Building a forum for discussions in multilingual threads (on a solid i18n basement)

Sun, 18 Sep, 15:00 – Room 1 „Microsoft“
Presentation in English, Intended for: Newbies

In this session I will show how drupal can be used for a real multilingual forum where the discussions are not separated by language. This is possibly the first forum solution for discussions in multilingual threads. Or they are simply hard to find in the Internet regardless of the forum system.

The case study for the presentation is the "Forum Anticipolis" where the readers of a book can discuss its content in and across 5 languages:

I first developed this forum concept for the intranet of Newropeans to discuss without lingual barriers. They started their system with debates in separate language threads and connected these threads through translated summaries. In this situation the idea of having a multilingual forum was born. To use automatic translation is an early idea. But it is not advisable to use public translations services for an intranet. So we currently use only manual translation in this intranet forum and we are still searching for a save automated assistance.

The Forum Anticipolis is dealing with public accessible content so there is no problem to use public translations services (currently google translation with i18n_auto.module). A workflow for the cooperative improvement of the translations is also integrated.

Because we are using the wonderful internationalization (i18n) core features in content translation based on nodes I had to develop a complete new node based forum. A special feature is to show the complete thread with all languages. Currently the implementation is based on cck in drupal 6 and a custom module but it will be available as a module (d6 and d7) on in future.

The case study "Forum Anticipolis" is also a good demonstration of a lot of i18n features which are available for drupal including multilingual tags (i18n.module), apache solr multilingual and a complete multilingual user interface.

In addition I will discuss the idea how to use this multilingual concept in a wiki system.

Online Slides: