Samuel Lloyd is a user on You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.
Samuel Lloyd @troubleMoney

I don't understand why some people are so insistent on Mastodon needing a language filter.

Are they somehow offended by being reminded that other languages exist?

If anything I like a variety of languages showing up on the timeline, it's a reminder that hey, this is a global network, this is a place where everybody can come and talk and that it's designed for everyone, not just one particular class of user.

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@troubleMoney Earlier today I had a (very broken) conversation with a Japanese user in which we both used Google Translate, and laughed at how bad it was.

That's the sort of thing I could never do on Twitter, which flows too quickly and only allows 140-character messages.

@troubleMoney I think it's fairly simple. I can't read Kanji (or anything other than english). If all I see on the Federated TL is not english, I'm not able to discover anyone new that speaks language that I understand. I'm a resident in this world. I know that other cultures exist and they speak something other than english, I'm not asking anyone to change, simply filter what I see so that I can better use this social network for discovery.

@troubleMoney Or maybe they just want to read actual stuff and don't keep scrolling because they don't understand a clue about Japanese?

If they only follow persons speaking the language they know in their home column, I can't see where the problem is...

The local timeline is much more uniform in language use than the federated one

And they just could set up their own instance plus filter if they really insist on it ....

There is room for everyone here in the Mastodon multiverse...

toot :elephant:

#Mastodon #languages #usage #case
#Matodon #toki #mute #kepeken #sona


BTW I love to post in multiple languages

Dutch, French, English and Toki Pona

my German is too elementary, my Italian is fading away (maybe Mastodon will change that) or my Esperanto could use on serious update...

toot :elephant:

#Mastodon #multiple #languages
#toot #debate
#Matodon #toki #mute #sona


@troubleMoney I would enjoy an autotranslate, but chrome's translate page works fine.

Blocking content based upon language seems a tad immoral to me :v

@me0wmix Oh autotranslate would be fantastic if there was a way to do that well

@troubleMoney if you are using google chrome, right click japanese text on your feed and click translate to english. If you leave the page open, content as it flows in will be autotranslated if japanese content shows up. Pretty browser specific but my feed is japanese heavy so I like it

@me0wmix Nice, I didn't know that it had that feature

@troubleMoney @gntzl Something to consider: A language filter might encourage multilingual people to post in multiple languages. For example, my native language is German, but I never post in German because I don't want to discourage non-German speaking people from following me. An adjustable language filter for our home timelines might solve this problem.

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney @gntzl
For European languages a filter on the presence of the articles ( a , an , the for English; un, une, le, la, les for French; etc.) would work quite fine.

Especially since a toot has 500 characters and has real sentences in them...

toot :elephant:

#Mastodon #language #filter #idea
#Matodon #toki #wan #sona

@jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl Yes, as far as I know, @kensanata has some experience with such language filters. He mentioned this a while ago (can't find the toots, unfortunately).

@jansegers Must admit that I don't know what the last three hashtags mean.

#toki = "Toki Pona", which you mentionend here?

(Hadn't heard of it before, is it similar to Esperanto?)

@troubleMoney @gntzl @kensanata

@stefanieschulte @jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl looking for "guess language ruby" leads me to "Works with Dutch, English, Farsi, French, German, Italian, Pinyin, Swedish, Portuguese, Russian, Arabic, Finnish, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Korean, Norwegian, Polish and Spanish out of the box." No 日本語, sadly!

@kensanata @jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl Is there an online demo of whatlanguage? Would be fun to try it out...

@stefanieschulte @jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl I just found this: (which does't use the ruby library I mentioned previously) but all the code is in Javascript, available here:

@kensanata @jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl Need to find a Germany sentence with either a lot of "technobabble" or a lot of "finance speak" in it... and then find out what language it is supposed to be.

@stefanieschulte @kensanata @jansegers @troubleMoney @gntzl browsers send a header like "ACCEPT_LANGUAGE "de,en;q=0.7,fr;q=0.3"" language header. The Mastodon software would just need to add these values in some form to each toot and people could specify a subset of languages they can read and in which (supposedly) a toot was written in.

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney Verstehe ich Sie richtig: in der federated TL würden Sie auf Englisch (oder einer anderen Sprache, die Sie beherrschen) posten, auf der HomeTL auf Deutsch? Aber Sie folgen doch sicher mehrsprachig: Dann müssten Sie auch auf der HomeTL zB Englisch schreiben. Irgendwie verstehe ich den Sinn eines Sprachfilters noch nicht. Wo stecke ich fest?

