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View Full Version : What's your main reason for using an English-speaking forum?



aysiu
September 30th, 2006, 08:33 PM
We do have a number of members on these forums who do not consider English to be their native language.

I'm just curious as to why you come here, if that's the case.

Since multiple-option polls have percentages that are meaningless, I've made this a single-option poll--just pick whatever is your primary reason for being here. Thanks.

Define native language however you want. If you wouldn't mind sharing, too, what is your native language?

ComplexNumber
September 30th, 2006, 08:38 PM
We do have a number of members on these forums who do not consider English to be their native language.

I'm just curious as to why you come here, if that's the case.

Since multiple-option polls have percentages that are meaningless, I've made this a single-option poll--just pick whatever is your primary reason for being here. Thanks.

Define native language however you want.
because its by far the most widely spoken common language in the world (cantonese/mandarin is more widely spoken as a first language). its also the language of business in many industries. therefore, english speaking forums are often greater in numbers of members. etc. i see many non-english forums dying off due to lack of numbers.

Iarwain ben-adar
September 30th, 2006, 08:44 PM
Well,
i come here because:
a) it's the first Ubuntu forum that i found
b) It has the most supportive and active people around
c) my english is pretty good :D


Iarwain

devils_casper
September 30th, 2006, 08:50 PM
i agree with ComplexNumber. English is most widely spoken language. my native language is Hindi/Punjabi ( both? yeah ! friend-circle )



casper

beercz
September 30th, 2006, 11:13 PM
I am from England, I am an Englishman, so my native language is English - hence my main (only) reason for using English forums

weatherman
September 30th, 2006, 11:51 PM
I just like to hang out with people from all over the world.

djsroknrol
October 1st, 2006, 12:17 AM
This is a great thread aysiu....

I speak English but I know 3 other languages. Naturally I'd go to an English option for anything language wise. With the size of our forums, I'm surprised how many communicate here in English when it's not their native tongue.

IYY
October 1st, 2006, 12:31 AM
Like it or not, but English is the language of the internet and the language of computers. So, if you want the highest probability of finding an answer to your problem, an English forum is where you need to look. Remember that in a Russian forum you will find only Russians, whereas in an English forum you will find Russians, Koreans, Israelis, Africans, Americans and people from all over the world.

P.S: I voted 'English is one of my native languages'. I also speak fluent Russian and Hebrew.

Solver
October 1st, 2006, 12:32 AM
My English is quite good (or so I like to think ;)), so the reason I use this forum (and any other English forum) is that it's the most active forum, at least in the languages known to me.

This is something that has fascinated me for years when using the Internet - how there's a lot of sites out there where people communicate just fine in English, despite it not being the native language of many members. In fact, a whole number of forums doesn't even have a native English speaker majority to speak of, with at least half of the posters being speakers of other languages.

My native languages are Latvian and Russian...the Latvian-language Linux forum has maybe a dozen regular active users, and I haven't bothered to look for any Russian-language forums. My German is also decent, and in the past, I've found searching on German forums useful. Although with Ubuntu, that has only been the case once - except for that one time, I've been able to find all I needed here or at the EasyLinux page.

aysiu
October 1st, 2006, 12:35 AM
In case anyone's curious, here are the other Ubuntu forums out there:

http://forum.ubuntu.org.cn/ - China Ubuntu forum

http://forum.ubuntu.cz - Czech Ubuntu forum

http://www.ubuntulinux.nl/forum/ - Dutch Ubuntu forum


http://www.ubuntu-de.org/ - German Ubuntu Portal

http://forum.ubuntu-fi.org/ - Finnish Ubuntu forum

http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/ - French Ubuntu forum

http://forum.ubuntu-it.org/ - Italian Ubuntu forum</a> </p>


http://www.forum.ubuntu.pl - Polish Ubuntu forum

http://ubuntu.linuxval.org/ - Portuguese Ubuntu forum

http://forum.ubuntu.ru/ - Russian Ubuntu forum

http://www.ubuntu-cs.org/forum/ - Serbian Ubuntu forum


http://ubuntu.linuxforo.org - Spanish Ubuntu forum

http://ubuntu-se.org/forum/ - Swedish Ubuntu forum

I guess the answer to my question seems to be "English is the main thing for the internet." I'm still interested in hearing what people have to say about this, though.

