Proposal - Language and location based content and categories

Side subject : is it possible technically to display the languages understood and spoken by a user ?

Like Babel user information

We could “share” these translations/concept in the knowledge base (aka DataItems)

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Why not fill our profile with this ?


A post was split to a new topic: Site URL to “communities”

While we are discussing this, the first language-oriented topic has been created: Netherlands+Belgium (dutch)

Any chance we can implement a consistent scheme before things become too complex?

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During this period the #communities category can serve for multiple communities to get familiar with the platform. People can use tags so we can easily move all things around to a new category with a couple of clicks.

In addition to that we can agree on a process to handle requests here and then grow organically as more people and communities start using the forums

OK. But is it clear to everyone that tags and categories may/will be reshuffled in some time?

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We can put clear wording about this and how topics might be moved if they are more suitable for other categories. The forum is a living thing, we will keep improving and evolving and we might want/need different things in the future than we need today.

Be aware that the more content we put here (including creating categories) before migrating the old forum, the more we create migration issues…

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Probably, but there are also a number of communities that were not active in the old forums and want to have a space here as soon as possible. We shouldn’t probably block any content creation or activity here because of a potential migration (which we haven’t decided yet if we’ll go that route).

Let’s keep this proposal open for input and feedback until March 29th.

After that date the @forums-governance team will take in consideration all the input and take a decision.


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There are lots of people that use the DE forum. It is serving both the needs of people, that prefer to communicate in the German language and to talk about local issues, that affect people in Germany.

I propose to add a category “Deutsch” to, that is explicitly tailored to talk about various issues in the German language. The category must not be named “German”, because this contradicts the low barrier entrance idea of accessibility for the people, that have no command of the English language.

The category should, in my personal opinion, NOT specify “issues in territories of the German Nation State” as something that it is about. Such should be in a different category, from perusing the DE forum, I thin a tag would be better. Very little talk there is about Germany as a whole.

No idea, if category is the right guide. After all, language does not lend itself for use as a category. Language is not a category. But discourse does not offer a suitable replacement. BTW: Machine translation, again my POV, will never capture the delicacies in phrasing. (Natives do not fare much better, but so be it.)

When you take a look at the posting statistics it is quite clear that the most intensely used categories in the “old forum” are some of the national user communities. Considering this fact my suggestions would be to migrate the existing user community structure into the “new forum” (together with the complete content of course). In the same way we show respect to the mapping work of other contributors the contributions of communitiy members to the forum should also be respected. Any set up national community, big or small, is well worth to get a place in the new forum.

Not every community member will be happy with the migration of the forum to a new platform, be it Discourse ore any other one. I do not think it would increase acceptance if the whole structure will be rearranged simultaneously. Talking about rearrangement could be the next step … keeping the forum alive. I personally would not have a problem to change the focus from national communities (France, Germany …) to language based communities (French, German …) but such a change should be based on a widespread discussion within the communities affected.


For country/ language specific communities, I like the set up of the current forum. Atleast for the Dutch part it seems to function well. I personally think it more important to have communities on country level rather than language level as central place to discuss country specific topics.

P.S. people seem to be creating topics in the communities section where they thought they created a community

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I think this is a good assessment. if something pertains to a specific region or country like Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, they could mark it with a country tag.

Maybe the header can rotate between languages? It could be a feature that people could turn on and off.

Let’s hope that this proposal will put a stop to the rude behavior that consists in switching from one language to another in a given topic. That was part of what I did not like in the previous forum, and that is coming back on this one.

Maybe it should be explicitly mentioned as discouraged in the forum guidelines?

Hi all. Late to the party on this new topic, excuse my delayed reply.

Regardless of what ends up being the topic structure of this forum, to have a translator plugin is critical to integrating our global community which is a huge goal of this forum. It ought be a high priority to implement.

After bringing it up in the previous topic I heard concerns of the imperfection of machine translation (for the record, give DeepL a try it’ll blow your mind) but this is just conjecture - the only way to see if this would work for our community is to try it out.

I agree fully with the comment above. Is the point of this forum not to bring us all together? Before we segregate our community by language and silo our conversations away from eachother based upon a barrier that in 2022 can be addressed by technology, we owe it to ourselves to try a translation plugin.

After testing out the plugin, it may be clear that language-specific spaces are the only way to go forward for our community, and that’s OK! At least we tried! And, we can still keep the translation plugin for curious users who want to see what other language communities are discussing!

For sure there may be implementation issues wrt to translating topic titles or getting notifications of posts in other languages, things getting confusing with multiple languages in a category…I’m not convinced this will solve everything.

But if we are to create language-specific spaces now there is no going back to delete categories, we already know how this goes in OSM, I’ve no hope we can reach consensus to change something back after it’s already been done. Just the reality.

To not give the translation plugin a try will be a huge missed opportunity, and I see no reason why we don’t try it. There really is no risk. And, I’m happy to help in the tech side of things to implement it, just let me know.


Went ahead and created another topic specifically about the translation plugin, as it’s not just relevant to forum category structure but the site as a whole.

Testing the translate plugin is something we would like to do eventually, right now we have still a few big things to sort out with the Help OSM and old forums transition.

We already know that a translator plugin is not going to replace language specific spaces, as some have already commented here. Thinking from a major European-language perspective it’s easy to think that a machine translation can solve it, but there are a ton of African and Asian languages where machine translation is not doing a great job.

Testing a translator plugin is not incompatible with enabling people spaces in their languages where there is nothing in the middle doing a okish-to-poor job adapting their tone and expressions.