Thank you to non-native English speakers who communicate here in English

+30 votes
93 views
Thank you to everyone for whom English is not their first language who communicate on G2G in English. As a fairly typical American, my non-English language skills are extremely poor. I would have a hard time writing a simple sentence in French anymore (and my Russian is an even more distant memory).  It is wonderful that the Wikitree community is worldwide, with people from many countries, with great language expertise, and extensive historical knowledge. While translating sources is extremely useful for us English speakers (shout out to the dutch_roots project!), I think the day to day interactions by all of you in English is even greater and can go unnoticed.
asked in Appreciation by W Robertson G2G6 Mach 2 (26.6k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Yes, those folks deserve all the appreciation we can give them! May their numbers grow!

And it would be great to see more communication in non-English  languages.
Are there any non-English-speaking forums or threads? I haven't seen any yet
My native language is technobabble, although I manage to pass myself off as native English speaker ... do I count here?

Seriously, I second the shout out of appreciation to all those who not only communicate here in English, but are also of such immense help to us by providing translations of foreign documents as well as knowledge of geography and culture to which we ugly Americans are oblivious.
Agreed!!

@Jelena

Well, there is the Dutch language Nederlands Portaal set up and maintained by the Wonderful WikiTreers Joop and Bea. Also the description of the Dutch Roots project is available both in English and in Dutch.

And in G2G the tag dutch_roots can be used used for any Dutch genealogy subject.

Great message. Thank you for posting this, W.  A community needs a common language to communicate and English is ours. That puts a great burden on the non-native speakers that we can easily take for granted.

2 Answers

+6 votes
Maybe we could incorporate something like a Bing translator- non-English speakers could write in their native language, we English-speaking folk could parse out their entries. Either that or we could all try to learn Esperanza- though I'm afraid some of us (me) would be pretty klutzy.
answered by Dorothy Coakley G2G6 Pilot (169k points)
Unfortunately, Dorothy, I don't think anything could be more klutzy than the online translators - they can give you the gist of what you're looking at, but you still need eyes-on by a flesh-and-blood person who is fluent in the language, as well as English.

I'd rather see everyone learn technobabble ... not only would it be easier for me (I'm already fluent in that), it would also help them add eye candy to their profiles.
I second that Gaile.  Online translators are pretty mediocre and at times give erroneous and embarrassing translations.
I remember the story told by a friend of mine who worked for Voice of America where she translated United States news into Russian and delivered the broadcast.  She told me about a new computer program they had just gotten (this was in the early 90's) that could translate idioms.  Someone tested it with the phrase "out of sight, out of mind" and the computer promptly spit out the Russian equivalent of "invisible idiot".
LOL!  Three for three in cracking me up today.  Thanks. I really needed that :-)
+2 votes
Here here!  I completely agree with your appreciation of our many members who participate in English, making it easier for those who don't have a second language.  We have a Dutch portal and a French portal is in the works.  I look forward to WikiTree finding more ways to make things easier for non-English speakers.
answered by Emma MacBeath G2G6 Pilot (516k points)

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