Closed Poll: Multilingual Forum Runoff Poll

Original Post: Multilingual forum
First Poll: Closed Poll: Multilingual Forum

The question remains:

  • :gb: : Keep it as it is but make non-English threads’ title ends with the language in brackets like “… [Français]”
    :fr: Ne rien changer mais indiquer à la fin du titre des fils une indication de langue entre crochets, par exemple “…[Français]”
    :de: Alles beim Alten lassen, aber nicht-englische Threads sollen mit der Sprache in eckiger Klammer enden, z.B: “… [Français]”
  • :gb: Create a category per language. Besides “Fairphone Help” there are like language houses “Spanish”, “French”, “Italian”…
    :fr: Créer une catégorie par langue: outre “Fairphone help” il y aurait des
    sortes de groupes de langue : “Español”, “Français”, “Italiano”…
    :de: Für jede Sprache - ausser Englisch - soll eine eigene Forum-Kategorie eingeführt werden, neben “Fairphone Caffee”, “Fairphone Help”, “Software & Apps”, usw…

0 voters

This topic is now pinned globally. It will appear at the top of its category and all topic lists until it is unpinned by staff for everyone, or by individual users for themselves.

I pinned this topic globally for the time being because I think it’s very important that as many people participate as possible. It will auto close on April 30, 2015.

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I suggested the second option shortly after the relaunch of this board. What I still find most important: with categories you can simply select in your preferences, which languages you want to disable from viewing, thereby getting a better overview. That wouldn’t be able with the first option.

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You can always mute a topic by selecting the corresponding option below any post. :wink: That’s what I do with French and Italian posts because I don’t understand these languages.

Yeah one thread at a time. Sorry - I don’t have time for that. - and I want a convenient view over the topics on the main page.

I also prefer the categories solution because this way I can select upfront what language topics I (don’t) want to receive notifications for. One more great thing - I don’t know if discourse supports that - would be being able to hide specific categories from your personal forum main view.
Maybe its possible to make all language categories “exclusive” (like the lounge and the beta testers subforum) except that all members are included from the start and have the option to opt out?

I’m weighing in one more argument: With different language categories, we would need a moderator per language to keep the categories and their topics tidy. This is just not feasible at the moment.

I don’t think that makes much of a difference. If there are threads in languages that no moderator understands then they won’t be moderated either, even if they are not in a separate category.
On the other hand if there was a moderator who speaks a language that non of the other moderators speak the categories solution would make it easier for him to see all topics only he can moderate.

I think, a category per language would make the forum confusing for most users because they won’t know where to post.

E.g. I am from Austria and speak English:

  • Should I post in the German category or in the “Fairphone Help” category?
  • What if I want to talk about “Software and Apps”, but in my native language? There would be only one German category, not divided by the topic type. It would be a mess.

To argue further against the necessity of a category per language, I did a little research:
At first, please, have a look at the Fairphone User Profile Infographic (PDF). You will see that 84.3% of Fairphone users come from one of these countries:

  • Germany
  • The Netherlands
  • Switzerland
  • UK
  • Austria
  • Belgium

The EF English Proficiency Index (using test data from EF) says that adults from these countries in average either have :arrow_up: Very Good Knowledge or :arrow_upper_right: Good Knowledge of the English language.

Thus I think it can be expected that over 84% of the Fairphone community are able to follow the discussions here on the forum and contribute their own comments.

As for the other 15.7% of Fairphone users, many of them are from Scandinavia and are also expected to have :arrow_up: Very Good Knowledge of the English language. The very active communities in Spain and France (adults there in average have Intermediate Knowledge of the English language), have their own topics and the current modus operandi is accepted by the communities in these countries and does not need to be altered.

Bottom line: Why make it harder for everyone to follow solutions and discussions on the forum, if only a small minority is not comfortable with the English language?


Introducing new Categories for languages or not doesn’t have to make a difference in wheather people will post in their native tongues or in english. There is a pinned description for every category in the forum and there should be one in the language forums aswell explaining that those categories are only/maily for those who don’t feel like they can express their problems in english well enough.

And IF ever the language categories would become messy because alot of people post there Sub-Categories for “Software & Apps” “Help” and all that could be introduced in every language category.

Ok, let’s do another calculation: Currently there are 8 public (English) categories). In the European Union, there are 24 official languages. 8 x 24 = 192. There would be 192 categories, if every language had its own categories + sub-categories. Don’t you think this would get confusing?

Of course I am exaggerating, but still I think one category per language/topic type would be overwhelming for the community. There is also the question: Should every language get their own category or only commonly spoken ones? I imagine someone from Tibet or Nepal requesting their own category (not to mention that nobody will respond for a long time…).

Now that’s just wrong. Sub-categories are not categories and so they don’t make the list of categories longer.

Check the Coinbase Discourse Forum they have categories with lots of sub-categories and that doesn’t make the forum messy at all.

EDIT: We could even just start with one category for “non english speakers” and make langugages sub-categories of that category. (EDIT 2: like Ubuntu does it with their Local Teams)

They are using a different version of Discourse. Check the menu button in the top right corner of the Fairphone forum. It lists “Software and Apps” and “Bug Reports” as two categories. I don’t know, how customisable this listing is.

Another use case to support my opinion: If I need information in another language, I will just use the search feature and only topics, which match my entry will appear (in the language I used in the search). If we further add [Tags] to the topic title, you could even search for the requested language in the topic title.

Main point still is to not encourage people to use another language than English. A lot of potential would go down the sink!

PS.: I suggest we wait for the result of the poll and let other people post their opinion! :wink:

Ok, I voted for the first option, but in general I’m not sure differentiating in language is all that good.

We have to be careful that we don’t create sub-communities within the Fairphone community. It could be damaging if French people limited themselves to communicating with other French people (or German with German, Spanish with Spanish, Dutch with Dutch, etc). Creating separate categories could cause this to happen. An example is where a German magazine writes about the FP1 (or its upcoming successor) and there’s information in there that just won’t get shared with non-German speaking community members.

If all discussion threads are thrown in the same bin but the topic title differentiates in language, then at least there’s no easy way to limit yourself to viewing the threads in just a specific language. People who speak a different language might be able to somewhat understand what the topic title is saying (Google Translate might help) and join in anyway and ask for the details in English. Someone is bound to be able to give a simple translation. Similarly, if you have sub-groups of people who share a language, it might happen that they miss important information that is shared only in English by the FP team because those people automatically filter out any threads not in their language.

Continuing in this line of thought, why post-fix topic titles with a language anyway? If the topic title is in Spanish, then I can be pretty sure the entire post/thread will be, right? I don’t really see what it adds.


It helps English speakers to learn languages. :wink: E.g. if the title is in Spanish and has a tag written in English ([Spanish]), it will tell the English speakers that they can learn some Spanish in that thread… :wink:

I voted for the first option but I’d prefer language identification as a prefix like [IT], [FR], etc instead of full language name as post-fix.
I would also add “Localized” sub-categories under the “Cafè” category, in order to let users talk about various topics in their own language, but I’d maintain English for the most important categories (Help, Software, Repair and Bug Reports) to reach the highest number of readers as possible.
If needed I propose myself as moderator for the Italian Cafè subcategory :slight_smile:

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Well, I’d say, in order to expand Fairphone in other countries.
Which is essential.
IMHO you are presenting the question upside-down. If we maintain english domination, we’ll obviously maintain an userbase only in english-speaking countries.

Now, I fear we are talking rather in vain, given the very small community we are here.
Trying language-dedicated subforums would only end in almost empty containers.

So, while it’s quite obvious the present ‘language-dedicated threads’ result in all and every non-english questions discharged and mixed in a totally unfollowable way, I voted for the first (language tags) option : Because it’s the only one we can afford.

And I do hope in september, with the dawn of new generation Fairphones, we’ll have to reopen this thread because of hundreds of new foreigners joining!


Essential? Fairphone is still a very small company with little resources. Expanding into new countries is not the first on the list I assume…

Plus: To expand into other countries you won’t add forum categories in first place. No new customers will look for forum categories if they want to buy the phone.

In my opinion it is essential to keep the forums overseeable and easy to handle for the moderators.

Germany is the country with the most FP users… Should we switch the language to german? :wink:


China is the country with the most potential FP users… Should we switch to Mandarin?
Esperanto is the easiest language to learn… Should we switch to that.

No obviously we’ll stick with english as the main language wichever way the poll ends, because english is the language most people understand.

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Frankly, I feel so much insulted by these replies around ‘should we then switch to language X’ I’ll retain any adjective and just don’t want to be associated to this discussion anymore.
Go on. Continue. -without me.