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-CJ-

Why this particular language?

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Just thinking. A person comes to Russia and finds a cache which has description/hints in English. After returning to the hotel he/she logs the cache in Latvian.

Or Portuguese. Or Greek. Doesn't matter.

I can (partially) understand Finnish cachers who drive to Karelia and log caches in Finnish, but it's not that easy to find reasons for French logs in Moscow.

Obviously, it's up to visitors what language to use in logs and seeing a log in a language which I don't know doesn't make me feel insulted :) On the other hand, I can imagine that if one writes something they do this for someone to read it. The only simple explanation I have is that one copies his "typical home log" which they use for every next cache, no details, no specific data, something like "We travel a lot and visited your wonderful country and liked it very much and found some caches here though failed to find some other caches and it was sunny all the time though it was rainy as well thank you very much for bringing us to this location and for the cache spasiba". However, sometimes when I try translating some logs with Google Translate I discover useful details in such logs (as a CO). 

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Having dozens of caches in Brazil and Portugal with our player account, I can't expect for every log to be written in portuguese... and sometimes, apart from english, french or spanish that I can read without translation I get also dutch, german and several other languages. For a brief moment I get offended, but after all, I prefer a decent log in any language than a simple "TFTC". :D 

It is perfectly natural to write in your own language I presume... so I guess it is the answer to your question.

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When I find a cache abroad, I'll log in English or the language of the country, if I'm capable to do so. Some people in my area always log in English, but they are in the minority.

Most people will log in the language they are used to speak, and if I ever come to Russia I'll not rely on Google tranlate, too. I learned that lesson when I tried to translate "На хрена нам воина" online.

 

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48 minutes ago, -CJ- said:

I can (partially) understand Finnish cachers who drive to Karelia and log caches in Finnish, but it's not that easy to find reasons for French logs in Moscow.

I have seen finnish cachers to log caches in finnish language all over the world. Sometimes I see finnish geocachers to log in english to finnish geocaches. I wrote my first log both in finnish and english because I did not know what is the practice. Now I know that there is no practice at all.

As a CO, I would say that the worst possible log is a log translated to the local language by Google translator. Not because it is a bad translator but because it usually makes the log incomprehensible. It is much better if the CO is using the translator and can choose the target language. I would welcome all native language logs to my own caches.

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43 minutes ago, RuideAlmeida said:

It is perfectly natural to write in your own language I presume... so I guess it is the answer to your question.

Logs serve for communications. If I communicate with anyone I will probably make sure that this person understands me. A decent log which is unreadable by the target audience is probably not the best way for people to communicate, no?

33 minutes ago, Rebore said:

if I ever come to Russia I'll not rely on Google tranlate

The cache page is in Russian and English - you can use English, right? My idea is that you probably should have doubts before using German. (German?)

I liked your example :) Make one small but important correction ("война", not "воина"), add a question mark to the end (it's actually a question) and tell me if you're satisfied with the translation.

You would probably also like translating this typically geocaching phrase from Russian: Лажа какая-то с этим кешем получилась.

47 minutes ago, arisoft said:

I have seen finnish cachers to log caches in finnish language all over the world

I forgive them because they're nice :) One of the best meet-and-greet events I've hosted was in Helsinki. It was also in this city where I tried to find a cache with both description and hint in Finnish only without knowing the language and without using Google Translate or its alternatives - and succeeded :)

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33 minutes ago, -CJ- said:

I forgive them because they're nice :) One of the best meet-and-greet events I've hosted was in Helsinki. It was also in this city where I tried to find a cache with both description and hint in Finnish only without knowing the language and without using Google Translate or its alternatives - and succeeded :)

Thanks :D

I have also been nice and made a cache only in russian language https://coord.info/GC53W28

As you see... almost every geocacher has logged it in finnish except one of the FTF finders and one russian geocacher "-NZ-" who logged it in english and russian.

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This cache is quite unusual, arisoft. But, you know, if -NZ- logged it in Japanese he would fit into the category I described in my first message here :)

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Ah, language.  I did log one cache in Spanish because the cache page was in Spanish.  Unusual for that section of New Jersey.  Otherwise, I log in English.