As a side question, is it difficult typing in English if your keyboard is configured for another locale?

Solver
October 1st, 2006, 12:42 AM
You'll find that most keyboards are very much OK with English. In fact, most keyboards have your standard QWERTY layout. For langages which have several extra letters, those are usually typed with a dead key of some sort, the keyboard being the same. So the only common case of the keyboard being different would be for languages which don't use the Latin script - but even then keys typically have two letters on them, one of the standard QWERTY, the other for the language in question.

aysiu
October 1st, 2006, 12:46 AM
Thanks for clarifying, Solver.

My mother-in-law actually has little stickers on her keys (on the side that faces the user) with the Korean alphabet parts on them. My mother writes Chinese using a tablet and recognition software.

When I was studying abroad in the UK, I always got thrown off by the switching of @ and "

I guess, though, most keyboards are essentially English keyboards.

Kateikyoushi
October 1st, 2006, 12:47 AM
This is the first I found, there is no Korean or Japanese forum and I manage to communicate in English, also the activity on this forum might be higher than the other ones altogether. I can learn the most by browsing these pages.

Well Korean and Japanese keyboards do not hinder typing in English but I prefer Japanese keyboard to the English one.

Solver
October 1st, 2006, 12:50 AM
My mother-in-law actually has little stickers on her keys (on the side that faces the user) with the Korean alphabet parts on them.

Yeah, over here, you can buy stickers with Cyrillic letters, intended for keyboards specifically. This is for those users who want to type Russian but bought a keyboard with English letters only.

Solver
October 1st, 2006, 12:57 AM
Well Korean and Japanese keyboards do not hinder typing in English but I prefer Japanese keyboard to the English one.

Could you or some other Asian user clarify on Asian keyboards? From what I understand, Asian languages have more commonly-used symbols than European languages, so how is that handled, given the amount of keys on a keyboard? English has 26 letters, Russian has 33 - as such, Russian keyboards are a bit awkward, as they also use the (English) keys ,.;'[]` for Russian letters - making typing those symbols less convenient. For example, a question mark would be Shift+7. And I think that even 33 characters wouldn't be very convenient for typing in a language such as Chinese.

Kateikyoushi
October 1st, 2006, 12:58 AM
I also used stickers for a while while learned to type Korean than realized I memorize them faster without.

aysiu
October 1st, 2006, 01:00 AM
I know only 48 people have voted so far, but it's exciting to see that almost 30% of the people who have voted are not native English speakers.

What a cool community to belong to...

halfvolle melk
October 1st, 2006, 01:08 AM
Other: English is not my native tongue but I understand it well enough. It's the biggest hands-on know-how db on Ubuntu that doesn't require asking questions (most of the time). Just do a search -> problem solved.

punkinside
October 1st, 2006, 04:00 AM
My native language is spanish, but I have the beatles and friends (the series) to thank for my good english ;)

I also speak german fluetly. It drives me crazy that they switch the Y and Z keys there...

And though my native language is spanish, I have always used english keyboards and I find them more suited for programming.

BUT I dont know how to get the ALT + XXX combos that I use in windows to write spanish-only characters (accents, n-tilde and others..) so XP + MS word stay on my HD to write reports.

MiXor
October 9th, 2006, 06:10 PM
Hi everbody,
the more the merrier!
A forum needs lots of participants to be really useful. I would surely use the French forum if there were as many participants as on this forum, but it is not the case... (My native language is French and I live in the UK, so writing in English is no big deal)
:KS

henriquemaia
October 9th, 2006, 07:53 PM
More than " I feel the support here is better than in the forum for my native language", the thing is that here there are so many people and so many different experiences and perspectives, that this global community makes every respect of a forum usage outstanding. I chose "other".

MedivhX
October 9th, 2006, 08:10 PM
I feel the support here is better than in the forum for my native language, because there are more people that speak english than serbian, so there is more chance for anzone to help me.

Here is the support forum on my native language http://www.ubuntu-rs.org/forum/

Erik Trybom
October 9th, 2006, 08:26 PM
Heh. I voted for better support, but then I checked out the Swedish forum and noticed it's pretty big. I could probably get decent support there as well.

