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TriglavNationalPark

Senior Member
Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
No offense, but I would like to remind you of an important rule in this subforum:

If a thread is opened in English, do not switch to a language that will make it impossible for some interested parties to follow the discussion.
This "All Slavic languages" topic is interesting to people from various countries even when specific languages are being discussed, and I see no reason for this language switch.
 
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  • Interesting, I haven't noticed that rule. :) However, English might make it very inconvenient for some native speakers to follow the discussion and participate, and one might argue that with Google Translate around it's not actually 'impossible' to follow the discussion in languages other than English and one's own. Perhaps difficult, but surely not impossible.

    Me and Orlin recently had a discussion about this via PM and my personal opinion is that for me personally replying in English is a service and a favor granted on a case-by-case basis, not an obligation, as this is after all Slavic forum. I also think that prolonged use of English actually discourages native speakers not competent in it from participating on this forum altogether, and we've certainly hit a low with the number of BCS speakers regularly posting here recently, perhaps partly due to overuse of English.

    Moderators may of course freely delete this post after we get a clarification. :)
     
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    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Ja mislim da je ovde ne samo slovenski forum, a i tema je uzajamna razumljivost slovenskih jezika, zato je pisanje postova na slovenskim jezicima definitivno korisno na ovom threadu jer prisustvo tekstova na slovenskim jezicima (još više takvih pisanih od izvornih govornika) olakšava ocenjivanje uzajamne razumljivosti slovenskih jezika - na takav način slavofonski čitaoci mogu da sami provere da li (i koliko) razumeju tekstove na jednom ili drugom slovenskom jeziku. Takođe ne znam šta se cilja "anglizacijom" diskusija na ovom subforumu - iako je engleski toliko popularan, daleko ne svi ga govore (a još manji broj ga voli) i tako se neki forumaši isto osećaju nekomfortno ili nekako eliminiranim s diskusija - npr. ja više volim da pišem na srpskom ili ruskom nego na engleskom. Za rasprave na i o engleskom postoji poseban forum.
    Nadam se da nisam potpuno off-topic.
     
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    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    Interesting, I haven't noticed that rule. :) However, English might make it very inconvenient for some native speakers to follow the discussion and participate, and one might argue that with Google Translate around it's not actually 'impossible' to follow the discussion in languages other than English and one's own. Perhaps difficult, but surely not impossible.

    Me and Orlin recently had a discussion about this via PM and my personal opinion is that for me personally replying in English is a service and a favor granted on a case-by-case basis, not an obligation, as this is after all Slavic forum.
    I would argue that this depends in large part on the thread in question. If a BCS speaker asks a question in BCS or Slovenian, for example, I would naturally expect most of the replies to be in BCS or Slovenian. However, this thread specifically deals with "all Slavic languages" and was started in English. While it was still in English, it enabled people from various countries to enjoy discussions about various aspects of Slavic intelligibility. A line or even a post in another language wouldn't have changed that, but when the entire discussion switches to another language, many members end up losing out.

    The default language of this forum is English. The moderation is in English, and at least a basic level of English comprehension on the part of the forums' users is presumed. English, after all, is the closest Europe has to a lingua franca. Yes, it's still a foreign language, but so are other Slavic languages, despite belonging to the same linguistic subgroup. As we have seen in this thread, most Slavic languages are not mutually intelligible -- at least to a degree that would enable fluent discussions without significant use of dictionaries, online translators, or other time-consuming aids.

    There are many linguistic forums in various Slavic languages on the Internet. What makes this forum different, as I see it, is that it covers all Slavic languages and encourages users from various countries to both A.) learn something about other languages, and B.) share information about their own language(s), enabling others to compare and contrast various linguistic elements. I feel that using English (in threads covering "all Slavic languages") is by far the best way to achieve this -- and the rules of this forum seem to agree.

    Ja mislim da je ovde ne samo slovenski forum, a i tema je uzajamna razumljivost slovenskih jezika, zato je pisanje postova na slovenskim jezicima definitivno korisno na ovom threadu jer prisustvo tekstova na slovenskim jezicima (još više takvih pisanih od izvornih govornika) olakšava ocenjivanje uzajamne razumljivosti slovenskih jezika - na takav način slavofonski čitaoci mogu da sami provere da li (i koliko) razumeju tekstove na jednom ili drugom slovenskom jeziku. Takođe ne znam šta se cilja "anglizacijom" diskusija na ovom subforumu - iako je engleski toliko popularan, daleko ne svi ga govore (a još manji broj ga voli) i tako se neki forumaši isto osećaju nekomfortno ili nekako eliminiranim s diskusijama - npr. ja više volim da pišem na srpskom ili ruskom nego na engleskom. Za rasprave na i o engleskom postoji poseban forum.
    Da ne bo pomote, jaz sploh ne nasprotujem uporabi različnih slovanskih jezikov na tem forumu. Menim pa, da ima vsak uporabnik dovolj možnosti, da spozna različne jezike v temah, ki so tem jezikom izrecno namenjene (in teh ni malo). V temah, ki so namenjene vsem slovanskim jezikom in katerih glavni namen je pogovor o razlikah med slovanskimi jeziki in medsebojna primerjava, pa načrtna neuporaba angleščine marsikatere uporabnike žal izključi iz pogovora -- ali pa jim vsaj oteži branje.

