View Full Version : The languages of the forum - Forumpråken - Forumin kielet

03-11-03, 07:27
Yesterday I got the question if Finlander could become a three language forum, ie. if there could be a Finnish language part of the forum.

In practice this would mean:

a mainly finnish -language section, like the "Finlandssvenska rummet"
the section would probably grow faster than both the English and the Swedish parts
one could search from all language forum parts at the same time, ie. get an synergy effect
the "View new posts" would probably be more difficult to plough through, since there would be more overall activity
the user interface would eventually be seen also as Swedish and Finnish with the default language always English. Switchable upon request.

Before even thinking about this possibility I want to ask you, the members and users of this forum, for your opinion. Please answer the poll

03-11-03, 07:44
Originally posted by Hasse
A Swedish translation of the poll question:

Eftersom jag fått en förfrågan om man kunde göra en finskspråkig avdelning på Finlander vill jag ställa denna fråga och hoppas på många svar.

I praktiken skulle en finskspråkig avdelning betyda:

en likadan avdelning som det "Finlandssvenska rummet"
denna nya avdelning skulle antagligen växa snabbare än både den nuvarande engelska och svenska delen
sökningar kunde ske från alla samtidigt
visningen av "nya meddelanden" skulle bli svårare att plöja igenom eftersom där syns alla nya meddelanden och man har mer trafik (man måste troligen börja se på ikonernas färger framför meddelandetrådarna och forumen för att se om nya olästa finns)
användargränssnittet skulle bli valbart engelska/svenska/finska (finns nu som engelskt + halvöversatt svenska!)

Förrän jag tar ståndpunkt till frågan hoppas jag att ni meddelar era åsikter och synpunter flr och emot genom att kruxa för rätt alternativ ovan.

Alternativen ovan är
- Ja, skapa ett finskt underforum
- nej, låt forumet vara svenskt och engelskt som nu
- nej, gör forumet enspråkigt engelskt

03-11-03, 21:46
As I can see the third alternative is getting some support, which I anticipated. I have feared that some members don't really cheer when seeing Swedish language messages on the forum, ie. messages they perhaps cannot read.

Since I believe in the need for a Swedish language subforum for those who aren't fluent in English I won't remove the Swedish language possibilities. Would it be enough if I provide an option for those who don't want to see the Swedish language discussion threads, ie. mainly the "Det Finlandssvenska Rummet", with an option that removes these messages, in fact the whole subforum??

Those who don't want to see the "Det finlandssvenska rummet" please send me a private message to my email (hasse.nygard%40e-brev.nu) - and I will take care of it.

04-11-03, 03:51
Hi Hasse,
I personally appreciate the emphasis on English, since my Swedish is second language. If the majority of registered participants is English-speaking, then I hope people will still try to communicate in English. Actually I hope that anyway, otherwise the Swedish Finn Historical Society membership will be locked out of a lot of material. If I am understanding the webpage's premise correctly.

Will there be a Guide readily available to new members which shows how to access the database materials which are in either Finnish or Swedish? When ease of access is made possible for evey participant, then the database will truly total more than its parts!
Regards and thanks again to all Talko/gedcom donors,

04-11-03, 10:12
The forum now has the possibility to be configured per member - ie. if one member wishes to filter out "Det finlandssvenska rummet" and thus doesn't want to see the Swedish-language messages he/she can communicate this to me through the Finlander or through email (hasse.nygard%40e-brev.nu) and I shall do the modification for his/her profile asap.

This also means that Swedish-language messages preferably should be posted within the "Det finlandssvenska rummet" and forums in the future that will be defined as "swedish". Message threads created at the "wrong" side of the fence will eventually be moved by the moderators.

Hope this clarifies the situation and lightens up possible bad-feelings over the mixed language situation - the idea of a mixed language forum where both the language of the old country and the new country can live side-by-side has to be modified and adapted to the current needs.

Lets make the best of it.

Gita Wiklund
04-11-03, 12:15
Hi Hasse and everone else,

I for one hope that most members will not stay inside the fences of their own language. I would like to point out to those who prefer the only langauge to be english in the forum that swedes and finns have difficulties expressing themself in an other language as well. Even if we learn some in school, there are terms envolved in genealogy that are hard to translate, and sometimes when it doesn´t seem convenient for everyone to get envolved in a specific question, we prefer to use our own language instead of struggeling with words and sentences.
On the other hand, we all have needs for translations from time to time, and sometimes our anscestors cross. Personally I welcome more finnish speaking members to join the forum for those reasons, and think it is democratic to allow them as well a section where they can discuss in finnish. But we must all try to look beyond the fences of the different languages so that we can still reach each other or this forum has lost it´s purpose, and might as well be divided in three different forums. Now that would hardly be of any conveniance for anyone, would it?

Well, just wanted to express my opinion.


04-11-03, 16:20
Hi all!
I need to clarify that although my previous note stated that I prefer English, my vote was for all three languages on this website.
Power on!

