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Machine translation for Frihost threads





SonLight
I would like to suggest a "translate" button be added on each forum thread, and maybe on some or all of the forum index pages.

I have added a "Google translate" to my list of searches, and when I want to read a non-English forum, I pass it the url of the forum index or thread. The Google translate feature has an option called "Detect" in the dropdown box which determines the language to translate from dynamically, but it is likely to give better results if you specify the language.

I would suggest providing a button which tranlated from the forum language to English by default, but making it easy for the user to override the target language. For non-native English speakers, they might want to read English threads in English first and use the translate button if they don't understand it.

Here is the code I pass to Google:

Code:

(url)
http://translate.google.com/translate_t 

(query string)
js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&text=%s&sl=auto&tl=en&history_state0=
!


I still have to correct the language from "Detect" (&sl=auto) to the actual language manually after trying to translate it, but the site translate button could allow the source language to be changed from the expected language (English for most forums) to either Detect or the specific language.

Perhaps each user could set up default target languages. For the English language forums, their native language would be the logical choice. For other languages, they might prefer either English or their native language as the default.
deanhills
I thought the intention with separate language Forums was more than a matter of a different language? The language Forum serves those with a different common heritage, culture, sense of humour ..... etc? Wouldn't people be encouraged to contribute to those Forums in English, or if they use the Google translate button translate their message into a garbled version of the language of that specific Forum? Wouldn't it make the use of different language forums obsolete as well, as if we are going to focus on translating the contents, we may just as well have just one language?

I like the way it is now. Only those who know the language are able to post in the language they have in common. Otherwise why have a different language Forum?
SonLight
Machine translation gives a pretty poor quality result, but if it makes it possible to make some sense out of something you can't read at all, it can be helpful. I do think there is a risk that easy access to translation may encourage poor use of language, but we have that problem already with the user manuals for electronics products from Asian countries.

I do think that forums are separated by language for language purposes only. We do have many cultures represented on Frihost, and I think it's best to share and learn about them as much as possible rather than isolating different cultures.

I do not think machine translation should be used for two-way communication with people using another language, as it would create a great deal of confusion. Sometimes its good enough to find out if someone is talking about the same technical issue you have, though.
Arseniy
You can use a bunch of plugins come with almost every browser. In Google Chrome, for example, there's a built-in function with google pop-up translation.
And Frihost-based translation can be hard to write and maintain.
Peterssidan
If someone wants to translate a page they can use a tool by themselves. Providing a one click-tool will lead to poor quality posts that are hard to follow and understand. Try translate French into English. It's like reading the sentence backwards and you need a lot of imagination to understand.
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