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Language Tempest At Orkut

timothy posted more than 10 years ago | from the fetch-me-the-teapot dept.

The Internet 948

Quirk writes "Reuters is carrying an article outlining an ongoing headbutting session between English-speaking users of Goggle's orkut and the Portuguese-speaking users of Brazil. The orkut site has more than 769,000 members; 41.2% are Brazilians and 23.5% are Americans. The sites are now mostly in Portuguese, and English-speaking users are complaining that the service is intended to be in English. Orkut is a service meant to develop by way of invitation, and the Brazilians claim since they are inviting their Brazilian friends it doesn't make sense to communicate in English. Brazilian internet users averaged an estimated 13 hours and 51 minutes in May, eight minutes more than for Americans."

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Article text posted here for your convience (4, Informative)

Bold Marauder (673130) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728422)

SAO PAULO, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil has butted heads with the United States this year on issues ranging from cotton subsidies to the war in Iraq .

But perhaps none of the battles has been so personal as the one being fought on the Internet.

Thousands of Brazilians have become devotees of Orkut ( [] ), a popular new social-networking site from Web search leader Google Inc.

Orkut allows members to organize themselves into online communities of friends, and friends of friends, to discuss everything from chess to sandwiches.

But the rush of Brazilians to join Orkut and rival social networking sites has upset some online users, who complain of a proliferation of messages posted in Portuguese, Brazil's native tongue.

Some users have even started communities specifically for people to air their gripes on this issue.

The United States has at least 153 million Internet users, compared with Brazil's 20 million. Still, Orkut said Brazilians dominated its membership roster in June, outnumbering Americans for the first time.

The site says it has more than 769,000 members, making it one of the largest and most popular of its type on the Internet. About 23.5 percent of the users are from the United States, while another 41.2 percent are Brazilians.

Iranians are a distant third place at about 6 percent.


Orkut, named after Google software engineer Orkut Buyukkokten, made its debut in January and is still in the testing stages. Part of its allure is its exclusivity -- one can only join at the invitation of another member.

"Orkut maps one's social prestige, and Brazilians are by nature gregarious," said Beth Saad, a professor at the University of Sao Paulo's School of Communications and Arts.

Although more than one-fourth of Brazilians live in poverty, those who can afford Internet access have become avid Web surfers.

In terms of time spent on the Internet, Brazilians edged out the United States in May for the second month in a row, according to Ibope/NetRatings. The market researcher estimates that Internet use for Brazilians averaged 13 hours and 51 minutes in May, eight minutes more than for Americans.

The number of Brazilian visitors to community sites and online diaries rose 14.6 percent to 3.5 million in May from January, Ibope/NetRatings said.

Tammy Soldaat, a Canadian, got a sample of Brazilian wrath recently when she posted a message asking whether her community site on body piercing should be exclusive to people who speak English.

Brazilian Orkut users quickly labeled her a "nazi" and "xenophobe."

"After that I understood why everyone is complaining about these people, why they're being called the 'plague of Orkut,"' she said in a site called "Crazy Brazilian Invasion."

John Gibbs of Mountain View, California, has founded a community called "So many Brazilians on Orkut."

"When the average Orkut user goes to look at community listings to see what's out there, he'll see a list populated with pretty much all Portuguese communities," Gibbs said. "This is highly frustrating since Orkut is not a Brazilian service."

But Mateus Reis, a publicist who lives in Sao Paulo, said users should be free to write what they want, in the language of their choosing.

"Since we can invite anyone we want at Orkut, and my friends are Brazilians, it doesn't make sense talking to them in English," Reis said in Portuguese. "I use the language I know."

His compatriot Pablo Miyazawa has a more moderate view.

"Brazilians have the right to create anything they want in any language they want," Miyazawa said. "The problem is to invade forums with specific languages and write in Portuguese. Brazilians are still learning how to behave in the Net."


The Brazilians' ardor for the Internet extends to other community-based sites, and Web entrepreneurs are catching on to the potential business opportunities.

Lisa Kopp, spokeswoman for Orkut's competitor Friendster ( [] ), said Brazilians are "an important group, with millions" of participants among its 7 million users.

Meanwhile, Brazilians account for nearly 211,000 of the 453,600 users of Fotolog ( [] ), which allows people to post a visual diary of their lives.

The site is negotiating with Internet providers in Brazil to offer a Portuguese-language version, said Adam Seifer, who founded Fotolog.

But Saad, the communications professor at University of Sao Paulo, said some of Brazil's exuberance about Orkut -- and the resulting clash of cultures -- is just another fad.

"I think what will happen is what occurred when the Web arrived in Brazil," she said. "There was a huge boom of people creating sites and now the number of active sites being used by Brazilians is a lot smaller than those registered."

langauge orkut rocks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728424)

in Japan!

Language barrier (4, Insightful)

Monty845 (739787) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728426)

How have other major international sites dealt with the language barrier?

Re:Language barrier (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728475)

Set up a localized site, e.g. where everything's in Portuguese

Re:Language barrier (4, Funny)

orthogonal (588627) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728522)

How have other major international sites dealt with the language barrier?

Você americanos sujos pensa de que você possui tudo, e Slashdot, mas é justo não assim.

Fure seu hegemony internacional e seu McDonalds e seu Hollywood onde o sol não brilha.

Pela maneira, eu sou amor o Mac Grande e esse Julia Roberts!

[Google "translation" of above: "You American dirty think of that you possess everything, and Slashdot, but is just not thus. Hegemony pierces international its and its McDonalds and its Hollywood where the sun does not shine. For the way, I am love Mac Great e this Julia Roberts!"]

[Original English source for the "Portuguese" response produced by Google "translation": "You dirty Americans think that you own everything, including Slashdot, but it's just not so. Stick your international hegemony and your McDonalds and your Hollywood where the sun doesn't shine. By the way, I'm loving it the Big Mac and that Julia Roberts!"]

Why Fight? (5, Insightful)

Cavio (217880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728430)

If you are communicating with others in your circle of friends, you should speak the same language.

If I'm in a restaurant, and the people at the table next to me are speaking Korean, it doesn't affect the conversation at my table in the slightest.

I guess we could all switch to Esperanto, the Unitarian Univeralist of languages.

Re:Why Fight? (3, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728452)

If the people at the table next to you are speaking Korean, it doesn't affect you. If your table is speaking English, that doesn't affect the other tables. But if the waiter only speaks Korean, it does affect you.

Not knowing anything about Orkut, and not reading the article (surprised?) I would suggest that they handle this like they handle their existing site - offer it in as many languages as they can/want and let the users live with the choices.

There's no reason to offer a site like this in just English or any other language.

Re:Why Fight? (5, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728511)

If the people at the table next to you are speaking Korean, it doesn't affect you.
Though when people nearby are speaking a language you don't understand, and looking in your direction, and laughing and pointing, well it's hard to not imagine things.

Re:Why Fight? (3, Informative)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728454)

Read the article. It mentions the fact that its more like the persons sitting next to you at the table, begin to try and speak to you in korean, and then expect you to be able to bend over backwards to communicate with them.

Re:Why Fight? (1)

zors (665805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728512)

Yeah! everyone knows english is the only language all people should be expected to know!

Re:Why Fight? (4, Insightful)

driptray (187357) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728524)

its more like the persons sitting next to you at the table, begin to try and speak to you in korean, and then expect you to be able to bend over backwards to communicate with them.

No, it's like the people at the table next to you start speaking to you in Korean, and because you don't know Korean you make a complaint to the management of the restaurant. There is no expectation on the English-speakers to bend over backwards, or do anything at all.

But even that analogy isn't quite correct. I think the English speakers are upset because they are creating forums in the hope of developing communities of people they can be a part of, and their forums end up being overtaken by Portugese speakers. And so they are excluded from their very own creation.

Re:Why Fight? (1)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728551)

And what's wrong with that? By expecting them to speak English, or excluding them from "English-only" communities, you'd be doing exactly the same thing.

Re:Why Fight? (2, Interesting)

John Meacham (1112) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728474)

As universal languages go, lojban is much more interesting conceptually.

or, if you are more visual, you might want to check out bliss-symbols.

Re:Why Fight? (3, Informative)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728530)

Yeah, I find it really arrogant that people are complaining about how others communicate between themselves. It's not like every American tourist that visits a foreign country starts speaking that nation's native tongue even when just talking to their travelling companions, is it?

As an Orkut member I do find the behaviour of some of its users annoying (Orkut-wide and community-wide spamming by a very small handful of people, people who ignore the rules of the communities that they join, etc) but I find that it's not that inconvenient compared to what I've got out of my Orkut experience. I've made at least a dozen real-world friends that I regularly go out with, and several more that are online only at this stage, and that's only after three months' membership.

Yes there are plenty of Brazilians on the site, and yes, they do have a tendency to join every community that even half interests them (it's like some people play a game of "let's see how many communities I can join", and they seem to do the same with collecting friends too) but that's not just a trait exclusive to them: users of other nationalities can be just as bad.

I'll also point out that Portuguese isn't the only non-English language used on Orkut. I've seen several, including ones that you wouldn't immediately think of, such as Arabic.

Live and let live is what I say. On Orkut and elsewhere.

