How to make non English speakers more welcome?

Comments about LibriVox? Suggestions to improve things? News?
Piotrek81
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Post by Piotrek81 » November 1st, 2014, 6:47 am

Yeah, you're right- I forgot about this. Still, that's not what I meant- I should have been more precise, sorry. I meant a list enumerating works by language- something like "we have: 300 works in German, 200 in French ... 15 in Polish. Come help us expand our catalogue" in an easily visible place. Currently this language-determining function is not working correctly in the "advanced search".
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Hokuspokus
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Post by Hokuspokus » November 1st, 2014, 6:54 am

Summary of ideas so far:

Translate Wiki material to LOTE

Offer mentors to newbies

Subtitles or even LOTE audio to Phil's videos

LOTE forums (with or without project threads)/ MULTILINGUAL forum

Sticky LOTE book suggestion threads

Wiki list of LOTE text sources

Advertise for LV on your blog/homepage

Welcome (all) newbies by answering the introduction post

Language tag in LOTE language ([DEUTSCH] Faust I von Goethe or [FRANCAIS] Lettres persanes de Montesquieu)

Creating Bienvenue! Willkommen! Benvenuto! Seja bem-vindo(a)! Bienvenido! threads in viewforum.php?f=18 with relevant links (active projects, wiki pages, LOTE book suggestions

We could have 'promotion months' where we focus on growing one language's members. Make sure there's a Wikipedia page for LibriVox in that language, have some blog posts in that language trying to recruit people, promote existing recordings and in progress works, a podcast showcasing that language, and so on

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Post by ScottLawton » November 1st, 2014, 7:31 am

Availle wrote:
Hokuspokus wrote: On the catalog pages it says: Language: German. It might be possible to change that to Language: German/Deutsch
I like that idea. Maybe even the other way around: Deutsch/German. I wonder how hard it would be to implement at this stage.
From a purely technical standpoint, it looks like a trivial change. The database has a languages table with separate ID and sort order fields: https://github.com/LibriVox/librivox-public/blob/master/schema/librivox_catalog_new.sql

The rest of the code appears to use the ID where it 'should' -- though that's just based on a quick skim and search, so no guarantees. From other threads, it appears that technical changes are off-limits at the moment. Now that the source code is on Github, I would guess that tech volunteer(s) could be found to make and test changes on their own equipment if 'Librivox' would then do the much smaller effort of integrating those changes. (The code is PHP not Python, so I'm not volunteering. Alas.) .... I don't want to hijack the thread into unrelated technical issues; I just wanted to give a complete answer. e.g. totals by language could also be added in this fashion.
Cheers,

Scott
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Hokuspokus
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Post by Hokuspokus » November 1st, 2014, 7:47 am

Availle wrote: Besides, I'm not sure how I would do with my division of 5 fiction - 3 non-fiction, 1 drama and 1 poetry entry then :wink:
Maybe you could expand you scheme and make it 5 fiction - 3 non-fiction, 1 drama and 1 poetry and 1 LOTE. You could start with an interesting LOTE work, find general theme for it and then find the rest? ;-)

Seriously, why not do it that way every second or third month?

1 LOTE every month would do more for visibility than a exclusively LOTE month every year, I think.

Piotrek81
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Post by Piotrek81 » November 1st, 2014, 9:35 am

Hokuspokus wrote:Thank you all for your ideas and comments.
That there are only very few should tell us something, and I'm afraid it doesn't tell us that all non-English speakers are totally happy with things. I suspect that non native speakers don't come down here much.
If you are on friendly terms with non-English speaking BCs maybe you could contact them and ask them to post the link to this thread in the projects they BC or contact their project readers? It may really be that non-English language volunteers rarely post here and so have no idea that they could contribute something useful to this discussion.
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Hokuspokus
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Post by Hokuspokus » November 1st, 2014, 11:14 am

Thank you for the reminder, Piotr. I always wanted to post in the French and German book suggestion threads but forgot about it. Done now.

