I think it should.
Here is why.
It will improve the quality of the HubPages. Currently, because Hubbing is allowed only in English, many people who are not comfortable with English are forced to write in English. This leads to many hubs, as well as comments on hubs, that are barely comprehensible and this brings down the overall quality of HubPages as well as the forum discussions.
Further, it keeps a vast majority of non-English speakers out of the loop. HubPages can vastly improve its hits if it goes multi-lingual.
The promoters of HubPages have not ruled out more languages from HubPages and have said that what is keeping them from making HubPages available in more languages is shortage of staff.
There is an easy solution to this. HubPages can appoint voluntary moderators for different languages. These moderators will be selected from existing hubbers. The moderators can be given additional points for doing this job, or rewarded in other ways.
Many websites are following this strategy for going multi-lingual. One prominent one is the translator's website <snipped link>.
To begin with HubPages can start with the main non-English world languages like Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, Spanish and Arabic, and gradually add more languages.
So can we discuss on this thread two things:
1. Should HubPages go multi-lingual?
2. If yes, how can it be made possible?
The quality of HubPages content is actually imposed by their filters, flags and hand reviewing.
For them to accept other languages they'd need a person on staff who speaks and reads that language.
Having volunteers would only be a stop gap measure. And fraught with difficulty.
Also having several languages to 'begin with' would be biting off more than one can chew.
darkside...I gotta get into some of your Hubs. You always have excellent points.
And this is exactly true...while I have no doubt as time goes on and HubPages grows it will be able to branch out into other languages, at this point...there's no office set up to do this. Besides...Mandrin, Spanish, and English are the most popular languages.
Its high time we all settle on one. And I'm down with English...but, hey, I'm a biased little American twit.
I doubt if they actually hand review every hub that is posted here. They will need hundreds of staff for that.
They probably have some automated system for reviewing. The same thing can be adopted for other languages.
For example, Google has these Translate feature which translates from one language to the other.
MS Word and many other word processing programs have grammar check utilities in various languages.
Physical checking by humans can be done randomly to ensure quality in other languages. The voluntary moderator idea can be made to work.
The real hurdle as is evident from the responses to this post will be mindsets. It is always difficult to change the status quo, with many people having vested interests in the existing system.
And many do live by the motto of don't fix it till it's broken.
But the world is multilingual, and English's heyday is past with the sun having set over the British empire. With China rising on the horizon with its 1.5 billion people,and America itself getting Hispanised rapidly, I think English will cease to be even a major language in the world in the near future.
The problem in my view is not technical, but of having the will and the commitment to be a more inclusive site.
Do you have an idea just how difficult it is to create a Chinese language site? I have one:
And it is not worth the trouble. Plus - I have no idea if it is saying what I want.
Tamil? You are joking - right?
I didn't see the joke there, Mark. What is it?
The joke is just how cost effective this would be. Do you honestly think there are enough google advertisers using the Tamil language to sell their products to justify rebuilding this site in that language?
What about Manx? Or Gaelic?
You seem to be missing the point of hubpages - which is to make money for the people who own and run the site. So what if 100 million people speak Tamil. Just exactly how many of them have a computer and buy things through the internet?
Don't forget Sindarin!
Actually, there are probably more people who speak Sindarin than Manx, now that I think about it.
I want Gaelic with an audio file attached so I can figure out how the hell it's supposed to be pronounced! I pronounced Siobhan "see-ob-han" for years before I actually met one and discovered it was really "sha-von." ~facepalm~
Mark, agreed that many Max or Gaelic people don't wield credit cards or even keep laptops or subscribe to internet.
But the Germans, the Japanese, the Dutch, the Spanish... they are as avid credit card fanatics as you are, and they do have internet connection.
So you agree that it would be economical for the site to go German, Japanese or Spanish, if not Manx or Gaelic?
And a good majority of them speak English...
Are you a German, Japanese, Dutch or Spanish?
I would like to know this before I can take your word for this.
My mom is a Dutch citizen, has also lived in Germany and Japan before, speaks Dutch and German (and English) fluently, knew Japanese at one point.
I speak some conversational Dutch and Spanish, have visited Holland often, as well as Germany and Spanish speaking countries in South and Central America.
As far as the Netherlands/Holland is concerned, English is really like their second national language.
It's been said before, but English is quite widespread. It's the official language of airline pilots and control towers around the globe, the official language of nations such as Australia, Great Britain, America (okay, unofficially), and the list goes on...
Your mentioning airline pilots reminded me of a recent incident in India which nearly caused a major air accident.
The airline industry in India is booming, with many private airlines coming into existence and increasing their fleet of planes.
The problem is there aren't enough pilots in India to fly all these machines. So the Indian airlines are hiring foreign pilots, many of them from the countries of the former Soviet Union.
None of these pilots know any English and have great difficulty in following instructions given from the control towers in the Indian airports in English.
One pilot so misunderstood what he was being told in English that he landed his plane on the wrong runway! The problem was not only with the language English, but also with the way the Indians were speaking it.
So much for the world speaking English.
That's funny, I don't remember making that point.
I will make the point that you've done a great job of ruffling feathers in your first three weeks here, as imadork has just mentioned.
The world does not necessarily speak English well, but English is still the most commonly known second language in the world, and many of the world's most educated and affluent citizens (those most likely to have regular internet access) do speak it fluently, or close to fluently.
I understand your points about allowing others to write in the language they are most comfortable with, but if you had been around this site longer, you would know that they do a significant amount of moderating "by hand" as it were. In order to enforce their current standards of content, they genuinely would need to hire new staff fluent in the language in question.
Just to give you a quick personal example, when I was studying Russian in college, my roommate's mother sent me a birthday card in Russian. It had a cute cartoon dog on it and I'm sure to non-Russian speaking eyes it looked just fine to send to an 18 year old, or even a child. Unfortunately, to Russian speaking eyes, it yelled "SEX" in bright red, capitalized letters, and had some joke about how your sex life doesn't have to deteriorate as you get older.
And "CEKC" in Russian is even a word an English speaker could maybe, possibly figure out, if they were trying. Tamil just looks like a bunch of squiggles to the uninitiated.
HP would absolutely need to hire new staff in order to maintain their content and quality standards, and if Paul says they can't afford to do that, then they can't afford to do that.
Not true, kerryg, in my part of the world. No one here speaks English well or ill. This is true of the rich with internet access as with the poor devoid of it.
Despite this moderation, kerryg, the quality of many hubs, as well as many of the comments, leave much to be desired, which is why I made the suggestion in the first place that people should be allowed to write in their own language.
Paul never said they can't afford to do that. He, in fact, said that going multi-lingual was their eventual aim, even if, currently they have no immediate plans for it.
Chinese would be difficult, but Spanish would be easy. It's the third or fourth most commonly spoken language. Politicians, advertisers, et al, have all recognized the value of appealing to the Latino market in the U.S. not to mention Mexico, Central and South America.
English, today, is the most universally known, spoken, and understood language. Non-English speaking countries encourage their citizens to learn it. That's just the way it is.
HP could use a universal translator...but that would degrade the quality of what's published on HP. (What is "quality" is up for debate, as always.)
IMHO, HP is fine the way it is, unless it wants to market products around the globe, products which have nothing to do with writing and communications. Or unless it wants to venture into a new arena that no one has yet thought of.
You live in a dream world, don't you Sally? In the part of the world I come from, no one speaks or knows English. We have over 20 languages in India which are spoken by more than a 100 million people each and are national languages of the country.
Hindi is spoken by 500 million people in more than a dozen countries and is the third largest language after Chinese and English.
Even Tamil which Mark ridicules is spoken in India, SriLanka, Singapore and Malaysia.
I beg to differ. For better or for worse, English IS the common denominator, if you want to communicate on the internet. While that may seem unfair to non-English speakers, well, no one promised a fair world!
About usage of English in India, I don't think the condition is that bad. If you look at the profile of internet users in India, a majority of them at least understand spoken English, even though they may not be able to speak or write well.
If we justify the use of a language on the basis of number of people using it, almost all languages in India will have a case. At least 10 Indian languages have more than 50 million speakers each. I think implementing that would be very impractical.
Sid, one of the major parties in your state (Uttar Pradesh), Samajwadi Party, has just published its election manifesto in which it has vowed to ban the teaching of English in Uttar Pradesh if it is voted to power.
You missed my point, probably because you just wanted to be snide.
My point is -- when you throw a bunch of different languages in a community that previously spoke only one, it will separate into several different communities.
This being a writing and blogging type site, one language would be ideal. Hubpages was founded in the U.S.. We speak English in the U.S.. Obviously, the founders chose English. Get over it. Nobody is forcing you to write on here.
imadork, you don't seem to be up to date with your country's political situation.
English is NOT, mind you (NOT) the official language of the United States.
You can check this out with any constitutional expert from your country.
And English is not the only language spoken in the US. About 30% of you speak Spanish.
Quite a lot of you speak Hindi, Tamil, Chinese, Irish, German, French and a number of other languages.
The US is a society based on immigrants, and it is a linguistic salad bowl, as is the world too.
What makes you think writing is possible only in one language?
No, imadork, this won't happen. The reason is the hubbers of each language will form a mutually exclusive group and there won't be any overlap.
A Tamil hubber won't visit a Hindi hub, and vice versa.
So there is no question of the existing hubber pool splitting.
What will happen is more pools of hubbers will come into existence which will be beneficial for the site.
I retract my first post. I see this thread as a chance to put forward crazy suggestions so I may as well jump on the bandwagon.
I think there should also be a Straylian version of the site.
Now that's thinking outside the box.
We shouldn't limit ourselves merely to earth and languages of just this world.
I'd also like to see mando'a version of the site.
hahaha I had to laugh big time on this one.
Since we're suggesting non-earth people languages, can we just have a blank site to promote the thought-language of telepathic web surfers?
As someone else said, it's a nice thought. I can see how it would improve the quality of a lot of material. The problem, I think, is that if a site is run by English-speaking people it could be tricky to monitor a wide range of other languages, as far as quality and complying with guidelines goes.
A company that doesn't have the resources (or else inclination) to do something like hire a capable translator for every language in which anyone submits material is not likely to know what's on its own site.
I've passed up a lot of nice-seeming YouTube videos for my own sites/blogs because they have non-English words written on the screen; and I'm worried that they may be saying something I don't want on my sites.
(On the other hand, Klingon may be fine. Don't we all pretty much understand Klingon? )
You are right Liza, the guidelines will naturally have to change if the site goes multi-lingual.
But my question was both the desirability as well as the possibility of this happening.
You seem to be one with the others on the issue of possibility (apropos of your joke about Klingon) even though you seem to agree with the desirability of it.
I agree, and respect, that people who write/speak in languages other than English have something to say, and could often produce higher quality writing in their own language.
I don't necessarily agree that it is a reasonable expectation to hope that any privately run company/site should feel compelled to expand to languages other than the language of the company's home country. Using HubPages as an example, HubPages has its affiliation with Google. Google has a set of policies with regard to the type of content advertisers will pay to advertise on. Using the humorous Klingon example in a serious way to make the point, if HubPages administration doesn't understand what someone writes in Klingon, they aren't going to know if that material violates their standards of quality or other policies. In turn, they can't assure Google that they have standards and enforce them.
If someone writes a bunch of Hubs that violate HubPages or Google policies, nobody will know unless some other Klingon happens to try to contact administration; but even that happened, nobody on HubPages can really assess things for themselves out of simply understanding the language.
If I were to start my own writing site tomorrow I would not be able to afford what it would take to be able to accommodate all the world's languages. Resources (personnel and finances) would mean I would have to limit my site to English only, which would mean that anyone not writing English would be at a disadvantage. If I lived in France, instead of the US, and if French was my only language - then my company would have to operate in French, instead of English.
I just think, for a lot of companies, trying to accommodate other languages (even if it would improve the quality produced by people for whom English is a second language), doing that would just not be practical.
(I don't happen to agree that the "English heyday has passed". English is a language that many, many, people in all parts of the world speak today. It has nothing to do with any sun setting on the British Empire; and in spite of large number of Hispanic people in the US, Americans are not going to stop speaking English.
I speak and write English, which means I don't go find some Chinese or Italian website and expect it to accommodate the fact that I can't write fluently in either Chinese or Italian. I figure, "Let the Chinese writers offer their well written content to Chinese sites, and let the Italian writers offer their well written, Italian, writing to their sites. It's up to me to find an English-speaking site for my writing." That approach is another way to increase the quality on all sites.
If I want to write for a Chinese or Italian site, well then, I had better learn to write fluently in those languages. Of course, as an American, I have not been raised to believe that anyone who doesn't cater to me and my language is guilty of being "non-inclusive". Companies that run websites are private companies. People can't expect of them what they have a right to expect of, say, the United Nations. )
Liz, you raise several points here, that is why I have quoted you in full, even though it might be a visual eyesore for others.
1. Regarding the site not knowing what's written in other languages and this violating agreements with Google
Google itself supports more than a dozen other languages. So that should not be an issue.
And I had suggested the mechanism of voluntary moderators in various languages who can flag objectionable content, for removal or censoring.
2. HubPages is an American company and so it has every right to use English as its language
Of course it is an American company, and I am not demanding of it to give in and start HubPages in multi languages. I know they are much better businessmen to not just given in to such demands without first evaluating the bottomline.
My argument is that going multilingual may not be such a bad business proportion for HubPages or any American company.
They might want to do this for their own financial good health.
I was just putting this idea before them so that they could evaluate it soundly from a financial point of view and then decide whether it would be feasible or not.
That would be a much more considered and mature response to this suggestion than talking about Klingon.
3. Current Hub writers can't write in many languages
You can of course continue to write in English, and you won't be affected in the least by Hub Pages going multi-lingual.
If I write in Hubs in Hindi, that will have a separate existence to your English hubs and generate revenue for me and for HubPages from a mutually exclusive community of people, the Hindi speakers.
So you won't be affected at all by HubPages going Hindi or Chinese.
There could be a high-level choice in your profile where you could choose the language in which you want to see this site.
I know I do! Thats how I Google!
Ok guys, you want your fun. Go ahead.
I was however dead serious when I made this suggestion.
I know it won't happen, tomorrow, but Napolean Hill has said that if you dream about a thing you can make it happen.
There is no harm in dreaming.
It's something we'd like to do eventually. But a few things to consider, 1) the advertising rates are typically much, much lower on non-english content and international traffic, 2) significant engineering work will be required to support all the features we currently offer in other languages, 3) we'd have to hire additional support staff for the new languages.
It would surely grow our user base and traffic, but it's unlikely to add much to our bottom line (which needs to be above 0 to keep us operating).
Thanks, pauldeeds, for coming to this discussion and for your hope-inspiring comments.
I would suggest that you do a pilot phase with a language that can generate sufficient ad income (say German or Japanese) and implement the multi-lingual features on this one language. (You needn't even implement all the features, but a bare minimum).
This will give you an idea of what it entails, and the learning from this experiment can be duplicated on other languages at a much lesser cost.
All languages need not come on board all at once. You can gradually add them one by one, and pick those first that would be economically viable for you.
Adsense is available in more than a dozen languages, so that could be a source of income for non-Enlgish hubs.
Amazon affiliates, ebay affiliates are not so language-specific, but product based, so they should not be affected by the language of the hubs, either.
It will all boil down to the purchasing power of the hub readers, but I believe that Japanese or Germans have as much purchasing power as the English-speakers, certainly more than the English-speakers of India or Bangladesh.
And many Germans live in the US too :-)
I have a question for you, pauldeeds.
Many people on this thread have mentioned the staff burden would go up should HubPages go multi-lingual, or even bilingual to start with.
Is this true?
If so, will this additional staff requirement be only during the programming phase when you reengineer your site for multi-lingual functionality, or will the staff requirement increase substantially even after all the software modules are in place for multi-lingual support?
Let me clarify: when I wrote "founders", I meant the Hubpage founders -- not the Founders of my country.
I don't disagree with this... Hub Pages is big enough now that I could allow people from all around the world and speaking all languages to participate. They could put them out on sub domains for each language.
Julaha: For someone that has only been a Hubpage member for 3 weeks, you sure do a lot of bitching here. Sounds like you would be happier writing somewhere else.
Lost your cool eh? You blinked first.
When you lose the argument, you resort to this kind of mean tricks.
But I am not affected. Keep them coming.
And I would like to introduce another argument in favour of multi-lingual hubs.
A lot of what the hubbers write here are too parochial and local in their subject area that it is only of interest to readers belonging to a particular nationality or geographical area or a linguistic group.
Take some the hubs I have written myself. I have one on the current Indian election.