Re:Why Fight? (1)

Cavio (217880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728549)

Rather than beg for an invite, I'll just ask if you've used Livejournal, and how Orkut compares to it.

Oh, and invite me.

Re:Why Fight? (1)

McCrapDeluxe (626840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728559)

I find your use of my religion in your simile highly amusing.

Microcosm (3, Interesting)

toasted_calamari (670180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728431)

It's interesting, Orkut seems to be mimicing "real world" human society. This fight over languages looks a lot like the conflits over immigration that happen in every country. If anything, I would take this latest conflict as proof that internet forums can function as true communities, analogous to those in the physical world. In that sense, I consider this development to be an accomplishment for Orkut.

Re:Microcosm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728456)

Ok... let me see if I understand your point. You're trying to say that the language discussion over Orkut is mimicing a real world issue? Last time I checked the brazilian population didn't have anything against english speakers, or the other way around.

Re:Microcosm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728493)

Brazil? No, but the english speaking population of southern california does have an issue with the influx of strictly spanish speaking people, and the other way 'round. The net's just bringing Brazil and US closer so they can get irritated w/ each other.

Re:Microcosm (4, Insightful)

toasted_calamari (670180) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728494)

I was thinking of American history. In the early 20th century, there was a tremendous amount of immigration into the United States. Many people were sharply critical of this, arguing that america was by and for only Americans. The immigrants argued that it was as much their country as the native citizens.

Fast forward to 2004, Orkut, a community that was originally primarily english speaking recieves huge influx of brazilian "immagrents" The english speakers argue that their community was by and for English speakers. The brazillians argue that they were invited and that the community is now also theirs.

Notice a parallel?

may I ask,,, (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728432)

Who gives a shit?

Re:may I ask,,, (-1, Troll)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728471)

"Who gives a shit?"

The english speaking people trying to use the site? RTFA.

Re:may I ask,,, (1)

eekygeeky (777557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728519)

>"Who gives a shit?"

>The english speaking people trying to use the >site? RTFA.

um, that's who we're talking about- who gives a shit? they can't read the language, they should learn it, ask for help, use another circle-jerk service or stop complaining.

they need a hobby, a life, or a brasilian girlfriend. Or Something.

maybe Im missing something (3, Insightful)

Derg (557233) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728433)

but due to the friend based invite model that this site employs, maybe the english speaking memebers of the site should start inviting more english speaking people, to equal if not overtake the brazillian tally.

Just a thought

Re:maybe Im missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728463)

Or maybe these English speaking morons who are complaining should realise that there are plenty of people who don't use English both in the real world and yes, even online, and that this trend will continue in the future. This is the same as people who get pissed off when eg. a couple of people are speaking Japanese on a bus in an English speaking country and then think to themselves 'hey you japs, speak english so I can hear you discuss the weather'. :-/

Re:maybe Im missing something (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728520)

Yeah but how many of these fucking spics have nukes?
Bow down before Professor Chaos!

Re:maybe Im missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728557)

What's a spic?

Oh ok I looked it up "a person from a Spanish-speaking country".

Hey spics are cool man. Spanish is such a sexy language.

Re:maybe Im missing something (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728473)

Why? That is not a war. So what if the brazilians have more users in the Orkut network? That doesn't prove anything, or do anyone here think that just because they're the biggest community in Orkut that makes the brazilians smarter or something?

Re:maybe Im missing something (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728477)

yes, an apostrophe.

Re:maybe Im missing something (1)

Blondie-Wan (559212) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728505)

Or maybe they should just remember that there's no shortage of English-language sites already. Really, what's the problem? I don't know how orkut is organized, but is it really so hard to find areas where English is spoken? Why can't different linguistic groups all find their own niches there, and not worry about what other people are doing?

Re:maybe Im missing something (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728582)

Many of the complaints are that, instead of staying in the portugese speaking areas, the brazilians are purposly flooding the english areas with portuguese posts, and complaining if people make there areas "english only". /not a member of orkut, no idea how true such complaints are.

Re:maybe Im missing something (2, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728586)

Well the non-English speakers are irritating. One private messages me in broken "english" for a gmail account (why me? what an ass... anyway).

I reply to him and tell him I don't know what he said. The reply?

"That's not my problem if you don't understand, I don't know how to speak english very well, I think so...=x bye ihihihihihihh see ya"

Not your problem if I don't understand? You're asking for me to give you a present and then you flame me for not understanding your poor attempt to speak my native language? That IS your problem!

Re:maybe Im missing something (1)

Joe U (443617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728513)

I'm guessing that will happen eventually.

