Should posts be moved into topics where they fit better thematically if the languages don't match?

I’m a big fan of making sure there are not too many duplicate topics, but I’m not a great fan of moving posts unless they are adding something to the topic they are being moved to.

E.g. instead of moving a post which just repeats the same question that was already asked and answered before into the topic where that happened I rather link to that topic, tell the poster to post there if they have further questions and close the duplicate topic.
But I have no problem with other people who have move-privileges (so moderators and lv-4 users) having a different approach - and most apparently do.

What I have lately seen a few times however was that posts were moved into topics that are written in a different language - mostly German posts into English topics.
Personally I cringe every time I see a post that doesn’t match the language of the topic, no matter how it ended up there. Is it just me, or do others also think this shouldn’t be done?


I agree that different-language posts should usually not be moved. People posting in languages other than English probably do so because they don’t feel proficient enough to post their request in English. And while they often might understand English well enough to make sense of English replies, they might feel uncomfortable or not experienced enough in English to continue that conversation sufficiently precisely.


It’s not just you.
But I guess we are all individuals here and try to put some thought into what we do.

I can imagine that moving e.g. a rather lonely German post to an English topic full of the wanted insight could actually be helpful for the German user (especially if there are pictures) … but in general you can’t know that in advance, and it most certainly doesn’t seem very considerate towards users reading the English topic, not understanding German.

I guess I can live with single instances of this, but I like respecting the initial language of a topic more. :wink:

Nope. I think it shouldn’t be moved. Threads are conversations, it doesn’t have sense to change the code of the communication (because not all participants know the code).

I can’t read German (yet?), a sudden post in that language is just fuera de contexto. Quiero decir, no tiene sentido. Es repentino. Rompe la comunicación. (it’s Spanish, my mother tongue and my daily language)

I like to link to the thread with more info and introduce that content with an explanation (“there are more info here, if you can read English. They do X, then Y, then Z. I/we will be happy to help you with that process here, anyway”, e.j.). Hyperlinks are one of the most powerful tools in the Web. I think doing so covers all the communication scenes, since the non-English thread is also referenced from the English thread and a future newcomer can benefit and participate in the thread in their language.

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It is a bit rude to people who don’t understand the language, but at the same time, sometimes it is just easier to communicate in your native language (or one you’re otherwise more familiar with than English). I understand that people with a strong language background (such as German or French) prefer their own language.

Its OK to link back and forth. Say you read something in English, you can link to it in a German discussion. Vice versa can also happen. But we need to respect that most people here, speak their own native language. The main language on forum is English, and so threads are in English by default, with non-English elsewhere. With that being said, again, I understand that people with a strong language background (such as German or French) prefer their own language. So it can sometimes happen.

From the PoV of the German speaker who also speak English however (a prominent group here):

What I have lately seen a few times however was that posts were moved into topics that are written in a different language - mostly German posts into English topics.

This example makes sense for them, as its just noise to follow two threads about the same subject.

In my eyes, we can do two things:

  1. We accept the German-English is the common culture here, and therefore we’re OK with such merges.

  2. We strictly separate such, and have English as the default language.

That seems to be, in essence, what you’re asking?

I have no strong opinion that question. Keep in mind, we are in Europe. There are a lot of people in Europe, who speak a lot of languages (and my native language ain’t one of 'em). Dominant languages in Europe are (in no particular order) German, French, and English. On this forum, I’d say it is English and German (not necessarily in this order). If Fairphone expands to Scandinavia, I would expect the people there prefer English over German.

I’d say, we as a community need to follow the above, loosely, and not become angry but compassionate. Not everyone is able to express themselves well, let alone in a specific (non-native) language. Don’t assume malice, assume at worst mere incompetence.


I don’t agree. Same topic in two different languages (even if I speak then both) is not “only noise” for me as I know that there are people that only speak one of the two languages. So I fully agree with @paulakreuzer that languages should not be mixed by moving posts (linking to a post in a different language is on for me).

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But how would that be more helpful than just linking to that topic?

I didn’t think of that. New users might not even know how to track or watch a topic they didn’t post in. If it’s a long topic and they read it all and they didn’t change any settings in their profile I think they should at least automatically track the topic, but I’m not sure.

I think we definitely shouldn’t merge topics of different languages if there are multiple people posting in both although even then it can be hard to make sure both topics contain the same important info (solutions and workarounds).
In case of just one person creating a topic in another language - if they clearly don’t know the other topic - I now get the appeal of moving the post, though I do think we should find some other solution for such cases.
It would be cool if it were possible to post a link to a topic that when clicked automatically let’s you watch that topic.

Two quick off topic questions since both came up here:

Posting pictures?

  • always post pictures as pictures so people who might block other sites can see them
  • in case of unknown license post link to source of picture so not to infringe on copyright

0 voters

FYI: Uploads on the forum are currently 5.7 GB and there is 34.4 GB free space, so that shouldn’t be an issue.

Topic or thread?

  • Topic, as that’s how Discourse calls it because Discourse forums don’t use threaded replies.
  • Thread, as that is what’s used most often on the internet and in other languages.

0 voters

Just a short answer: I would never move posts in one language ino a topic of another language.
And I would be in favor of having that as a general rule.


Continuity/context; order of posts stays correct, and you can continue reading without changing URL which is user-friendly.

The more information, the more overwhelmed people are, the less they read it. Which is why noise reduction makes sense. I’m not saying it is the right solution here; I’m just explaining the idea behind it, and it goes two ways (e.g. for people who don’t speak German, German is noise).

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That is only true if you move a single post right after it was posted. If you merge two topics after they both co-existed for a while you’ll have a mess.

Also we are mostly talking about people asking questions that were already asked and usually answered before here, so contextually the moved post won’t make much sense in the target topic anyway - not even if you can read both languages.

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