More and more, forum users are telling people that they do not have the required skills to write on Hubpages.
Others, seem to believe there is a duty to defend the website's borders against incursions from the foreign hordes. In this case, "foreign" seems to involve anyone or anything outside the mythical Anglosphere.
Would it be possible to leave the Qappers to Qap, the editors to edit and the rest of the world in peace?
Where does the delusion that we are somehow gatekeepers come from?
If no one wants to help someone get published, fair enough. But turning the whole thing into a crusade for linguistic purity? Is it necessary?
I ruly admire and respect the writters here who have English as a second language. There are many who write for HubPages with excellent articles.
I "have" a second language, and can get along in simple conversation with my husband's cousins, but there is no way I would try to write articles in German.
Still, it is OK for people to flag people who may not meet standards of the site -- not to ban them, but just to make it easier for editors to review their articles
It's great to encourage those who are making small mistakes, and there are a few here who do pretty well.
Perfection is unatinable even for native speakers.
If I find a site where most of the articles a gibberish, trashy or sub par in language usage... I will go elsewhere. If Hubpages gets a reputation of being a place with articles that are hard to understand it does not help any of us.
I wish well to all who are writing in English as a second language. I admire your effort.
"Should this forum tell people they cannot write?"
I have read this entire thread and I have to agree with the 2 main points:
1. If you cannot write proper English, you cannot publish on HubPages
2. If you article is aimed at readers in a specific country or region, you cannot publish on HubPages.
HubPages is an English language site. Period. Articles written in poor English reflect badly on the rest of us. They are dragging down our traffic and earnings. I don't see any reason why aspiring authors who cannot write in English should not be told to improve their language skills and then come back and try again.
HubPages attracts a global audience. Articles that are narrowly targeted are not appropriate for this platform. However, if authors who are writing for a specific audience explain the concepts in their articles so that readers who are not part of the specific audience can understand what the article is about, then the article becomes appropriate for this platform.
Example: I write on gardening. Most of the world are not gardeners but they may wish to learn or they may be curious to learn more about something they saw in a garden. I make a point to explain even the most elementary concepts and terms in my articles so that gardeners and non-gardeners alike can understand what I am saying. I have found the new Q&A feature to be helpful. When someone asks me a question about a detail in my article, it often tells me that I have not explained something adequately or maybe left out something important because to me it is assumed knowledge which my audience does not have.
This also applies to cultural details in articles written by both native English speakers and non-native English speaking authors. Write for EVERYONE, the entire world.
"If you article is aimed at readers in a specific country or region, you cannot publish on HubPages."
I can't think of any plant that will thrive in every corner of the world. Surely, you deal with locale?
Also, do you think that no one is interested in what happens in other countries?
Again, point missed.
That is exactly my point. If you actually read any of my articles, you would see that I discuss how to grow plants in multiple climates rather than a specific area. Articles on how to grow plants in NJ where I live would be of interest to gardeners living in NJ, but not a wider audience. I write for the wider audience.
I was an ESL high school teacher for years. I can tell you that people who seek "help" here often are those who don't want help, they want full editing so that they can pass QAP and make some money. I don't mind providing a bit of grammatical help here or there, but I didn't come to HP to hold the hand of someone who knew darn well when he came here that he did not have the skill set that is required to write on this site. There are some second language speakers here who do amazingly well, and they came here equipped already with those skills. This is NOT a place to learn the English language, it's the place to hone one's writing skills when they already have good language skills. They know it, and we know it when we see it...thus the frustration on our part.
And this, of course, TT2, is complete common sense. However, Will's trying to make some of us out to be racist.
"Others, seem to believe there is a duty to defend the website's borders against incursions from the foreign hordes. In this case, "foreign" seems to involve anyone or anything outside the mythical Anglosphere."
If someone is asking for help with an article and their English is very bad, it’s misleading and even cruel to avoid telling them that they need to work on their language skills. Perfection in English isn’t required, but a good knowledge of the language is. This is because HubPages is an English language website, not because English is superior to other languages. If someone's article is hard to understand because of language errors, telling them that they need to improve their English may help them get their article featured in the future.
Like Rochelle, I admire people who are trying to learn another language. If I was trying to write an article in French for a French website, I would face the same problem that some people who are trying to write on HubPages are facing. I would be disappointed if I asked for help getting an article featured and someone told me (hopefully politely) that my French wasn’t good enough to write for the site, but the assessment would give me guidance for my future efforts.
It goes beyond this. Theraggededge recently told a writer her page was unacceptable because it concerned India.
"We are all writing for a global audience, not for one country or society."
That is completely mad.
Fatfreddyscat gets very upset about spammers from the subcontinent -- as if we don't have plenty of people from the US and UK, chancing their arm.
As a digression:
Frankly, I have no problem with ESL. I am happy to sit in a bar and talk to a Swede or someone from Timbuktoo, as long they have something interesting to say.
I also use Google translate routinely to make some sense of how issues are seen in other countries. That is ESL at its misleading finest, lol.
But even the smallest exposure to another culture's perspectives can cast such a powerful (and often revelatory light) on the stale nonsense floating around in one's own.
It is not that other cultures views are necessarily any better. It is that the simple difference allows you to see that your own are mere inventions.
In other words, it is worth tuning your ears to the meanings conveyed by the words, and letting the grammar stuff slide, a little.
You don't believe that is true? Wow. It's not mad at all. HubPages is a platform that relies on search engine traffic. If a writer is not specific about where and what they are referring to because, in their head, they are writing for their own local community, it doesn't make any sense to someone from outside of that community who happens on the article.
It's fine to write about those issues, but you have to make it accessible to anyone who might be looking for that topic. So that means widening the scope. It takes some basic writing skill. That lady (who you surmised might be a troll in another thread) doesn't (yet) have those skills.
I'm surprised you don't understand that, Will.
Edit: And I didn't say her article is unacceptable 'because it concerned India' either. I said this, "Also, though you have written about an important topic, it's unlikely that it would be accepted here. We are all writing for a global audience, not for one country or society." That's 'for', not 'about'.
Additionally, HubPages is specific that it won't publish articles that reference sexual violence.
There are very few subjects that can be treated properly without a reference to a particular region. Or if you are writing an overview, particular regions.
There is nothing wrong with any of these subjects:
How to Grow Roses in South Dakota.
Places to Visit in Swansea
Sexual Violence in India
Gardening pages are meaninglessness without an awareness of climate, travel pages are a 100 per cent focused on locale, responses to crime are culture specific.
And if the only visitors to those pages are from the people who live in the region, there is nothing wrong with that.
You have completely misunderstood what I said, Will. Utterly and completely.
What if I wrote an article that was only aimed at people who lived in my village? It could be on any topic whatsoever, but if it lacked context to anyone else outside of my village (i.e. not even mentioning the name, location, or any other specifics), then it would not be suitable for Hubpages. It might be suitable for the parish magazine but nothing else.
If, on the other hand, I wrote an article about the history of the place, was clear about where it is, added some great photos, even interviewed a few locals and made it a half decent travel piece or even a quirky article about local customs - then it would be suitable for HP.
Now do you see the difference? That's what I mean about being aimed at a global audience.
Please say you understand.
I think I know the article you are referring to. Even though I think the content was interesting, and relevant to the HubPages audience, I think the ability of the author to write in English is a serious impediment to her being published and succeeding on HubPages.
I truly admire her learning a second language, and trying to write in it. It's something I have never even attempted. She certainly has something to say, and I hope there is a platform out there for her. I just don't think HubPages is it.
She hasn't. She writes in Hindi and then uses translation software. And probably translates from English to Hindi. I don't think she understands any English. She explains here:
https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … ost4113623
One day, the time will arrive when translation software is so good that it actually does the job that it's supposed to. That will be a real game-changer. But we are still some way off, judging by Google's efforts to translate posts by my non-English-speaking Facebook friends.
I used to edit academic essays for foreign students when I lived in Leeds. Some languages are so different from English that you have little chance of learning the necessary writing skills in a few years, even if you are an intelligent and educated person. I remember one guy, might have been Iranian, told me that there were no definite or indefinite articles in his language, so all the "a"s and the "the"s were missing or messed up.
And like HubPages, you could get rejected by the university if your essays/dissertations weren't written in sufficiently good English. Students used to pay me to fix them (not that my English is perfect, I make plenty of spelling and grammar errors, but I'm good enough for a student essay). Anyway, it takes hours and hours of time to do that degree of editing, never mind trying to teach someone what the original problem was and how it needs to be rectified (I never got into explaining).
I have no qualms with just being straight with someone that their English isn't good enough when it's appropriate. It should really be HP telling them why they failed the QAP, of course, but HP doesn't usually tell them the specific reason. HP tells them in the rejection email that if they go to the forum, the hubbers will help them sort their work out...
I think it’s the outcome of accumulated frustrations and suspicions. Every day, we get requests for help with unfeatured write-ups on this forum, and in most cases, the newbie doesn’t adopt the suggestions given. Worse, they republish the same deal days later, or request for free editing, or ask about apps that can magically perfect their writing.
Many such unfeatured hubs are also superficial in information, or near unreadable. I recently told a newbie her hub gave the impression she has never, ever, read a proper English write-up; otherwise, how could she not notice her full-stops errors? To paraphrase a comment left here a while ago, I wonder why someone would attempt to write in a language he or she doesn’t even read.
As for suspicions, I speak only for myself. I worry whether such hubs delay the overall approval/editing process for everyone. I wonder whether newbies from a certain country are targeting Hubpages in some sort of lame astroturfing campaign. (You know, all the we-are-good, you-are-evil Kashmir articles) I sometimes fret over whether floods of such submissions would drag down our site authorities, impossible as that sounds.
Let me add that I’m from Asia and never had I felt excluded on this platform. My country also doesn’t have the concept of a native tongue, and there are tens of thousands of us here who are able to write in decent English, with few of us having the privilege of native English speakers as teachers. Because of that, I believe language learning is a matter of whether you dump in proper hard work. Most of these struggling newbies do not give me the impression they are here to learn, or to practice. It’s pretty clear they are here because they think they can exploit the platform and make easy money. I think such newbies should be shown the door. What we also need to do, on the other hand, is to ensure we do not chase away genuine new writers. So far, I don’t see the latter happening.
You should never criticize people for a can-do attitude. Even when it settles on something they really cannot do, lol.
And given that writers, as a group, are more prone to confidence issues than most, it is a duty, I reckon, to think more about showing respect, than showing doors.
Don't worry @CYong74, our system works in a way that even when we get a ton of submissions, there's no real delay.
When it comes to new authors, their content is first reviewed by the mod team before anyone else gets their grubby fingers on it.
Can the email that is sent when a hub is rejected direct the author to the Help Center instead of the forums? I think the biggest problem is that a lot of time and energy is wasted explaining HubPages standards to newbies. That information is readily available in the Help Center. Helpful hubbers in the forums would rather spend their time and energy helping authors who have a grasp of the basics and just need some help polishing their articles.
Thanks for clarifying, Sam! That is very assuring to know.
I do not come from a native English-speaking country, English happens to be my second language. I think the criticism aimed at writers with poor English writing skills is well justified. I recently joined HP and the first thing I did, was to visit the Learning Center and view other writers featured articles before writing my first article. This enabled me to have a general idea of the acceptable standard and format of writing articles at HP. Even though am technically not a writer, I have the basic English writing tools that enable me to construct sentences and paragraphs. All my articles have been featured thus far.
When I see my fellow new Hubbers from secondary English-speaking countries asking for help from well established writers, I genuinely sympathize with them. It is very encouraging when other Hubbers try to help out such ones. When you go through some articles that require assistance, its easy to notice that the assistance required, is in fact, not the assistance needed. A new Hubber may be requesting for help to pass the QAP, but when you read the article, it is very clear to notice the writer's primary problem is not passing the QAP, but having a basic grasp of the much needed English writing skill. This frustrates some experienced Hubbers, they are not here to teach the basic fundamentals of the English language, but rather they are here to help inexperienced Hubbers improve on their articles. If I can make a few grammatical errors in my writing, its something I can improve on, but if I display a clear and consistent lack of proper English language structure, then its a problem that needs addressing from the basics.
Honestly, I prefer bold criticism. It is good for the writer and for the integrity of HP. Sugarcoated criticism is the reason the same writer keeps coming back with different articles that need help passing the QAP.
In any reputed site like HubPages, new writers will come continuously in good numbers, those who find compatible standards here will stay, others will move on to other sites or improve their writing and stay here only. This is happening in online world for quite some time and is not a new thing. Editors are there to take care and the members need not to bother for this. Everyone is not a born writer and people learn with practice and intermittent failures. So there is no point in blaming or criticising a new comer in any resoect. If we can not help them does not entitle us to mock them.
When articles are rejected by QAP, the writer is told to post a request to the forum. There's absolutely no point in trying to fix an article when the writer's English skills are very poor. It's better to tell them straight than to encourage them to waste their time... and ours.
For the record, I don't particularly care what part of the world a spammer comes from. If they spam, I call them out on it. It keeps me entertained. Call it a hobby.
There is a wicked zeitgeist around at the moment. I think we all need to be careful that we wrap up well.
As for the issue of spammers and chancers -- most of them are trying to feed a family somewhere in the world.
Are you sure that you want to be the one who snatches that crumb of food from little Bob Cratchit's mouth, lol?
Will, I know there is a potential to make a little monetary gain from Hubpages; however, I did not know that people depended on Hubpages for their main source of income.
Sidenote- I am actually afraid to comment these days. Online audience seems so harsh lol
Bloody hell... Will wants us to be kind to spammers now
Heck of a thread here.
As for me; I have conclusively proven to myself I am a disaster in German, Spanish, and French. Some of us can lean foreign languages, some of us can't. I have accepted my fate in this regard.
It's good to help people in general.
Though, I think HP can give the initial assistance of letting them know they need to work on their English or grammar skills. They can come to the forum for more specific things about being a writer for HP.
I suppose I must be one of those self-appointed guardians of the language that Will doesn’t seem to like very much.
The reason I sometimes tell “people that they do not have the required skills to write on Hubpages,” is because they do not have the required skills to write on HubPages. Perhaps, Will would prefer that I pat them on the head and encourage them to waste their time making more submissions.
Will asks “Where does the delusion that we are somehow gatekeepers come from?” My delusion comes from more than 50 years of supporting myself and my family through writing. I have spent each of those years learning in an effort to perfect my craft. I continue to learn.
I love the English language that is the raw material of my profession so I come to its defence when it is abused. I do resent someone with a very thin grasp of English offering up gibberish because they’ve read somewhere that you can make money on HubPages.
I can get by in two or three language from outside the “mythical Anglosphere” but I would never dream of writing in them. If I tried to write in Hindi or Finnish, native speakers of those languages might see me as the vanguard if a “foreign horde” and would be justified in telling me to stick to my first tongue.
Wow! Congrats on your over 50 years writing achievement. My first degree is in Journalist from the University of Southern California Annenberg. Still, I do not consider myself much of writer. I know my comment is unrelated to the discussion at hand, still, I had to congratulate you on your dedication to writing.
I never understood why this issue has never been undertaken by HP at the gate: writing samples. This has come up before in the past, many times. It would save all parties a lot of time and wasted efforts.
Anyway, since screening will not (to my knowledge) be used, and veteran hubbers will continue to do what they do, I believe the real issue lies in tone and delivery. Boldness and being straight forward has its place. It is good for us to care about our site and take ownership by offering critiques, suggestions, and a little mentoring in the forums. But maybe it's time for HP staff to step up the policing of the site outside of the forums (via email, "at the gate") to avoid humiliation of newcomers. Just sayn'.
Okay, so the person in question has explained the problem, "I write article in hindi and translate to english."
She does not understand English at all.
She is probably using translation software. She doesn't realize that translation software does not translate into colloquial language. It just translates words minus grammar and syntax. She sees recognizeable English words and thinks that she has an accurate English translation of her article.
TT2, I agree. I reiterate: HP needs to handle the ones that are not skilled in grammar, English, punctuation - not the writers. It has nothing to do with us being "racists" because all walks of life write on HubPages. The HP writers readily validate their prose.
