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Divine

Feature Request: Multilingual Cache Pages

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This topic was discussed in the Geocaching Topics forum, and it was suggested that the idea would get better admin attention here, so here goes.

 

In countries where the native language is something else than English people often want to use their native languages when writing cache descriptions. For example, I offer both English and Finnish on most of my cache pages. English, because it kinda is the official language of geocaching (the server being on the US turf etc), and I wish that also foreign cachers visiting my neck of woods would also visit my caches. Finnish simply because the most cache hunters here are Finnish speaking Finns hunting in Finland.

 

In the present system there are however drawbacks. In countries like Netherlands the tendency is to have native language (Dutch in this case) descriptions only. That prevents e.g. me and many other visitors in Holland from seeking most of them. Even if you wanted to provide bi- or even trilingual cache descriptions, the cache pages grow excessively large, especially on more complicated caches like multi or puzzle cachers. The printouts will be unreasonably long, the additional hints part becomes large and it's generally confusing. Then there are countries and areas where they have significant sections of different languages speaking people, and the cache owner might like to provide a description for some if not for all of them.

 

The feature request is to have a possibility for the cache owner to place the different language cache descriptions on their own pages, e.g. in a way that there would be language links on the top of the cache page. When you click on such a link you'd get yourself the same page with the same logs and uploaded pictures etc. Just the language would be different depending on what the owner has provided. Adding the different languages could be implemented by separate forms in the cache submitting page, where the hider can type in their different language versions.

 

Of course, this would be just optional for everyone to use. English would be the recommended, 'default' language, and those who wish to offer other languages could use it. I'd be happy to have Finnish, German and Swedish descriptions on my cache pages, in addition to English.

 

Edit: typo.

Edited by Divine

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This topic was discussed in the Geocaching Topics forum, and it was suggested that the idea would get better admin attention here, so here goes.

I fully agree with Divine and thank him for taking the effort for reposting this issue here :huh:

 

Cezanne

Edited by cezanne

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now? :huh:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now?  ;)
'Course not! Tomorrow or early next week will do just fine. ;)
Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

Seriously, no hurries, we have done quite well with the present system. I guess we can still wait a bit. But I'm very glad that you have taken the idea into account now. Big thumbs-up! :huh:

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now?  :lol: [...]

 

Oh no Jeremy, it is not super-urgent at the moment but - with time passing - urgency goes up.

And I am already very happy to know that with the coming update/upgrade you will keep an eye on the 'will be prepared for multilingual use' issue.

 

Texts that are in content multilingual are a pain in the arse. Handling separate texts each in his own language is somewhat easier to accomplish.

 

Thanks! :D

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Not a bad idea, but how would PQs be handled?

 

I can't find any of the links now but I think I recall seeing some sites that let you put in a URL and it does translations of the web page. I don't know how good of a job they do or if they handle all of the languages you may need. But is that something thay may help?

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I can't find any of the links now but I think I recall seeing some sites that let you put in a URL and it does translations of the web page. I don't know how good of a job they do or if they handle all of the languages you may need. But is that something thay may help?

The results from such pages are more or less useless garbage. Plus, they cover only few languages. I'd do the translations myself. All I need is just means to set different languages in separate places.

 

The question of the Pocket Queries is a good one, and I really don't know yet how it should be handled. Jeremy will surey come up with something excellent. :lol:

Edited by Divine

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Thanks Divine, for bringing this important topic to where it belongs. We have really been discussing about this too long only in Nordic forums. I was about to start similar thread here, but this time you were faster :lol:

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The results from such pages are more or less useless garbage. Plus, they cover only few languages. I'd do the translations myself. All I need is just means to set different languages in separate places.

Oh ok I really had no idea if they were any good or not. You answered that question. I was just throwing it out there as a possible short term solution.

 

I understand what you are looking for, I hope you have the chance to see it come to pass. I only wish the best for my Nordic cousins.

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Great idea!

 

The question of the Pocket Queries is a good one, and I really don't know yet how it should be handled. Jeremy will surey come up with something excellent.

Hows about defining a preferred language in the profile?

 

Cache pages in the net and in the PQs will then selected accourdingly to your preferred language.

If the preferred language is not available, then either english or the preferred language of the hider is being selected.

 

Wulf

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This topic reminds me how spoiled I am to be fluent in English ... and I wasn't even born in the U.S.! Just a lucky break, I guess.