It's interesting how long it's taking though. I wonder what is causing one group to leapfrog another. Is the English speaking community too loose-knit? Or is it that they have so many choices they don't see Orkut as an important site.

Granted, I don't have an account. And I'm guessing no one on Slashdot has one or they would have developed some automated signup system by now. (Which, strangely enough, would bring about another language war, Perl or PHP?)

Either way, in the end the Orkut system will become native multilanguage capable and this argument will become a thing of the past.

Didn't our mothers teach us.. (2, Insightful)

maskedbishounen (772174) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728434) share and get along with others?

Don't like the foreign users? Ignore them or move on.

Re:Didn't our mothers teach us.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728479)

I have to agree, I was invited a couple of months ago, and have not been back due to the deathly slow server speeds at the time and the overwhelming majority of (to me) incomprehensible communities. If you arent happy, then why bother to complain, just move on.

our just desserts (2, Insightful)

bersl2 (689221) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728438)

It's not like we haven't done it to everybody else.

oh, and it's not Goggle...

Re:our just desserts (1)

mepr (603356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728560)

I for one, welcome our brazilian overlords. Boa vinda, mestres

Re:our just desserts (4, Informative)

UncleOzzy (158525) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728584)

It's also not dessert [] . You know what they say about glass houses...

Texto do artigo para seu convience (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728443)

O SAO PAULO, Brasil (Reuters) - Brasil butted as cabeças com os estados unidos este ano nas edições que variam dos subsídios do algodão à guerra em Iraq. Mas talvez nenhuma das batalhas foi assim que pessoal como essa que está sendo lutado no Internet. Os milhares dos brasileiros têm os devotoes tornados de Orkut ( [] ), um local novo popular do social-social-networking do líder Google Inc da busca da correia fotorreceptora. Orkut permite que os membros organizem-se em comunidades em linha dos amigos, e dos amigos dos amigos, para discutir tudo do chess aos sanduíches. Mas as arremetidas dos brasileiros para juntar Orkut e locais sociais do networking do rival viraram alguns usuários em linha, que se queixam de um proliferation das mensagens afixadas no português, lingüeta nativa de Brazil's. Alguns usuários começaram mesmo comunidades especificamente para que os povos arejem seus gripes nesta edição. Os estados unidos têm ao menos 153 milhão usuários do Internet, comparados com o Brazil's 20 milhões. Ainda, os brasileiros ditos Orkut dominaram seu roster da sociedade em junho, outnumbering americanos para a primeira vez. O local diz que tem mais de 769.000 membros, fazendo lhe um do maior e mais popular de seu tipo no Internet. Aproximadamente 23.5 por cento dos usuários são dos estados unidos, quando outros 41.2 por cento forem brasileiros. Iranians são um terceiro lugar distante em aproximadamente 6 por cento.

SOCIEDADE SELETIVA Orkut, nomeado após a Software Engineer Orkut de Google Buyukkokten, feito seu debut em janeiro e está ainda nos estágios testando. A parte de seu fascínio é seu exclusivity -- um pode somente juntar no invitation de um outro membro. o "Orkut traça o prestige social de one's, e os brasileiros são pela natureza gregarious, " Beth dito Saad, um professor na universidade da escola do sao Paulo's das comunicações e de artes. Embora mais de um quarto dos brasileiros vivam na pobreza, aqueles que podem ter recursos para o acesso do Internet têm surfers de correia fotorreceptora avid tornados. Nos termos do tempo gastados no Internet, os brasileiros afiaram para fora dos estados unidos em maio para o segundo mês em uma fileira, de acordo com Ibope/NetRatings. O investigador de mercado estima que o uso do Internet para brasileiros calculou a média de 13 horas e de 51 minutos em maio, oito minutos mais do que para americanos. O número de visitantes brazilian aos locais da comunidade e aos diários em linha levantou-se 14.6 por cento a 3.5 milhões em maio de janeiro, Ibope/NetRatings dito. Tammy Soldaat, um canadense, começou uma amostra do wrath brazilian recentemente quando afixou uma mensagem que pergunta se seu local da comunidade na perfuração do corpo deve ser exclusivo povoar quem falam o inglês. Os usuários brazilian de Orkut etiquetaram-na rapidamente um "nazi" e "xenophobe." "After que eu compreendi porque todos se está queixando sobre estes povos, porque they're que está sendo chamado o 'plague de Orkut, "' disse em um local chamado o brasileiro "Crazy Invasion." John Gibbs do Mountain View, Califórnia, fundou uma comunidade chamada o "So muitos brasileiros em Orkut." "When o usuário de Orkut da média vai olhar listas da comunidade para ver para fora what's lá, he'll vêem uma lista povoada com muito bonito todas as comunidades portuguese, " Gibbs dito. os "This estão frustrando altamente desde que Orkut não é um service." brazilian; Mas Mateus Reis, um publicist que viva no sao Paulo, os usuários ditos deve estar livre escrever o que querem, na língua de seu escolher. "Since nós podemos convidar qualquer um que nós queremos em Orkut, e meus amigos são brasileiros, ele doesn't fazem o sentido falando a eles em inglês, " Reis disse no português. uso do "I a língua I know." Seu compatriot Pablo Miyazawa tem uma vista mais moderada. os "Brazilians têm a direita criar qualquer coisa que querem em toda a língua querem, " Miyazawa dito. o problema do "The deve invadir forums com línguas específicas e escrevê-los no português. Os brasileiros estão aprendendo ainda como comportar-se no Net."

