Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

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Aurinĭa
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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-06, 14:20

Irusia wrote:
[*] Uralic (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian +)[/list]

Well, I don't think it's a good idea. All of these forum have enough active users, so they deserve separate forums.

I suspect you and I have very different ideas of "active". Several of these forums currently have no moderator, or a moderator who isn't a native speaker, simply because there's nobody who both speaks the language reasonably well and is active enough. Several also have threads last posted in years ago still on the first page. I can't call that active. If most of the posts in a subforum are all in the same few threads, there's no good reason not to merge it with others. These threads won't disappear from the subforum's first page, and how much nicer isn't it to see a forum with multiple new posts in multiple threads, rather than a whole list of threads that haven't been posted in years? Many of them consisting of just a few posts each, even.

I suspect the users of other forums, such as Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Lithuanian etc. would not be happy about merging their forums either.

And others would be happy to finally see some activity in "their" forums. I'm one of them. I'm a firm proponent of merging the two forums I'm the mod for, including that of my own native language, with several other forums. An active forum begets more activity, and increases the likelihood of somebody noticing threads in the other languages in the same subforum and developing an interest in them. In contrast, a dead forum doesn't generate any visits and is very unlikely to see any increased activity.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-06, 14:40

Are there even any threads about Tibetan?

There are. One for Tibetan and one for Dzongkha. Or was it one for both?

Either way, the answer is yes.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-06, 14:47

Irusia wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:
[*] Uralic (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian +)[/list]

Well, I don't think it's a good idea. All of these forum have enough active users, so they deserve separate forums. I suspect the users of other forums, such as Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Lithuanian etc. would not be happy about merging their forums either.

I'm with Irusia. I like the idea of a Uralic forum derived from the very quiet Saami forum, which only recently had a few posts. But the Estonian forum is quite active at times and so is the Finnish forum.
Aurinĭa wrote:I suspect you and I have very different ideas of "active". Several of these forums currently have no moderator, or a moderator who isn't a native speaker, simply because there's nobody who both speaks the language reasonably well and is active enough. Several also have threads last posted in years ago still on the first page. I can't call that active

Well, if we're using that as a measure, they are more active than even Japanese, Greek, and Italian, all three of which have "last posted" dates from 2015 on the first page as of this morning. (I stopped checking after that, so I'm not sure how many other forums have similar levels of activity.) For both the Estonian forum and Finnish forum, the oldest "last posted" date on the first page is from mid to late 2016. I think one of the issues is that everyone seems to have a different definition of what "active" means: total number of posts, total number of threads, number of posts in the past year, year of the last thread on the first page, etc.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby atalarikt » 2018-03-06, 14:52

księżycowy wrote:There are. One for Tibetan and one for Dzongkha. Or was it one for both?

Either way, the answer is yes.

There are many threads on Tibetan before that one Tibetan/Dzongkha thread of yours.
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ خَلْقُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَاخْتِلَافُ أَلْسِنَتِكُمْ وَأَلْوَانِكُمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِلْعَالِمِينَ۝
"And of His signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth and the diversity of your languages and your colors. Indeed in that are signs for those of knowledge." (Ar-Rum: 22)

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-06, 15:03

So the answer is still yes. :P

How do you guys think about Vijay-kun's idea of organizing the "subforums" within these subforums within them? Would that alleviate some of these fears of merging things?

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Aurinĭa » 2018-03-06, 15:06

atalarikt wrote:
księżycowy wrote:There are. One for Tibetan and one for Dzongkha. Or was it one for both?

Either way, the answer is yes.

There are many threads on Tibetan before that one Tibetan/Dzongkha thread of yours.

They can just stay in South Asian, can't they?

Linguaphile wrote:Well, if we're using that as a measure, they are more active than even Japanese, Greek, and Italian, all three of which have "last posted" dates from 2015 on the first page as of this morning. (I stopped checking after that, so I'm not sure how many other forums have similar levels of activity.) For both the Estonian forum and Finnish forum, the oldest "last posted" date on the first page is from mid to late 2016. I think one of the issues is that everyone seems to have a different definition of what "active" means: total number of posts, total number of threads, number of posts in the past year, year of the last thread on the first page, etc.

