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Many user (like me) are not that fluent in English, but may be fluent in its native language.

When, over a question/answers comments, the discussion is moved automatically to a chat, it will be helpful to know if the few people in that chat all speak the same native language other than English, so they can understand better and faster!

I'm only talking about comments moved to discussion chats, which is a very localized and specific context.

Adding spoken languages or fluent languages to the profile (only seen in the discussion chat) could be a solution.

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There is a problem, though, if two people are both fluent in another language, they might opt to continue the chat in that language, instead of English. Why is this a problem? Where here's why: Τύχαιο κείμενο που δεν σημαίνει τίποτα. Is it realistic to expect that the moderators will catch extremely nasty comments like that? –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 14:50
    
If they are the only ones in the question discussion chat, then that is the point! Trying to make them understand faster and easier to help with the solution of the question. –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 14:53
    
@Zaphod Beeblebrox are moderators only fluent at English? They are also german, spanish, japanese, stackoverflow is much more international in that way. –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 14:55
    
If they are the only ones That's not how chat works, especially when imported from a post. Ideally the continued discussion will be relevant to the post, and everyone should be able to follow it. The two people involved may be the only one's in the room at that given time, but why shouldn't I get to read the conversation, say a month later? –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 14:56
    
@ZaphodBeeblebrox and, google translator makes the rest of the job... translate.google.com/#auto|en|Τύχαιο%20κείμενο%20που%20δεν%20σημαίνει%20τ‌​ίποτα –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 14:57
    
are moderators only fluent at English I'm not saying that, of course there might be moderators and users that are fluent in quite a few languages. But, since English is the language of Stack Exchange, we can expect all moderators to be fluent in English, and we can't expect them to be fluent in any other language. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 14:58
    
I did not know discussion chat could be followed more than that, is there another possibility rather than it? –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 14:59
    
is there another possibility rather than it AFAIK everything in chat is public. Only moderators have access to private rooms, for obvious reasons (to plan world domination). And trust me, I can easily write a very nasty comment in Greek, one that even Google Translate will refuse to translate. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 15:01
    
@ZaphodBeeblebrox many times comments become a far list of responses between only 2 people, and making them get faster to a solution can easily be reached if both speak the same native language –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 15:02
    
@ZaphodBeeblebrox I don't use automated chat rooms to insult, just understand to get faster to the solution... and neither i found that in the ones i've been... –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 15:03
    
I don't disagree with that. But I don't think it's that many times that it would require a feature as the one you propose. Even if it did, the potentially abusive behaviour I described would have to be taken into consideration. Oh, and I wasn't suggesting you would do the insults. But others might. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 15:03

1 Answer 1

if the few people in that chat all speak the same native language other than English

What you describe indeed happens from time to time and speaking the OP's native language would be nice to help them more quickly, but

  • it still doesn't happen often enough to justify a new feature; the norm is that users all speak English, or a mix of differing languages.

  • Also, non-english conversations are counter-productive for SO: They have no value for other users; also, they are impossible to moderate. Hence, they shouldn't be encouraged in any way.

I don't think anybody will mind if there are non-english conversations here or there but there doesn't need to be a feature encouraging them. English should remain SO's lingua franca until localized versions of Stack Overflow exist - if that ever materializes.

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Pekka, why should have chat conversations value for other users? –  Tomas Jan 16 '12 at 15:04
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@Tomas Why not? I always follow other people's conversations, especially when they are imported from questions / answers. If those conversations are actually constructive and on topics that interest me, why shouldn't I benefit from them? I am here to learn from others, after all. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 15:06
    
@Tomas I admit this is kind of an edge case. Still - others may still draw value from a conversation, and the moderating argument is really strong. I don't think anybody will mind if there are non-english conversations here or there but there doesn't need to be a feature encouraging them –  Pëkka Jan 16 '12 at 15:07
    
Pekka it might be an edge case on StackOverflow, but it's not on Programmers, where we have a fair share of subjective questions. Moving a post's comments on chat happens quite more often, and the conversations can be extremely valuable. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 15:09
    
@Zaphod yeah, true. I meant "edge case" more in the sense that helping out a user who isn't good at english can be more important than having everything in English, but I still think the system shouldn't encourage the use of other languages. –  Pëkka Jan 16 '12 at 15:10
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Oh, I don't disagree there. Although a non native English speaker myself, I don't see any value in encouraging other languages, even in chat. But I read Tomas' comment as asking why chat conversations in general have any value to users other than the participants, and I thought you where responding to that. –  Yannis Jan 16 '12 at 15:16
    
Well, then actually the main reason is that chats are public and can be read by others... I don't want to encourage other languages, my conception was that those kind of chats weren't public to everyone. –  I.G. Pascual Jan 16 '12 at 15:54

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