I hesitate to make this a sticky because I tend to overlook stickies. :oops:

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Post by J_N » November 1st, 2014, 12:20 pm

My 2 cents:
1.) I believe volunteering in general is important in the US and also the UK. In Austria, not so much. I don't know about other countries, but if volunteering is not ingrained in your culture, less people will go looking for volunteering opportunities.

2.) (Again speaking with my Austiran-goggles on) Audiobooks are imo just now starting to become mainstream. They used to be for kids and old people, only. [That also goes for reading out loud in general.]

I don't think there is really anything we can do to attract more readers (short of actively advertising) and I believe the community in general is really welcoming and open towards new volunteers.

The only thing, I can think of is having beginner's projects. Short & easy. At the moment, we usually have different short works collections where people have to find their own works first. If there was a project with short sections (~500 words) reserved for beginners (maybe with a limit of 3 sections per person), that might make it easer for some to start off and not get frustrated by sections of 3000 words or more. I think there have been English projects like this - unfortunately they are probably hell to administrate and prooflisten...
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Availle
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Post by Availle » November 1st, 2014, 4:24 pm

J_N wrote: 1.) I believe volunteering in general is important in the US and also the UK. In Austria, not so much. I don't know about other countries, but if volunteering is not ingrained in your culture, less people will go looking for volunteering opportunities.
I understand where you're coming from :wink: and I agree with you. Except for volunteering for the local Red Cross or Firefighters and maybe donating blood, there is not much of a volunteering culture in Austria, and maybe not in Europe as a whole. It would be an interesting topic to go into and figure out the reasons, but probably not here. :wink:

On the other hand: When you came here, did you really want to VOLUNTEER for this GREAT CAUSE? I mean, in the sense of: you had all this time on your hand, didn't know what to do with it and were looking for something to do to make the world a better place?

To be honest: I for sure didn't. I came here looking for books to listen to so that my 6-8 hour weekly drives would not feel like wasted time. At some point I thought, hey, this must be fun - I can do this myself! And to be even more honest, our mission "To make all PD books available for free, as audio, on the internet", I couldn't care less about it.

I am here because I have fun, and I will be here as long as I continue to do so. In a sense, librivox was never a volunteer organisation in the sense that we focus on the output; no, our focus was always on the readers and their input. We always were more like a club where same-minded people do what they like to do, together.

:hmm: Maybe this would be a good strategy to promote us in Europe: "Have you heard of this great online book-producing club already?"

Anyway, that's more philosophical than useful in this thread. But hey, I cannot resist going off on a tangent when I see one :lol:
Cheers,
Ava.

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Post by Hokuspokus » November 2nd, 2014, 12:35 am

:lol: You are both so right, Julia and Ava. There is not much volunteering in Germany either. We have the Verein where we have to do Pflichstunden or bekleiden ein Ehrenamt. (We have a club or association, have to do duty hours or hold an honorary post which is even more duty.) This is so typical German and basically untranslatable and so completely different from what and how we do things here, that it makes me laugh.

What we do here is fun and should be fun. And as every good game designer knows, the game must have just the right level of difficulty or else it is not fun. So how can we make live easier for people who find reading English difficult?

One more thing came to my mind. In some forums you can put smileys into the subject line of a topic so that it shows up when you browse the forum. Maybe we could implement that here, not with smileys but with flags that indicate the language.

This language/flag association is a complex discussion on it's own, but from the point of visibility it's the one thing that makes it 100% clear at one glance that we are doing many languages. We could even have an US flag for the projects that are pd in the US only.

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Post by smike » November 2nd, 2014, 12:55 am

Well, sticking my oar in:

I like Piotr's idea of a mentor. It seems to work on Distributed Proofreaders, where I am a mentor for newbies.

I wonder if Kayray could include a sentence in her welcome message, pointing out that there are LOTE forums here, and people willing to help?

