I'm on the Scribus e-mail list, which is very international. From time to time, the question of having e-mail lists for languages other than English comes up. The dominant opinion is that this is a bad idea for a few major reasons:
* It would make it less likely that people would get the information they need because fewer people would see questions and comments posted to the list.
* This would mean someone who could answer a question may not see it because he or she concentrates on the list in their language.
* It would mean more time spent by those who are competent in more than one language if they chose to subscribe to more than one Scribus list.
* It fragments the user community by making it a bit too easy to hang with those, and only those, who share a language.
If course, people who don't understand English or have difficulty reading or writing English are at a large disadvantage and may even feel embarrassed. So on the Scribus list, people who have difficulty with English are encouraged to post in their native language or another language with which they are comfortable. There is a very big chance that someone on the list can reply to the questions or comments. Often someone will translate the non-English message so the rest of us can have a crack at it. This seems to work pretty well, as these non-English messages do get answered in the language of the poster.
I think this could work well on these Vector forums, too. If it could be prominently made clear that posts need not be in English and that it's totally acceptable to post in languages other than English and if forum members who speak other languages would step up to the plate to translate, people who have difficulty with English wouldn't have to worry about struggling to express themselves in English.
We have a lot of people here who understand French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, and other languages. Translating to and from other languages would be a valuable contribution to the growth of VectorLinux. And certainly, the Lounge should be open to conversations in languages other than English.
So often people whose English is not great apologize for their "bad English." I always feel like saying "hey, you do a lot better writing English than I do at writing French or German, which I did study back in the middle of the last century." If anyone should apologize, it's those of us who are monolingual. In fact, one of my retirement projects is to brush up on French, which I could read fluently but not speak well almost 50 years ago, just so I could read and maybe reply to some of the posts I come across in forums and e-mail lists. And then do the same with German. And if I live long enough
, tackle Spanish and Italian.
Oh--back to Scribus. Much of the Wiki is available in languages other than English and volunteer translators for more languages are warmly welcomed.