    (Morda so pomemben dejavnik tudi kulturološke razlike. Ker je slovenščina zelo majhen jezik, smo Slovenci navajeni, da se s tujci pogovarjamo večinoma v angleščini. Praviloma ne pričakujemo, da nas bodo ostali razumeli, če govorimo slovensko. Ruskega turista v Sloveniji bodo ljudje v večini primerov nagovorili v angleščini, ker je za njih to lažje, čeprav bi se z njim lahko sporazumeli tudi v mešanici slovanskih jezikov. Zato angleščina vsaj za nas ni nekakšen "vsiljen" jezik -- je le jezik mednarodnih komunikacij, tudi med ljudmi, ki govorijo druge slovanske jezike.)
     
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    TriglavNationalPark,

    engleski možda postaje lingua franca, ali to još uvijek nije, barem ne u svim dijelovima svijeta, i veliki broj ljudi ovdje je učio neki drugi jezik kao strani u školi i van nje. Forum možda jeste napravljen na engleskom i moderacija je na engleskom, ali je također na ulazu u forum jasno naznačeno koji su to jezici kojima se ovaj podforum bavi. Engleski nije među njima.

    Sve da i neko ima neko minimalno znanje engleskoga, to ne znači niti da
    a) može pratiti rasprave na engleskom kakve su ovdje bez pomoći automatskih prevoditelja, jer je rječnik koji se koristi, čak i kad nije specijalizirani, često dosta iznad "Basic Englisha"
    b) će se odlučiti da u njima učestvuje ako mu engleski nije dovoljno dobar, nije dovoljno komforan u njegovoj upotrebi i pri tome pravila, kako ih ti tumačiš barem, ne gledaju blagonaklono na mijenjanje jezika

    Imali smo ovdje dosta BCS tema koje su vođene na engleskom a koje bi vjerovatno bile vrlo zanimljive i onima kojima je neki od BCS jezika maternji. Meni stvarno nije u redu da se na forumu koji se posebno bavi njihovim jezicima maternji govornici stavljaju u poziciju maltene forumaša druge klase - a to tumačenje ovog pravila kako ga ti shvataš meni predstavlja. Ako nečija upotreba BCS ili slovenskog nekoga stranca obeshrabri, može također i nekog kojem je to maternji jezik ohrabriti da se uključi u diskusiju, a time su onda na dobitku svi, i maternji govornici i oni koji se potrude da raspravu prevedu uz pomoć GT.

    Ipak treba podvući to da su izvorni govornici osnovni resurs foruma, jer su oni ti koji odgovaraju na pitanja i najčešće najviše doprinose u raspravama. Dok možda nekima od njih ovakvo preferiranje engleskoga nije problem, nekim drugima vjerovatno jeste. Uz svo poštovanje strancima koji žele naučiti neki od naših jezika, ako nisu voljni da ili otvore GT ili nauče dovoljno jezika da mogu samostalno razumjeti, možda kompleksnije rasprave i nisu za njih.

    Što se tiče međusobne komunikacije govornika slavenskih jezika, slažem se da tu engleski može biti koristan. Ali opet, ako recimo pričamo o razlikama ruskoga i ukrajinskoga kao gore, ja bih rekao da ima više diskutanata sa potencijalno korisnim informacijama koji su u stanju da se sporazumiju na ruskom nego na engleskom. Zamisli Ukrajinca koji također govori ruski ali nije učio engleski - njega bi trebalo isključiti iz rasprave o njegovom maternjem jeziku?
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Mod note:

    I would like to point out that even though there is a rule about sticking to the language of the original post (see here) we haven't enforced this rule as so far this hasn't given any trouble.

    Obviously this is a multilingual forum, and too many switches between languages may indeed pose problems for others.

    Slavic languages after all aren't mutual intelligible, not by a long way - and even though speakers of closely related languages might get most if not virtually all of one of its closer related cousins this is different when one tries to understand a further removed one.

    There isn't really a "rule" about default language - but English more or less has become default by the mere fact that it is the widest known (also among speakers of Slavic languages, even though Russian, French and Spanish also play a role).