UMA FORÇA DO INTERNET O Brazilians' o ardor para o Internet estende a outros locais comunidade-baseados, e os empreendedores da correia fotorreceptora estão travando sobre às oportunidades de negócio potenciais. Lisa Kopp, spokeswoman para o concorrente Friendster de Orkut's ( [] ), disse que os brasileiros são grupo importante "an, com millions" dos participants entre seus 7 milhão usuários. Entrementes, os brasileiros esclarecem quase 211.000 dos 453.600 usuários de Fotolog (, que permite que os povos afixem um diário visual de suas vidas. O local está negociando com os fornecedores de Internet em Brasil para oferecer uma versão da Portuguese-língua, disse Adam Seifer, que fundou Fotolog. Mas Saad, professor das comunicações na universidade do sao Paulo, disse que algum do exuberance de Brazil's sobre Orkut -- e o clash resultante das culturas -- é justo um outro fad. o "I pensa que de o que acontecerá é o que ocorreu quando a correia fotorreceptora chegou em Brasil, " disse. o "There era um crescimento enorme dos povos que críam locais e agora o número dos locais ativos que estão sendo usados por Brasileiro é muito menor do que aqueles registered."

Can't anybody spell? (1, Funny)

mr_rangr (311899) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728445)

Fer fsck's sake, I wish the Slashdot editors would do something about the atrocious spelling of some of their contributors. What the heck is "Goggle"?

Re:Can't anybody spell? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728468)

What the heck is "Goggle"?

I suspect it's just another rediculous linux myth []

Re:Can't anybody spell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728504)

Please mod down-- this is a link.

Re:Can't anybody spell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728597)

It's a TYPO, you pedantic pissant.

Ok then (1)

RTPMatt (468649) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728446)

Sounds like it would be a good idea to open it publicly then, it would be a shame to see it fade into obscurity just because most of the world cant understand most of the communications....Naw, that could never happen, i mean its google right?

But what about... (3, Funny)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728447)


Re:But what about... (1)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728466)

Vittu huora is what I have to say to that...

Re:But what about... (4, Funny)

E_elven (600520) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728531)

For those not in the know: 'orkut', in Finnish, is a vulgar expression for 'orgasm'.

Re:But what about... (1)

Keruo (771880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728574)

I can't speak for every finn, but I don't know anyone who actually uses that site

Why not... (1)

sk6307 (797832) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728451)

just invite more english speaking people?

solved (4, Interesting)

jjshoe (410772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728453)

I solved the problem by changing the communities i run to English only. While this does not enforce people to speak in english it at least informs everyone the language they should be talking in if they dont expect their post to be deleted. I guess i'm missing the breaking news behind this.

I think what would be more intresting is the rate at which amercians populated orkut vs brazilians

heh (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728457)

What is it with google and these services were you have to "know somebody".

Half the reason I like forums on the internet is I don't know anyone there and I don't have to.

I can pop in, post some shit, read some responses and then go back or not.

I don't want to go on the internet with people I already know from real life. I go on the internet to get away from that. Just show up, discuss something and then leave. Like a bar or something.

Typical Slashdot anti-American bias... (1, Interesting)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728458)

Brazilian internet users averaged an estimated 13 hours and 51 minutes in May, eight minutes more than for Americans.

Nice. A completely irrelevant little fact quoted at the end of the submission... equally irrelevant is this fact, actually found earlier in the article:

The United States has at least 153 million Internet users, compared with Brazil's 20 million.

But somehow, timothy decided that wasn't as significant, when in fact neither are. Typical.

Two separate sites? (4, Insightful)

56 (527333) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728460)

Why don't they just give their users the ability to filter by language? If you don't want to see the brazilian posts, you should be able to filter them out.

Re:Two separate sites? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728506)

That wouldn't be very nice. For every lame brazilian posting portuguese messages in english-only forums, there are hundreds of brazilians that struggle with a non-native language.
Or did I misunderstand your idea? Were you sugesting that the users filtered the messages based on the language present in the user info or the language used to write the message?

