Hello everyone! I'm not a native English speaker, but I was taught English at school. English has been a mandatory subject at school for a long time, where I live, so all the people who use the internet here are familiar with the English language to some degree. I mean, the language wouldn't be an issue.
I needed some time to get acquainted with the forum. I used to get involved in one project at a time in the beginning, as it was difficult for me to orient myself in the forum, so I kept to one open thread at a time. But after some time, I got to know the forum, some functions like the "View your posts" link, etc, and navigating the forum became very easy!
So perhaps a separate forum for non-english discussions/projects might be helpful for the non-english members, especially if they're new, or maybe it just takes time to get used to the forum, and then browsing and finding what you're looking for is a piece of cake!
The biggest problem for me, though, is that the language I'm more comfortable reading in, namely Greek, was much more different a 100 years ago than today, rendering it actually more difficult to read PD publications of that time. Few authors wrote in the Demotic Greek (which we use today). The prevalent/official written Greek was the Katharevousa. Demotic became the official Greek language somewhere in the 70s, so for me (attending school in the 80's) Katharevousa is as foreign as Ancient Greek; I can read it, but I can't be sure of the correct pronunciation, and never quite sure I understand what I'm reading
Nothing that Librivox can do about it, but I'm mentioning it because it might be a reason why other languages are scarce in Librivox, too.
Another thing was lack of PD sources. Gutenberg offers a relatively small variety of non-English texts. But looking around I started finding some nice sources, for example: http://anemi.lib.uoc.gr/
, which offers scanned works, also downloadable as PDF, that are in the Public Domain in Greece, that is author death date + 70 years, but by the publications date, most are also PD in USA. So if other people know of good PD sources for various languages, we could collect them in a nice list for the different languages, in the wiki (not sure if there's already such a list?)
Finding a proof-listener is a problem, yes, but I think there are workarounds. Someone might be able, for example, to proof-listen along with the text, matching sound to written word, without the need to understand what it means. Then my hope is that, the more recordings there are in a given language, the more possiblities for new members, speakers/listeners of that language, to join our community!
On a side note, maybe the concept, the idea of audio books, or of the voluntary creation of audiobooks, is still strange to many places of the world. There isn't an official standard greek word for audiobook, it's either "audiobook", too, or the descriptive phrase of "ακουστικό βιβλίο" (acoustic book) or "ηχητικό βιβλίο" (sonic book), and the most frequent reaction I get when I mention "recording audiobooks" is
- "how much are you getting paid?"
- "oh, no, that's a hobby. I'm volunteering"
Another reaction is "oh, wow, that sounds interesting!"
But apparently not interesting enough for them to get involved