There's one good thing about English on the Internet, though. You don't have to hear it.

mostwanted
October 9th, 2006, 08:50 PM
My native language is Danish (though I understand Swedish and Norwegian as well).

My knowledge of English is pretty good (I'd say close to native levels when it comes to grammar, not so much when it comes to vocabulary) so I have no trouble understanding or communicating with others in English.

The reason I use this forum is because there it's the best forum for Ubuntu support and chat, but also because there isn't any Danish Ubuntu forum currently, and if it did exist, it would have too few users to be of any real use to me.


I think it would be great if ubuntuforums.org offered single forums for certain regions (for example, a French board, a Scandinavian board, a Russian board, etc.), where the non-Anglophone users could chat with other non-Anglophone users.

Lord Illidan
October 9th, 2006, 08:52 PM
If there was a Maltese forum I'd be the only user!!

And I speak english ok...I guess..so I go along with this!

mostwanted
October 9th, 2006, 09:07 PM
I guess the answer to my question seems to be "English is the main thing for the internet." I'm still interested in hearing what people have to say about this, though.

I think that kind of argumentation is extremely arrogant and, personally, I find it very offensive.

Even though we are taught English from third or fourth grade in my country (and even though half of my family are in fact English, giving me a slight advantage compared to my peers), just expecting people who are not native English speakers to adapt is soooo... what is the proper word? Aggravating!

The fact that a poll directed at non-native speakers receives votes by more than 60% native speakers, tells me that this notion of English turning into some kind of global language that everyone will speak in the future is a blatantly ethnocentric vision.

aysiu
October 9th, 2006, 09:11 PM
I suppose it's easy to see "argumentation" as "extremely arrogant" when you take it out of context.

bastiegast
October 9th, 2006, 09:19 PM
I think that kind of argumentation is extremely arrogant and, personally, I find it very offensive.

Even though we are taught English from third or fourth grade in my country (and even though half of my family are in fact English, giving me a slight advantage compared to my peers), just expecting people who are not native English speakers to adapt is soooo... what is the proper word? Aggravating!

The fact that a poll directed at non-native speakers receives votes by more than 60% native speakers, tells me that this notion of English turning into some kind of global language that everyone will speak in the future is a blatantly ethnocentric vision.

Dont want to start a discussion here, but I dont think that's what aysiu meant to say.

As for the poll, I like english :) its the only foreign languange i speak fairly well. Although my French and German are not that bad at all. My native language is Dutch but the atmosphere on the dutch forums is.. different(not in a bad way).

mostwanted
October 9th, 2006, 09:24 PM
I suppose it's easy to see "argumentation" as "extremely arrogant" when you take it out of context.

Maybe that wasn't what you meant to say then, but I see that kind of argumentation often, that foreign languages will soon fade out of existance and everyone will move to English, the same people being insensitive grammar nazis whenever some foreign individual creates a topic (doesn't happen very often on these boards, mind you!). I'm speaking out of experience, it's not just a random opinion.

And I wasn't saying you were being arrogant or anything, please don't take it personally! :)

Spif
October 9th, 2006, 09:28 PM
English is not my native language, although it is by far my favourite. I simply love it!

Personally I'm very anti-nationalistic. Because of that, I feel it is vital to be able to communicate with the rest of the world. I hate when things are split up, which is why I post here. If there was an Ubuntu forum for every language, each site would be of lower quality than what we currently have here. With more people on just one signle forum there is a much bigger chance someone will know how to solve people's different problems with Ubuntu.

Sticking with just one language is bad. Mkay?

[yes, I just watched South Park :D]

Mathias-K
October 31st, 2006, 10:24 AM
As a side question, is it difficult typing in English if your keyboard is configured for another locale?

Not at all. The Danish language just has three more letters than the English one, , and . You can still type pretty much anything..

The location of signs like ], ', ? and ^ are all mixed up though, because we have to make room for these three extra letters.

FISHERMAN
October 31st, 2006, 10:53 AM
Very simple.
My native language is Dutch.
The estimated number of native Dutch speakers is around 22 million, and only a few learn it as a second language.
English has +350 million native speakers and it is the most learned second language in the world.
So there will be a lot more feedback on an English forum than on a Dutch forum(besides most people in Holland & Belgium have a sufficient knowledge of English so a lot of them just go to an English forum instead of starting an active Dutch-language forum.)

jthirt
October 31st, 2006, 11:10 AM
I voted "I feel the support here is better than in the forum for my native language" but this is actually unfair to the French forum.