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I don't know, it sure is fun to try to figure out what one is supposed to do after translating with babel fish. :mad:

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I think this sort of thing is what geocacher Shunra does for a living. He may could be of assistance in the best ways to set it up.

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now? ;)

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

Well, thanks in advance.

And yes, it is urgent. :)

 

BS

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Bump.

 

Aucune idee quand ca pourrait être realisé?

Any idea when this could become reality?

Irgendeine Vorstellung über die Zeit bis zur Umsetzung?

 

Merci, Thanks, Danke, Hvala.

 

BS/2

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now?  :lol:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

I was glad to read that multilingual Versions are on the requirement list, but than I noticed the Date of the posting :D

Is there anything we can do to make the feature happen?? As there are cachers who offer their Cache-descriptions in more than 2 languages I would really appreciate to reduce the weight of my cache-description-folder in my bag by selecting 1 Version :o

Dunja

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I think this is really an important issue. Geocaching is getting more and more global, even here in southern Italy people start getting interested. B)

 

I am not among the most active cachers, but having multilingual support would make my life much easier and may attract more people here in Calabria (many have major difficulties with English).

 

ciao

rizzi

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I recently did Hervanta Water Tower (GCHV38) in Finland. The cache instructions were dual language - great. All of the logs were single language - I can't read the Finnish ones and I can't post my log in Finnish.

 

Presumably, even if we get "local +English" language support for the cache pages, this problem will remain with the logs. Unless the cache owner (or some delegated translator) translates the logs to make them dual language.

 

Maybe a link on each page to a viable free online translator for that language pair woulld work? (I haven't found a Finnish / English one that works yet!)

 

===sgb

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Maybe a link on each page to a viable free online translator for that language pair woulld work? (I haven't found a Finnish / English one that works yet!)

In case you haven't read this thread and similar ones:

There are no working online translators. (period)

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As I mentioned a bit about 2 years ago in this thread: there are different forms of multilingual.

Most people think that the Latin alphabet extended with some language-dependents glyphs ( French : ^,', ` and German " ) make things multilingual.

But there are a lot of not-latin alphabets in the world (Thai, Hindi, arabic..) you have to cater for.

Then:

1. there is the interface that is USA-English now. Multi-lingual sites mostly have a choice (by way of activating national flag symbols f.i.) for the interface language

2. the cache descriptions. You could follow the same way: different language pages. The question remains: should cache description text itself be multilingual? Could one make a text in English with parts in Thai and Greek on the same page?

3. the logs. They could be in whatever language and alphabet. You cannot distribute logs to different sections according to language without getting in trouble with the timeline.

Further: the site is looked at by browsers. How multilingual can those be (for output (view)and input (text)?

At last: have you ever thought about how to do searches and 'alphabetic' ordering on multilingual (Unicode) texts?

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I think caches in English and native language is a wonderful idea and I would love to see it. However, as we wait, I would love to thank those who currently place 2 or more languages on their cache page so non-native speakers can find their caches! This is a lot of work for these cache owners. Or at least, I find that when I translate it takes me a long time and I can't always find the correct word. Perhaps, those of us that live in the USA should think about bi or tri lingual cache discriptions for the visitors in our country.

 

Terri

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Perhaps, those of us that live in the USA should think about bi or tri lingual cache discriptions for the visitors in our country.

Don't get too much of a complex about it... unless you're right up on the Quebec border, you will have a hard time guessing which languages would be useful. I would guess that only a few people who cache in the US have any problem with English descriptions.

 

I'm a native English speaker living in France; I write all my cache descriptions in French first (partly out of courtesy, partly to avoid flames from the occasional chauvinist, and maybe the two reasons are closer than I think!) and then English. I've also been known to add German and Dutch, for puzzle caches where the wording is critical, because that covers the native language of 80% of the visitors to my caches.

 

One thing that would help everyone, however, including non-native speakers of English but also some native speakers, would be for people to write their English descriptions in a form that is reasonably grammatical and with a minimum of spelling errors. I'm constantly amazed at the number of caches where the owner has (presumably) put a lot of thought and effort into the cache, but then written the description in 30 SECONDS WITH THE CAPS LOCK KEY ON.

 

I'm slightly surprised to find caches near me, in France and with French owners, but written only in English. Especially because the English isn't always very well done; it would be nice to have the French version to work out what the owner means!

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Most people think that the Latin alphabet extended with some language-dependents glyphs ( French : ^,', ` and German " ) make things multilingual.

 

I do not agree.