Re:Two separate sites? (1)

NoYes19 (766616) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728581)

I belive he was suggesting the language the post was written in. There is a lot of interesting work looking at the character distribution of a composition to determine the is actually very good for longer works. So It wouldn't be all that hard to just analyze the character frequencies to filiter out post that are cleary not a certain language.

More American Arrogance? (4, Informative)

AnthonyPaulO (732084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728461)

I'm an American who's tired of hearing from foreigners that one reason why Americans are not liked is because we travel abroad to other countries and EXPECT them to speak english, as if they're expected to know our language. I'm a firm believer of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do" and when I visit abroad I try to speak as much of that nation's language as possible and keep a dictionary handy. I wonder if this is just another show of our much detested arrogance...

Re:More American Arrogance? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728490)

id say your the ignorant one, you do something (awsome) so you expect the rest of your country does the same (ouch, hit the tard line)

Re:More American Arrogance? (4, Insightful)

NanoGator (522640) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728496)

"I'm an American who's tired of hearing from foreigners that one reason why Americans are not liked is because we travel abroad to other countries and EXPECT them to speak english, as if they're expected to know our language."

I'm sick of hearing this stereotype because all one has to do is look at a globe and it becomes obvious why we're not so fluent in other languages. It's not most of the USA can drive in a day and land in a country with a different national language. With the exception of Mexico (which gets so much tourism from us that English is relatively well understood) we have to hop on a plane at >$700 a ticket to visit a non-english speaking country. That's no small chore. I've been to Brazil twice, and each time it cost me $1,200 just for the ticket AND 24 hours transit time.
All it takes is a little understanding, yeesh.

Re:More American Arrogance? (1)

AnthonyPaulO (732084) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728550)

I'm sick of hearing this sterotype as well, because 1) I don't fall under it and 2) I get a bad rap as an American because of other Americans who travel abroad and act like they're king of the mountain. The argument you give is such a cop-out, I don't care how much it costs for a ticket or how far you have to travel, as if us Americans are the only ones that have to travel far or pay for our trip. Pocket dictionaries or even electronic translators are cheap, ESPECIALLY if you're an American who paid $1,200 for a ticket to Brazil TWICE.

Re:More American Arrogance? (1, Interesting)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728600)

Wow. You are exactly the kind of person that we're talking about here, aren't you?

If you've travelled half way around the world (or whatever distance) to another country then don't you at least owe it to yourself to absorb as much of their culture as possible? Otherwise, what's the point of having gone there if all you do is spend your time in your hotel with its English-speaking staff and cheesy tourist-oriented restaurants because you couldn't be bothered to even try to use a phrase book?

When I travel I make it a point of having a pocket dictionary and phrase book with me. For one thing, it's polite to be able to thank someone properly in their own language. For another, it's nice to be able to ask directions if you're trying to get somewhere. And, for yet another, it's nice to be able to do more than shout English at someone very slowly if you're caught up in an emergency of some sort.

I speak English and four other languages (two very well, two pretty well) yet I'm constantly amazed by fellow tourists overseas who can't even say "hello", "please" or "thank you" even after two weeks. You're a guest in someone else's country, is it so damned hard to actually learn a word or two of their language when you expect everyone else to be fluent in yours?

yeah, too bad orkut stinks... (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728464)

If the Brazilians find it useful, then by all means, use the site in Brazilian.

The AIX group was lame, the vi group had 1 conversation a millenia ago, and by the time I finished typing a long winded discourse on my favorite drummer Orkut logged me out. For all its warts, I'm sticking to Slashdot. Everyone else can have orkut.

Repeat after me (0, Troll)

MochaMan (30021) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728470)

America is not the centre of the world. Diversity is ok. Multi-culturalism is ok.

Re:Repeat after me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728481)

Shut up liberal douchebag.

America pwnz0rz j00.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728537)

Offtopic, and unrelated to the original poster's point regarding America-centrism, but It's posts like the above that give Americans the reputation they have.

I've been to America several times for extended periods, and I have to say it's one of the most pathetically culturally-inept countries I've ever visited. And I've travelled to a lot of countries. That's not to say that most Americans are idiots, but the country does have a higher proportion of neanderthal-minded individuals than most developed nations.

I mean, look at your foreign policy. The US deserved September 11th.

Re:Repeat after me (1)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728541)

Diversity is the opposite of excellence.

