Language policy for Forum and GitHub

What is our policy regarding posts in languages other than English in the Community Forum and GitHub issues? I couldn’t find anything about it in the FAQ or TOS.

Generally speaking I would probably advise to anyone posting in another language that we are unlikely to be able to help them.

In reality on the forum we’ve only had a couple non-english posts and they have all been spam (a quick google translate made that obvious) and hence were removed.

If we were to have a policy I would say that we allow them but advise the author that we are unlikely to be able to help - I think we should avoid closing / removing non-english content as that would IMO be discriminatory - especially as we are an open community and someone may come along who can help in other languages.

It would be interesting to know how sites like Stack Overflow handle it.

In my view, the Parse Community has no obligation to provide a forum in all languages. With the same logic it could be considered discriminatory to offer Parse Server docs only in English.

The Parse Community is formed around an (native or non-native) English speaking community. Posting a non-English question in an English speaking forum is like saying “do the work for me”, because we would have to translate the question (and the whole thread) to

  • evaluate for potential moderation / identify spam
  • classify and apply a label on GitHub
  • continuously translate new comments in the thread to screen for critical issues, exposed vulnerabilities and incorrect information

I think it is also fair to assume that a programmer can communicate at least at a basic level of English as it is the dominant language in programming, as well as for Parse Server commands / methods / parameters.

Allowing non-English threads without a number of team members who can communicate in that language basically creates a parallel forum where rules are hard to enforce. IANAL, but since we administer these sites we may even have a legal responsibility for the content we host / allow / bring into circulation. Besides that, if an author does not understand English, they can also not read / accept the forum TOS.

SE sites in general politely redirect the author to their language specific site (e.g. there is a SO español and a bunch of other languages) and close vote the question. According to their official blog, they do not allow any random human language on their English sites.

Here is a SE Meta article that describes it quite well:

What should I do if someone else makes a post that is not in English?
(…) If it’s not spam, vote or flag to close it as “Needs detail or clarity” if it’s a question, or flag as “very low quality” if it’s an answer.

Should I translate wrong-language posts?
No, it is not necessary to translate wrong-language posts. Machine translations (e.g. Google Translate) can be inaccurate, and even human translations risk distorting the intended meaning of the post. It’s up to the author to make sure that their post fits the quality standards of the site; if they don’t, it reduces their chance of getting a good answer (in the case of a question) or that their post will be well-received.

For the reasons above, I think as long as there are not enough potential community members (incl. Parse team members for moderation) to form a non-English Parse Community, we should restrict to English.

Should we add a note to our TOS?