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Classification reorganization of Non-English forums
Thread poster: Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
Sep 7, 2007

Hello, in order to avoid linguistical conceptual conflicts between some communities on the one hand and provide educational tool and purely linguistical classification on the other, would it be possible to reorganize Non English forums per family instead of per language. This kind of classification in the long term could open the doors to add as many languages as requested by each language community and even in subcategories such as dialects.

I am willing to give a hand in classifying the languages per their respective family and subfamily.

Based on already available non English forums on this site, this is how it could look like:


FAMILY
-----SUBFAMILY----- or -----REGION/AREA/ISOLATES/OTHER-----
Language




ALTAIC

-----TURKIC-----

Turkish (Özden Arıkan)
Post any topic, in Turkish

-----JAPANESE-----

Japanese
Post any topic, in Japanese



CAUCASIAN

-----SOUTH-----

Georgian (DGK T-I)
Post any topic, in Georgian



CHINESE

-----“NATIONAL LANGUAGE”-----

Chinese* (Kevin Yang)
Post any topic, in Chinese



DRAVIDIAN

-----SOUTH-----

Tamil
Post any topic, in Tamil
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)



FINNO-UGRIC

-----BALTIC-----

Estonian (Andreas Müürsepp)
Post any topic, in Estonian

Finnish (Annira Silver)
Post any topic, in Finnish

-----EAST-----

Hungarian (Csaba Ban)
Post any topic, in Hungarian



HAMITO-SEMITIC

-----SEMITIC-----

Arabic (Henry D)
Post any topic, in Arabic

Hebrew (Doron Greenspan MITI)
Post any topic, in Hebrew
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)



INDO-EUROPEAN

-----BALTIC-----

Latvian (Uldis Liepkalns)
Post any topic, in Latvian

Lithuanian (diana bb)
Post any topic, in Lithuanian

-----GERMANIC-----

Danish (Susanne Rosenberg)
Post any topic, in Danish

Dutch (Evert DELOOF-SYS, Jacqueline van der Spek)
Post any topic, in Dutch

German (Ralf Lemster)
Post any topic, in German

Norwegian (Eivind Lilleskjaeret)
Post any topic, in Norwegian

Swedish (Mats Wiman)
Post any topic, in Swedish

-----INDIAN-----

Bengali (Saleh Chowdhury)
Post any topic, in Bengali

Hindi
Post any topic, in Hindi
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)

-----IRANIAN-----

Persian/Farsi
Post any topic, in Persian/Farsi
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)

Urdu
Post any topic, in Urdu
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)

-----ISOLATES-----

Albanian (Monika Coulson, Fabiana Papastefani-Pezzoni)
Post any topic, in Albanian

Armenian (Henrik Pipoyan)
Post any topic, in Armenian

Greek
Post any topic, in Greek

-----ROMANCE-----

Catalan (Maria Rosich Andreu)
Post any topic, in Catalan

French (JCEC)
Post any topic, in French

Italian (gianfranco)
Post any topic, in Italian

Portuguese
Post any topic, in Portuguese

Romanian (Cristiana Coblis)
Post any topic, in Romanian

Spanish (Maria Karra, María José Iglesias)
Post any topic, in Spanish

-----SLAVIC-----

Bosnian (Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ)
Post any topic, in Bosnian

Bulgarian (AmusedNath)
Post any topic, in Bulgarian

Croatian (Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ)
Post any topic, in Croatian

Czech
Post any topic, in Czech, related to the art of business of translation.

Macedonian
Post any topic, in Macedonian

Polish (Magda Dziadosz)
Post any topic, in Polish

Russian (Natalie, Jarema)
Post any topic, in Russian

Serbian (Sandra Milosavljevic-Rothe)
Discussion of translation-related topics, in Serbian.