Re:Repeat after me (1)

CaptainTux (658655) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728543)

America is not the centre of the world. Diversity is ok. Multi-culturalism is ok

Multi-culturalism is okay? Even here in the USA? Guess it was a little hard to tell what with all of the blacks, hispanics, asians, arabs, and other nationalities running around. We have no problem with multi-culturalism. But that isn't even what this issue is about...

The Americans aren't demanding that everyone speak *American English*. They are simply wanting people to speak *English* The language wasn't invented by nor is it owned by the Americans. Is their demand wrong? I don't think so being that a good amount of the entire *worlds* communication happens in English every day AND seeing that the company that owns Orkut is an *American* company.

Need a great Linux laption? Email me [mailto] for details!

It's not intended to be an *English* service... (3, Insightful)

bc90021 (43730) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728476)'s just intended to be a service.

The English-speaking peoples of the world need to understand that outside the internet (and soon to be inside) they are a minority in the world. 1/6 of the world speaks Chinese, about the same proportion speaks Hindi, and just under that speak Spanish. While it is common to speak English, it is not the be-all-and-end-all, and people need to start accepting that.

Re:It's not intended to be an *English* service... (2, Insightful)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728487)

The English-speaking peoples of the world need to understand that outside the internet (and soon to be inside) they are a minority in the world.

Cool! When can we start demanding our affirmative action and set-aside contracts?

Re:It's not intended to be an *English* service... (1)

Xiph (723935) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728539)

Chinese isn't one language, the ONE language which is most peoples native language is AFAIR spanish. most of the really big nations don't have one language, but a lot of smaller nations speak spanish, including most of south america (brazil excluded, curiously enough ;))
also hindi isn't the native language of so many (AAFAIR) but is the or a language which is taught in public schools.
That being said the huge population explosion in india might've changed this since i last bothered checking, but it was originally the reason i learned spanish.

Re:It's not intended to be an *English* service... (1)

zhenlin (722930) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728547)

I believe that is a measure of their first language. I suspect a lot more than 1/6 of the world speak English as a first or second language.

Re:It's not intended to be an *English* service... (1)

jmkaza (173878) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728594)

You're right about Mandarin. It tops the list with a billion+ speakers, but English comes in second with 508 million. Hindi places third at 497 mil. Spanish takes a distant fourth with 392, and Russian rounds out the top five with 277.

wanh (5, Funny)

eekygeeky (777557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728480)

"OK, I onlee kno teh english lang and i wanto no wh4t teh 0thre d00ds r saying!!!!! they sux00r! b1gt1meeee! WTF? OMG? cant tey keep thos guyzz 0ff teh inetrn3t? OMG. OMG." bleh. carl

Mod Parent Upxxx0rXZ! (1)

mekkab (133181) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728489)

I think this guy has the point: we don't speak english anyway.

Times (1)

Tragek (772040) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728484)

13 hours and 51 minutes per.... day, week, month year? We need units here people!

Re:Times (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728515)

You mean like where it says, two words later, "in May"? Or are you just unaware that May is a month?

Re:Times (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728527)

It said in the month of May.

Noticed this else where too (3, Interesting)

hrieke (126185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728486)

I play a few online games and on one server the admin was yelling / kicking those who did not communicate in English.

It's silly. The internet is global - the first W in WWW stands for World, and the last time I checked English was not the offical language of this planet.

Those who are complaining should either mellow out or learn Portuguese.

Re:Noticed this else where too (3, Insightful)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728502)

Game server != world. If the admin wants people to speak one language, he's perfectly within his rights to do so... and there are some obvious practical reasons for that policy. What's so hard to understad about that?

Re:Noticed this else where too (1)

hrieke (126185) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728591)

I disagree.

If the admin wants everyone to speak the same language then the server should not be up for the world to use and see.

If you think that they're going to cheat by talking in their native language )give out key info / advantage), then of course there are easier ways than by global comms which everyone can see.

Games are supose to be fun. Part of that fun is playing with people from around the world.

Re:Noticed this else where too (1)

AdamHaun (43173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728552)

I've seen this too, in games as well as on message boards and chatrooms. Some people have a weird allergy to other languages. I don't get it.

amazing (1)

mepr (603356) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728488)

I for one, welcome our new Brazilian overlords

Surely Google can address this technologically (1)

ewg (158266) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728497)

Surely Google can address issue with technology. Their search interfaces have options to restrict results by language and nationality; can't orkut do the same?

Orkut Invitations. (1)

Cavio (217880) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728500)

Ok, I've got a gmail account, but I've yet to meet anyone with an Orkut account at all.

Are these things real? I think you are all playing some kind of huge joke on me. Prove me wrong. Invite me.