And for all of those (except for Japanese, because I limited myself to Europe in that post) I proposed merges. :wink:

For the Uralic forum, I think Saami + other Uralic languages threads still wouldn't be very active.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby aaakknu » 2018-03-06, 15:11

I think the Uralic forum (without Estonian, Finnish or Hungarian) will still have at least 4 active users: Linguaphile, h34, Naava and me and probably others. Isn't it enough? I doubt that NAIL, CSAIL, AAP or some other forums have more users. And AAP, by the way, is quite active now.
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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-06, 15:30

Irusia wrote:I think the Uralic forum (without Estonian, Finnish or Hungarian) will still have at least 4 active users: Linguaphile, h34, Naava and me and probably others. Isn't it enough? I doubt that NAIL, CSAIL, AAP or some other forums have more users. And AAP, by the way, is quite active now.

And I think Antea is interested in Karelian, and Ainurakne is interested in Proto-Finnic and maybe Võro? I don't know how often they'd post there, but maybe at least once in a while. Plus it could bring in new people!

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Naava » 2018-03-06, 16:32

I don't know about Hungarian, but I'd like to keep Finnish and Estonian forums as they are, and merge Saami with other Uralic languages.

Linguaphile wrote:I think one of the issues is that everyone seems to have a different definition of what "active" means: total number of posts, total number of threads, number of posts in the past year, year of the last thread on the first page, etc.

Could we decide what the criteria for merging or keeping subforums is? Are we trying to make the forums more active? If so, what does "active" mean? If not, what are we trying to do?

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-06, 16:57

My usual definition of active is: how many times a new post is made in subforum X in a week/month.

EDIT: By the way, I did notice your global announcement, Irusia. Thank you!

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Antea » 2018-03-06, 17:56

Maybe I have missed some posts, but Amharic with Swahili? :hmm: Would it not be better with other Semitic languages?

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Luís » 2018-03-06, 19:23

No matter what happens, I think it's probably better to start changing the subforums (and moving the threads) in several different phases, otherwise it's going to be a mess (and too much work :P )
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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby księżycowy » 2018-03-06, 20:47

Yeah, this is going to be a process. As if it wasn't already.

I'm thinking it's easier to list what we've agree on so far then disagreed upon:
-The Georgian Forum being expanded to include all languages of the Caucasus Mountains except Azerbaijani and Kurdish.

That was a long list. :P
And I'm sure someone will debate this now that I've listed it.

(I'd also say a few others, but it sounds like they are still up for debate. I'm also purposefully not listing the Hebrew forum expansion because I want people who go to that forum alone a chance to weigh in if they'd like (a week?). I put a sticky in the forum in addition to Irusia's global announcement.)

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby linguoboy » 2018-03-06, 21:05

Naava wrote:Could we decide what the criteria for merging or keeping subforums is? Are we trying to make the forums more active? If so, what does "active" mean? If not, what are we trying to do?

Seconded.

Also, shouldn't there be some mechanism for splitting merged forums as they become more active again?
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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-06, 21:34

linguoboy wrote:
Naava wrote:Could we decide what the criteria for merging or keeping subforums is? Are we trying to make the forums more active? If so, what does "active" mean? If not, what are we trying to do?

Seconded.

Also, shouldn't there be some mechanism for splitting merged forums as they become more active again?

Yes, that seems like a good idea.
I was also thinking that for some of the changes, the "slowly phasing in" might go something like this : (1) change the Saami forum to Uralic, since (I think?) that was fairly well-agreed on; (2) see how active it becomes; (3) merge it with some other forum(s) if it isn't still active enough by whatever definition is agreed once it gets going. That's just an example; I imagine some of the other changes could take place in similar steps. In other words, make smaller, less controversial changes first and see how it goes. Then make larger changes if they still seem necessary once we've had time to see how the smaller changes are going.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Woods » 2018-03-06, 23:05

Naava wrote:I don't know about Hungarian, but I'd like to keep Finnish and Estonian forums as they are, and merge Saami with other Uralic languages.

Linguaphile wrote:I think one of the issues is that everyone seems to have a different definition of what "active" means: total number of posts, total number of threads, number of posts in the past year, year of the last thread on the first page, etc.

Could we decide what the criteria for merging or keeping subforums is? Are we trying to make the forums more active? If so, what does "active" mean? If not, what are we trying to do?

Linguaphile wrote:
linguoboy wrote:
Naava wrote:Could we decide what the criteria for merging or keeping subforums is? Are we trying to make the forums more active? If so, what does "active" mean? If not, what are we trying to do?