 

But there are a lot of not-latin alphabets in the world (Thai, Hindi, arabic..) you have to cater for.

 

That's true - such languages also exist in Europe. I do not understand, however, why offering the possibility to separate languages in the cache description instead of having to bother every reader of the cache page with all provided language versions, is connected to your statement.

 

The requested feature would help those cachers who are used to provide their caches in more than one language already now which implies that the usage of those languages is possible with the current system of gc.com. It would actually mean a very small effort compared to many changes that have been made at gc.com to allow the separattion of languages.

 

Supporting languages with a different alphabet is a completely different story. The status quo is that typically, countries with such an alphabet have cache listing sites of their own (like Russia) or the caching activity in the country is very low to non-existent.

 

1. there is the interface that is USA-English now.  Multi-lingual sites mostly have a choice (by way of activating national flag symbols f.i.) for the interface language

 

The feature request was not about a multi-lingual interface.

 

2. the cache descriptions. You could follow the same way: different language pages. The question remains: should cache description text itself be multilingual?  Could one make a text in English with parts in Thai and Greek on the same page?

 

Apart from the problem with non-supported alphabets there should not exist any problem with having more than one language in one text. Actually this what gc.com forces those of us to do who are used to write in more than language.

 

3. the logs. They could be in whatever language and alphabet. You cannot distribute logs to different sections according to language without getting in trouble with the timeline.

 

The logs already now can be in any language with a supported alphabet. The real problem is the length restriction of 4000 characters imposed on the logs. All other geocaching sites I know of do not have this constraint which makes it much easier to provide multilingual logs without having to write several logs for one cache which is annoying and tiresome both for the logger and for everyone else. (Several watch list notifications, several log entries with the same contents if someone restricts to the last 5 logs etc.)

 

At last: have you ever thought about how to do searches and 'alphabetic' ordering on multilingual (Unicode) texts?

 

Normally searching should only occur in titles and titles do not need to be multilingual.

 

The requested feature was a much simpler issue than all those issues you come up with. Of course one can deal also with the attempt to provide a better support for non-Latin based alphabets, but this would be a major piece of work while the requested feature could be easily implemented and it would improve the current situation for many users of gc.com considerably.

 

Cezanne

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I'm slightly surprised to find caches near me, in France and with French owners, but written only in English. Especially because the English isn't always very well done; it would be nice to have the French version to work out what the owner means!

I am not that surprised. I know an even larger number of caches in Austria which are exclusively offered in English. Many cache owners argue that they do not wish to write in two or more languages unless it is possible to seperate the language versions impliying that everyone can choose which of the offered languages he/she wants to read/print. I do offer both an English and a German version, but I am very unhappy by the extremely long descriptions which result from this approach on gc.com.

 

I know some of your caches which are offered in four languages and I feel that it makes no sense at all being forced to print the text in four languages. It could be that easy to change the situation and offer the cache owners who use more than one language more flexibility and more freedom.

 

 

Cezanne

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I enjoy reading cache descriptions where the same text is offered in more than one language, especially if the owners native language is one that I know a little bit. This helps me learn the language.

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I know some of your caches which are offered in four languages and I feel that it makes no sense at all being forced to print the text in four languages.

I think that could give problems unless the translations are all of equal value. In many cases I've taken a German&English description along with me and been saved by the German when the English was either incorrect or missing on a particular point.

 

Now, if you're suggesting that people should make their descriptions more print-friendly in general, I'm with you 100%. It's very boring to have 6 pictures of the beautiful local landscape (but unrelated to the business of finding the cache) taking up paper and ink in a cache pintout. I have about two caches with one inline photo "for effect", and I'm thinking of taking those away too.

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I know some of your caches which are offered in four languages and I feel that it makes no sense at all being forced to print the text in four languages.

I think that could give problems unless the translations are all of equal value. In many cases I've taken a German&English description along with me and been saved by the German when the English was either incorrect or missing on a particular point.

 

I do not agree because you always have the chance to print/read as many language versions you wish, but you are not forced to do so when the different languages are offered separately. Moreover, as the homework part of mystery caches is regarded, you have the chance to check with other versions you have not printed in case of problems/unclear formulations without the need to print all versions (which wastes a lot of paper).

 

In Austria I usually know the cachers whose English can be trusted and where I do not need the German version in case one is available. If I do not know a cacher, a very quick glance typically shows me whether I should take more than one language version with me.