And now for something completely different: (2, Interesting)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728503)

I have only had one experience with Brazilian people online. It seems many .br kids who like to sit in net cafes think it's funny to destroy online communities. Take, for example, the MMORPG Tibia. []
These kids would walk around in-game and, upon seeing someone else, would say "br?". If you answered in English (or anything other than Portugese), they would promptly attack/gang-attack you.
Somehow, I think something similar is happening here.

Re:And now for something completely different: (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728514)

Interesting point.

Americans only do this in real life.

Re:And now for something completely different: (-1, Flamebait)

character_assassin (773327) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728532)

Fuck off, troll. Just because you got turned down for a student visa doesn't mean you have to hate the US.

Re:And now for something completely different: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728540)

That wasn't very nice. But remember: kids are kids in any part of the world. Always stupid and trying to find an answer for the lack of a girlfriend.

Not surprising (1)

NeedleSurfer (768029) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728516)

If there are more people speaking one language in some place it's just normal that it become the de facto language. Most speak portuguese then portuguese it is, second to most is english then english should be considered the second language of choice. Democracy, majority rules, isn't that what americans promote?

I, for one (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728526)

welcome our Brazilian overlords

Forget Portoguese... Indian is the future(?) (2, Interesting)

Animaether (411575) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728528)

With regards to languages in general, that is.
Let me just paste from what I dropped into IRC a while back :
This is translated from a Dutch 'popular science' magazine (Kijk, for the Dutch viewers) :

There are many languages in the world. Scientists estimate the number to be around 6,000.
A few languages are doing very well. Chinese is the biggest language (in terms of numbers of speakers), and will remain so for some time to come. Tamil, Bengal and Malaysian are quickly gaining ground, as is Arabic.
In contrast are languages (among which many regional African ones) of which on average one 'disappears' every day.
A surprising find is that English isn't doing very well either. it is expected that by 2050, only 5.5% of the world's population will speak the language at all.

Speakers in % of the world's population per language:
English : 9%
Spanish : 5%
Hindi/Urdu : 4.5%
Arabic : 2.25%

English : 5.5%
Spanish : 5.3%
Hindy/Urdu : 6%
Arabic : 5.2%

Young speakers (age 15-24) in 2050 (x 1,000,000):
Mandarin-Chinese : 166.0
Hindi/Urdu : 73.7
Arabic : 72.2
English : 65.0
Spanish : 62.8
Portuguese : 32.5
Bengal : 31.6
Russian : 14.8
Japanese : 11.3
Malaysian : 10.5
With regards to Orkut : As already stated.. don't bother visiting the Brazilian pages if you can't read them anyway.
Vice-versa, if the Brazilian would want English readers to read it, write in English.
With regards to the French : None of the doctors/nurses who helped a friend who was in a car wreck in France knew English. 'nuff said.
With regards to the web as whole : English rules and will rule for a long, long time to come.

Everybody samba!! (1)

Torgo X (784442) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728529)

Uhoh, here comes the neighborhood!

sounds like people need to learn some net etiquett (1)

Nyder (754090) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728534)

It's wrong to invade a conversation by using another language, or noise type posts. But the internet is about everyone, so other then being rude, just have seperate forums for "English" "Portulgiese"(sp?), etc. I think there's enough room for everyone on the net.

I also think people have the right to have "english only" sections, "Spanish only" web sites, so on. Mainly on orkut, after all, it's about inviting friends...

Stupid (4, Insightful)

tftp (111690) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728536)

Ok, I see an article about Orkut. Go to Orkut web site to see what it is about. They tell me GO AWAY [] . What a nice place!!! In other words, you can't make friends on Orcut unless you already have friends on Orcut...

This Orcut thingy, therefore, may be good or bad, but since they are a closed (secret) society I see no way to judge it. I just walk away, not to be back any time soon.

Re:Stupid (1)

MoOsEb0y (2177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728569)

or you could ask for an invite.... Orkut members do read slashdot.

Brazillians? (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728545)

Check out my own network, brazillian friendly!

It's about give and take (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9728554)

You speak English and I'll get one of those waxings your people are famous for.

both! you idiots! (1)

maggern (597586) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728561)

The site should use it's memeber mass to make articles in both languages! How hard could it be? It's surely profitable!

Goggles (1)

Zorilla (791636) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728562)

...between English-speaking users of Goggle's orkut and the Portuguese-speaking users of Brazil...

Would it be offtopic to say I just bought a nice pair of novelty Beer Googles from the novelty shop yesterday?

Arguing? (2, Insightful)

mek2600 (677900) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728576)

May I ask- how do they even know there's an arguement going on? And in what language is the arguement taking place?

How about a compromise... (1, Troll)

Ankle (633399) | more than 10 years ago | (#9728593)

Klingon? mubelmoH Holraj *rgh* wab.
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