Sun 18 Mar 2018 12:54AM

Multi-Lingual Support

BW Bob W Public Seen by 349

It might not be the first priority, but making the site Internationalized / Multi-Lingual will, I expect, be important before long. This thread is for any conversation related to that topic.


Bob W Sun 18 Mar 2018 1:07AM

One of the core goals of NVC-O is to ultimately be experienced as way more internationally focused and inclusive than CNVC has been. To be in integrity with this intention, I believe it will be important to plan on making the preVH multi-lingual as early as is practically possible. So, at the minimum I'd want us to be wary of making any decisions that might preclude multi-lingual support.

Fortunately, bbPress apparently can support multi-lingual forums, though the solution revealed by a quick search involves a paid (but affordable) plugin. There are other WordPress multilingual plugins, but I haven't analyzed things to form an opinion about what might be best. Here is another list.


Eva Sun 18 Mar 2018 9:50AM

One multilingual plugin is already installed on Julie's test site, but it seems to glitch a bit, switching between english and the other chosen language...


Julie Sun 18 Mar 2018 9:52AM

Ha, I was just replying the same! :)

So it's glitching? Bummer.

There are others we can try.



Eva Sun 18 Mar 2018 9:55AM

I'll test the glitch again.


Eva Sun 18 Mar 2018 9:57AM

Hm, couldn't reproduce it right now. This is so cool. It translates our comments... I had only noticed before that it translated the menu items and stuff. Can we set certain words to translate in a certain way? This need not be much, but Weaves is a problem for the autmated engines. ;-)


Julie Mon 19 Mar 2018 7:54PM

The paid version of the translation plugin (I've used the free one) allow us to edit translations (like "weave"), and it's US$6/month. There are other (not free, but not expensive) translation plugins that will do too, like WPML.


Dieudonné Mon 19 Mar 2018 9:48PM

The fact it's not free is not a problem for me. For instance I paid to support Framapad's development. But using a software that is not open-source is a problem to me. Like the image taken earlier, taking care of this, is like « pack the big stuff first! :) », or « starting with solving the hardest important problems ». It would be too long to explain why here. But to help us guess it, the first images that comes to me is our whistle-blowers : Snowden, Assange, etc… and important movements like Wikipedia, the Free Software Foundation, De-google-ify Internet.

I imagine I can seem a bit rigid or stubborn. I feel it more like a very important intuition. And so far I keep having confidence in my intuitions ;)


Julie Mon 19 Mar 2018 10:33PM

Dieudonne, I trust your intuition :) How do I check for sure if something is open source? I believe WPML used to be, but is now commercial. It looks like Lingotek Translation is open source, but it seems that it doesn't do translation "on the fly" - you have to translate your pages ahead of time. So that won't work for translating things like comments (I don't think so anyway). Do you have any OS suggestions?


Dieudonné Tue 20 Mar 2018 8:45AM

Usually when people choose to go open-source, they're proud of it, and they say it somewhere. For instance, Loomio talk about it here :
* https://www.loomio.org/about
* https://loomio.coop
Extract :

The Loomio Co-op Handbook

The software we build is open source, and our organisation is open source too. This handbook is where we document how we run an efficient organisation without a hierarchy.

We build software for collaborative decision making, used by thousands of organisations and communities around the world. If you’re looking for a way to make group decisions without meeting, try it out at loomio.org.

Another way is to check it on Wikipedia. Example :
* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WordPress
Extract :

License GNU GPLv2+

About automatic translating, I'm sure it remains of very limited efficiency to share subtle informations, like it is often the case with NVC. The risk of having misinterpretations remains very high, even with the best automatic translators. By the way, it looks like www.deepl.com is one step ahead of google translate, even if it's surely not open-source :)) . To help coordination around translations, I used a MediaWiki extension on http://nvc.miraheze.org :
* https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Extension:Translate


Dieudonné Mon 19 Mar 2018 6:27AM

I see this "Multi-Lingual Support" as instrumental for the reasons already mentioned. Another reason is that I observed that when a software has been translated in many languages, it's an indication of the fact it's widely used, and therefore, likely to be robust an long-lasting. For instance WordPress and MediaWiki offer theses guaranties. By the way, if you want to play around with MediaWiki, you can do it with no harm on this one :
* http://nvc.miraheze.org

I love Miraheze's economic model :)
* https://meta.miraheze.org/wiki/Miraheze#Contribute

Extract :

« Miraheze is entirely community-supported and has no advertising. We appreciate contributions of time, money, or expertise.
* Contributing; learn how you can use your knowledge and time to help us.
* Donate; a record of previous donations and costs are available here. »


Bob W Fri 25 May 2018 5:57AM

It's time, I think, to think actively about how we are going to make the site multi-lingual. I've been reading about this, and it seems like this may be a weightier decision than some others -- something where once you've made a choice, it might be rather difficult to make a different choice later. It's not just about "how are we going to do translations" but about what plugin is going to provide the framework for how the site is multilingual. Apparently, many of the plugins have the consequence that once you start using them, you're quite locked in, and couldn't easily change to something else.