You will all agree that you care two hoots about what happens in India, whether Mayavati becomes the next prime minister, or Mulayam Singh; you probably wouldn't know either of these from Eve or Adam.
But this hub is of relevance to people from India. If I could have published this hub in Hindi, you could have been spared the ordeal of ever setting your sight on it.
Same applies to the hubs of others. For example, if someone writes an excellent hub on the best twenty night clubs of New York, how would that even remotely interest me (assuming that there are no pictures in it ;-) )?
So a good percentage of the current hubs are irrelevant to any visitor to the HubPages.
By allowing hub pages in many languages, you can focus the hubs more correctly to people's nterest in them.
This may increase the revenue for the site as well as us hubbers. But the greater advantage would be visiting HubPages would be a more pleasant experience for all visitors, for they could choose to visit hubs in their language which would have content that would be more relevant to them.
Just as a matter of interest -
What made you write this hub on an English-only site?
Rather than one of the myriad Hindi sites?
Humans like to be in touch with each other, Mark, it's a natural tendency.
I came across HubPages while surfing, and it seemed to be a good site to air my views.
Naturally my preference would have been to air my views in Hindi, but a closer look at the site rules made it clear that this was not possible.
So in order to fulfill my urge to communicate with other humans like you, I jumped into the fray in English.
At the same time I was also exploring possibilities of expressing my self in Hindi on this site, which is the reason why you are on this thread.
As for expressing myself on Hindi sites, I do that on a regular basis, thank you very much for your concern on this score.
I invite you to my Hindi blog here:
And Mark, the moment a site goes online, it ceases to be an American company, or an Indian company. The internet has no national boundaries.
If you think you own HubPages, you are harbouring a massive delusion.
HubPages belongs to any one who can access it with a click of the mouse, whether from Washington or Jhumari Talaiya.
Hmmmm condescending. My favorite.
So - you posted it here in a language that you know will interest absolutely no one. Rather than using a Hindi site.
And even though you know that no one who speaks English will be interested in reading about your views, you still chose to post it here in a language that you would rather not have used.
Which rather suggests that English is more widely accepted than you have been claiming.
And instead of finding an appropriate venue in a language that might be appropriate to your intended audience, you are actively suggesting that this site changes it's rules to suit you.
And even when the actual owner of the site tells you that it is not likely to happen because of financial questions, you persist.
Good luck with that.
A Spanish version of Hubpages would probably work out pretty well, just like Facebook, they are going to have German and French versions as well. So Hubpages could use Facebook as a model in the future. http://www.facebook.com/press/releases.php?p=16446
Thank you Research Analyst for this information.
I too know of several American sites that are multilingual in more than 40 languages (including Hindi, Tamil, Urdu, Bengali, etc.).
They have very vibrant forums which discuss a wide variety of contentious issues.
They probably face the same legal and technical issues as HubPages would face if it decides to go multi-lingual, but they are managing somehow.
I had given the link of one such site in my initial post but it was removed while vetting.
How this site I had mentioned manages its forums in various languages is through voluntary moderators who vet the posts before they appear. Some posts are allowed automatically, for example the posts of paid members.
Some such mechanism can be worked out for HubPages and it would lessen the staff burden.
I invite you to look up this forum thread just to get a taste of how insulting it can get for non-English-speaking hubbers here.
If not on financial grounds, then at least on humanitarian grounds, HubPages should go multi-lingual :-)
Goddamn Julaha!!! Give it a rest!
You are sounding so ridiculous and crazy that I'm starting to think that you are just arguing just to drive us English speakers fuckin' insane! I'm thinking that you really don't care if Hubpages is English only.
Hey man, as much as its hard to control aggression at some points, its not conducive to getting anything productive done. Unless you like war. But who doesn't?
No imadork, I really care that HubPages one day goes multi-lingual.
*sigh* one day we will all be able to share a coke while reading each others' hubs
it sounds like you have a great idea, why didnt anyone think of it sooner!
stop giving your ideas away and go ahead and woo some investors!
I think you frequently missed the point that although adsense has the ability to work with multiple languages- the revenue is significantly lower than with english advertisers
Julaha, I don't necessarily think it's a negative thing that writers can be (aren't always) "parochial". I think you underestimate the general world population when it comes to assuming that nobody is interested in who becomes your prime minister. Not everyone in the world cares about every last little thing; but in general, one does not have to live in any country to have interest in what goes on there. You, yourself, said people like to be in touch with people from around the world. The same applies to keeping informed, or educating ourselves, about things occurring in other nations/cultures.
It's true that if you limit all your Hubs to writing about the prime minister in India you will mostly limit your audience to Indian people (which goes back to the thing about having an Indian writing site aimed at Indian people).
As things are now, however, if you write mostly about the prime minister there are going to be people from other countries who have interest - provided you can use fluent English when you write. We all write from our own interests/culture/lifestyle. Not everyone will be interested in everything else. The one thing writers on this site have in common may simply be using the English language. It's just practical for any company to pick a language that seems to make sense for itself, and go with it.
If you write about the prime minister in English then you're sharing your first-hand experience with people who may enjoy being well informed about other countries. If you were able to write about the same subject in your own language you'll only get people who know your language (and maybe even already know the stuff you're trying to share). There would become little pockets of individual, homogenous, language Hubs/readers/writers - and a site like Hub pages would become as divided as the world is. I'd rather read some Italian guy's viewpoint/experience in imperfect English and skip past what he has to say because it's written in perfect Italian. That kind of thing is not what "brings the world closer together".
Liza, you come through as one sane voice in this crowd of hecklers. Thank you for taking a balanced and intellectual approach to this discussion.
The prime minister hub of mine I had mentioned only to highlight a point.
You have picked on it and wrapped your argument all around it.