 

For example, in your case I would certainly take the English version with me when I go for the cache and would read the French at home for practicising my French vocabulary. I would not see any need to take German or Dutch versions with me.

 

Now, if you're suggesting that people should make their descriptions more print-friendly in general, I'm with you 100%. 

 

That's another issue. I am sorry to say, but I feel that a cache description which has 12 pages instead of 6 (two languages) or even 18 pages (3 languages) is annoying regardless of the layout used.

 

Do not tell me that you do not like cache descriptions that are that long at all - I do own such caches and some of my favourite caches among my founds do have a very long description as well. So these cases exist, but even for much shorter caches, I would appreciate the possibility to choose on my own which language versions I wish to take with me.

 

 

Cezanne

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now?  :anitongue:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

 

Two years later: Any update on this, Jeremy?

 

TIA,

BalkanSabranje

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now?  :ph34r:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

 

Two years later: Any update on this, Jeremy?

 

TIA,

BalkanSabranje

 

Bump. :lol:

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B) Well if this isn't done you can always use Google to translate.

 

Did you read and understand this thread?

 

It's about the request for a feature to make it possible to provide multiple language versions (the owners would be able to do this). Other listings sites can do this already.

 

Two examples:

http://www.opencaching.de

http://www.opencaching.cz

 

As for google: if you reread this thread, you'll find out that anyone with the command of at least a second language is of the opinion that automatic translation services generally produce just nonsense.

 

BS/2

Edited by BalkanSabranje

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Well, you could always do it this way.

Of course there are always work-arounds. But do you think that not to give the latest logs to the geocachers who speak french or netherlands is the perfect solution?

 

Greetings,

Tobias

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But do you think that not to give the latest logs to the geocachers who speak french or netherlands is the perfect solution?

Well, at least the listing is available in several languages. I agree it would be wonderful to have all the logs translated as well, but I don't see this as doable... /1/ People are not all able to write in several languages, /2/ not everybody who can would take the time to do it, and /3/ as mentionned above, those automatic "translators" often give very poor results...

 

Living in Belgium, I must admit I mostly write my listings and posts in English, though I've started to make some of them multilingual lately :mad: But then, it's may be just a question of lazyness, as English is so much crisper to write :D

 

BTW, as you can see from the latest log on above mentionned cache, we Belgians are not too regarding on languages :mad: Gr1sou starts his log in French (as he knows I am a native french-speaking), continues in English, and finally thanks (in French :mad: ) for providing a Dutch translation so his kids could follow! Didn't need need any gc.com structure to do that :huh:

 

Edit: Typos...

Edited by Jiheffe

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Speaking from experience, multi-lingual site development is a LOT harder than it sounds. That said, I think it's a really good idea and needs to happen at some point. But don't be surprised if it takes a bit to make happen.

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Speaking from experience, multi-lingual site development is a LOT harder than it sounds. That said, I think it's a really good idea and needs to happen at some point. But don't be surprised if it takes a bit to make happen.

 

Sure, but what Divine and mosdt of the other multilingual persons around here is not a multilanguage interface made by Groundspeak, but the chance to offer a second/third/fourth cache description on another page for the cache owners.

 

Example:

Cache X

N45°45.344'

E78°78.565'

 

descriptions:

EN

DE

FR

RU

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Couldn't this be approached at least "one step at a time"? I understand that doing "true" multilingual support is a lot of work - it would be a nice start if there is some sort of attribute saying in which languages a cache description is made available by the owner.

 

So if I offer a cache description in English and German, I would set these two attributes.

 

When you come someplace as tourist and can't read the local language well, you could search for the attributes of languages you can read.

 

Next step would be to have a text field for each attribute, which would give those submitting a cache the chance to automatically put the right translation in the right spot...

 

Olaf

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This is a really great idea (I didn't see this post, and posted the suggestion too). Let's save some paper :-)

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now? :anicute:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

 

Any news on that, Jeremy?

Thanks for updating us on GC's progress on the topic.

 

BalkanSabranje

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Great idea. Oh, I have to build it now? :mad:

 

Seriously, once we move our entire site to the new codebase, it will be easier to switch to alternate languages. It will take a bit more to create a multilingual version though, but I'll keep it on the requirements list in future development projects.

 

Any news on that, Jeremy?

Thanks for updating us on GC's progress on the topic.

 

BalkanSabranje

 

_bump_

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It would be really great if that request would be assigned high priority. IMHO recent released features had not that priority.

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