To keep in spirit with the content that has appeared on Planet Ubuntu the last few days I would like to start a discussion about multilingual content on Planet Ubuntu.
I started to wonder about the use and desirableness of non-English posts on Planet Ubuntu after a comment from LoCo Council member Laura Czajkowski on my blog post Realise native English speakers are privileged. She said:
We have many ubuntu members who do not post on planet.ubuntu.com as they feel it has to be in English which is unfortunate as I’d love to read them – we all can use a web translator.
That is something I personally agree with. I see Planet Ubuntu as a window into the general Ubuntu community, not necessarily just the English speaking part of it. After all, when you want language-specific content your LoCo can always provide their own Planet.
However, before bombarding the Planet with posts in a language that not everyone understands I would like to discuss this first and at the same time point at the lack of rules and guidelines there seems to be for Planet Ubuntu. We’ve seen how this can cause confusion and irritation lately when people questioned the appearance of notably Dell, but also other entities. It was their opinion that Planet Ubuntu should be for Ubuntu Members, on a personal title, only.
I’m in favour of allowing everyone to post in their favourite language on Planet Ubuntu. It would make it more useful for more people to read the planet, which would expose them to the rest of the community as well, and it would reflect the international nature of the community better. On top of that, it would allow us all to follow parts of the community that now remain ‘hidden’, by either testing our foreign-language skills, or by testing the quality of the online translation tools.
A possible downside to officially opening Planet Ubuntu for every language could be that it would be less clear what to expect when visiting it. Now people that can speak English know they can go to the planet and read everything. However, this requires mostly a change in behaviour and if people want an English-only planet they can always set one up, no?
What do you, dear (Planet Ubuntu) readers think? Do you want multilingual blog posts, like me? Or are you opposed to it? Please leave a comment.