The true reason as many have already pointed is the numbers. But I do look into the French forum too.

French is my native language. I've used english for years at work and until recently I've always had a tendency to use software in english as I didn't like the French translation or didn't feel comfortable.

Only recently have I started to consider switching back to French, with ubuntu ! So far, I have setup my ubuntu systems with English for me and French for my wife, even if she's not used her login very much at all yet ...

pichalsi
October 31st, 2006, 12:33 PM
I voted first one, but i feel the support here is better than in the forum for my native language, too. I never had any problems with understanding English language because i started to learn it in primary school already. I dont even switch my language or keyboard to Slovak, it just makes things more complicated... Problems with character encoding sometimes, something is translated and something not, and it has no advantage at all.

megamania
November 2nd, 2006, 10:09 AM
I'm just curious as to why you come here, if that's the case.
I voted the second option ("the support here is better"), but it's not the only reason.

I'm italian mother-tongue, and there's an italian-language ubuntu-forum. I think I only have two or three posts there.

I'm here for more than one reason:
- It doesn't bother me to read/write/speak english
- The support here is great
- I like to see things from a more ample perspective, and an international forum is great (I love the Ubuntu Caf section).
- I got so much support here when I first installed Ubuntu that I feel I have to try to give something back when I'm able to.

In the end, I feel this is "my" forum more than its italian counterpart. :-)

migla
November 2nd, 2006, 11:30 AM
Well,
i come here because:
a) it's the first Ubuntu forum that i found
b) It has the most supportive and active people around
c) my english is pretty good :D


Iarwain

Ditto. But since it was not multiple choice, I chose the "more support"-option. I'd say I'm fin/swe bilingual.

xyz
November 2nd, 2006, 01:14 PM
I have more than one "native" language, and English is one of them.
was my vote, so as far as language is concerned, it doesn't matter much!

- I like the "international attitude" here
- This site is extremely informative
- People who help out here are just soooo nice, patient, knowledgeable and they make nobody feel stupid when they reply to questions.

SlugO
November 2nd, 2006, 02:09 PM
Well that's a silly question, almost like asking why are you using the web when 99% of it isn't in your native language :D

My native language is Finnish.

The number one reason I come here is that this place is simply bigger and more extensive and can offer more help and interesting discussion. Although I just noticed that I might have been neglecting http://forum.ubuntu-fi.org/ which is far more active than I thought/remembered.

The second reason is probably that my English is almost as fluent as my Finnish. I mean come on, how are you supposed to get around on the net if you don't know English? :)

Gandalf6696
November 2nd, 2006, 02:29 PM
Very simple.
My native language is Dutch.
The estimated number of native Dutch speakers is around 22 million, and only a few learn it as a second language.
English has +350 million native speakers and it is the most learned second language in the world.
So there will be a lot more feedback on an English forum than on a Dutch forum(besides most people in Holland & Belgium have a sufficient knowledge of English so a lot of them just go to an English forum instead of starting an active Dutch-language forum.)
I agree with FISHERMAN. The dutch Ubuntu forum also often tells people to go to this forum. This is "THE" Ubuntu forum. It has the most howto's and helpfull people I have ever seen.

cmorgan47
November 2nd, 2006, 05:18 PM
because i'm an ugly amerikan who can't be bothered to learn another language...well, beyond the wee bit o french that i remember from highschool--4 years, 16 years ago.

seriously though, google for anything ubuntu howto related, and 4 of the 5 results* are from this site. by far, best tech support available.

*entirely made up statistic.

Bragador
November 2nd, 2006, 05:24 PM
I'm a french canadian but with english you can access more ressources and knowledge than in french or any other language. Just look at wikipedia to see which wiki is bigger !

Since I can communicate with more people on the Internet when I use english, I'll obviously find more people in a shorter amount of time to help me.

bruce89
November 2nd, 2006, 05:26 PM
I speak British English, but I can just about understand American.

