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OZ2CPU

Make geocaching Tourist friendly again

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Hello HQ, and all other users, please help here.

Foreword:
Many of us geocachers use the hobby as a reason to travel,

all arround the globe actually, geocaching is the main reason, and main attraction.
Problem:
In almost all countries cache text and hints are going more and more into local languages, and not like it was in the "good" old days, where mostly English was used.
So today it is impossible for a turist to read and understand many important hints, this lead to much higher Did Not Find rates, and many more sad geocachers out there.
There is no technical solution right now for this, since GSAK or GPS devices can not translate,

and also sometimes hints are spelled backwards or intentionally spelled wrong, this way any types of translator tool is useless.
Also trying to get online via a phone in many remote locations is either impossible, or insanely expensive data rates for a turist.
The solution:
Make a new rule for new caches, And a suggestion to fix this, on existing caches:
To add, an English version of the hint, after the local language.
It dont need to be perfect English, or perfect spelled, just a fair chance for all people, all over the world.
No need to have the entire cache page in English too. it is just the important hint, if it is used.
If this is a part of the reviewer check,
all caches will soon be turist friendly again, and we will have even more travel activity, and many more happy geocachers,
with a much higher find rate.
I hope you all see the point in this, and will fight to solve this important problem,
Please spread the word, please update your own caches already this week :-)
I did of course.
thanks in advance, Geocacher OZ2CPU, Thomas Scherrer from Denmark

Edited by Keystone
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Just now, OZ2CPU said:

There is no technical solution right now for this, since GSAK or GPS devices can not translate,

 

Wrong. Look at the translate macro for GSAK here.

 

 

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If you cache with a phone, and your choice of app lets you copy text to the clipboard, you can configure Google Translate to automatically pop up a little "translate" widget in the corner of the screen; tap that to see the translation.

 

The app I use also has a more direct "translate" option in a couple of places (hint, logs), but the trick I mentioned above works for the one other place I'd want it, the description.

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31 minutes ago, OZ2CPU said:

Make a new rule for new caches, And a suggestion to fix this, on existing caches:
To add, an English version of the hint, after the local language.

What if there is no hint? Hints are not required.

What if the cache is in an English-speaking country and the hint isn't in English? I've seen that a time or two.

What if the CO decides to remove the hint for everyone rather than try to translate it into plain English?

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For a cache in Ecuador last year I asked a local to translate the original Spanish part of the listing that was translated in English (by a translate website) but made no sense.

 

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57 minutes ago, OZ2CPU said:

Hello HQ, and all other users, please help here.

Foreword:
Many of us geocachers use the hobby as a reason to travel,

all arround the globe actually, geocaching is the main reason, and main attraction.
Problem:
In almost all countries cache text and hints are going more and more into local languages, and not like it was in the "good" old days, where mostly English was used.
So today it is impossible for a turist to read and understand many important hints, this lead to much higher Did Not Find rates, and many more sad geocachers out there.
There is no technical solution right now for this, since GSAK or GPS devices can not translate,

and also sometimes hints are spelled backwards or intentionally spelled wrong, this way any types of translator tool is useless.
Also trying to get online via a phone in many remote locations is either impossible, or insanely expensive data rates for a turist.
The solution:
Make a new rule for new caches, And a suggestion to fix this, on existing caches:
To add, an English version of the hint, after the local language.
It dont need to be perfect English, or perfect spelled, just a fair chance for all people, all over the world.
No need to have the entire cache page in English too. it is just the important hint, if it is used.
If this is a part of the reviewer check,
all caches will soon be turist friendly again, and we will have even more travel activity, and many more happy geocachers,
with a much higher find rate.
I hope you all see the point in this, and will fight to solve this important problem,
Please spread the word, please update your own caches already this week :-)
I did of course.
thanks in advance, Geocacher OZ2CPU, Thomas Scherrer from Denmark

 

I geocache while traveling quite often but don't travel specifically to geocache.   I also to try to find a gazillion geocaches so has always been easy to find cache listings in English or with English translations, and it some cases it doesn't matter of the cache page is in a language I don't understand.  I understand lat/long coordinates.   If I can't find a cache without a hint or English translation of the listing, I'm fine with that.  I don't need to find every cache.  

 

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Coordinates are enough if you just do traditionals. On holiday I prefer earthcaches and virtuals as they are (most of the time) at interesting locations. Traditionals are at the bottom of my list when caching abroad but given the high percentage of traditionals vs other kinds of caches we do find them when abroad B)

 

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1 hour ago, OZ2CPU said:

I hope you all see the point in this, and will fight to solve this important problem,

 

I don't think all cache pages should have multiple languages just in case someone from another country might happen to stop by.

I haven't had the need to figure a language for Coordinates ...   

Google is simple, and even I can understand the basics:)

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1 hour ago, OZ2CPU said:

Make a new rule for new caches, And a suggestion to fix this, on existing caches:
To add, an English version of the hint, after the local language.

 

But the French geocachers want to read hints in French and the German geocachers in German etc. How do you solve this problem in your suggestion?

The better option is Latin which is already used (or Esperanto). Groudspeak could also give us a set of international hint attributes. I mean icons for "Under a rock", "Magnetic" etc...

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If all French German Spanish etc. Caches all have to have English translations it's only fair that all English caches have to have French German Spanish etc. Translations as well. I would be just as happy pulling out Google translate!

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We know of a few places here in the US where some don't speak/understand English.

Should we in the US have to add another language or two to our caches ?   I don't see that happening any time soon...

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I wonder how, forcing any language in the cache listings would make them "friendly" for tourists...

Except if you want the world to look the same all around

For me I will always prefer the amazing diversity of all the ways of speaking in this globe (and beyond).

