Make a multi-language forum

This sounds really ideal to me. It would be perfect for us, and would allow the between-langs translation. Is there any way this would get built?

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As someone who was involved in that earlier debate, I am really excited to see this level of UX sophistication being applied to this concept.
I love the idea of language tags to identify the language of the post, but I think the default behavior of such a site should be multi-lingual. All posts are displayed for all users by default, and users could choose to mute out posts of one language or another. But it wouldn’t make sense to mute out a langauge in my context (montreal) because people want to be able to converse in both languages interchangably.
The question of a translation feature - automatic or contributed - i think is separate but related. The best UX for post translation i’ve seen is Facebook’s: a small ‘see translation’ link underneath a post that displays an automatic translation when clicked. I don’t know if that would make sense for a multi-lingual Discourse.


Sure, show-all could be the default. The important thing is either set-up is easily doable with the approach I and @resplin have described.

Functionally speaking, translation is a very different type of functionality from what we’re discussing here, so I would strongly suggest starting a linked topic for any further discussion about such features.

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I would gladly be a tester for your efforts.
Which of these features are ready for testing?
Do you have an active fork on this?

I totally agree with you. This seems to be already partially done in a plugin that is not working now, as I mentioned above. Seems to me that is where we should be putting our energy.

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I’m not a developer :frowning: And I’m not in dire need of a multi-language forum either, I just gave some thought to how one could go about accomplishing it.

@resplin seems to have been willing to put money and resources into it once upon a time, but he’s not active on the forum at the moment.

@resplin Are you still interested in making discourse more suitable for multi-language communities? would the following be a viable option for you?

If the downside is a dealbreaker, check out this, which could apparently be done as a simple plugin:


@tophee did any of this ever go anywhere? I see multiple threads but I still can’t find Discourse best practice for this issue?

What exactly do you mean by “this”?

“this”=best practice recommendations, plugins, etc for multilingual forums. I really don’t like the option of running multiple forums, but I have/will have content in 3 languages w/ very little crossover in audiences. I saw several different topics related to suggestions/improvements to handle multilingual requirements, but none of the threads ever seemed to a) result in actual feature development or b) consensus best practices. I was just hoping I missed something.

I think the reason you don’t see that is that there are still very few multi-lingual forums and those that exist will chose whatever works best for them.

What about the solution I posted above?

Any specific features you have in mind?

Why is there no crossover? Because the people in each language community have nothing to say to each other (i.e. they’re talking about different things) or because they don’t understand each other or because they couldn’t be bothered to talk to each other because they have enough interesting conversations within their language community?

  • In the first case (different topics), there isn’t really any reason to combine them in a single forum.
  • In the second case (language barrier), the translator++ plugin could help.
  • In the third case (“couldn’t be bothered”), the question would be whether you want to encourage interaction between through the way you organize the forum or whether you are happy with three more or less separate communities with the occasional interaction and “invisible” flow of information through multi-membership.

If you want to encourage interaction between language communities, you might want to consider not creating the same category in different languages but have everyone use the same category and use the translator plugin. If you don’t want to push people to interact across languages, my proposed solution above seems to be the way to go.

A feature that may indeed be useful for several of these scenarios are translatable categories. It has been requested before.

Another unresolved challenge with multi-lingual forums (or even mono-lingual ones allowing users to change their locale) is the customization of the discobot as described in this topic: What exactly are the effects of "allow user locale" - #33 by tophee


It would be nice to have the categories by language and when you write a message, a flag of language or something like that would appear. The problem with the Translator+++ is that you have to register for paid services.

In Azure, the first 2 million characters every month are free. And when your forum has become so big that you need more than 2 million chracters and your users appreciate the translation service, I would hope that you can get the money from them.

Note that post are only translated upon request, which means that the 2 million characters are only consumed when someone clicks the translate button. And I believe the translation is then stored locally so every post only needs to be translated once per language.


I know but I need to register my credit card and this pulls me back.

I don’t think I registered my credit card. Are you sure you need to do that for the free tier?

Because the free tier doesn’t even allow you to go over 2 million and pay for it. You will just be cut off. So there is no need for a credit card at all.

This is a good idea though. @tgxworld is there any way to be able to eg see a list of all posts in Portuguese?

I don’t think so. Discourse doesn’t know what language posts are in. The source language is determined by Azure once the post gets sent there for translation.

Assuming that Azure returns the detected source language and that the translator plugin saves it (though why would it?), the maximum you could get is a list of all posts in Portuguese that have been translated at least once.

Thanks, Christoph! My understanding is that the translator plugin does save translations. But I’m not entirely clear how it works.

Maybe the answer here is a tag that admins can manually add to posts in the various languages, to make the posts in specific languages easier to keep track of and follow.

It sure does save the translated text, but I don’t know if it also saves the language of the original post.

Not sure if admins want to do that kind of work… Besides, tags are applied to topics and those can contain posts in different languages…

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Hi, looking for such a system on my new site. For the time being I put an icon flag (English/French) in the header and that sends a tag filter list of topics. But ideally, it would filter the content of the site by language only and not display an uncategorized list of topics.

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