My caching partner was hispanic.  Born in Cuba, raised in New York/New Jersey.  He was used to being able to understand almost anyone talking.  On the way back from Maine, one year, we stopped off in Quebec to find some caches there.  (Color in a province.)  My high school French was good enough to ask the lady walking down the street "Ou est le parc Johnson?"  And good enough to understand her reply "Une kilometre a droit."  My partner was completely lost!  He logged the cache in Spanish, I in English.  (And I could even understand most of the road signs!  Except what a kilometre is...)

I live in a town that is 60% hispanic.  Someone asked me why some of my cache names are in Spanish?  Because my partner was hispanic, and I liked the name Los dos osos negros.  Four words ending in 'os'.  We mentioned that the black bear local to several of my caches is named Amparo Oso.  (Named after a nosy neighbor of my partner.  And this bear is nosy too!)  Someone translated the name and said he'd never go anywhere near that park!  

A few of my caches are popular with Americans and non-Americans.  I get logs in French, German, Czech &c.  And logs in English by cachers whose native language is not English.  Somehow, it doesn't bother me.  Fulfill the requirements; log cache on-line.  Works for me.

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18 hours ago, -CJ- said:

I liked your example :) Make one small but important correction ("война", not "воина"), add a question mark to the end (it's actually a question) and tell me if you're satisfied with the translation.

Thanks, I think this is a little bit closer to what it actually means (war instead of warrior), but it's still... how do I put that without violating the forum guidelines...  not a question and ends with "for us" according to google translate. ;)

I think it should mean something like "Who needs the war?", right? And I thought Czech is hard.

Sorry if this is off topic, but I don't know any native speakers and am still curious..

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When abroad I will log in my native English. Not because I want to offend anyone. But because I am incompetent with language. After learning how foolish I looked trying to use Google Translate, I just stopped using it (to log).

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22 hours ago, Rebore said:

I think it should mean something like "Who needs the war?", right?

Or "Wherefore do we need war?" but a bit more expressive.

Anyway, the original post was not about Google Translate :) It was about the situation when someone successfully reads descriptions and hints in English (so it looks like he/she knows English), finds a cache and writes his log in Dutch. I wonder why. 

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58 minutes ago, -CJ- said:

It was about the situation when someone successfully reads descriptions and hints in English (so it looks like he/she knows English), finds a cache and writes his log in Dutch. I wonder why. 

To find a traditional cache, you often don't need any hint or description, just the coordinates. And if you need the hint, Google Translate is mostly good enough. So, just because someone finds the cache, it doesn't mean at all that they understood a single word from the cache description. On top of that, many people feel very uncomfortable to write something in English, even if they have some basic knowledge of the language (i.e. good enough to grasp the essence of a cache description ;) ). And finally, many cachers are just lazy - they paste the same copy&paste log in their native language, regardless where they are caching :( .

Outside my home country (Germany) I always log in English, because that's the only foreign language in which I can express myself. I have some very rudimentary knowledge of French, so when caching in France I may or may not append one or two simple sentences in French.

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19 hours ago, bflentje said:

When abroad I will log in my native English. Not because I want to offend anyone. But because I am incompetent with language. After learning how foolish I looked trying to use Google Translate, I just stopped using it (to log).

This is the approach we take, I didn't realize some expected us to try and learn another language on the fly.

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Geez...apparently it's not just here in the US that people will look for any excuse to be offended.  

Okay, here's the deal...I speak english.  I don't know any other language.  Sure, I'll do what I can to learn important words or phrases...but I can't effectively communicate entire thoughts in other languages.  Therefore, I will write my logs in english.  Don't get offended by that.  How about you just deal with it?   Maybe if I log one in France, I'll throw in a 'merci' or 'bonjour' where I feel it appropriate...but I certainly wouldn't be AT ALL offended if someone from France wrote their log in french on my cache.  My only thought would be "cool...nice to have some international visitors to my hometown!".

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I wonder if it would be worthwhile for GS to add a 'translate this' option to the log view. Anything from a simple link to say google translate to translate that specific page to a select language (easily linked, and the default could be the country's native language for the CO), or a scripted button that appends a translated text block to the log view with a select language. Neither would be too hard to implement, but might be able to assuage some of the confusion or laziness about having to understand what someone writes. Definitely wouldn't be a guaranteed accurate translation, but I can't imagine how many people actually don't know you can easily translate blocks of text very quickly online...

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I think baer2006 provided excellent explanation and the answer to my question, thank you. Good point, thebruce0, thanks for looking from that perspective.

2 hours ago, usyoopers said:

This is the approach we take, I didn't realize some expected us to try and learn another language on the fly.