Slovak (Lucia Filova)
Post any topic, in Slovak

Ukrainian (Oleg Prots)
Post any topic, in Ukrainian



MALAYO-POLYNESIAN

-----INDONESIAN-----

Indonesian (Harry Hermawan)
Post any topic, in Indonesian
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)

Malay (yam2u)
Post any topic, in Malay
(recommended encoding is: Unicode)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Based on their national language, I would suggest to use the branch CHINESE and language denomination MANDARIN. That way if another community wants to open a CANTONESE forum, it offers them that possibility too and it remains under the CHINESE branch.

p.s. Please if I've unintentionally made a mistake, correct me.

Best regards

Visit also the thread about an example of conceptual conflict

http://www.proz.com/topic/82796

Very best regards


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Kevin Pfeiffer  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:01
Member (2004)
German to English
+ ...
sounds good to me Sep 7, 2007

I don't use the forums here too much, but this sounds like an excellent suggestion on the face of it.

-K


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I have no objection, but... Sep 7, 2007

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:
In order to avoid linguistical conceptual conflicts between some communities on the one hand and provide educational tool and purely linguistical classification on the other, would it be possible to reorganize Non English forums per family instead of per language.


I have no objection, but what you're proposing is a large redesign aimed at helping to avoid a few people taking offence because they're overly sensitive. Whether you'll succeed in avoiding such feelings, is an open question. Forgive me if my answer is insensitive.

The current system is pretty straight-forward and few visitors will misunderstand what language is meant by what name. Those few who click "Macedonian" because they are from the Greek province of Macedonia, will very quickly realise their mistake when they start to read the forum, and then they'll look for the "Greek" forum.

I have visited some of the less busy forums and I notice that some of them have their titles in English even though the forum posts are not in English. Well, how about making it a little more clear from the outset what the language of the forum is, by putting a small welcome message at the top of each's forum's thread list... and make that welcome message in the language concerned. The Greek Macedonian user will click "Macedonian", but on the very next screen he'll see a welcome message in Macedonian (not Greek), and he won't be confused anymore.

My2c


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yesterday, today, tomorrow Sep 7, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:
In order to avoid linguistical conceptual conflicts between some communities on the one hand and provide educational tool and purely linguistical classification on the other, would it be possible to reorganize Non English forums per family instead of per language.


I have no objection, but what you're proposing is a large redesign aimed at helping to avoid a few people taking offence because they're overly sensitive. Whether you'll succeed in avoiding such feelings, is an open question. Forgive me if my answer is insensitive.

The current system is pretty straight-forward and few visitors will misunderstand what language is meant by what name. Those few who click "Macedonian" because they are from the Greek province of Macedonia, will very quickly realise their mistake when they start to read the forum, and then they'll look for the "Greek" forum.

I have visited some of the less busy forums and I notice that some of them have their titles in English even though the forum posts are not in English. Well, how about making it a little more clear from the outset what the language of the forum is, by putting a small welcome message at the top of each's forum's thread list... and make that welcome message in the language concerned. The Greek Macedonian user will click "Macedonian", but on the very next screen he'll see a welcome message in Macedonian (not Greek), and he won't be confused anymore.

My2c


Believe me we tried it all, and this seems to please both communities, but in the same time it is simply, on the one hand, adding family branches above languages, and, on the other, educational.

So far there was a conflictual situation between Macedonians from FYROM and Greeks, tomorrow it could be between Mandarin and Cantonese (and they are more than 1 billion) or any other community. With this system we could avoid all conflictual situations.

Thanks for your propositions and reaction.

Best regards


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:01
Member
English to Turkish
I am sorry Said, but this is the worst possible solution to a non-existing linguistic problem Sep 7, 2007

Even though you did your best to start with the most conveniently narrowed-down classification, did you not? Why not use the larger language family name, then, the Indo-European, I mean? Because Macedonian and Greek would be under the same category in that case?

First, "language categorization" is not the word of God. Many are controversial, including Altaic, hence the classification of Turkish. Mind you, it happens to be the language I've heard since the day I was born and I don't need it be classified here by non-speakers, thank you.

And the excuse of "educative purpose" sounds even lovelier in a site supposed to be for language professionals and needs so much for educative efforts in translators ethics, rates, false credentials, training, ego battles in the field of terminological help... you name it.