    Anyway, I will discuss with my moderator colleagues of Slavic forums if we should change policies here. We would prefer if choice of language could work smoothly without us moderators intervening, but if it doesn't then we need to do something about it.

    So please be patient for a moment.

    Thank you!
    Cheers
    sokol
    Moderator
     

    pawel_zet

    New Member
    Polish
    TriglavNationalPark,

    Što se tiče međusobne komunikacije govornika slavenskih jezika, slažem se da tu engleski može biti koristan. Ali opet, ako recimo pričamo o razlikama ruskoga i ukrajinskoga kao gore, ja bih rekao da ima više diskutanata sa potencijalno korisnim informacijama koji su u stanju da se sporazumiju na ruskom nego na engleskom. Zamisli Ukrajinca koji također govori ruski ali nije učio engleski - njega bi trebalo isključiti iz rasprave o njegovom maternjem jeziku?
    Today almost everybody speaks English. English is simple. It does not need any complicated encoding because of a lack of "strange" letters.

    Co prawda podczas dyskusji na temat wzajemnej zrozumiałości języków słowiańskich możemy w praktyce sprawdzić, jak z tą zrozumiałością jest, pisząc w swoich narodowych językach. Obawiam się jednak, że poza nami, Słowianami nikt z takiej dyskusji nic nie zrozumie, a i dla nas będzie ona trudna.

    PS. Because of a different "paradygm" of Polish and other Slovian orthography (in the area using Latin alphabet) I suppose that Czech and Slovak in the written form may be much more intelligible for Southern Slavs than Polish.
     

    Ben Jamin

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Today almost everybody speaks English. :cross:
    In which countries?

    English is simple. :cross:
    For whom? Visit the English forum, then you'll see.

    It does not need any complicated encoding because of a lack of "strange" letters. :cross:
    This was a problem 15 years ago. Today not a technical problem, only laziness.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I would just like to add that what makes this forum so interesting to me is its international nature: the fact that people from different countries and backgrounds come here to discuss Slavic languages. There are other forums where Slovenian speakers can discuss their language with other Slovenians, there are forums where Russians can have linguistic conversations with their fellow Russians, and so on. But only here can a Pole read a detailed, English-language explanation of Bulgarian tenses; only in this forum can a Portuguese easily participate in a discussion about the use of Cyrillic in Serbian.

    While the use of various Slavic languages makes sense in threads devoted solely to those languages, English (understood by the vast majority of users drawn to a supranational forum like this one -- and unrivaled by any single language, Slavic or otherwise) is by far the best choice for threads in which different Slavic languages are compared and analyzed. The use of English does raise some issues, but it's infinitely preferable, at least in my view, to a situation in which various elements of the Ukrainian language and its relationship with other Slavic languages, for instance, end up being discussed by Ukrainian speakers only, resulting in a far more limited and less international discussion.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Hello guys,

    it seems emotions are going high about this topic; so I've split off the (off-topic) discussion from the 'mutual intelligibility' thread.

    We will leave this thread open for a short period of time to give you the opportunity to post your opinion. This will be only temporary as, usually, we do not discuss the rules.

    sokol
    Moderator


    And as an ordinary forero I'd like to add - please think about the following:

    - There cannot be "one" forum default language, except if we would define English as such. Russian is not acceptable for many Slavic speaking nations (in some Russian already has become a - relatively - rarely taught language); and any of the various Slavic auxiliary languages are only acceptable to a very small percentage of forum users.
    French and Spanish are taught with a relatively high percentage in some Slavic speaking nations but the same applies here, certainly not acceptable for all.
    So if there is a wish to make any forum language 'default' language the only choice could be English. But it would be better not to prescribe this as a rule as it would be unfair to those for whom English is only second or third foreign language and who are much more proficient in others.

    - The rule of sticking to the language of the original poster does make sense, as the original poster should be able to understand the answers.
    However, if moderation were strict and answers not written in the language of the original post were deleted then it would be impossible for e. g. a Bulgarian native speaker proficient in French and Russian, but with only basic knowledge of English, to help in a thread written in English about some Bulgarian word or phrase.
    Personally I don't see the point of "strict" moderating in cases like that.
     
    EHL, which by default attracts crowd with usually rather good English skills does not seem to have this rule, and there certainly are language switches and bilingual threads from time to time.

    Nordic languages forum, which is another multilingual forum, does not seem to have this rule either.

    Correct me if I'm wrong.

    Moreover, apart from affecting "All Slavic" threads, application of this rule also directly affects monolingual threads started in English effectively locking them into English from the get-go. The first is troubling, but the second even more so.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    It is correct, we do not have a default language in EHL either - and we don't want to define one there.

