I would like to share some ideas about how to turn Discourse in a truly and multilingual space, equitable to speakers of dozens of languages, some of them multilingual, some of them not, some fluent in English some of them not, or not at all. In our organization we might be able to invest in the development of these features, after a good technical and community review.
The idea would be to use language tags with some customization. Posters would be able to tag their post with the relevant language so as to keep topics searchable by language.
The goal is to offer a discussion space that speakers of any language (and language combinations) can feel as theirs, as opposed to an English forum with a multilingual corner or a forum split in many languages becoming effectively many separate forums.
For this, the main building block would be a tag specific to languages. This tag would be required for all topics, and it would default to English. Topics in non-English languages would be tagged accordingly.
By default, the topic would display topics in all languages. Admins could configure as default just one language, a combination of languages, keep all languages…
Through a language bar that pulls from the tag titles, users could see the topics available in a specific language.
Language user preferences
Through browser detection, language chosen by the user during registration, user preferences, and other means to be determined, the system would decide which language(s) are displayed to a user.
Again, the default would be English and admins could define other combinations. The user could always go to their user preferences and set the language(s) they want to see / ignore. It would be of further use if the users could set the default language of posting, to save them from selecting a language tag each time.
Localization of categories and tags
Tags, categories and their descriptions could be localized.
Users could search in all languages or filter for their languages defined in their profiles.
Not all these features would be deployed at once, and maybe not all these features need to be in just one plugin. It would be preferred to test and build incrementally, and start with a minimum viable product that a multilingual community could start testing.
Does this approach sound like the right one? Are there other ideas for how we could more effectively build the multilingual element of this discussion space?