Second, there seems to be no real linguistic issue here, and the issue is purely political, as has been admitted in the related forum discussion. It is sad and infuriating to see that a redesign, which is in no way needed from a design perspective could be suggested here for purely political reasons. And I thought politics was outside the scope of our site. We have stayed clear -and stringently at that- of anything even remotely suggestive of politics so far, and now we are surrendering to a nationalist dispute?

And, by the way, who says that Cantonese and Mandarin will have the same debate? Why try to justify the suggestion for such an awkward reorganization with assumptions and prophesy?


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Outrageous Sep 7, 2007

Özden Arıkan wrote:

Even though you did your best to start with the most conveniently narrowed-down classification, did you not? Why not use the larger language family name, then, the Indo-European, I mean? Because Macedonian and Greek would be under the same category in that case?

First, "language categorization" is not the word of God. Many are controversial, including Altaic, hence the classification of Turkish. Mind you, it happens to be the language I've heard since the day I was born and I don't need it be classified here by non-speakers, thank you.

And the excuse of "educative purpose" sounds even lovelier in a site supposed to be for language professionals and needs so much for educative efforts in translators ethics, rates, false credentials, training, ego battles in the field of terminological help... you name it.

Second, there seems to be no real linguistic issue here, and the issue is purely political, as has been admitted in the related forum discussion. It is sad and infuriating to see that a redesign, which is in no way needed from a design perspective could be suggested here for purely political reasons. And I thought politics was outside the scope of our site. We have stayed clear -and stringently at that- of anything even remotely suggestive of politics so far, and now we are surrendering to a nationalist dispute?

And, by the way, who says that Cantonese and Mandarin will have the same debate? Why try to justify the suggestion for such an awkward reorganization with assumptions and prophesy?


I am sorry, but your argument here is quite offensive. I've been talking linguistics since the beginning in order to avoid any political debate.

Now what is outrageous here is that you are criticizing the classification of languages as if I invented it by saying that I as a non native classify your language in a family of languages that you might not like or are unsure of.

Before posting such an argument, know that this classification is done by linguists and experts based on their precious comparison and study of languages, including Turks. Studies have been carried on for centuries, and not from the moment I posted this proposition.

Are you going to deny that you as a Turkish speaker, your language isn't related in any way to Azeri or Gagauz?

Are you going to deny the agglutination in your language, just like in for instance Korean and Japanese?

If you don't deny it, then i don't see why it couldn't be classified in the same family. If you have a better proposition, then propose it, because simply criticizing without giving a constructive alternative proposition is wind.



p.s. As far as Chinese is concerned, when you go there which Chinese is it? Mandarin or Cantonese? Why not letting them the opportunity to have both under the name Chinese?


[Edited at 2007-09-07 14:41]


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:01
Member
English to Turkish
I am not denying anything, I have a more basic objection: Sep 7, 2007

I am not outrageous, but disturbed by the fact that we have been witnessing an out-of-scope discussion on our forums for several days and now a major overhaul of the site forums is suggested only to circumvent a nationalist conflict.

This is my point and you would be the last person I would mean to offend if I ever meant that.

[Edited at 2007-09-07 14:45]


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Making this site a better place for all Sep 7, 2007

Look, we've had an extremely difficult situation where politics and language have been closely related.

Even though from the beginning it seemed doomed to failure, we have finally reached an agreement based purely on linguistics.

Now, I proposed to give a hand and classify the languages and it is going to be a rough copy. I will need all language experts to help me and correct things if something is to be corrected. The least I need is non linguistical controversy right now.

We can all together work it out.

Moreover, the fact that we classify the languages in a professional and organized manner will not affect anything. On the contrary it would be even more interesting.

Now of course, I am not the only wone who decides for the classification, so that's why I'll need some support and cooperation from all language experts to make this site a better place and not a place for political controverse.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What is a language community? Sep 7, 2007

Sorry, I had to run, but I wanted to comment on another part of the original post.

