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Bilingual posts

Róger Torres Paes
I'm a Brazilian software engineer who writes technical texts in ordinary language.
・1 min read

Hi! I am a user of DEV. When I started writing there, I planned to publish everything in two languages: English and Portuguese. I did this for my first piece, but the second one was a series of five posts that I released simultaneously. At this point, translating everything felt like flooding.

Is it somehow in your plans to allow readers to access the same post in different languages, like language selector/switch? I know it might be a very narrow requirement, but I think it might be great for inclusion purposes.

If not, do you have any suggestions on the best way to handle it?

Thanks!

Cover image by Jeremy Zero

Discussion (8)

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Hey @rogertorres , this is something we're still figuring out the roadmap for. Suffice to say, it's in the pipeline for future development, and we're currently trying to assess a realistic scope to begin with.

In reality, this may prove to be a multi-part process, and there's no guarantee that we will have a full offering for all languages at once. Deepl have been working on some phenomenal translation tools, and might be worth looking into.

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rogertorres profile image
Róger Torres Paes Author

Hi @ellativity , thank you for your answer! From what I understand, you are envisioning a possibility even more advanced than mine, because I was simply thinking of having, in the same post, space to provide a translation done manually by me. But in fact, providing "automagical" translation seems quite interesting. I'll keep an eye on it and hope it becomes a reality one day :)

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Oh yeah, waaaaaay more ambitious! What can I say? I like to dream big!

Joking aside, can I ask a little more about what you're requesting? From what I understand following your comment above, the button you referred to in your original post would toggle between 2 manually-transcribed article views? So, you're not asking for a side-by-side (2 column) view, but for 2 separate views that can be assigned within the post editor?

Forgive me if I'm missing something obvious here, just trying to get a better understanding of your wishlist item!

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rogertorres profile image
Róger Torres Paes Author

Exactly! Take these two posts as an example: English and Portuguese. They are the same, written in English by me and manually translated to Portuguese. The idea would be to have a single URL and at this single post, at the top (say, close to the tags or something), we would have something like the image below, where the reader can choose the language of the text among the available ones.
Example

My reasoning behind this is that:

  1. It would avoid flood (this probably change from writer to writer, but when I am tackling a big topic like this, I like to write everything and release at once).
  2. Maybe having a post sharing hearts, saves and (especially!) unicorns might encourage people to translate their content.
  3. That might open some doors to contributions (e.g., someone might want to translate my content to French).

On a more philosophical (albeit pragmatical) note, there's the inclusion aspect. I am not sure how things are in other countries, but here in Brazil we still have a significant amount of developers who don't know English (of course, ideally they should learn it, but a lot of times the ideal is the enemy of the urgent).

Now, to be completely honest: is this a game-changer? I am not sure, probably not considering the probable amount of stuff you have in your pipeline. Actually, I didn't expect you (FOREM in general, you in particular) would be so thoughtful about it. I am thoroughly impressed!

Oh well, this answer grew long! Sorry :)

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

I love the long answer! Thank you so much for taking the time to expand on this idea and share your reasoning for it.

To me, and correct me if I'm wrong, it looks like this might be something we could cover by thoroughly internationalizing the site and providing a translation option. Now, I understand this isn't in our immediate plans, but I believe it is on our longer-term agenda, so contributions like this one from you @rogertorres really help us develop our goals.

It is so helpful to have use-cases from people who will experience the benefit of these developments to Forem, and it really encourages us to iterate when we know we can help people make stronger connections and reach all corners of their community. Thanks again for taking the time to share your perspectives and ideas!

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rogertorres profile image
Róger Torres Paes Author

Yes! This seems to be the name of the solution: internationalizing the site.
Thank you too, @ellativity !

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ce7in profile image
Muhammed Cetin

Can you create bilingual posts on Forem instances excluding dev.to? I've been looking for it for about 10 days but I cannot find any language field on the dashboard.

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ellativity profile image
Ella Ang (she/her/elle)

Hey @ce7in we currently don't have i18n features on Forem. I can only recommend exploring ways to integrate Deepl with your Forem, but I'm still in the process of starting this myself and it may take me a lot longer than many members of this community here! If you try it, I'd love to know how you get on!