A related issue has to do with how you organize things to be multilingual. There are a number of different approaches. The saner ones seem to involve keeping the different languages fairly well separated, as if you had different sites, though they might all technically be one site, and the content may be translated and show up in the different language versions of the site. But, anyway, ways of separating things include:
1. Different domains for each language, e.g., cheese.com.us vs. fromage.com.fr.
2. Different subdomains for each language, e.g., en.nvc-global.net vs fr.nvc-global.net.
3. Different subdirectories within the same domain, e.g., nvc-global.net/en/ vs nvc-global.net/fr/

The first option, different domains, seemed a little expensive and complicated, especially when you add in the cost of security certificates.. The third option seemed simplest... but then I read some things that seem to suggest that the subdirectory approach might be the worst, insofar as how strongly it locks you in to continuing with whatever plugin you started out using. So, that nudges me toward thinking maybe the subdomain approach might be best? And, it could perhaps use more thought and investigation.

For what it's worth, articles on plugins for making things multilingual include this, this and this. There's also an introductory how-to article.


Brent Barker Fri 25 May 2018 2:57PM

Naively, out of those options, it does seem like different subdomains would be good.
On the other hand, again, naively in terms of technical capability, what would be great would be the way that cross-linking happens in Wikipedia. For any particular article, one can click on a different language on the side in order to see the equivalent article in that language's wikipedia. I suppose that just uses the "different subdomain" approach alongside some mechanism for easily cross-linking particular pages.


Dieudonné Fri 25 May 2018 3:23PM

If needed I can give you my experience about correspondences for articles between fr.nvcwiki.org and en.nvcwiki.org . Example :
* http://en.nvcwiki.com/index.php/Translation_procedure
* https://fr.nvcwiki.com/index.php/Proc%C3%A9dure_de_traduction

At the moment the tool that inspires me the most confidence is this one :
* https://translatewiki.net/

You liked this for instance :


Brent Barker Fri 25 May 2018 3:27PM

Are you suggesting that instead of using Wordpress + BuddyPress for group interaction, forums, etc., that we use translatewiki for this?


Brent Barker Fri 25 May 2018 3:27PM

Or using translatewiki for the static content only?


Dieudonné Fri 25 May 2018 3:30PM

Considering the amount of time and energy already spent on Wordpress + BuddyPress I wouldn't dare suggesting using Translatewiki. But I mention it just to remember functionalities available in the free world ; )


Brent Barker Fri 25 May 2018 3:35PM

Got it. I think there is still value in proposing a different platform if there's a decent chance it'll be a lot better at meeting our shared critera. We are still in alpha / beta development here, after all.
But yes. I think it's helpful to hear that you mention it to just remind people about resources available. It was unclear to me whether you were doing that or whether you were proposing an action.


Bob W Fri 25 May 2018 4:47PM

I'd like to understand whether WikiMedia (as in the translation wiki) does actually offer a plausible alternative platform or not. I think of it as offering certain types of information presentation capabilities -- basically a replacement for conventional static webpages, but not a replacement for a full-featured website with a lot of interactivity? And, maybe I'm underestimating its capabilities due to unfamiliarity.


Dieudonné Fri 25 May 2018 5:13PM

Thank you Bob for joining the dialogue. Actually although I've practiced MediaWiki since several years, I'm still feeling very humble in front of it's gigantic capabilities. The translation extension being only one of this aspect. Maybe several of the already available extensions would very well serve our needs :
* https://www.mediawiki.org/wiki/Category:Extensions

What I think might be the most useful for the NVC community is that MediaWiki is specialised in succeeding in having many people cooperating efficiently in many languages !!!


Brent Barker Fri 25 May 2018 10:51PM

I looked quickly through this list and did not see anything that could be used for users to easily create conversation threads with each other. I do think the wiki model aligns with our distributed decision-making and "resources flow to where there is energy / need" principles. But it may be enough to have parallel sites for the social part of the website and a translation wiki for documents that are intended to be referenced and changed over time, like Weave maintenance guides, access materials, etc.


Julie Sat 26 May 2018 1:04AM

Like Bob, I'm not seeing how MediaWiki could be used to build a full website with all the things we need. Dieudonne, can you link us to any examples where people are using it to build more than just a wiki? I'd be perfectly happy to start again with MediaWiki if it did what we wanted it to ...


Dieudonné Sat 26 May 2018 8:07AM

Actually there's such a wide diversity of extensions available for MediaWiki, that it's hard to define the boundaries of it's use.
I'll try to tell you what i find the most precious in this tool :
* it's build to put in front what a large number of people agree on, even in different languages (the first tab on main pages)
* to come to that, like in Restorative Systems/Circles : it takes care of places where people can let their conflict flourish ; ) it's mainly the discussion tabs associated with each main page. There's an extension which improves the default discussion tab design : StructuredDiscussions

Does this help ?