average of 4500 views and those in all other languages together have an average of 23 views (6 per language).

My conclusion is that we either need to improve the way non-english speakers find the knowledge base articles in their language (thus this post in the feedback section) or that localized help is not needed (which would be a disheartening result for many community translators that spend hours with localization, me included)...

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That's a very good question indeed.  There was a time when separate language knowledge bases would have been unquestionably the right answer. As translator software has improved steadily, though, we are getting to a point where that's no longer clearly the best answer. I can see a future not far off in which the KB is published only in English, translatable at the push of a button to the user's own language.  You can anticipate that day now by writing KB text in nice short, simple sentences that use a minimum of jargon.  Test how well they translate with Google Translate or your favorite software. When your own text (or the software) is good enough to withstand translation, you've arrived.

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Magadski Adamski wrote:

Before Viewer 2 (and 1) there was a button for an immediate , well almost immediate translatuion.during chats  Has this now been despatched by Linden to trash ?

Hi Magadski. I use the Viewer 2.5.2 and for local chat there is a little box you can check to have that chat translated to your language.

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Torben Trautman wrote:

@Charolotte: Don´t give up on me
:)
It´s a well known issue that I´m not easy to understand...

I was raising this question in the context of an upcoming meeting of the
. Some of us (community translators) are wondering whether it still makes sense to engage in providing localized viewers/help/knowledge base articles for very different reasons. One of those reasons is that if nobody uses the localized knowledge base then it would be a total waste of time and resources to keep working on them. So I guess I would have wanted to ask: Does it still make sense for us to work on a localized knowledge base?

Ok, Torben, I won't. :)

That explanation helped to clarify the issue. As an English speaker, I wouldn't know whether or not the localized knowledge base is a waste of time or not. Like Mr. Pep said, maybe the non English speakers would be the ones to ask. I would think though, that having help in ones own language would be of great benefit instead of having to translate it either through a built in automatic translator or an external one, like Google Translate or what not. If some people are using the localized KB and they are receiving value from it, then it is not a waste of time.

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