Seconded.

Also, shouldn't there be some mechanism for splitting merged forums as they become more active again?

Yes, that seems like a good idea.
I was also thinking that for some of the changes, the "slowly phasing in" might go something like this : (1) change the Saami forum to Uralic, since (I think?) that was fairly well-agreed on; (2) see how active it becomes; (3) merge it with some other forum(s) if it isn't still active enough by whatever definition is agreed once it gets going. That's just an example; I imagine some of the other changes could take place in similar steps. In other words, make smaller, less controversial changes first and see how it goes. Then make larger changes if they still seem necessary once we've had time to see how the smaller changes are going.


Hey, what is this?

Honestly, what does Hungarian have to do with Finnish in terms of the people who learn it?

Finnish and Sámi would make sense together, and maybe even Estonian, but not Hungarian.

What's wrong with having several forums for all of them? One and the same moderator could go check them all.

Mixing these languages will only create a mess and make it annoying for people interested solely in one of the countries by forcing them to read topics regarding some completely different country.

If there was no forum for Sámi I would naturally go and ask in the Finnish forum. And so I would if I needed to ask about some other Finnic language in Russia for example. But Hungary is a totally different country with a totally different language, and I don't see why anyone who is interested in the Finnic languages would like to read about the Ugric ones and vice-versa. Maybe if the two countries were neighbours or culturally and politically related that would make sense, but they're not!

If you're going to split these forums in any kind of way, I would suggest making two forums: Finnic languages and Ugric languages. But even this way it doesn't make much sense, because if there was no Sámi forum people would naturally go to the Finnish one, and people who learn Estonian are not necessarily interested in learning Finnish and vice-versa, but nonetheless learning some extra Estonian will be much more useful to a person learning Finnish than learning some Hungarian!

Naava, if you're going to move Sámi somewhere, take it into the Finnish forum. Sámi is spoken in Finland and its two neighbouring countries, not where other Finnic or Ugrian languages are spoken!

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-07, 2:41

Woods wrote:Hey, what is this?

Honestly, what does Hungarian have to do with Finnish in terms of the people who learn it?

Finnish and Sámi would make sense together, and maybe even Estonian, but not Hungarian.

What's wrong with having several forums for all of them? One and the same moderator could go check them all.

In case you haven't been following the twists and turns of this discussion (which is getting really difficult to do!), I wanted to let you know that Naava and I recommended that Hungarian, Finnish and Estonian keep their current forums. The posts above were in response to others (I can't remember who) saying that those three forums aren't active enough. There was some back-and-forth discussion over what constitute "active enough" and the posts you've quoted above were a result of that discussion.
The idea for a Uralic forum was this: we'd like a place for the smaller Uralic languages (Saami, Livonian, Votic, Veps, Ingrian, Mari, Komi, Erzya, Moksha, Khanti, Mansi, Nenets, Selkup....). We'd* like the three existing national-language forums to remain as they are, but create a new forum for the smaller languages that currently don't have a place on Unilang. Since the Saami forum exists already but it is not very active at all, the proposal was to take that forum and incorporate the other smaller Uralic languages, and call it "Uralic." But it wasn't our idea to make any changes to the existing forums for the three national languages in the language family (Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian). As far as I'm concerned, ideally they'd stay the way they are. Above, I probably should have said "change the Saami forum to [minority/smaller] Uralic, since (I think?) that was fairly well-agreed on". I wasn't including Hungarian or Finnish or Estonian in the "Uralic forum". Sorry if it wasn't clear (and thank you very much for pointing it out, since that's definitely not how I meant it at all.)

*Naava, if I'm mischaracterizing what you think, please correct me. The above is what I think and it seemed like your thoughts were along the same lines.
Last edited by Linguaphile on 2018-03-07, 2:44, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby vijayjohn » 2018-03-07, 4:42

I'm sorry to say this because I really think this is an interesting discussion that needs to be had and in fact needs more participants in principle, but...