    Nor do we here in Slavic.

    We would prefer if choice of language could work out for everybody without us proscribing any rule.
    By language choice foreros (= users of the forum, for those who don't know the term yet ;)) decide who has easy access to a post. Even if e. g. a Serbian speaker has some basic knowledge of Russian, or a Polish speaker has some basic notion of Serbian, or whatever, they might not be willing to take the time to read 5 lines in this language they have difficulties understanding, or even one line for that matter.

    We trusted that choice of language will be guided by this fact.

    Switch to another language however should not be made to exclude someone deliberately from a certain point of the discussion - this indeed would be impolite and undesirable.

    Let's take this thread, for example: chifladoporlosidiomas asked in English but Orlin replied in Bulgarian, which was answered by chifladoporlosidiomas - again in Bulgarian: no harm done, no problem whatsoever.
    If chifladoporlosidiomas had asked to stick to English that'd be perfectly justified: after all learners of a language who are only at a beginners stage should be given a chance of being able to understand the answers given.

    Or take this one: Selyd's Spanish is very good but he doesn't feel very comfortable in English. Which in this case is indeed problematic (as the original poster only has a very basic knowledge of Ukrainian yet), but if we were to execute the rule strictly the only solution would be to delete Selyd's contributions in cases like that.


    So we did not apply the rules so very strictly so far, we trusted that choice of language will work out okay on a collegial basis.
    The question of this thread is rather: can we keep it on this basis, or are some foreros unhappy with this solution?

    Please note also: especially threads like "All Slavic languages" of course attract the attention of ALL foreros. It is oftentimes frustrating for them to see there posts in a language they can barely read. :)
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    EHL, which by default attracts crowd with usually rather good English skills does not seem to have this rule, and there certainly are language switches and bilingual threads from time to time.

    Nordic languages forum, which is another multilingual forum, does not seem to have this rule either.
    It may not be a written rule elsewhere on WR, but from what I have been able to gather, threads that were started in English and that cover multiple languages (which is what we're dealing with here) are almost always conducted primarily in English all the way to the last post. Sustained switches to other languages are rare.

    Moreover, apart from affecting "All Slavic" threads, application of this rule also directly affects monolingual threads started in English effectively locking them into English from the get-go. The first is troubling, but the second even more so.
    On the other hand, this rule prevents people from switching to a language that the person asking the question doesn't understand. This has happened before, and I consider it fundamentally disrespectful to the original poster.
     
    If chifladoporlosidiomas had asked to stick to English that'd be perfectly justified: after all learners of a language who are only at a beginners stage should be given a chance of being able to understand the answers given.
    I don't think we agree here. OP can politely ask for a translation or a summary of a part of the discussion that they can't follow, which is usually provided, either by the original author or somebody else. But demanding from a native speaker to stick to English in a thread related to the native speaker's language is encroaching in my opinion - OP is not the only one to possibly benefit from the non-English answer, there are other foreros who might be interested, native-speakers or not.

    Ordering someone to reply in English feels to me personally like walking into a stranger's home and making demands for the dinner to be served. Perhaps it's a cultural thing as TriglavNationalPark said but this doesn't jibe well with me at all. And it might well cause resentment enough for some native-speakers to avoid these English threads altogether, which is a loss for everybody. I know I'm painting it too black but since we're analyzing all the details. :)

    Laissez-faire hasn't caused major problems (well, arguments) until now, and I agree with you that it would be better if we could keep this arrangement.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    So we did not apply the rules so very strictly so far, we trusted that choice of language will work out okay on a collegial basis.
    The question of this thread is rather: can we keep it on this basis, or are some foreros unhappy with this solution?
    For the reasons discussed above, I would prefer the rule to be enforced in the following circumstances:

    1.) "All Slavic languages" threads, which deal with language analysis and comparison, should remain in English if they were started in English. Brief, informal asides in other languages are an exception.

    2.) Threads about specific languages started in English by people who are not likely to understand detailed discussions conducted in that language (or other Slavic languages) should remain in English. In other words, if an Australian with little or no knowledge of Slovenian asks for a Slovenian definition, the answer should be provided in English, and all follow-ups should be conducted in English only. A sudden, unexplained switch to Slovenian in the Australian's thread would be dsirespectful (just as using Slovenian in the presence of an Australian would constitute bad manners in real life).

    This is just my personal opinion. If my view is in the minority here, as it appears to be, I will gladly respect the position of the majority.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Ordering someone to reply in English feels to me personally like walking into a stranger's home and making demands for the dinner to be served.
    I didn't talk about ordering - I used the verb "to ask".

    And yes, certainly, the original poster definitely has the right to politely ask for sticking to languages he or she can actually understand.
    This is one of the basic "unwritten" rules here at WordReference: of course the one who asks, the original poster of a thread, has a right to get answers in a language he or she is capable of reading.