It is easy to unwrap your argument. Here is why.
When I write something, or anyone writes anything, he/she always has an audience in mind.
When I write on an Indian subject, my primary audience is other Indians for whom the topics I write about would be relevant. They would have the same kind of experiences as I have, we would operate on the same wavelength. So it would be a pleasure for me to write for them and a pleasure for them to read me.
But this necessarily would not extent to a non-Indian like you. The isssues I chose, my experiences, all these would be new, and may be exotic to you. They may have certain relevance to you, but that won't be the same as the relevance I have for Indian readers for whom I am mainly writing.
Do you see my point?
That is why I communicate best with my people in my own language and it will be a much more enjoyable experience for both of us.
This applies to all writers and their readers irrespective of language.
Writing in a second language can never match that experience.
It will be difficult for you to understand this for you write in your own language, but the problem is real.
Now when I come on HubPages or any such site, I would like to feel comfortable, and make my readers comfortable. Writing in a second language makes me uncomfortable.
You could well argue, as have some people here, why the hell are you plaguing HubPages then, if you don't feel comfortable here.
My answer to that would be, why is HubPages on the Internet which allows access to anyone from the globe, if it cannot make me comfortable?
Do you get my point?
The very fact that HubPages is there on the Internet and it allows me to register on it and write hubs, gives me the right to inform it how it could make me and my readers more comfortable.
It is up to them whether they act on it or not. They will act on it if it is viable for them.
But I can't shirk my duty of telling them how they could make me more comfortable on their site, can I?
You would do the same, won't you, if you found something irksome on this site, you would report it to the site so that they could improve? And it would be your duty to this site to do so.
That is exactly what I am doing here in this thread.
I think just logistically speaking, HubPages in other languages would be a nightmare to accomplish. What languages would they exclude? I think it would affect so many things that it would not be profitable. Most people have already said all this, so my addition doesn't mean much, but I'm for leaving it alone if it isn't broken, tho' perhaps I'm biased and handicapped, only speaking the one language of English, and that gives me problems enough. ) Let's not lose our spirit of comradere here...
So far we have had the views of people who are comfortable writing in English.
It would be interesting to hear the views of hubbers for whom English is a second language and who have difficulty in expressing themselves effectively in English.
Would they like to have HubPages in many languages?
Some people are developing a head-ache because of this thread, imadork for one.
My kind advise to them is to leave this thread if they find it too taxing for their intellect.
There are several interesting discussions going on in the forums at the moment.
Here is one about what you people bought online recently:
And here is one on the merits of having a philosophy forum:
iamadork and others, would you like to grace the discussions on these and other such forums with your valued witticisms?
I hope you take the hint and buzz off.
Now coming to the issue under discussion.
From Paul's post here a few issues that could seriously derail a multi-lingual HubPages:
1. They may not be financially viable
2. Technical challenge
3. They may impose a killing staff burden on the site
Let us consider each of these.
1. Financial viability
True, language hubs may not be as much of a milch cow as the English hubs, but the question is are all languages equally bad?
What about languages with affluent speakers like German, Japanese, Spanish, Italian, French, Danish, etc. Would these langauges also prove to be a dead weight on HubPages?
A related question would be even if language hubs don't generate as much income as English hubs immediately, are the site owners willing to accept a slightly reduced earning, but a net profit, from non-English language hubs?
2. Technical challenge
Technically multi-lingual sites should pose no new challenge as there are already a number of multi-lingual sites like this - Facebook for one.
3. Staff burden
Paul in his post mentioned two kinds of staff burden:
a) Overseeing the content quality in the hubs in different languages
b) Interaction of hubbers with the site staff and vice versa
My feeling is the second type is likely to cause more strain on the staff. So if we decide that all site interactions will continue to be in English only, and allow hubs to be written in different languages, then the addition of new languages to HubPages would not pose too great a burden on the existing staff.
The language hubs themselves can be monitored by voluntary moderators appointed by HubPages from among its hubbers who know the languages.
The hubbers in general too can also be given the task of reporting offending hubs.
HubPages aren't going multi-lingual in a hurry, that we know for sure. But Paul has indicated that they do intend eventually to move in that direction.
So this is not wholly an exercise in futility. Our deliberations can provide important ideas for the site owners to work on when they decide to take the plunge into the Tower of Babel.
So let us have you at your creative best on the issues I have outlined above.
I don't see why HubPages should have every language under the sun. That would be like saying that every website must be multilingual and that is just not possible. I suggest if you want to write in your own language that you either find a site that is in that language or create your own. I don't expect to go to say an arabic writing site and ask them that I be allowed to write in English because it's easier for me.
Hi Uninvited Writer, welcome to this discussion.
Let me explain my position again, for your above comment doesn't indicate that you have properly understood what I am saying (you alone are not at fault, though, the majority of the posters here, too, seem to have missed the point, so this explanation will be of benefit to them too).
I am not demanding that this site go multi-lingual for my sake.
My poser simply is, can HubPages accommodate more languages and at the same time make a business success of it?
If that could be done, then I am sure no business owner would shirk from it.
I am just exploring how this win-win arrangement could be made possible.
And if you could contribute to this challenging discussion, there could be nothing like it.
Again, this is not a discussion about me, or allowing me to write in my language in this site, or me demanding anything from the site.
It is just an airing of my view about a site feature that could be advantageous.
No Uninvited Writer, we are not talking here of HubPages having every language under the sun.
We are more practical-minded than you are giving us credit for.
We are only talking about those languages that could generate a profit for the site owners.
It is my feeling that many languages other than English too can be profitable for the site.
And that is the issue under discussion.
Uninvited Writer, do you realize that your above comment is equivalent to saying if you want to drive a car, find one that suits you or create your own?
