Hi. This might be something that @mattdm should weigh in on.
Because we needed more contributions, we (the Fedora Magazine editors) recently published a Write for Us article to solicit more contributions.
Per chance, someone asked in the comments section if they could contribute an article in Brazilian Portuguese. Because I happen to be trying to learn that language, and I am on the Fedora Magazine editorial staff, I agreed to do it on a trial basis.
Now, another person has asked if they contributed an article in Portuguese, if both the English translation and the original Portuguese could be posted.
I’m starting to worry that I may have gotten myself in over my head, but what do you think? Would it be good for Fedora Magazine to run non-English translations of articles when the original author contributed a non-English version that an editor translated?
One problem in particular that I’m wondering about is the quality of the grammar in the original translation. While I’m fairly confident that I can make out the Portuguese well enough to do a good translation to English, I do not know Portuguese well enough to critic the grammar (or spelling) of the original post.
My 2 cents worth. In my previous life the company I was doing customer support for had an English only policy for the same reason you mentioned. We had several fluent Spanish, French, German and Portuguese speakers and they were confident in their translation ability. However, if any of them left, the ability to continue support in one or more of those languages would appear to be a degradation in an “assume” service level. (“Well you USED to answer us in Spanish. Why not now?”)
I would say that if the author wanted to provide the English translation of an article that was originated in another language, we might then consider editing the translation. But I don’t think we should commit to translation or editing in anything but English.
I agree with @rlengland and this is why the Magazine has historically always held the line on English only. It’s the language with the most reach globally, for better or worse. Personally, I would highly recommend gracefully backing out here. You can legitimately claim innocent ignorance of the history, of course. Branching out into other languages basically creates a new scaling problem with N dimensions, where N is the number of new languages accepted!
Also… perhaps this policy should be enshrined in the documentation online, even just as a simple note on the “how to propose” page. Good task for even a beginner – someone just needs to take it up.
Sounds good to me. Thanks Paul!
For a while — possibly still — there was a Czech-language blog which ran translated versions of Fedora Magazine articles. Since they’re Creative Commons licensed, this doesn’t even need special permission (as long as the trademark guidelines are followed).