...now, I'm starting to worry that the admins as a whole will end up ignoring everything we have to say in the end, much like they did with the Pacific forum. I predict that even if the rest of us all come to a consensus, they are going to merge everything exactly like Aurinĭa proposed just because she's an admin and the rest of us are not. (Of course, this won't be their (publicly) stated reasoning, but it will probably determine the outcome nevertheless). I'm not even sure the Ukrainian forum will survive, even though I agree that it should survive. Sorry, Irusia. :(

Nevertheless, I did start responding to some of the earlier comments in this thread, so here's what I wrote:
Karavinka wrote:But we still want to have some sort of thematic coherence of a forum, right? To me this sounds like lumping Basque and Vietnamese. One solution is not to have a special sign forum, but discuss it within the forum of the spoken-written language that it is associated with. Say, ASL thread can go into English, and a general discussion about sign languages as a whole can still be done in the General Language Forum for the foreseeable future. It may not be the ideal solution, but IMO less awkward.

The problem I see with this is that those of us on this forum who are interested in one sign language on this forum appear to be interested in several or even all of them. Dividing the sign languages up among the spoken-language forums would make it harder for us to find these languages and might not make much thematic sense.
The languages that will not be geographically South Asian at all would be Romani and the diaspora languages like Fijian Hindi, and I personally think we can still just keep them with South Asian.

Minor stuff:
I would actually include Fiji Hindi, Sarnami Hindi, etc. under Hindi/Urdu. If you know Hindi/Urdu (and maybe English), you can definitely understand Fiji Hindi (and I think the others, too). This isn't really the case with Domari or Romani.
księżycowy wrote:Whereas I definitely agree with getting in touch with Meera is a good idea, I still don't see a major issue with this. Are the Pashto threads doing anything much for your subforum? You have plenty without them, don't you?

I don't think anyone has been seriously interested in learning Pashto in several years, but I do keep the Pashto songs thread alive whenever I post in the South Asian forum. Regardless, though, Meera is a native speaker of Pashto and doesn't really speak any other South Asian languages besides Hindi (which, of course, has its own forum. Of course she's very enthusiastic about South Asian languages in general and speaks some Bengali and at least a little Nepali, Punjabi, and Tamil, but that's about it FWIR). This makes me fear for her chances of becoming a mod for the South Asian languages forum again if she wants to, especially given the talk in this thread about whether subforums have native speakers as moderators or not. I'd rather not take that chance away from her in case she does want it back someday (I may be wrong, but I think she has modded that forum longer than I have).
Linguaphile wrote:
Irusia wrote:
Aurinĭa wrote:
[*] Uralic (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian +)[/list]

Well, I don't think it's a good idea. All of these forum have enough active users, so they deserve separate forums. I suspect the users of other forums, such as Swedish, Norwegian, Polish, Lithuanian etc. would not be happy about merging their forums either.

I'm with Irusia. I like the idea of a Uralic forum derived from the very quiet Saami forum, which only recently had a few posts. But the Estonian forum is quite active at times and so is the Finnish forum.

I've never posted in any of these forums, but I'm inclined to agree as well. I don't think we should merge forums when the only people who actually participate in them are opposed to them being merged.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Linguaphile » 2018-03-07, 5:47

Aurinĭa wrote:Several also have threads last posted in years ago still on the first page. I can't call that active

I just realized something though: one reason for that is that on the Estonian forum at least, we tend to put new questions into the "Küsimus eesti keele kohta / Questions about Estonian" thread rather than creating a new thread for them each time. So, the old threads don't get pushed off the first page as fast as they would if we created new threads more often. In fact, a few months ago when we had a poster who kept creating new threads, she was literally asked not to do that and asked to put all of her questions in one thread. Obviously, we were not aware that the number of recently-created threads could be used as a measure for whether or not the board was active enough to keep. We just kept adding new questions to the old threads.

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Re: Language Subforums Management Discussion 2018

Postby Karavinka » 2018-03-07, 5:51

As Luis said, we can't decide all the things at once otherwise it's going to be too confusing.

Why don't we start separate threads for each thing, and use this thread to discuss what needs to be done next, like in managing a to-do list. They don't need to be done in any specific order, but let's start with a few that are closer to home for most unilangers.

- Uralic Languages Forum
What is the scope of this? All the minor Uralic language threads will be merged with the Sami Forum, what will happen to Finnish, Estonian and Hungarian?

- Other Romance Languages Forum
How will this influence Romanian and Catalan forums?

- Other Germanic Languages Forum
One Forum or two, North and West? English and German will probably stay, but what other forums are active enough to remain independent?

This is just a suggestion. If you feel like it's better to have the discussion in one place that's fine with me. I'm not going to start the threads myself; that would be better left to those who will actually have to do the work.
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