Now do you see why your suggestion is not practical for all but the most incorrigible computer geeks?
Uninvited Writer happens to be one of the more practical people here on Hubpages. Her suggestions seemed to be good. By the way, you could start a blogger.com blog and write in your own language with Google Adsense advertising.
SweetiePie, building a website like this one is incredibly complex. It is not something that you or I can do. That is why we value HubPages so much, because it has saved us the burden of messing with computer code and has presented us with a neat interface which we can effortlessly use.
Thank you SweetiePie for this suggestion.
In fact I already have a Hindi blog under blogger.com. Here is the link:
Do visit it sometime and leave your comments. Even if you are not able to read the content, you can say something about the layout etc.
I wouldn't mind it at all if you wrote in English :-)
Do you run Google Adsense on your blog? Might as well take advantage of that opportunity. Suprisingly some of my blogs do monetize a little bit.
I have applied for Adsense. I was told that your blog has to be six months old before you can get an account :-(
I have included Amazon affiliate ads on my blog though.
I also have registered a domain, but have not got around to building a website on it. It is proving to be too technical for me. I want one with mysql at the back and use PHP. But I don't know enough PHP.
Coming back to this topic, suppose HubPages decides to allow hubs in say, German, Japanese and Spanish, how would you take it?
Call me narrow minded and fixated on politics, but there is no coincidence that this same J person is a devoted socialist, even marxist.
We have a typical socialist mentality here - because I don't pay for it (not directly anyway), I don't care how much it cost (money or time wise, does not matter) but I demand you do what I like, because I think it is fair, no matter what the costs are...
Julaha, I demand you immediately do versions of your site in Chinese, Russian, and Urdu!
Hi Misha, you think being a devoted socialist, even marxist, is something offensive?
You were right in one of your hubs or in some of the comments you made on some hub that you come from a state with a totalitarian tendency.
It has worked its way into you too, it seems.
Have you heard of free speech, and the right of people to hold opinions that they think are right?
If not, you would do well to study the works of Marx, Lenin and Engels; it would make a better human of you than you seem to be at present.
No, not really, a lot of otherwise very nice people are. I think they are mistaken, but this is just my opinion. I brought this here because this thread is a result of pure marxist mentality.
Definitely I did. Yet this thread has nothing to do with free speech, and has everything to do with demanding others do what you want at their expense. I do have an opinion that your demand is - umm - not well grounded, and I have a right to voice my opinion
Thank you, Misha, for the clarifications.
There has been no demanding, please note. I have clarified this in several of my responses.
You do have a right to voice your opinion, but you will show up in better light if you grant this right to others too.
And the last point, could you explain, if you can, how HubPages going multi-lingual will be at the "expense of others"?
To me it seems a win-win solution.
Darkside, so true - and yet..
Julaha, I would disagreement with this statement:
"And Mark, the moment a site goes online, it ceases to be an American company, or an Indian company. The internet has no national boundaries."
People/companies do own their sites/information/copyrights, etc. How much of each aspect any one person/company owns depends on the set-up; but neither "The Internet" (as if there were a "Mr. Internet") nor the world owns any business website. If "Fred Smith" has a shoe store and puts up a site for is shoe business, he the business and site are his - not the world's.
If I drive my car through a city that city doesn't own me or my car. I do. I may even pay to park my car in privately owned parking garage, by paying for space. While I'm only "renting" the space and don't own it, I have paid for rights to it. Also, the parking garage people don't own my car or me either. The Internet is a similar type of thing.
Again, if I found some Chinese website and expressed my wish that it include English because "I wanted to express my views" - how ludicrous would anyone think that was? I'm not "against" non-English-speaking people, and if HubPages showed up in Klingon (or Hindi ) tomorrow I would have no problem with that. The point is just that "the world" doesn't own HubPages. It happens to be an English-speaking site, and no private business should be expected to accommodate the whole world. Most of the time, when people from one country start expecting people from another country to start accommodating them, it isn't even about "what I can do for you". Most of the time it's about "what I think I should have for me". Whether it's China, Russia, India, or the US; no business in one country owes the people of other countries anything (other than, of course, not doing things that will damage the planet that belongs to nobody).
The car example is wrong, Lisa. A bus or a metro would have been a better example.
If you own a bus or a metro you will have to operate by different rules.
You do own the bus or the metro, but you won't be able to work your business if you are too restrictive about who can get on the bus or metro.
why not?; but i think it's better to be in one language-english- as it's international and the majority use it....
Again, you are missing the point, folks.
I am not demanding that HubPages go multi-lingual, but only thinking aloud whether it would make business sense for the site owners to consider opening it up for other languages.
This would increase the level of comfort that a non-English person feels when he/she uses this site.
If you can keep your thinking focused on these two points while on this thread, you will be able to avoid making inane comments about flaying a dead horse, or dragging my political leanings into the discussion.
These have nothing to do with the topic under discussion.
So folks, can we have some meaningful discussion now on this topic?
it will be good if the hubs have ability for many languages for same hubs topics and same verision of hubpages without any changes in any contents of hubpages....
so, it's good idea if you are looking to reach wide range of people and cultures...
You said it in a nutshell.
Now the thing to consider is will it be financially viable for the site owners to have hubs in various languages?
What language would be the easiest to begin with technically?
Mohamedhmm, could you also tell us, which language is your main language, and what your opinion is regarding whether it will generate ad revenue for HubPages if hubs are allowed in it?
In my original post, I had raised the quality issue.
The above is an illustration of it.
I do not think that Hubpages is going multilingual in the near future. It is best to use the translation tools on Google.
SweetiePie, I completely agree with you that HubPages is not going multilingual in a hurry.