    On the other hand, if the question of the original poster has been answered sufficiently it is okay if native speakers continue the discussion in the original language.
    Anyway, we're not really discussing whether or not the original poster may ask for a switch of language - he or she certainly may.
     
    On the other hand, this rule prevents people from switching to a language that the person asking the question doesn't understand. This has happened before, and I consider it fundamentally disrespectful to the original poster.

    This depends. Recently we've had a thread opened as a pure provocation by a non-native speaker where both me and Orlin took part. I intentionally switched to Bosnian in replying as to lessen the possibility for the OP to use my reply as fuel for more provocation. Respect goes both ways. Respectful guest, gracious host.

    In my opinion OP does not own the thread they start, perhaps you think different. As they do not own it, I don't see the reason for them to control the language in it.


    And yes, certainly, the original poster definitely has the right to politely ask for sticking to languages he or she can actually understand.
    This is one of the basic "unwritten" rules here at WordReference: of course the one who asks, the original poster of a thread, has a right to get answers in a language he or she is capable of reading.
    Of course. OP can, and usually does, get the answer in the language they understand from someone. But we're talking about forcing everyone else to use English.
     
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    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    1.) "All Slavic languages" threads, which deal with language analysis and comparison, should remain in English if they were started in English. Brief, informal asides in other languages are an exception.
    I agree in principle but as argued above I'd rather not apply the rule strictly, to allow contributions of people who don't feel too comfortable in English.

    I would rather prefer a "guideline" rather than a strict rule.

    2.) Threads about specific languages started in English by people who are not likely to understand detailed discussions conducted in that language (or other Slavic languages) should remain in English. In other words, if an Australian with little or no knowledge of Slovenian asks for a Slovenian definition, the answer should be provided in English, and all follow-ups should be conducted in English only. A sudden, unexplained switch to Slovenian in the Australian's thread would be dsirespectful.
    This is the way it should be now, with the only restriction that we do not enforce this strictly in cases like the one I linked to above (Selyd's replies in Ukrainian), or also when the original question has been answered sufficently.

    Also, I would like to point out that for example I also sometimes answer in threads written solely in Slovene in English when I think I could contribute something useful (but my skills in Slovene are not really good enough to write in Slovene).

    So while this rule currently exists we're trying not to be too strict, in fact I only intervene when I think there's a problem: best moderating always is moderate as little as possible, but still as much as is necessary.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    This depends. Recently we've had a thread opened as a pure provocation by a non-native speaker where both me and Orlin took part. I intentionally switched to Bosnian in replying as to lessen the possibility for the OP to use my reply as fuel for more provocation. Respect goes both ways. Respectful guest, gracious host.

    In my opinion OP does not own the thread they start, perhaps you think different. As they do not own it, I don't see the reason for them to control the language in it.
    This case was dealt with.
    Language switch does not solve cases like that one.

    There's a basic principle on this forum that a thread opener asks a question, and it is his prerogative to receive an answer (hopefully a satisfying one); of course he has no "right" to an answer but it would be against forum etiquette to "hijack" the thread (that is, re-define the original topic through leading a thread in another direction - we call this off-topic), and it is also against etiquette to "force" the original poster to write his posts in the language he or she is asking about.

    (Well, actually there are monolingual forums like Spanish only and English only where only one language is allowed: there of course a particular language IS forced on posters, they may not use any other one - but none of the Slavic forums is defined like that.)

    Of course the original poster does not "own" the thread; it is perfectly justified for those posting in the thread to discuss the topic of the thread even after the original question has been answered.
    Still, they must stay on topic when doing so.

    The thread as such is not "owned" by anybody, or if then it is "owned" by the forum as such: threads over time build a dictionary which is (and should be) useful to all foreros browsing the forums.
     
    and it is also against etiquette to "force" the original poster to write his posts in the language he or she is asking about.

    We're not discussing forcing the OP to write in this or that language, but rather 'forcing' other foreros to answer in OP's language. Simply apply the no-force approach both to OP and people answering.

    Someone will almost always answer in a language OP understands, and this has worked until now without formal rules.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I agree that common sense is preferable to strict enforcement and that exceptions should be granted when users cannot communicate in English. However, I would like to see people at least attempt to use English in the circumstances described above -- for other users' benefit. The foreros to whom I addressed in my original comment are, as far as I can tell, highly proficient in (written) English.

    threads over time build a dictionary which is (and should be) useful to all foreros browsing the forums.
    Since English is the most commonly spoken language on WR (and the closest thing to our "common language" in this subforum), this is another reason why the use of English is preferable in many (but not all) circumstances.
     