And for any english speaker... it is a good way to learn other languages. ;)

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I can't imagine asking any other cacher to provide a translation in my language, simply because I don't want to bother copying/pasting the description and/or hint into a translation app.  While English is spoken in many countries, it is not a universal language.  I visited Europe a few years ago and went to multiple countries where the write-ups were all in French or German or Italian.  I had no issues caching.

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Forcing an English hint is pretty one sided also inadequate. Sometimes hints are in the description or even as notes in the logs. A better solution would be to support all languages. 

 

The real question is would you be willing to pay for this? Either Google or another service would require support and possibly service fees. 

 

Best suggestion is to prepare before you go and translate potential caches and use your geosenses. Choose easy caches and be willing to walk away empty handed. 

 

 

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Living in a town that is 60% Hispanic, and since my partner was Cuban, I have a few caches with their names in Spanish.  Hey, I liked four word title with all words ending in -os.  Los Dos Osos Negros.  (The Two Black Bears.)  And people have asked me why I have Spanish names for some caches.  Quien sabe?

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12 hours ago, arisoft said:

The better option is Latin which is already used (or Esperanto).

It isn't really though, is it?

 

The OP's purpose in requesting this is to have a single linqua franca which will be used on all cache pages and understood by most cachers. While Latin and Esperanto could fulfill that purpose, English is already the most common second language across the world and so it would make sense to adopt that on cache pages as it's already very widely understood (unlike Latin and Esperatno).

 

Having said that, I don't think it's a good idea, as an native English speaker it would make life easy for me, but I quite like the additional challenge of looking at caches in their native language, particularly now that translations can easily be done in the field with a phone app if needed.

 

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I think that cache owners who feel the need to accomodate tourists already have (part of) their cache description in more than one language. 

Not every cache is suitable/interesting/meant for tourists, they are meant for geocachers. If you, as a geocacher, want to do a specific cache that is not in your language I'm sure you'll find a way to manage the language issue.

 

Why does everything has to be made easy? Next step is that you have to attach an arrow (including a pen and an umbrella) to the wall/tree pointing to the cache so that people who can't read, have an empty battery, forgot their pen, have issues with sunlight when they read a cache page on their phone, who's printer was out of paper, who simply don't have time to prepare for a geocaching trip/vacation, have a family with them that doesn't want you to search for a cache more than 5 seconds,  don't like caching in the rain/cold/heat, are on a busy trip and only have time for one cache in each country preferably inside their hotel, need to find a cache when all satellites are down to keep their streak alive, not in the mood to solve a puzzle etc. etc  etc. can find any cache.

So instead of a hint in English on every cache I propose a large arrow including a pen on the wall/tree next to each cache. Of course I have some additional wishes like an automatic log when I sign the cache so I don't have to have an internet connection, search the gc code etc., but let's start easy. ;)

 

 

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I've gotten a lot of mileage out of using Chrome on my phone to get translated cache pages without having to use another app or copy or paste anything.  The translation isn't perfect, but it's much better than what we used to get 10+ years ago, when I used to have to manually plug every cache description into Google translate.

 

Although I cache primarily with GPSr, I have yet to use the GSAK translate macro before exporting caches to my GPSr.  For the couple times I haven't had enough signal to load the cache page in Chrome on my phone, I've just used the offline Google translate app (which has German loaded offline) and used the camera to translate what's on the GPSr screen.

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I generally appreciate English cache listings or hints in countries where I don't speak the local language. However, when caching in France, Italy and Croatia in the last years' holidays, I more than once made the experience that I couldn't make a lot of sense from the CO's English, but the Google translation of the native text was much more helpful.

 

So, what I want to say is: A mandatory English hint might not be as useful as the OP is thinking. Therefore I suggest a workflow like hzoi - prepare both the cache listings and Google translator for offline use, and translate anything on the fly, when needed.

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It's amazing sometimes how much you can begin to guess at in another language, after a little practice. I spent a few weeks in Norway and I was amazed how many of the Norwegian hints I guessed at that I got correct. I don't speak Norwegian and I am hopeless at languages, but by the end (actually earlier than that) I was understanding more hints in Norwegian than not. (But perhaps that's because of some similarities with English. A more remote language I might have found more difficult.)

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2 hours ago, Goldenwattle said:

It's amazing sometimes how much you can begin to guess at in another language, after a little practice. I spent a few weeks in Norway and I was amazed how many of the Norwegian hints I guessed at that I got correct. I don't speak Norwegian and I am hopeless at languages, but by the end (actually earlier than that) I was understanding more hints in Norwegian than not. (But perhaps that's because of some similarities with English. A more remote language I might have found more difficult.)

 

Yep.  I was happy to discover when I returned to Germany after a nine year absence that I had retained most of the "caching German" I needed for hints.  But then I had a few years' practice.

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On 9/11/2018 at 7:44 PM, MNTA said:

Best suggestion is to prepare before you go and translate potential caches and use your geosenses. Choose easy caches and be willing to walk away empty handed. 

 

 

 

This.  Also worth considering is that you don't need to find every cache.

 

 

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50 minutes ago, NYPaddleCacher said:

you don't need to find every cache.

 

No, but when you're standing at GZ and needing a hint, suddenly it becomes more important.

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5 minutes ago, Viajero Perdido said:

 

No, but when you're standing at GZ and needing a hint, suddenly it becomes more important.

 

Yes, that's happened to me, more than a few times.   What I usually do is stop searching and look for the next closest cache on the map and try to find that one.  If one actually holds the notion that "you don't need to find every cache" it just doesn't seem to feel like an issue if you just walk away and look for a different cache.  

 

As others have suggested, the key for me is preparation.   Focus on caches which do have listings I can understand,   translate (even if it's imperfect) listings in languages that I don't,  and ignore the rest.  

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