Dhamma forums in French (& other languages)?

Hello friends,

Since i’m sooner or later destined to grow bored, even with the excellent papañca of Merleau-Ponty; and since no one speaks French where I live; I was wondering if you know of any active French Dhamma forums? And if no, I thought it could be a great idea (Ven. @sujato) to make D&D available in other languages? Easy? Same interface in as many languages as there are! This actually could encourage people to participate since, it seems, there is a lack of active forums in other languages online, if i’m not mistaken.

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It’s a great idea, which we fully support. The technical side is quite easy; Discourse is internationalized into most common languages, so it’s fairly simple to get a new Discourse instance set up and running. We’d be happy to offer technical support, and assist with integration with SC.

But! The hard part is moderation. And for that you need a small group of sensitive and committed speakers fluent in that language. That part we can’t provide, I’m afraid.

So if you, or anyone else, wants to get a forum in another language going, let’s talk.

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A whole group of sensitive people!! Now that, at the first half of the 21st century, is rather an incapacitating condition !! :grin:

Although je parle Paris très much, I’m afraid I myself cannot commit to any such undertaking. I would be happy to give a hand though should it ever commence here. I think it’s a very good idea in general and to the benefit of many. But I understand that the requirements may be difficult.
:anjal:

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:joy::rofl:

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Bonjour. Très bonne idée. J’aimerais bien contribuer à ce projet.

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I have been to Paris about four times.
I can say "merci beaucoup ".
Wonder whether I can be the moderator for the proposed forum.
:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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@sujato
Is it possible to make topics from some categories not end up in the New or Latest pages? I like the idea, but it is also good to foresee that if multiple topics from multiple languages all end up in the Latest page, it might be a bit annoying for 99% of the other members.

+1 for French
+1 for Thai

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One for Sri Lankans.

Singhalese speakers, there are at least 3.

with metta

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I just assumed the internet is full of Sińhala Buddhist forums. Ditto for Thai

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Good access to the internet is only becoming widespread more recently- then many Buddhists are more interested in the rituals. Discussing the dhamma can be a new idea and many won’t be comfortable with their level of dhamma knowledge.

With metta

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Could you give me the link?

There’s none that I know of.

එකක‍් පටංගමුද?

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Yes, it is a good idea to start one.
Wonder whether Bhante @sujato can help.
Otherwise, do you know how to do it?
It is a big responsibility.

I wasn’t thinking of starting an entire forum- maybe just one thread here on SC, to begin with?

With metta

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But what is the point?
I was thinking about a forum for people who can’t speak English.

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That’s what I thought as well. We can use Sinhalese instead of English. We could either use sinhala font or type it in English, if it is easier I suppose.

With metta

I do not think we can attract new people that way.

It may be, I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t worry about it. It’s nice to see people all round the world taking part!

When it comes to starting new forums, this is a new area for us, so we will have to explore what the best approach is, and what kinds of support we can offer.

The good news is, the technical side is pretty simple. We use Discourse, which is clearly the leading forum application these days. Discourse has matured into a robust and well-maintained application, so it is simple to set up. It isn’t “Wordpress”-simple; you don’t just hit a button on your admin panel. You need a technically competent admin to set it up, make upgrades, and ensure it’s all working. It’s best to do this yourself, but if you can’t there are hosted options.

To get this going you need a server, of course, so there’s a fairly small monthly fee for that. Discourse has its own recommended suppliers in the US, but if your doing something local, you might want to think about hosting it locally as well.

We can offer advice on this process, but to be honest, there’s not much to it.

Also, there is the awesome SC plugin, which gives readers links on this site to the texts on the main site. We can help out with installing this. For communities other than English, however, it would be better to modify this so it directed you to translations in the appropriate language. This would require modifying the plugin; we’d certainly support this in principle, and would be happy to do it, if we can. But that depends on availability of our developers. Anyway, this is an enhancement, so it can be done at any time.

Moderation, moderation, moderation, moderation, moderation, moderation

You know what is the hardest and most important part? How did you guess? Moderation! If you don’t have strong, principled, and kind moderation, two things will follow like a cart follows an ox:

  • Your site will descend into a nightmarish hellscape of bile and stupid.
  • You will suffer and there is no-one to blame but yourself.

For anyone serious about setting up a forum, I would strongly urge you to do proper research on moderation and its role. Here’s a start:

I would also urge you to have some open discussions with people who are experienced in moderation, including our own beloved, wise, and compassionate moderators. :heartbeat:

Part of this process is to clearly identify those groups of people who frequently suffer discrimination online, and ensure they are welcome and safe. This needs to be done proactively, not by just assuming it’ll be fine until something bad happens. This specially includes women and people from the LGBTQI communities.

I recommend making your moderators all women and/or LGBTQI people. If you can’t do that, at least make sure they are represented. Code is sexist. Just check the “Discourse” team itself: 100% bloke, except Sarah, a “community advocate”. There’s nothing exceptional about this; it is absolutely the norm in most software development. (Not in SC, tho, thanks to the incredible Ayya @vimala!) If you don’t make it your mission and priority to balance this out, you become part of the problem.

Moderators need to be independent of the management and admin of a site, and they need to know this.

I would also encourage anyone setting up a forum to make it clear that, in keeping with the whole SuttaCentral project, it is about Early Buddhism, not about “Theravada” in the fundamentalist sense. Be aware of the kinds of issues likely to arise in your cultural context, and work out strategies in advance to deal with them.

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