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    TriglavNationalPark, I respect your opinion but I don't think we can agree (regarding attempting). :) That's ok, and as I've pretty much said all that I've had to say, I'll wait for the decision unless something else pops up here.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    We're not discussing forcing the OP to write in this or that language, but rather 'forcing' other foreros to answer in OP's language. Simply apply the no-force approach both to OP and people answering.

    Someone will almost always answer in a language OP understands, and this has worked until now without formal rules.
    I agree that common sense is preferable to strict enforcement and exceptions should be granted when users cannot communicate in English. However, I would like to see people at least attempt to use English in the circumstances described above -- for other users' benefit. The foreros to whom I addressed in my original comment are, as far as I can tell, highly proficient in (written) English.

    Since English is the most commonly spoken language on WR, this is another reason why the use of English is preferable in many (but not all) circumstances.
    How should I untie this knot? :)

    It is almost impossible to apply a strict rule of only answering in the original post's language.

    However, it will also give problems if more and more foreros will use their native languages and/or the foreign language(s) they are most proficient in, because more and more other ones will get frustrated when they begin reading a thread which begins in English and goes over to Russian and Polish and then ends in Croatian.


    We have already guidelines, and we would prefer if we could leave it at that - here our guidelines repeated:

    The Slavic forum is open to monolingual threads as well as to all relevant language combinations. In the latter case, you are most likely to receive a timely and accurate reply if the second language is English. Otherwise, German and Spanish are represented very well, followed by Italian and French.

    Be respectful of thread openers and other readers who do not understand Slavic languages. If a thread is opened in English, do not switch to a language that will make it impossible for some interested parties to follow the discussion.

    This forum is dedicated to natural languages. Artifical languages are to be discussed only in threads dedicated to that particular phenomenon. Please do not offer translations into artificial languages in "All Slavic languages" threads. If you are a creator or fan of an artificial Slavic language, please do not use this forum to promote your language. Self-promotion is strictly forbidden, whether or not it is of a commercial nature.


    If this doesn't work out on a "voluntary" basis the only solution would be to begin deleting posts which - concerning choice of discussion language - do not fit the guidelines.
    I don't think this is desirable - neither for us moderators nor for the users of this forum.

    So I can only ask for some discipline among foreros - in a way that foreros consider their choice of language carefully before posting.
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    TriglavNationalPark, I respect your opinion but I don't think we can agree (regarding attempting). :) That's ok, and as I've pretty much said all that I've had to say, I'll wait for the decision unless something else pops up here.
    Same here!

    We have already guidelines, and we would prefer if we could leave it at that - here our guidelines repeated:
    I feel that, absent a wide-reaching consensus, this is a fair solution.
     

    Ottilie

    Senior Member
    Romanian(1st) / Russian (2nd)
    I wrote in Russian because other user wrote me in Russian,so I replied in the same language. Otherwise,I wrote all the other messages on that thread in English,and since many others don't speak Russian,I am sorry for that.
    Of course,if everyone there writes in his own language ,it's hard to continue the thread this way
     

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I wrote in Russian because other user wrote me in Russian,so I replied in the same language. Otherwise,I wrote all the other messages on that thread in English,and since many others don't speak Russian,I am sorry for that.
    Of course,if everyone there writes in his own language ,it's hard to continue the thread this way
    Please don't apologize, Ottilie! The purpose of this discussion is to make this forum as enjoyable and interesting as possible, not to point fingers at anyone. With my comment in post #21, I just wanted to point out that this situation was somewhat different from another case mentioned by Sokol. I am deeply grateful for your contributions and your willingness to share your knowledge with us, and I'm sure that other foreros feel the same way.
     

    Ottilie

    Senior Member
    Romanian(1st) / Russian (2nd)
    2.) Threads about specific languages started in English by people who are not likely to understand detailed discussions conducted in that language (or other Slavic languages) should remain in English. In other words, if an Australian with little or no knowledge of Slovenian asks for a Slovenian definition, the answer should be provided in English, and all follow-ups should be conducted in English only. A sudden, unexplained switch to Slovenian in the Australian's thread would be dsirespectful (just as using Slovenian in the presence of an Australian would constitute bad manners in real life).