Tracy Boeldt
05-11-03, 01:03
Well said Gita--I agree with your point, besides I think it's fun and makes me work on my Swedish & Finnish to figure out what the posts are saying sometimes!

Gita Wiklund
05-11-03, 08:47
Yes Tracy, that is kind of what I meant by looking beyond the fences. I know I learned a lot of useful finnish words that way since I started my research. I joined the suku-list where all conversation is in finnish, didn´t understand much, but I learned more and more by looking through the messages, many phrazes comes back over and over again and learning to understand the meaning of them has helped me search the net for finnish sites, and understand some important words for searching the sites that are written only in finnish. :)

Tracy Boeldt
05-11-03, 18:36
My finnish is horrible--I do much better with my swedish (and that's not saying much!)

05-11-03, 20:22
Hej allihop !
Nog är det säkert trevligt och bra demokratiskt att ha tre olika forum för språkgrupperna.Man får ju bara hoppas att det inte blir som för det mesta annars att när det är tio personer samlade och en är finskspråkig så får alla försöka klara sig på finska.Ursäkta mina fördomar men jag har personligen upplevt detta vid ett otal tillfällen.Röstar i alla fall för tre avdelningar för att det kanske ger ett större sök urval i längden.Lycka till.

06-11-03, 00:42
Hi all,

Eventhough I have voted for English, it would be good to have the other languages, but translations of messages would be appreciated. I can read Finnish, but can not read Swedish. This would mean more work for those who can translate, as I am sure there are interesting comments and requests made in all languages. I do not wish to stop other languages being used, as it is easier for the writer to use which ever language they feel comfortable with.

I guess what I am saying is use all 3 languages, but if at all possible have translations with them or even just a short overview of the message.

06-11-03, 18:32

Of course it would be nice to add Finnish as well an make the Forum trilingual, but i think Hasse should have the last say, because probably none of us realize how much more the administration will be complicated compared to a bilingual Forum.

My guess is that the amount of work will not be tripled but it will increase to the third potense if not more.


June Pelo
06-11-03, 20:27
Ruth said: if at all possible have ranslations with them or even just a short overview of the message.

I think most or many of the members in Finland and Sweden have an understanding of all 3 languages, but I would guess that more than 95% of members in the US can read only English. (Of the participating members in the US,I know of only 2 who can read Swedish.) It's possible to guess at the meanings of many Swedish words, but Finnish resembles no other language and it's not even possible to make a guess without a recap or translation. And if members can't read the mail, they'll become frustrated and drop out.


06-11-03, 21:13
Originally posted by sune
...My guess is that the amount of work will not be tripled but it will increase to the third potense if not more...

This may be the one obstacle here.

There is many pros and many cons in this. In a way the tri-language thing would be nice but at the same time time this would probably mean that the SFHS -angle would be somewhat dimmer. So - using my crystal ball and after thinking through the problems etc. the last days, I can foresee that the Finlander remains a bilingual forum as one of the connection points between descendants of the Swedish-Finn emigrants and relatives and other interested people in the old homeland - this in accordance with the SFHS goals...

To make the dual language system somewhat easier to handle for people not wanting to see the Swedish-language part a filter can be applied enabling those who want this functionality to not see the Swedish part. The same may be done for Swedish-speakers if somebody wants to filter out the english texts.

The other thing I just about can see through the misty crystal ball is the creation of a forum that is more targeted at a Finnish/Swedish genealogy discussion. But the mist is still to thick to see the clear details...

However - I'm grateful for the comments pro/con. The information is valuable even though only some 20+ of the members have voted - and all the rest of the viewers didn't feel it being that important to express their views.

Thanks all!

07-11-03, 01:07
In a perfect world, we would understand all the languages, and thus, we wouldn't even be having this discussion. There isn't any "right" answer here. Having said that, I really don't think having only English would be feasible, as we wouldn't receive the historical information that we are seeking from those who hold it. For every word that is submitted in Swedish or in Finnish, somehow I am receiving information that I would not otherwise receive. Perhaps some of it will eventually be translated OR perhaps I will eventually learn to speak Swedish and Finnish. Which do you think is more likely?



19-11-03, 05:30
No to New Finnish language forum.

Keep t he Finlander as English and Swedish

Gita Wiklund
19-11-03, 09:10
Before I joined the Finlander list I had only one list to turn to that could cover my interests. In that list (suku) the language used is finnish, even if swedish can be used finnish is the language in practise, since most members first language is finnish. I don´t understand more finnish than a word here and there. Still I stayed with the list and checked the messages because there where information that I could understand, like names and places. If anything seemed to relate to my interests I could ask a question in my own language and would get a reply from someone in my own language. I did get useful information this way. Very interesting information and help that I wouldn´t have gotten any other way. I had already tried the swedish forums without any luck at all. The emigrant forums would have been of no help to me either

My conclusion is the same as Debbies:

For every word that is submitted in Swedish or in Finnish, somehow I am receiving information that I would not otherwise receive." Although for me it would be (english and finnish.)