But if you look up the FAQ and also Paul's post in this very discussion thread, HugPages does intend to go multi-lingual eventually.
What we are discussing here may be a bit precocious, but it is not entirely an ivory tower discussion, for when the site does go multi-lingual, the suggestions, ideas, and concerns that we raise here will prove to be a useful feedback to the programmers.
So keep your suggestions coming, folks.
Can we raise the level of discussion a bit and imagine that HubPages has indeed gone multi-lingual and try and predict how the site looks like now?
This has become a long thread, thanks to the hecklers, and you new comers might find it difficult to locate Paul's important post on this thread.
I am quoting it here again for your convenience.
I do not mind whatever language Hubpages decides to allow people to publish in. However, I can see it would be an extreme financial burden on them because they will have to hire new moderators in each language.
Well, at least you are amenable to the idea of HubPages in many languages; that is some progress.
Yes, the financial aspect will be there. I had suggested voluntary moderators.
I had also suggested that communication with site staff and hubbers and reverse, can continue to be in English, and may be even the comments. For a beginning, only the hubs can be allowed in many languages. This way the burden on the staff would be lessened and it would be possible for the voluntary moderators to manage just the hubs.
We could even have further restrictions, such as say, a non-English hubber can post only 3 non-English hubs in a month.
Such measures could be put in place to keep non-English hubs under control and to ensure quality.
Many such out-of-the-box measures are possible to make multi-lingual HubPages a viable option.
Let us have more such practical suggestions.
I was never against Hubpages publishing in other languages, you miss my point completely. An earlier poster pointed out that a major Chinese site would think we were upsurd if we insisted on publishing in English. By the way, Hubpgages is not the only major site that only publishes in English as Yahoo Answers insists upon the same standards.
No one was against Hubpages publishing in other languages, but the entire point is this would be a financial strain for sure.
I don't think he is interested in listening. He is just looking for a fight. No one is "against" hubpages in other languages - they have merely pointed out that it is no where near as simple as he thinks - and unlikely to be financially viable for a long time. Even if he manages to find a bunch of Hindi-speaking volunteers to work for free
Sorry folks, I am back again :-)
To answer to Mark: You scoff at volunteer help, but don't forget that the entire open source movement is based on volunteer help and it has produced such great software as linux, open office, mysql database and PHP to name a few.
Even the great Google is localizing its pages into many languages using volunteer help.
So volunteer help is an idea that should not be shirked off without proper consideration.
So you are not sure. Nor am I am. I think it can be done for some languages at least.
Hmm...you don't work for Hubpages. You write better than many--most--native English speakers do. Just interested in languages, I would suspect?
You have a lot of interesting ideas and practical suggestions. Why don't you put those towards creating your OWN business? What are you getting from proposing and proposing this idea ad nauseum to others here, it would seem? Reading through this thread I seriously begin a little to wonder about you a bit mentally. You're bright, but ?
lol I am very, very sorry. I am. Really. But you might consider real estate--even in India... It takes practicality, the ability to talk with people, and lots of energy. You might be a success at it. I'll bet Mark Knowles can give you some tips, too.
Wow - I just came to check back on this thread, and - here it is - still going.
Paul Deeds gave a nice, reasonable, response here. That, and the fact that everybody else seemed to mention the same type of practical matters, would seem to make this "dead horse" ready for burial, I'd think. I'm guessing I could be wrong, though
Don't you think some of us English speaking citizens wouldn't love to show off our love for other languages?
A Swedish band Darling of the Dead has Spanish, English, and Swedish languages rolling in their music.
Hey you've Spanish in my Hrvatski!
Go for it... It would help me pick up the languages I want to learn easier.
Probably not practical due to business interests, however, and this is a business, after all.
That is just the point you people are repeatedly missing.
It can make highly successful business, for if not, it will never be implemented.
The last sentence made no sense.
If you are serious, why don't you write a proposal out to Hubpages. Business is done like that all the time. Might even get a contract.
What I meant was, Lita, if a proposal is not financially viable, it will never be implemented.
Serious I am, but I don't think I am equal to writing a business proposal to HubPages, and I don't think there is a need for that too, for business compulsions will eventually move them in that direction, as Paul has already indicated in his post.
So, perhaps Hubpages is not there yet. So, no proposal on your own--do you hope to create some sort of proposal by convincing others or coming up with valid ideas as some sort of group project then? Or elect these changes democratically?
You did come up with a very logical progression earlier in the thread that could be worked into a proposal.
I don't know how this idea will proceed. Just thought it was a good idea and thought of raising it here.
As I am only 3 weeks old in HubPages, it would perhaps be presumptious on my part to send them a business proposal.
Sometimes, just getting people to think on new things, gets those things to happen.
May be this thread would do that and that is all that I seek to achieve.
As for HubPages, I am sure they are astute businessmen and realize that sooner or later, they will have to step out of America and tap the world market.
Especially since the US is going through such bad financial turmoil which has decimated the purchasing power of most Americans.
The group project idea is tantalizing. Are you convinced enough about HubPages going multi-lingual to take it up further?
I wouldn't mind that at all, and can even contribute what little I can from my end.
If you feel equal to developing it into a business proposal and taking it up with HubPages, go ahead by all means, you have my sincere blessings.
Ah, yes. But in order to implement something in the real world--beyond the classroom, say--you do have to move beyond theory and getting people to talk and into actually doing the work. Kind of 'beautiful,' that, if you think about it.
I'm sure to some extent they HAVE realized it. As Ralph Deeds even suggested Spanish--and I believe he is actually Paul Deeds' father.
I doubt if any proposal would be considered 'presumptuous,' if it was valid. This simply is how business is approached.
edit--I do not have enough experience in handling adult 'group projects,' really. But am assuming that is what you are possibly trying to create or re-create.