    This is just my personal opinion. If my view is in the minority here, as it appears to be, I will gladly respect the position of the majority.
    In this respect,I can say that I don't mind posting in a forum,let's say Swedish and asking for help ,if the natives have talks regarding that matter in Swedish,as long as they answer to my posts in English and provide me the answer in English.
    I am active in the Romanian and Russian forum*(although those forums work independently of this one,well maybe I'm wrong I'm a newbie here)and,often happens(I believe that on all the forums) that natives have different views or opinions and I prefer to discuss them with a native in our language,because it's easier that way. I don't feel that I speak English well enough,especially when I want to provide certain grammar justifications ,that's why I stick to my mothertongue.
    I agree that some users may perceive it as bad manners ,some users there write in English or in their mother-tongue when providing explanations. I believe that ,writing the explanation in ,let's say,in Romanian(especially when talking to another native) I also can provide the learner an explanation in the language he's trying to learn, let's say provide him some practice. But ,of course,when the thread-starter writes in English,I answer him in the same language.
    Of course,the All Slavic language is a wider forum,many languages involved,therefore I agree that,to a certain extent all the discussions should be in English
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Yes exactly, Ottilie - we're not intending to point fingers at anybody here, don't you worry. :)

    This thread is about something which we don't usually do in the forums, discussing the application of rules (for this reason this thread also will be deleted sometime soon :) - it isn't the purpose of the forums to discuss rules here, the place for this would be Comments & Suggestions: I only gave you the opportunity here as it only concerns the Slavic forum).


    Oftentimes people feel they can contribute but cannot do so in the language of the original post, because it is tiresome for them to write in this language (and because it takes so much time), or even because their skills in this language are just not sufficient.

    For this reason I would rather not apply the rules too strictly, as it would mean excluding any possible responder not proficient in the discussion language of the original post.

    I'd like to give a short example, to illustrate the point:

    Of course a discussion in, say, Spanish about the Ukrainian language should (if possible) concentrate on sticking to those two languages, Spanish and Ukrainian; but I am sure that the original poster (if his or her skills of Ukrainian are quite good) will also gratefully accept responses in Russian as good skills in Ukrainian usually make it easy for you to understand Russian.
    Also, the original poster most likely will appreciate a useful answer in English as most at least have sufficent passive knowledge to being able to read it more or less easily.
    And if the original poster does not appreciate those he or she is entitled to ask whether somebody could translate the answers he or she don't understands into Spanish or Ukrainian, or to ask for answers in Spanish and/or Ukrainian.

    All the Slavic forums after all are still very small forums.

    Note that other forums have adopted different solutions: in Spanish, English, French and Italian forums - which are huge even compared to Russian forum - language choice is restricted to one or two languages (usually "English only" and so on, or "English-Spanish" etc.); so far there are only very few "Non-English" combinations (Español-Français, Italiano-Français, Italiano-Español, Português-Español - so four forums!) - reason being, there's obviously much less demand for those combinations.

    It would be nonsense to try and do this to any of the Slavic forums, lest posters who'd like to ask about a Russian-Spanish translation would have to do so in "Other Slavic" as the Russian forum then surely would be "Russian-English".

    For this reason we have those guidelines mentioned above - they should make sure that more or less people don't get frustrated when reading threads, and that those who would like to ask questions will find it easy to understand answers.


    So the point of this thread really is whether we can keep it like it is or whether we moderators need to apply the rules stricter.
    I only hope we can keep things as they are - that is, with rather "lax" moderation, with not being too strict about choice of language.
     
    Since we're giving examples, here's an example from the Nordic forums. Conversation switches to Norwegian, OP says he did not understand and receives a summary. Similar to what we've had here.

    May I propose a compromise for "All Slavic" threads? If the original language is English, one may respond in another language but should attach a Google Translate translated post as well, with the GT errors corrected to the best of his or her abilities? This sometimes happens in EHL.
     
    Last edited:

    TriglavNationalPark

    Senior Member
    Slovenian (a.k.a. Slovene)
    I think English should be a default for "All Slavic" threads.
    I agree. That was my original argument and the reason for this discussion. Should we have strict, "no exceptions" enforcement of this rule? No, but I think it's in the interest of most foreros if at least the spirit of the following rule is observed in "All Slavic languages" threads:

    If a thread is opened in English, do not switch to a language that will make it impossible for some interested parties to follow the discussion.
     

    vianie

    Senior Member
    Slovak
    Mine truly thinks, there may and can be used simultaneously two default languages in "Other Slavics" forum (with as literally mutual translation as necessary or simply as possible): the concrete Slavic and Enlglish, resp. vice-versa.

    Úprimne myslím, že v jednotlivých vláknach tohto fóra sa smú štandardne používať dva jazyky: príslušný slovanský a anglický, resp. opačne.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Please note: English never will be the "only" default language.

    It should always remain possible that somebody opens a question about Ukrainian and chooses Spanish as discussion language; or somebody may ask in Italian about Slovak, or ask in German about Croatian, or in Czech about Serbian, or whatever combination of language you have in mind.

    If we decide that English were "default" then this only would be the case for threads where the original post is in English (that is of course then, English and the Slavic language concerned).

