allow comments and discussions to be translatable

PP Pirate Praveen Public Seen by 94

In "Pirate Movement of India", our members are native speakers of many languages. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_with_official_status_in_India)

In a recent discussion one member had to use their mother tongue so that they can clearly express their idea - https://www.loomio.org/d/tu97i2az/loksabha-elections-2014 But that would automatically exclude people who speak other languages but can understand English. In this case I manually translated all comments in Malayalam to English and posted as my comments. I would like loomio to be able to allow this as a feature ie, each text content needs to be translatable so that anyone can offer translations and people can choose their preferred languages to communicate.


Rachel B. Wickert Thu 23 Jan 2014 9:35AM

Yes, I agree. Something like the translate option in Facebook. That feature would resolve a big issue that our group has been battling with since the beginning.


Richard D. Bartlett Thu 23 Jan 2014 7:33PM

Wonderful suggestion @praveenarimbrathod. What languages have you got in your groups @rachelbwickert?


Rachel B. Wickert Thu 23 Jan 2014 8:39PM

@richarddbartlett our "official" working languages are French and English but we have also Spanish, Dutch , Deutsch, Italian and Cantonese native speakers.


Robert Guthrie Fri 24 Jan 2014 10:27PM

Wow this is a really cool idea. It could be a really nice plugin... or just a great feature to build right into Loomio. I want to dooo it!


mix irving Mon 3 Feb 2014 1:40AM

i love this idea as well.
until someone in the community can build it, you might have to establish a group protocol for translating specific posts.

in case it help, if you want to link to a specific comment, you can right-click on the time-stamp of a comment and click copy-url, and then you have a way to reference a comment in the discussion


mix irving Mon 3 Feb 2014 1:42AM


mix irving Tue 4 Feb 2014 9:10PM

oh wow, it looks like someone in the open source community is building what you've asked for. The first iteration will take us part the way to a solution. It would be awesome to get peoples feedback about how it is when it's rolled out.
we'l keep you posted


mix irving Wed 5 Feb 2014 7:13AM

it's live! many thanks to @jameskiesel

go give it a whirl on some comments like the ones in here :

it's a first step towards a solution, so we'd love feedback on how people find it


Alanna Irving Wed 5 Feb 2014 7:14AM

Fastest turnaround on a feature request ever? Thank you @jameskiesel you rule!


mix irving Wed 5 Feb 2014 7:26AM

@praveenarimbrathod this current solution works by detecting the preferred language of the viewer with the preferred language of the original commenter.

At the moment, logged preferences have to be one of the translated languages found in the language selector. This can be improved but will take some time


Richard D. Bartlett Wed 5 Feb 2014 8:00PM

Amazing work @jameskiesel!

Here's a Portuguese-speaking group to test it on: Partido Pirata do Brasil.


Pirate Praveen Thu 6 Feb 2014 4:28AM

@mixirving Thanks for the quick turn around! Currently I cannot test it because 'Malayalam' is not listed in the language selector. Also I couldn't access the link you shared.


Pirate Praveen Thu 6 Feb 2014 4:35AM

@richarddbartlett thanks for this link, I can see the translate option! This is super cool! Though I still have to wait to do a real translation :(


Jesse Doud Thu 6 Feb 2014 9:32AM

@jameskiesel! The beauty of this feature is only outdone by that of its creator.


mix irving Fri 7 Feb 2014 2:09AM

@praveenarimbrathod if you'd like to see translation of the app into Malayalam, feel free to help out

let me know if you want help setting up.

unfortunately for automated comment translation, we need a service provider which allows calls to be translated from Malayalam.
At the moment we are using Bing Translator, and we have researched Google Translator too. Neither of these support Malayalam. Do you know of a service which does support translation?


Pirate Praveen Fri 7 Feb 2014 11:12AM

@mixirving thanks for the transifex link, I started translating loomio to Malayalam. But I don't think it is a good idea to restrict comment translation only to languages where loomio itself is translated.