It is not that hard to see if a hub is being rejected from poor English skills, or to detect whether the problem is not one that can be solved in a day or two. Telling the person that is kinder than encouraging them to further waste their time.
The fact is Hubpages editors have strict standards. I am an English native speaker/reader and I have hubs be rejected and told I need to make edits. It gets frustrating sometimes. I only wonder how much more frustrating this would be if all your hubs are rejected. I probably would quit.
If somebody posts a hub that is one giant paragraph of errors and doesn't say much of anything what feedback should be given? There is little to say other than start over and or you English needs work.
From what I see only a few forum regulars give feedback on a consistent basis. Nobody every says anything that sounds harsh or mean to me.
I don't see this as gatekeeping so much as trying to help somebody from wasting their time.
When people ask for advice on their articles they ought to be prepared to accept honest criticism. Hubpages is for people who read and write good English. I have never offered a comment on an individual article but, broadly speaking, some of those that I have read are by writers whose first language is clearly not English. They are very poorly written and presumably do not pass the quality assessment criteria. It's probably best to leave it to staff editors to pass on the bad news that the article has not been accepted rather than attempting to be helpful or being brutally .honest.
Let's go back to the beginning on this.
Theraggededge told Sushmanayak45479 that she could not write about sexual violence in India because it was of no interest to a "global audience", ie to an audience in the US and the few other countries, where English is the primary language.
Read the comment for yourself: https://hubpages.com/community/forum/34 … eful-woman
The news media that I am familiar with routinely report on the situation of rape victims in the subcontinent, because the situation is so severe. So hearing from her and other women in India is not only important, it is an issue of global interest.
The fact that Sushmanayak45479's English is poor is no excuse for telling her that she should abandon attempts to reach a wider audience.
At this point I do not know if you are obtuse or are just interested in picking a fight.
No, she never said that. You are twisting her words for your own reasons. If that woman wants to write an incoherent article, she should be told that it is not going to be accepted. It does not matter what subject she is writing about.
There are others willing to write about violence against women in India. You have obviously read them.
Read the comment again:
... it's unlikely that it (the article) would be accepted here. We are all writing for a global audience, not for one country or society.
I just looked at theraggededge's profile to try and understand what she means by a "global audience". Essentially she writes about tarot, one of the most obscure subjects on the planet. Presumably it appeals to a large enough group in the US and UK to get traffic but I doubt it commands the global audience that issues of sexual violence command.
Anyway, I have a plane to catch tomorrow (sorry Greta). Doubt if I will get back to this for a few while.
Okay, here is some light reading matter to keep you entertained.
https://www.academia.edu/21926827/Femal … view-paper
So you didn't bother reading my previous comment which attempted to explain the point that you refuse to acknowledge? The difference between writing for a local audience or a global one. No?
I'm beginning to think you are trolling me, Will
And my topics pay very nicely, thanks. Though what they have to do with the Indian article in question, I have no idea. And just, for your information, I get tons of readers from Asia, both here and on my own site.
I did not say that at all. Now you're just making stuff up. Again. Remember that I was not writing my comment for you but for her. In the most simple terms possible.
From looking back and reading Will's comments, I get the sense that this post/thread is really aimed entirely at Theraggededge.
You think right. He likes to take a swipe at me regularly. I find him quite fun
Might I suggest we all leave Will alone, i.e. don't feed the troll. He clearly has some sort of agenda and gains enjoyment from yanking our chains.
I think you are right. He does have a habit of deliberately taking things out of context and picking fights over it. Trouble is, he knows I will bite.
Will's been arguing on here for years, I wouldn't describe him as a troll. He used to have some big fights with the spammers before this site was cleaned up seven or eight years back. It's all pretty civilized nowadays by comparison. Forums aren't generally a good place for taking up issues with individuals though, whatever the ins and outs.
I am sure the staff at HP know we'd like them to screen the new writers first, so we are not doing it. It's a waste of our time.
I'd never tell anyone what they can or can't do. I don't see the problem in telling people they are failing at the basics.
Btw now I want some to go ahead and wreck my articles. Just let all that superiority out. Spill your emotions on me.
by Sondra Rochelle 8 years ago
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