EdThaSlayer
November 2nd, 2006, 05:28 PM
The only language I can kind of speak fluent other than english is dutch.
To me, english is the best language since everyone speaks english. I go to Bangladesh, they speak English!Even when i go to Holland, they speak English! Its just the language that you need to know! Also most programmers comment in, English! Basically, English is the language almost everyone knows!

soleille
May 8th, 2008, 01:55 AM
I guess I googled one issue and this forum came up most often, then I really liked it here... but I do have a general tendency to stick to English language sites even when something similar is available in my language (native: German, fluent in English and French, a few others languages are only bits and pieces)

I think a huge part of it is that the membership on English-speaking sites is usually bigger and more diverse, with people from all kinds of (linguistic) backgrounds.

Another part is that, especially in the computer domain, English is THE language... no I'm not saying the best or more important language or that everyone will speak it one day, but it definitely is a kind of Lingua Franca (back in the olden days, you had to speak Latin, or French to advance beyond the boundaries of your village, suck it up, especially in the tech area, English it is now)
Plus, English is much easier to use in this case as most of the terminology is English anyway (more or less badly Germanized or Frenchified or whatever, sometimes)

And I HATE translations - reading a German book in English makes no more sense to me than having everything English translated - and as most computer things are developed in the English-speaking world, translations is all you get if you must have it in German.
I usually pick the English version of software (more support and familiarity), still have not quite forgiven the guy who set up my Ubuntu for settling me with the German versions- there ARE some pretty awkward translations.

Typing English with a German (qwertz) keyboard is no big deal, except for having to use SHIFT+# for the (much more frequent than in German) apostrophe- MUCH easier than attempting to write French with it!
Using an English keyboard is a bit harder, but that's mainly habit I'd say

nick09
May 8th, 2008, 02:07 AM
My one and only language, english(American).

jcwmoore
May 8th, 2008, 02:10 AM
english speaker here, but i'll leave my vote out...

esquiador
May 8th, 2008, 02:37 AM
I'm here because English is my first language, and so my opinion does't matter too much as far as the OP's curiosity goes, but I find the bits about using different keyboard layouts for different languages very interesting. While some people have said they prefer the standard English keyboard over the one for their own language, I find myself preferring to use a Spanish keyboard over an English one. My keyboard is a standard QWERTY American-English keyboard, but I have Ubuntu set up to recognize it as a Spanish keyboard, which I find much more practical, since about half of what I type is in Spanish. Setting it up that way makes accented letters and characters like , , , et cetera, far easier to type. And the ' is still very easy to access, which is important to me since it's a character in my last name.

Chriis
May 8th, 2008, 03:00 AM
I french speaking from canada (Quebec) and i do not like french forum since
it is from Europe, and i find not so,..strait forward answers come from them. too much bla bla story lolll

In here i got clear easy answers.

Thanks.

And i always worked on a computer with an English OS and english keybord.
I really think that a computer was made in EN and should be run in EN.

:lolflag:

Chriis

DeliriousNor
May 10th, 2008, 08:33 AM
I'm from Norway. So that makes my native language Norwegian. Our alphabet is just like yours, only difference is that we got the three letters also:)

And I don't even think that there is an Norwegian Ubuntu forum..

Cyberponcho
May 10th, 2008, 06:08 PM
I'm from Venezuela so my native language is spanish, i speak german (good) and english (excellent) as well, because i enjoy english speaking so much (and english is in fact much easier than german) i decided to come to this forum :)

popch
May 10th, 2008, 07:26 PM
As this appears to be a perennial poll, here are my two cents' worth:

The English language Ubuntu forum is the original article and holds the most complete and up-to-date information. Being able to read and write in English certainly helps.

It may come as a surprise to some that I find reading and writing about IT matters more cumbersome in my native language (German). That's because I have worked in that field several decades, and most of the relevant literature as well as most manuals are written in English.

The keyboard layout does not matter at all. I am familiar with the Swiss German layout and can type accurately and fast in English or German. It would be somewhat cumbersome to use another layout to write in another language.

BTW, layouts can be very different and weird. The german language keyboards are QWERTZ, french is AFAIK AZERTY, italian still another layout.

karellen
May 10th, 2008, 07:35 PM
My native language is Romanian, but I'm pretty fluent in English :)