No one here in this thread expected this, I hope :)

2 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

people will look for any excuse to be offended

No one here in this thread do this, I hope :) 

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20 hours ago, baer2006 said:

Outside my home country (Germany) I always log in English, because that's the only foreign language in which I can express myself. I have some very rudimentary knowledge of French, so when caching in France I may or may not append one or two simple sentences in French.

I've found caches in places with 20 different languages as the official language for the country (several of those countries have multiple official language).  Like it or not, English is considered the official language for business, so I post all of my logs in English.  I will, however, at least try to add "thanks for the cache" in the local language.  As a cache owner, I have enjoyed the very logs I've had on my caches in another language.  Even if I don't understand a word of it, I think it's kind of cool to see someone that doesn't even speak English logging one of my caches.  

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I have translated many a cache description from local languages into English, enough to know that online translation services, while they continue to improve, remain far from perfect. 

I log my finds in English, regardless of the cache language, because I want them to be understandable.  I don't trust robots to translate my logs.

I think I know enough French and German to be able to patch together simple logs that would probably appear to have been written by a five year old.  If that.  For earthcaches and virtual caches that require answers to logging questions, I start by apologize for writing in English but explain that my foreign language skills are lacking.

When we had active hides in Germany, the descriptions were in English, for the same reasons above.  The majority of German cachers logged in German, though a healthy minority logged in English.  I accepted both.  The German caches who knew me from events (and knew how terrible my German was) typically logged in English.

At the moment, we have one active foreign hide, an earthcache in Norway.  It has a description in both English and Norwegian, because even though it was published before the requirement to have a description in the local language, I thought it would be best to follow the updated guidelines.  I did not attempt to use a robot translation; instead, I contacted a couple of Norwegian cachers who had logged it previously and bribed them with a couple geocoins to translate it.  It's a mixed bag as far as logging language, though most of the emails/messages we get with the answers have been in English.

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4 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I will, however, at least try to add "thanks for the cache" in the local language.

I need to get better at doing this.  Hopefully I'll have the chance to put this practice in place come July...knock on wood

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21 hours ago, -CJ- said:
23 hours ago, J Grouchy said:

people will look for any excuse to be offended

No one here in this thread do this, I hope :) 

I've read a lot of your posts over the years, and you're always reasonable. So I knew you weren't offended and you explicitly said in the OP that you weren't insulted. Nevertheless, when I read the OP, I felt relieved that my only language is English because you exempted people who log in English from what, for all the world, sounded like a class of people you were complaining about because they logged in a language other than English or the language the description was written in.

Now admittedly, I can read the OP as being just curious without complaining, but it's hard because if the OP is meant to only ask the neutral question "Why do people log in other languages?", then question seems a little silly since the answer is obvious: because they're logging in the only language they can log in.

Being monolingual, I really can't imagine having a choice of languages, a choice you make every day. But I'm thinking your OP was intended to encourage people with a choice to stretch themselves and log in the native language even if the log might be less than perfect. That sounds like a charming idea. But my feedback on the text of the OP is it came across as being more critical than encouraging.

By the way, now I'm curious: some people have suggested the idea of logging at least TFTC the cache in the local language. Would that gesture do anything for you? You seem to be clear that you're mainly interested in people being able to understand the log, so I'm thinking a mere gesture wouldn't address you concerns.

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On 15.1.2018 at 3:42 PM, -CJ- said:

Or "Wherefore do we need war?" but a bit more expressive.

Thank you, much appreciated.

Native English speakers don't need to worry much, because that's the fallback language almost everywhere.

In Europe it's not unusual if children learn up to three or four foreign languages in school. Nevertheless most of the logs are written in the language that the author knows best.

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2 hours ago, dprovan said:

 

By the way, now I'm curious: some people have suggested the idea of logging at least TFTC the cache in the local language. Would that gesture do anything for you? You seem to be clear that you're mainly interested in people being able to understand the log, so I'm thinking a mere gesture wouldn't address you concerns.

The way I see it, TFTC (just using the acronym) is a mere gesture towards thanking the CO.  Writing out "Thanks for the cache", to me, is more sincere and writing it in the cache owners native language makes even more personal.  I have no idea  whether cache owners appreciate it or not but I know that, as a general rural locals in countries where English is not a the primary language appreciate any attempt in their local language rather than assume they understand English.  