    However, I'm saying here "if".
    We will discuss this also internally between us mods; but for now please just go on and continue with the discussion. :)
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    Здравейте! Аз говоря английски достатъчно добре, но напоследък не съм го използвал много и не проявявам интерес към този език - било да го усъвършенствам, било да разговарям на него. Вместо това се интересувам изключително много от славянските езици и значително предпочитам дискусии на руски и сръбски (хърватски, босненски) език - разбира се, след родния си език. И не твърдя, че говоря тези езици по-добре от английския - нека другите преценят.
    Пиша на всички езици, на които мога да общувам, в реда, в който ги предпочитам.

    Здравствуйте! Я говорю по-английски достаточно хорошо, но в последнее время я английский язык не использовал много и не интересуюсь этим языком - ни его усовершенствовать, ни разговаривать на нём. Вместо того я исключительно много интересуюсь славянскими языками и значительно предпочитаю дискуссии на русском и сербском (хорватском, боснийском) языках - конечно, после своего родного языка. И я не утверждаю, что говорю эти языки лучше английского - пусть другие это оценят.
    Я пишу на всех языках, на которых могу общаться, в порядку, в котором я их предпочитаю.

    Zdravo! Ja govorim engleski dovoljno dobro, ali u poslednje vreme nisam ga koristio mnogo i nemam interes prema ovog jezika - ni poboljšati ga niti razgovarati na njemu. Umesto toga mnogo me zanimaju slovenski jezici i značajno preferiram diskusije na ruskom i srpskom (hrvatskom, bosanskom) jeziku - naravno posle svog maternjeg jezika. I ne tvrdim da govorim ove jezike bolje od engleskog - nek drugi to precene.
    Pišem na svim jezima na kojim mogu komunicirati u redu u kojem ih preferiram.

    Hi! I speak English well enough but haven't used it much recently and I'm not interested in it - neither improve it nor talk in it. Instead I'm interested in Slavic languages very much and significantly prefer discussions in Russian and Serbian (Croatian, Bosnian) - of course, after my native language. And I don't state that I speak these languages better than English - let the others assess it.
    I'm writing in all languages in which I can communicate in the order in which I prefer them.
     

    Orlin

    Banned
    български
    This thread is interesting:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1847057

    (I could not understand Orlin's posts fully)
    Another example:

    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=1798655

    I think English should be a default for "All Slavic" threads.
    Hi, lior neith! I don't know if you speak or understand languages other than the ones mentioned in your profile so I wonder what is problematic for you in these threads - I guess that at least one language out of BCS, Russian and Ukrainian, which have been used in the specified threads, is difficult for you to understand.

    P. S.: I think that deletion of on-topic posts that are wrong only for being in conflict with the guidelines for discussion language is bad because it can destroy the discussion and/or result in loss of possibly valuable information (anyone interested can find a way of translating such posts). I suggest that we should use PMs from moderators to discipline foreros that do such things and if they continue breaking the guidelines, should be warned for banning.
     
    Last edited:

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    Hello all,

    thank you very much for the discussion, we moderators also discussed this internally - and we've come to the conclusion that we will leave our guidelines as they are but that we will use private messaging and, if need be, a moderator note in threads to call for order if necessary.

    So basically we will trust you to stick to the guidelines rather than enforce them by deleting posts which are perfectly on-topic but written in the "wrong" language.
    We think that Slavic forum is just too small for stricter regulations; however, we will work in moderation towards more respect towards our guidelines, hopefully for the benefit of all of us.

    An announcement specifying some details will be made here soon.

    I'm closing this thread now, but it will remain visible.

    Here our guidelines repeated again (link to thread - and link to post), where of course the first two paragraphs are the most important ones in this context:

    Languages in the Slavic forum​

    The Slavic forum is open to monolingual threads as well as to all relevant language combinations. In the latter case, you are most likely to receive a timely and accurate reply if the second language is English. Otherwise, German and Spanish are represented very well, followed by Italian and French.

    Be respectful of thread openers and other readers who do not understand Slavic languages*). If a thread is opened in English, do not switch to a language that will make it impossible for some interested parties to follow the discussion.

    This forum is dedicated to natural languages. Artifical languages are to be discussed only in threads dedicated to that particular phenomenon. Please do not offer translations into artificial languages in "All Slavic languages" threads. If you are a creator or fan of an artificial Slavic language, please do not use this forum to promote your language. Self-promotion is strictly forbidden, whether or not it is of a commercial nature.


    *) Or Slavs not understanding other Slavic languages very well. We might (must really, as the discussion shows here) broaden this formulation, as obviously Bulgarians will have a hard time understanding Polish, as well as Czechs won't be at home in Russian except if they've studied it, etc.
     
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