At the moment we don't have a good automatic translation service. We'll be happy to do manual translations for now, if that can be activated.


mix irving Sun 9 Feb 2014 10:49PM

thanks for the feedback @praveenarimbrathod , rest assured we are building like crazy. I've just added the feature to our development backlog here : https://www.pivotaltracker.com/story/show/65435476

unless we have an outside contributor build this additional functionality. it might be a little time before we can get to it. In the meantime, you might have to add translations as separate comments.

I see you've already made a contribution to the Malayalam translation, that's awesome. please let me know if you have any questions about that process. If the translation gets to 40% we'll launch the language in experimental mode so you can see what your work looks like in app. Thanks for your awesome work


Pirate Praveen Mon 10 Feb 2014 5:40PM

@mixirving we are already 40%! looking forward to using loomio in Malayalam and being able to translate comments in Malayalam!


mix irving Mon 10 Feb 2014 9:53PM

amazing work on the translation!
@praveenarimbrathod, I sent you a message on Transifex, but for anyone else following along, you can check out the progress so far by visiting www.loomio.org/d/2WiJqSN4?locale=ml

if you want to change you language back, remember the language selector is at the bottom left of this page!


Pirate Praveen Tue 11 Feb 2014 5:11AM

@mixirving now it just shows "translate to" without any language mentioned and when clicked, just stuck at "loading..." :( Thanks for activating Malayalam!


mix irving Tue 11 Feb 2014 6:40AM

yeah I saw that! this is one of the reasons we haven't made Malayalam a language which is easy to select yet. The reason it says "Translating to" is that it looks on the list of select-able languages in the app, and Malayalam isn't one of them. A little bug.
The bigger issue is still that we have no automated way to get Malayalam translations. This means we'll have to disable this particular iteration till someone has time to build the ability for users to contribute a translation.
I'll talk to some people in the open source community. If you know of any Rails developers, we'd love more people helping out!


Simon Tegg Tue 18 Feb 2014 2:08AM

Hey, we liked this feature so much we wrote a blog post [deprecated] about it!



Balasankar C Mon 22 Sep 2014 1:47PM

I can't find that blog post anymore. :(


Simon Tegg Mon 22 Sep 2014 8:24PM

@balasankarchelamat We withdrew the feature temporarily because we weren't happy with it and had to withdraw the blog post as well. Now the blog is out of date...


Jacob Gadikian Tue 7 Oct 2014 9:49PM

I'd like to toss in my .02 here.

For two years I taught a group of multilingual students who had multilingual parents. YES! Furthermore, this is a great opportunity to train translation engines. Since that experience, I've always wanted (but lack some of the chops needed) to make multilingual forum software that allows the user to set the view-language and for users to specify which languages they have full fluency in.

Users fully fluent in the the original and target language could then make corrections to what the translation system did. I've been dtying for Google to make such a product, though their translation system now does cover, for example, (surprised cursing in Chinese) to WTF, which I've got to say is pretty impressive. Still, I think that there's a lot of room for improvement in translation, and systems like those discussed here have got to be one of the fastest ways to achieve those improvements.


Alanna Irving Wed 8 Oct 2014 3:50AM

@jacobgadikian that's pretty much how Loomio works right now, except without the ability to provide manual corrections to automatic translations. But it's a functional good start at least.


Jacob Gadikian Wed 8 Oct 2014 6:08AM


I noticed-- sorry my comment wasn't so much a "we should do" as a "Hot damn! Are doing! Awesome!"

Jacob GadikianE-mail: [email protected] ( [email protected] )
SKYPE: faddat
Phone/SMS: +86 186-2612-6079


Alanna Irving Wed 8 Oct 2014 9:02AM

Hahah great! My favorite type of comment!


Shakoat Hossain Sun 5 Jul 2015 11:18AM

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