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2 hours ago, hzoi said:
6 hours ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

I will, however, at least try to add "thanks for the cache" in the local language.

I need to get better at doing this.  Hopefully I'll have the chance to put this practice in place come July...knock on wood

There was a thread started a few years ago with people contributing translations of "Thanks for the cache" in quite a few different languages.

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52 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

There was a thread started a few years ago with people contributing translations of "Thanks for the cache" in quite a few different languages.

A very useful thread! I stumbled across it once by chance while searching for something else. I now look for it specifically whenever I go to a country where I don't know the local language to check if there is a translation for the language I need. So far, there has always been one and looking through previous logs on the caches I found always showed that local cachers actually use the phrase.

I don't know if the CO's appreciated seeing it at the end of my logs (otherwise in English), but that small gesture made me feel better at least. I keep the rest of my logs in English because I can only write coherently in that or my native language. 

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4 hours ago, dprovan said:

Now admittedly, I can read the OP as being just curious without complaining, but it's hard because if the OP is meant to only ask the neutral question "Why do people log in other languages?", then question seems a little silly since the answer is obvious: because they're logging in the only language they can log in.

This is not always so straightforward. Finland is a bilingual country but for some reason geocachers who speak Swedish natively are mostly using English on logs and cache descriptions while Finninsh speaking geocachers are mostly using Finnish. This is something I've been wondering for a long time.

Edited by arisoft

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On 16.01.2018 at 7:02 PM, dprovan said:

the answer is obvious: because they're logging in the only language they can log in

Some Russian cachers write their logs in English for caches in Russia. Indeed, English is not their first language and they mostly don't speak fluent English to it takes some efforts to write such logs - but they still do. Why? It could be because they want more people to read their logs. Or probably they think that corresponding COs are foreigners who don't know Russian. (We still have such caches around here). Or maybe they just think that geocaching is international so English is preferrable being an "international language". Or they may even don't know that the website has Russian interface (yes, there still are people who haven't tried that dropdown menu at the bottom) so they think that if all menus and explanations and everything are in English (the default language) their logs should be in this language too. Or people can see the previous logs and if these logs are all in English they just use the same approach thinking that Russian is probably not welcomed here. Or they can be too lazy and just have one log for all caches/countries. See, I provided six possible reasons and I think that there also can be different reasons for publishing logs in Polish on a cache page written in English for a cache located in Norway.

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On 16.01.2018 at 7:02 PM, dprovan said:

By the way, now I'm curious: some people have suggested the idea of logging at least TFTC the cache in the local language. Would that gesture do anything for you? You seem to be clear that you're mainly interested in people being able to understand the log, so I'm thinking a mere gesture wouldn't address you concerns.

I think it's a different topic.

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23 minutes ago, -CJ- said:

Some Russian cachers write their logs in English for caches in Russia. Indeed, English is not their first language and they mostly don't speak fluent English to it takes some efforts to write such logs - but they still do. Why? It could be because they want more people to read their logs. Or probably they think that corresponding COs are foreigners who don't know Russian. (We still have such caches around here). Or maybe they just think that geocaching is international so English is preferrable being an "international language". Or they may even don't know that the website has Russian interface (yes, there still are people who haven't tried that dropdown menu at the bottom) so they think that if all menus and explanations and everything are in English (the default language) their logs should be in this language too. Or people can see the previous logs and if these logs are all in English they just use the same approach thinking that Russian is probably not welcomed here. Or they can be too lazy and just have one log for all caches/countries. See, I provided six possible reasons and I think that there also can be different reasons for publishing logs in Polish on a cache page written in English for a cache located in Norway.

OK, thanks for the explanation. As a language challenged American, I'll sit back and watch what answers you get.

20 minutes ago, -CJ- said:

I think it's a different topic.

Well, I know that now.

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On 1/16/2018 at 5:40 AM, NYPaddleCacher said:

 I will, however, at least try to add "thanks for the cache" in the local language. 
 

As a cache owner, I have enjoyed the very logs I've had on my caches in another language.  Even if I don't understand a word of it, I think it's kind of cool to see someone that doesn't even speak English logging one of my caches.  

This. ^   I have logged details in English and added 'Thanks for the cache' in the native language also.

Being in the midwest, It would be cool to get a log from an international traveler in their native language on one of my caches.

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I have to leave this here because I love it, but I'm sorry for the distraction from the original topic. Well, just a little.

 

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