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:
This kind of classification in the long term could open the doors to add as many languages as requested by each language community...


Why would any language community want to have more than one forum for its language? Unless... unless your definition of "language community" has very little to do with language. If language communities are defined by language (not politics), then surely every language community will have only one language, right?


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Özden Arıkan  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 09:01
Member
English to Turkish
... Sep 7, 2007

Politics and language are closely related when you view the "non-English forums", as we call them in Proz, as forums reserved for countries or national groups. But that would be a wrong perspective, I mean for the purposes of Proz: these forums are for language groups, even though I admit that the distinction between a language group and a national group is not always that clear for small languages that are spoken in one country only (like Turkish, for example).

If you want this thread to be a discussion of linguistic classification, I don't have much to say, because I am a translator. And translators are not linguists in the strict sense of the word, whereas this classification is the job of linguists.

If you want opinions on this suggestion, I said mine: I am disturbed that Proz would redesign the organization of its forums because of a political dispute. I don't believe this will make the site better and I'm afraid will open the door for more politically-based linguistic arguments in the future, because... see my first sentence above.







[Edited at 2007-09-07 15:17]


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 09:01
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I change my vote to "yes" Sep 7, 2007

Özden Arıkan wrote:
I am disturbed that Proz would redesign the organization of its forums because of a political dispute.


In a multinational, multilingual community like ProZ.com, sooner or later geopolitical issues will become problems. Suggestions offered for such problems can be simple or complicated. Suggestions can make everyone happy (or at least no-one unhappy), or it can make only some happy.

One cannot turn a blind eye to the plural nature of ProZ.com, and whenever a problem arises, one should seek solutions. You are concerned that dealing with the issue may create a dangerour precedent, but I think ignoring a problem creates a potentially more devastating precendent.

Said's solution is that the entry page for the non-English forums be redesigned slightly.

The proposed solution is simple, it is unobtrusive, it does not require massive changes (only the layout and content of a single page), and it does not in turn create any other problems.

I stand by my previous comments, though.


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Right Sep 7, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:


Sorry, I had to run, but I wanted to comment on another part of the original post.

Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ wrote:
This kind of classification in the long term could open the doors to add as many languages as requested by each language community...


Why would any language community want to have more than one forum for its language? Unless... unless your definition of "language community" has very little to do with language. If language communities are defined by language (not politics), then surely every language community will have only one language, right?



I meant that by putting a Family name, let's say for example Altaic under which we already have Turkish and Japanese language communities, we could in the near future have Korean language community under the same family.


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Sep 7, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

Özden Arıkan wrote:
I am disturbed that Proz would redesign the organization of its forums because of a political dispute.


In a multinational, multilingual community like ProZ.com, sooner or later geopolitical issues will become problems. Suggestions offered for such problems can be simple or complicated. Suggestions can make everyone happy (or at least no-one unhappy), or it can make only some happy.

One cannot turn a blind eye to the plural nature of ProZ.com, and whenever a problem arises, one should seek solutions. You are concerned that dealing with the issue may create a dangerour precedent, but I think ignoring a problem creates a potentially more devastating precendent.

Said's solution is that the entry page for the non-English forums be redesigned slightly.

The proposed solution is simple, it is unobtrusive, it does not require massive changes (only the layout and content of a single page), and it does not in turn create any other problems.

I stand by my previous comments, though.


Thanks for understanding


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Enrique Cavalitto
Local time: 05:01
SITE STAFF
Thank you for your suggestion Sep 7, 2007

Thanks Said for your suggestion. I would like to decouple this from the issue of a possible forum in the Macedonian language, I will post about that in the corresponding thread.

I personally believe that this classification would add a level of complexity to the forums, and possible create new conflicts, as there may be discussions about the affiliation of a particular language to a particular branch of the languages tree.

Regards,
Enrique


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Said Kaljanac a.k.a. SARAJ  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 09:01
Bosnian to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
You are welcome Sep 7, 2007

All I want is to make everyone confortable, and I hope we come to an arrangement.

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