@gntzl @troubleMoney Meine Idee wäre, dass ich je nach Wunsch/Bedarf auf Deutsch oder Englisch poste (ganz normal in meinem öffentlichen Feed), aber meine Follower nur die Posts in den Sprachen angezeigt bekommen, die sie ausgewählt haben, also entweder nur die deutschen Posts, oder nur die englischen oder auch alle (wenn sie beide Sprachen ausgewählt haben).

@troubleMoney @gntzl Dazu bräuchte man aber vermutlich irgendeine Art von automatischer Spracherkennung, zumindest als Vorschlag (da es sehr umständlich wäre und vermutlich viele Fehler passieren würden, wenn Teilnehmer bei jedem Post selbst angeben müssten, in welcher Sprache er geschrieben ist).

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney könnte man seinem toot nicht einfach das Länderkennzeichen voranstellen, kombiniert mit einem Sonderzeichen, also sowas wie ^D oder ^GB? Das würde serverseitig Rechenkapazität sparen.

@gntzl @troubleMoney Diese Idee hatte ich auch, aber die Leute hier sagen, dass bei solchen Lösungen die Fehlerquoten zu hoch wären. Besser wäre wohl eine automatische Erkennung, die beim Tippen der Toots z. B. vorschlägt "Deutsch", und man kann das vor dem Posten noch manuell ändern, falls die Sprache doch mal falsch erkannt wurde.

(Leider muss ich morgen früh aufstehen - gerne morgen weiter.)

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney Schade! Mir ist nämlich gerade eingefallen, dass es ja Unicode-Kodierung für Flaggen gibt. Ich wusste nicht, dass sie es _so_ gelöst haben (screenshot).

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney (etwas offside unseres Themas) Was fehlt: Die Twitter-App ermöglicht die Übersetzung fremdsprachlicher toots. Dabei kommt zwar meistens Kauderwelsch heraus, aber man versteht doch iwie, was gemeint sein könnte. Amaroq hat diese Möglichkeit (noch?) nicht; das wäre schon eine Verbesserung der Kommunikation.

@gntzl @troubleMoney Auch das wird wohl diskutiert, und es wäre natürlich eine tolle Sache (wenn auch sicherlich aufwendiger umzusetzen als eine reine Spracherkennung).

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney wie macht esTwitter? Das zeigt ja relativ zuverlässig die fremde Sprache an. Schicken die den string an bing?

@gntzl @troubleMoney Es gibt freie Bibliotheken dafür, auch wenn sie wohl noch nicht für alle Sprachen funktionieren: und (gepostet von @kensanata). Welche Bibliothek (frei oder proprietär) Twitter nutzt, weiß ich nicht.

@stefanieschulte @troubleMoney @gntzl

could the filter be adjusted to allow multiple languages?

@funbreaker @troubleMoney @gntzl In my opinion, this should be an absolute requirement, as a very large number of people in the world is multilingual. However, I don't know whether an automatical "language filter" would be technically feasible at all (I believe that some Mastodon developers are currently looking into this, though).

@troubleMoney Surely it's a reasonable option. I like looking at different languages, too, but when I'm searching for people to follow, I'm unlikely to follow people posting in languages I can't possibly read.

For example, a good 1/4 of the Federated Timeline over on is in Asian languages. I'd sure like to be able to read those if/when I want, but just as much, I'd like the option to hide them.

That said, I certainly agree that it's not *necessary*.

@troubleMoney It is above all for those who do not understand other languages and do not want to learn them ... these contents are, for them, "useless" (not understood), "cumbersome" (takes up space in relation to the contents 'we understand)

Like the CW, mastodon must be able to adapt to the needs of each ...

(sorry, google translate)

@troubleMoney nah just upset that i cant understand everything on my feed. would prefer auto translation if possible

@troubleMoney It's not so much the other languages as it is the sheer volume. Sure, as you mention, this helps to center you, but this is a social network is it not? If I have to try to find a needle in a haystack in order to converse with someone else then there needs to be a way to allow me to do that, and filtering out noise (because let's face it, if I'm not learning a new language I don't understand, it's essentially noise in a real world application) does that.