That said, the newbie guide to recording is available in various languages, and under 'Sign up' it says that there are many projects available in various languages.

Still, I guess it would be more beneficial to have one sentence in the concise welcome message, than one on that wiki page, quite far down. In my experience, people don't actually read, they merely skim, if at all.
Claudia

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J_N
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Post by J_N » November 2nd, 2014, 1:03 am

Subtitles or even LOTE audio to Phil's videos
I think youtube has even a function for that now... so subtitles could be fairly easily implemented... if someone was willing to take the time :)
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J_N
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Post by J_N » November 2nd, 2014, 1:11 am

Availle wrote:We always were more like a club where same-minded people do what they like to do, together.

:hmm: Maybe this would be a good strategy to promote us in Europe: "Have you heard of this great online book-producing club already?"
I don't like clubs much... they either make me think of awful music and even worse dancing :lol: or of 'Verein' with all it's obligations and duties... we don't even have book-clubs here... that, too, seems to be an English prerogative... I wonder where it all comes from...

on a side-note: I came to Librivox actually through researching possibilities of volunteering... I though I could read to older people or help children with reading or something... and suddenly there was Librivox... and through Librivox I actually re-discovered audiobooks... it was volunteering that brought me here, but fun that made me come back and stay :)
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Post by annise » November 2nd, 2014, 1:20 am

J_N wrote:
Subtitles or even LOTE audio to Phil's videos
I think youtube has even a function for that now... so subtitles could be fairly easily implemented... if someone was willing to take the time :)
I may not know what I am talking about, but would it not need more than subtitles, aren't all the menus and things in whatever language is set , so the demonstrations would not work ?

Anne

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Post by crowwings » November 2nd, 2014, 11:09 pm

Well, its been a while since I joined LV.
But I remember very clearly, that I had to write an introduction, why I wanted to join, ... just to make sure, I was no spammer ....
otherwise: no entry, no unlock of my user account to the forum.

And guess what, this introduction text had to be ... right... in English ONLY.

Is this still the common procedure?

Anyway, J_N and smike and all the others are correct, English is a somewhat worldwide common language, BUT reading and understanding text is somewhat different from actually writing it, and not feeling embarrassed all the time, Hokuspokus is so very, very right about that.

So inviting foreign people by allowing them to post (mostly) in their own language is a big step into the right direction, to make them feel more welcome and at home!

Clubs or 'Vereine' in German are not such a good idea, they have an old-fashion attitude about them. Renaming is not solving this problem here, ... my opinion.
I don't agree on the so called volunteers mentality or culture barrier for volunteers in Europe, though. My reason for joining actually was: to share.
Altruistic. Okay, fun and nice people was another (after getting in touch with some person here), which made me stay. ;-)

But the forum itself really is a difficult-to-navigate place, took me quite a while, though I was no newby on forum stuff, - quite the opposite really.
Even with the danger of 'ghettoing', whole foreign language threads would be one step towards a solution. Means: whole 'Readers Wanted/Found' etc. for certain languages.

And something like a navigation tree, which , though, might be difficult to implement into a fixed message-board script like this forum here.

Hope it helps!
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Post by Carolin » November 3rd, 2014, 2:46 am

crowwings wrote:But the forum itself really is a difficult-to-navigate place, took me quite a while, though I was no newby on forum stuff, - quite the opposite really.
Even with the danger of 'ghettoing', whole foreign language threads would be one step towards a solution. Means: whole 'Readers Wanted/Found' etc. for certain languages.
ive been saying the same (we were discussing among the admins a bit as well). i think that as there are fewer readers there is less activity in lote project threads, so they tend to sink down to the second or third page of readers wanted, and are difficult to find there for newbies. we suggested creating a new readers wanted: lote, just to make the individual project threads more visible and easier to find.

i think making an individual subforum for each language would be overkill at this moment, but if we had more readers in a certain language, that would certainly warrant its own forum.
Carolin

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