Proposals, I do write. Yes, all the time. I am convinced that your English and logic is good enough, however, that you could also write said proposal.
So you have some sort of business plan already written?
As I said - I am not "against" it - I just think it is impractical. Having run several foreign language sites myself, I soon discovered they are considerably more work than either my company or myself anticipated.
I would be quite happy to help you in something. I do have a site I was considering having written in Hindi. Unfortunately the traffic from India is worth considerably less than the traffic from Europe and the USA. But maybe you would volunteer for a year or so while we get it off the ground?
In Paul Deeds post that, as of the present time, it would not be seen as something that would add sufficiently to the existing business. Apparently, going multi-lingual is an idea that has been considered by HubPages, and that has not necessarily been ruled out for some time in the future. (At least that's what I got from Paul Deeds' post.)
I don't think anybody is missing anything on here, and I'd think you'd feel encouraged (since you want HubPages in other languages) to have been told that the idea hasn't necessarily been ruled out for some future time. The fact that it isn't going to happen tomorrow, or the week after next; and the fact that most of the people on here all seem able to understand the idea that it would require too many resources/expenses for what it would offer right now; seems to show me that everyone is (to use an American phrase) "on the same page".
Apparently, at least for now, "the forces that be" have decided that it would not make for a "highly successful" (enough) business move at this time. I give the people who founded, and manage, HubPages credit for knowing what will make a good business move and what won't. You said, yourself, you were encouraged by Paul Deeds' post, which didn't rule out multi-lingual for some time in the future. Why not just be happy to know it may happen at some point, and accept that "official word" as final for now?
Well said, Lisa. I completely concur with your sentiments.
What I can't understand is why an innocuous idea as this should elicit such aggressive responses from an educated, civilized crowd as we hubbers?
Is there something between the lines in my proposal that threaten you people, or make you feel insecure?
If so, it will be worthwhile to discuss what that is, for it will help HubPages to address these concerns when they decide to go multi-lingual.
I think the problem is you going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on...
Oh! That could be it!
And perhaps Julaha, you would like to tell us what your theory about these so-called 'aggressive responses' might be? Any particular idea about people in general? Or what you might bring out in them?
As you see, many here do not disagree with a multi-language site, but realize it is a Hubpage business concern.
I was completely foxed by it. That is why I asked you to explain it.
But I have a feeling that it could be the fear of change. People feel comfortable with the familiar, and resist changes in well-known settings.
I think it was Alvin Toffler who has forcefully argued that although change is inevitable, the first response to it is to try to control it.
May be you are just trying to control the impending change, or the impending change makes you feel a little unsettled.
But Toffler again shows that change is the order of the day. It is futile to try to control it. A better response is to try to adapt to it.
Change can be painful and will need adjustments, so I have full sympathies with you.
OH, Good point! (And I lied about not posting--some of us do that.)
Your diction just may be freakin' obvious, I don't know... And you are absolutely right, I imagine amid many changes a certain type of personality would seek to control what they 'think' they can by whatever means they 'believe' they can. Some might even go so far as to call it magical thinking or manipulation. It is possible that said personality might require the aid of a mental health counselor, even.
This control mechanism may be in use towards relationships (or lack there of), career, or anything else... I adapt well to change, and actually, always have. Apparently, some others take circuitous routes. But thank you, I had never heard of Alvin Toffler until now, and learning something new is just always soooo interesting, so this ridiculous thread has not been in vain,. You can be happy about that--if that emotion still functions somewhere.
Maybe you just need a job? lol Oh, but you are scared of writing up proposals like they do in the big scary real world, OHHH...
So, sorry, take that with a grain of salt...as we Americans would say, and I'm sure you'd have others take you.
I would not have go on and on and on... if you hadn't been unparliamentary in your responses.
That forced me to dig my heels in.
I see. So despite the feedback you feel the need to make this into a battle of the wills? A tug-o-war? You won't give up posting in this thread until the powers-that-be give into your demands?
No, until I stop receiving silly comments like the one above.
Well, I for one will be most entertained to see how long you can keep this tirade up.
So - the only reason you keep banging on is because people keep telling you you are wasting your time. Even the owner of the site told you it was unlikely in the near future, yet here you are pretending to be hard done by.
Awww. Poor boy/girl/whatever.
There is a word for this
Wow, you aren't here for the hunting, are you?
A bit jealous, I believe, of people like you, LG.
And perhaps I was a little harsh just above. Though his energy is not used in an entirely positive way, Juhala seems like one of the brightest people I've come across... I'm sure it'll be fine eventually.
OK..that's it, as promised, no more posts,
LOL If Juhala actually spent energy on implementing SOMETHING valid, he would probably have all that he thinks he should have...or Napolean Hill or whatever...
AND he misjudges people a bit--a lot. And if he misses a former profession, he should figure out how to use his current profession in tandem for what he actually loves to do...
And I won't say another word, or post again... This is always a kind of funny to me. But treating people like 'sheeples' is a little mean, I think?
I've only been flitting in and out of this thread but I'm surprised that it's still going on. Maybe I've missed something in scanning the posts but it seems to me that the issue was settled long ago.
Like I said, maybe I missed something.
Ok guys, finally good news for all of you.
I am hoisting the white flag.
No more posts on this thread from me.
This is the last one, and I mean it.
Man you give up easy. A few comments about the impracticalities of starting a new language site and you just cave. Fight for what you believe in dude.
Good! (This is not a post--it's an addendum.)
You reallllly mean it? Do you stamp your feet and have tantrums, too? How about producing some swear words in Hindi for us right here, so we can all learn something new.
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