@jake That's really what the home feed is for, the home feed is all about being selective in what you see there.

On the other hand you have the local and federated feeds, which to a lesser or greater extent is what everyone else is talking about.

@troubleMoney But .cloud and .social are so busy on either feed, especially the federated, that I can't keep up. With the majority of users tooting in languages I am not fluent in (i.e., language that's not English), there's nary a toot I can understand. At least, if I could cut out that noise, I can find people to interact with. Home is for those I have found, doesn't help me trying to expand my world on here.

@jake Maybe think about it more like birdsite then, how you find people to follow on there.

Find a few people you think are interesting from other sites, they tend to boost other people who also say interesting things, and so on.

Make the whole thing grow organically rather than just going through a list.

@troubleMoney I find people on 🐦 by my contacts or by hashtags/topics. That's a great filter, but I haven't been able to find many people using this method on Mastodon. I'm not suggesting that languages be filtered by default, and with the federated feed on my instance not being overwhelming, I wouldn't choose to use it here. On cloud or social, however, I think it'd be a huge benefit to grow my circle.

@troubleMoney I too think it's cool to see them -- to a point. Latin alphabet posts in French, Dutch, Spanish I can mostly decode. Pure Japanese or Arabic is sadly just clutter for me. I do follow a couple of folks who write in a mix of English and Japanese though. Also, I know from experience there is no point me trying to read Polish or Finnish --- just not enough in common to guess with.

@troubleMoney Beh ça peut se comprendre qu'on préfère masquer 27 000 messages en japonais avec lesquels on peut moyennement interagir.

Enfin comme n'importe quel filtre, rien empêcherait de le toggle on/off au grès des préférences nan ? Si c'est bien fait...

@troubleMoney This was always a big "concern" during the early days of twitter, too, IIRC. Personally, I don't mind seeing posts in other languages either, and I wonder *why* other people are so "offended." Are they nationalists? English-language purists?

@troubleMoney Right!? If anything, I'm hoping for a "Translate" feature sometime in the future.

@troubleMoney like you, I like seeing toots in a variety of languages. I could see how a language filter would improve the signal:noise ratio for users, though.

Mastodon is different from corporate media because it is designed to empower, and not impose on the end user. I know it's not your intention and I respect your viewpoint, but refusal to implement this common-sense feature could be interpreted as monoglot shaming. Is it really so bad to let users filter out toots they can't read?

@troubleMoney Is it by any chance native speakers of English who are most keen on these filters? I would not be surprised if that were the case, but it's probably impossible to quantify.

@knirirr The calls for it I've seen have certainly been written in English but that doesn't mean much.

I also wouldn't be surprised if it was primarily native English speakers, I'd assume that everybody else is kinda used to content on the internet not being in their native language

@troubleMoney I suspect your second statement is quite right. However, I was wondering as I have noted some dislike of other languages by English-only speakers IRL. I also follow various Welsh speakers on the "bird site", and they often mention encountering complaints about their language. Which also reminds me that I've not spotted a Welsh Mastodon instance yet.

@troubleMoney i purposely signed up for an instance that is hosted in another country so that more non-english speaking people would likely be on it. :)

@troubleMoney i don't understand why people seem offended by this filter. It's a private choice, which affects neither the instance nor others users of Mastodon. I don't use this filter but I can understand why some people use it...

@troubleMoney It's going to be a challenge for scaling; when I joined, most of the federated tl was english with a bit of french, so it was easy for me to lurk it and find conversations to hop into and people to follow. Now it's 80% noise and 20% signal, so if I was new without an established social graph, that finding process would be much harder, and I'd be less likely to stick around simply because of sifting labor required to find content I find valuable. Would <3 a lang filter.

@troubleMoney I'm not *offended* by other languages... but it *is* a usability issue.

I'm new here, and I'm trying to find interesting people to follow on the local & federated timelines (which is flooded with non-English posts), and I'd like to be able to filter out posts I can't read.

@troubleMoney I can't generalize about other people's motivations, but I just want better tools for discovering feeds that will make me happy. I don't read Japanese, so for me looking at the unfiltered firehose or looking at Japanese posts specifically is something I'd like to separate from discovering content I can read easily. That's not xenophobia, it's just a matter of convenience. I'd like the option.

if anything this should push people to build better translation apis. Show more