9

Background

One of the first things every unregistered user sees on our site is this¹:

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or this:

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This proposal for making this welcome text bilingual has gained considerable support, but is unfortunately not easily realisable as it would break the layout due to being too long.

This question

This question is about making a proposal to improve the welcome text that is actually feasible. Unfortunately, we have to make a proposal to get to know the precise restrictions, thus I suggest that we consider the following two cases simultaneously:

  • Case A

    We can only change the description of the target audience, i.e., the text marked bold in the following:

    German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

    The layout is broken roughly if this text exceeds 130 characters – the details depend on the linewrapping and thus the individual text.

  • Case A'

    Same as above with the for being part of the changeable text – see this answer.

  • Case B

    We can also change what comes before the target audience, i.e., the text marked bold in the following:

    German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

    The layout is broken roughly if this text exceeds 195 characters – the details depend on the linewrapping and thus the individual text.

Assuming either case A, case A' or case B, what shall the new wording be?

Please post seperate answers for each cases and denote at the top which case you are considering. Consider each case separately when voting, i.e., do not only vote on proposals for case B, because you prefer that case.

If you prefer the current text or an answer for a more restrictive case in some case, post it as a separate answer. For example, if you think that an answer for case A is preferrable even if case B turns out to be the case, post it as a separate answer for case B.


¹ to see it yourself, open the site when not logged in or in a private browser window or tab

  • 2
    I'm status-reviewing this and will be asking the devs to implement Case B because that's what appears to be the winner in this discussion. – Taryn Oct 27 '15 at 19:44
17

Case B

German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I went for a mix of Takkat's and Wrzlprmft's proposals, while fixing the main issue I had with both by trying to find a better, more inclusionist generalization of the target audience wording.

  • 2
    Schöner Vorschlag, gefällt mir gut! – Takkat Sep 18 '15 at 8:14
7

Case A

The following proposal is the result of some collaborative work in chat:

German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language – auch auf Deutsch. It's 100% free, no registration required.

The central changes:

  • auch auf Deutsch (German for also in German) – this briefly clarifies that we are bilingual. It may not be understood by some visitors, but given that the first part of the text clearly specifies that we are a language site, they should not be too surprised and know that they need not understand it.

    Auf Deutsch seems to be sufficiently well known in the English-speaking world for the New York Times to use it in an article:

    New York City had one of the world’s largest German-speaking populations, trailing only Berlin and Vienna, with about a quarter of its 3.4 million people conversing auf Deutsch.

  • discuss – Stack Exchange is about avoiding extensive discussions and at the very least discussions are not central.

  • finer points – We are mainly getting questions from language learners and are certainly not limited to finer points, whatever they may comprise.

  • share and increase their knowledge – replacement for discuss the finer points. Nice to have but not essential. Makes auch auf Deutsch fit better.

  • speakers of all levels – clarifying that we are addressing everybody interested in the language. Just speakers may be misunderstood as excluding learners.

  • I believe this text should not switch between languages. The addendum "auch auf Deutsch" should be omitted or replaced by an English wording. – Takkat Sep 17 '15 at 22:00
  • I proposed the addition of share, which is what I'm doing here. So I kind of disagree with the "not essential", but that's not my main problem with this proposal. What I really dislike about this variant is that four "subtypes" of target audience are enumerated, while the list still is not exhaustive (e.g. care-to-help amateurs like me aren't on it). In CS, this is usually a sign that a generalization or a common super term should replace the mentioned specialisations. – hiergiltdiestfu Sep 18 '15 at 7:20
  • @hiergiltdiestfu: I adapted your suggestion. – Wrzlprmft Sep 18 '15 at 17:12
3

Case A'

Assuming that there is some kind of template involved that would currently let us only change the bold text in the question (the part that I will call the variable part) - something that would need to be verified - I suggest that

  • We kindly ask the SE team wheather they could move the word for from the fixed part of the template into the variable parts of all sites. (This shouldn't be much work.)
  • If they agree, we use the text (inspired by hiergildiestfu's proposal)

    German Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site in German and English, for speakers of all levels who want to share and increase their knowledge of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Reasoning: the variable part seems to be used at several places, e.g. here and here. This makes case B less likely in my opinion. But it also seems that the context is always something in the kind of "a Q&A site for [variable part]" (in contrast to "intended audience: [variable part]", for example). Hence moving for into the variable part would not break the different usages of the variable part, but still allow for more flexible descriptions.

0

Case A'

I propose using the same text Wrzlprmft proposed for case A even if case A' is available.

Reasoning: I like it better.

-3

Case B

To be consistent with the wording of all other language sites in the network and to not break the design of a beta site I propse the following wording:

German Language Stack Exchange is a bilingual question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the German language. It's 100% free, no registration required.

  • I don't like that this implies some kind of exclusion of non-students, non-teachers, non-linguists. Like me. Also, that issue about "finer points" Wrzl drew in his answer is pretty essential in my opinion. – hiergiltdiestfu Sep 18 '15 at 7:23
  • @hiergiltdiestfu: except "bilingual" it is the exact wording of all other Stack Exchange language sites. I believe that sticking to that increase the change to get it. It is not a freely editable text box, as it involves the overall site design and asking a SE delveloper to do it for us. It also is in no way meant to replace our About, Tour, Help Center, and the like. It only just needs to be short. – Takkat Sep 18 '15 at 8:01
  • I'm not sure I follow. I don't have an issue with "bilingual" and it doesn't appear in your proposal? I'm afraid I'm missing some context, sorry. – hiergiltdiestfu Sep 18 '15 at 8:07
  • @hiergiltdiestfu: it is about a consistent layout (including wording of texts) through all sites of the network. I think that this matters too but let's see. – Takkat Sep 18 '15 at 8:15
  • @Takkat: I am pretty certain that this text was mindlessly copied and only slightly modified. I would rather suggest changing it to other language sites as well. Also, I do not see the benefit of all language sites having consistent wordings here. The only place where you could notice is here. – Wrzlprmft Sep 18 '15 at 8:35
  • @Wrzlprmft - I am sad to hear this is being perceived as mindless. Fact is 1.) our primary intention was saying we are bilingual, 2.) you found out that we can't do much about the layout 3.) Meta GL is not the right place to propose a network-wide change of beta-site's designs or to discuss the usefulness of a consistent design, – Takkat Sep 18 '15 at 8:49
  • I do not think the text, or more precisely the part about discuss the finer points is entirely mindless; I just think that little thought was put into copying it, as it has flaws. In fact, it was there from the very beginning. This about wording, not about layout. If SE was adamant about a consistent wording of this text across language sites, this entire question is futile – so I assume it’s up to us whether we want to be consistent with the other sites. Given the deficiencies of the text, I do not want to be consistent here. – Wrzlprmft Sep 18 '15 at 9:04

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