Lack of moderators in some languages is restricting participation of non-English speakers
Thread poster: Marie-Hélène Hayles

Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Italian to English
+ ...
Mar 18, 2009

A recent post in the Italian forum (where we now have no volunteer moderators - a member of staff is moderating the forum) highlighted that users who do not speak English, of whom I imagine there must be many, may now be at a real disadvantage in both understanding the recent changes and contributing to any discussion of them. This strikes me as unfair and undesirable. In addition to their other roles, the moderators used to act as an interface between these users and the site, explaining what was going on, providing a point of reference where they could flag up any important issues and so on. This interface (again, speaking for the Italian forum - I have no information on the situation for other languages) has now disappeared, leaving such users feeling marginalised.

I believe that new moderators should be appointed as a matter of urgency in those language pairs where they are now absent, in order to enable all users to participate fully in the site's developments.


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Mirella Soffio  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 15:01
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Indeed Mar 18, 2009

Marie-Hélène hit the nail on the head. There's a lot going on right now here on ProZ and many people are missing out on the discussion.

Mirella


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Russell Jones  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:01
Member (2004)
Italian to English
Grass roots revolt Mar 18, 2009

Well said Marie Hélène.
I just wish all the perception, insight, intelligent comment, criticism (and writing talents incidentally) currently appearing in the Italian Forum could be seen by the wider "community" (or what used to be a community).
By the same token, the "centre" must also now be unaware of the strength of feeling in some of its its different linguistic groups - not a healthy development.


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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 14:01
Flemish to English
+ ...
Before 2002 : No Mods Mar 18, 2009

There used to be a time when there were no moderators to hold the hands of professionals, who should be able to get around by themselves.
I don't mind going back to no moderators at all or one or two mods to guide people around.


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Hand-holding Mar 18, 2009

Williamson wrote:

There used to be a time when there were no moderators to hold the hands of professionals, who should be able to get around by themselves.
I don't mind going back to no moderators at all or one or two mods to guide people around.


Try putting yourself in the position, to paraphrase a contribution in the Italian forum, of someone who speaks very little or no English and finds him or herself having to wade through a 10-page thread in English to try and find out what on earth is going on when a little star pops up beside half the users' names - and then disappears again less than 24 hours later. Do you really consider it "hand-holding" to have someone officially acting as a go-between who can be asked to explain what's happening in a language that the user can understand?

This site is multilingual by its very nature. The main forums necessarily have to be in a single language, but that doesn't mean that efforts shouldn't be made to facilitate the participation of the users who don't speak that language. And as Russell very pertinently points out, the current situation may well mean that site staff are unaware of the considerable unease of some sections of the site's users.



[Edited at 2009-03-18 11:17 GMT]


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chica nueva
Local time: 01:01
Chinese to English
Site Staff responsible for Communities Mar 18, 2009

Williamson wrote:

There used to be a time when there were no moderators to hold the hands of professionals, who should be able to get around by themselves.
I don't mind going back to no moderators at all or one or two mods to guide people around.


At one time (around 2007) there were 2 Site Staff responsible for Communities in addition to the Moderators. Enrique was the one responsible for our designated group of Communities. That seemed to work quite well. I am not too clear what the line of communication is now ...


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Jared Tabor
Local time: 10:01
SITE STAFF
New moderators forthcoming Mar 18, 2009

Hello all,

Thanks to Marie-Hélène for posting, and to everyone else for their feedback on this so far.

I agree, Marie-Hélène, and new moderators have been made a priority, not just in forums and language pairs which have been left vacant, but in areas which have not yet had moderators at all. I make a less than perfect Italian moderator, I know...

Also, as I have mentioned previously, members interested in serving as moderator may express their interest via support request. Thanks.

Best regards,

Jared


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Marie-Hélène Hayles  Identity Verified
Local time: 15:01
Italian to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nothing personal Mar 18, 2009

Jared wrote:

I make a less than perfect Italian moderator, I know...



It's nothing personal - apart from anything else, I've no doubt you've got many other important tasks to be getting on with...


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