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I notice that the language sites which I have looked at all seem to have their tags translated into the relevant language but the badge names are not. However the international Stack Overflow sites appear to have translated badge names as well (at least Spanish and Portuguese do). Before I raise the issue on the child meta of the site I am active on (Spanish) I thought it would be better to clarify here in case it was a network-wide policy. Could we have our badges translated if we agreed on our meta that we wanted that?

This was raised in my mind over a suggestion on our child meta that we replace the Strunk and White badge with something more appropriate for a Spanish language site.

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    I doubt there will be an option to have "just" the badge names translated. AFAIK the international SO sites translated all their content. I don't think there is an option to "just have translated badge names" unless SE wants to make a language: 'SE-spanish-badge-name only'. From a maintenance perspective that feels horrible. – rene Mar 5 at 15:59
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    @Tom yeah, I had to check as well, won't hurt to have an extra pair eyes. – rene Mar 5 at 16:03
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I guess it's the same reason as the rest of the user interface (links, buttons) is in English. There are still a lot of users coming to your site who (like me) don't speak Spanish very well. (I'd have to look up what Cervantes means; it reminds me of the Latin word for 'deer', 'cervus'). Those users will have trouble signing up, searching and asking questions if they can't find the Ask Question button, let alone make sense of any error messages thrown their way. Being familiar with other Stack Exchange sites helps, but not everybody is that either.

One could make a case to translate just the badge names, but I'm not sure if that is technically feasible. I've developed and deployed quite a few multi-lingual applications in various programming languages and frameworks, and 'partially' translated functionality always gave me headaches.

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  • Just as well they did not choose Covarrubias which would arguably have been more appropriate as he did write a dictionary. I was only thinking of the badge names as making the descriptions bilingual seems a bit of a headache even though the site does have bilingual tag wiki excerpts. – mdewey Mar 5 at 16:57
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    @mdewey The big difference is that badges are part of the network-wide content every site has access to, like the UI. Tags and their excerpts are user-created, so each site can customize them as they wish. – Catija Mar 5 at 22:39
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Almost all localization of the websites comes from localization resources (the exceptions are help pages, tags and other content which is stored in the database instead of being produced by the engine). Translating badges would require creating a custom set of localized resources for a website.

While it's technically possible, it's probably too much pain with little gain. A lof of customization options were cut during the style update some time ago to make maintaining and upgrading sites easier. Translating badges would mean going in the opposite direction.

Maintaining localization on international websites is a huge pain already as strings are constantly added, changed and removed. This requires coordinated work of volunteers and employees. This is unlikely to be supported on a random website "just for fun".

You also need to consider another factor: mixing languages is often a bad idea. I always try to keep content and UI in the same language on all websites. It's harder to read content and navigate a website if I have to constantly switch between languages. The less switching, the better.

Ideally, there would be two websites for each language: for language learners and for native speakers. The first would have English UI and English content, the latter would have native UI and native content. This is the case for Russian which has "russian" and "rus" websites, and English which has "english" and "ell", but not for Spanish which has only "spanish" website. There's zero consistency and logic behind this, which makes the whole system a mess, and translating a random part of a website would make it even messier.

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More of an addendum: it is actually a nice feature, that enables a bit of "cross network" gamification, such as Which user is “the most” legendary across the whole network of sites? for example.

The fact that badges on all communities have the same name makes it extremely easy to create cross-site statistics about them.

I agree, in some places, it might be more appropriate to have local translations, but in the end: the servers that run the network are run by a US basecd company. For good or bad, sometimes that shines through.

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