Language recognition to profile page

I’m suggesting maybe it could it be possible to add language recognition to profile page?

So that when someone writes other language than English, it notices it, with a pop up for example “looks like you are writing in other language than English. Please write your profile in English, or English in addition to another language to make other members understand you”.


Sounds good but if you don’t have enough English to understand the rules would you understand the pop up message?

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Maybe they use google translate then :laughing:

No, I actually think that many of them understand English, but think everyone uses translating in their browser, and/or don’t bother reading the rules. Or think they don’t have to translate it, because they understand it.

Maybe, if it looks like text not being English, even after the pop up message, it could be programmed so that you cannot upload your profile and not get an address unless it’s “cleared”?

Maybe also a report button for existing profiles, with choices like “not English”.


A similar feature exists, but is quite broken in my experience.

If you write a profile in a script other than Latin script, say Cyrillic script or Chinese characters, and try to save it, the page will error out with unsaved changes and a warning pop up will appear:

“Please use English so that everyone can understand you”

The problem is, while English does use Latin script, not all Latin scripts automatically equate to English. Writing in Dutch or German and even Hungarian (all of which uses Latin script) will not trigger the warning pop up and will allow a profile with a language other-than-English to be posted.

To make matter worse, this warning can be easily overridden if you just enter a few letters in Latin scripts. I’ve seen such case where a user wrote everything in a non-Latin script and ends with “I don’t speak English blah blah blah” (Ironically, it’s the “no English” part in the profile that inadvertently defeated the “English” detection)

So yeah, probably we need a better way to do that instead of just detecting a non-Latin script.

P.S.: I raised this question regarding the language in old forum before. The official response from Paulo was, and I quote:

… Profiles should be written (primarily) in English, and this [verification] automatically catches the ones written (mostly) in other scripts (eg: Cyrillic, Hanzi, etc).


After I’ve read this, I startred a little experiment and wrote to 25 people with only german profiletexts. I asked them to change the text to English or add an english translation (and offered to help them translate). So far 11 out of 25 have added an english part to their profile. 5 have messaged me and told me they thought the website/browser would translate their german text into English automatically. So maybe putting that “Please use English” pop up there permanently would help?

update: 14 have added English now. And nobody was mean or snippy about it.



I’m not sure how to address this but since I just encountered a new member who didn’t realize that they had to write their profile in English, because they thought it would be automatically translated, I think there should be thought about how to address this issue. I’m fairly sure this isn’t the only case were a member doesn’t realize they need to write or translate their profile into English by themselves.

Since there’s also a thread in the Forum with people complaining about non-English profiles, it seems even more important, because I’m sure the vast majority of these users does it out of nescience and not to spite others or impress their language on others.

A pop up when the profile is written in another language than English sounds nice, but of course, when someone doesn’t speak English, an English reminder to write in English isn’t very helpful…

Until another possible solution is found, I would think it’s best to encourage postcrossers to report non-English profiles, so the Postcrossing team can contact them and explain the issue.
If it’s a German speaking profile, I’m happy to assist as a translator.


Yes, occasionally you stumble across a profile like this.

However, there’s an up-side of things - because this at least tells us the adressee doesn’t speak any English. Thus we know there’s little point in writing in English!

We can then think of alternative solutions, like using a translation programme and write in the adressee’s language, or, as I once did for a 4-year-old postcrosser, write a picture story instead :slight_smile:

As for postcard preferences of such a postcrosser, we can either use a translation programme to see if it helps us understand the profile, or just have a look at the adressee’s sent and favourite cards to get an idea of what she or he may like…


I get a lot profiles like this, mostely German. Often those people state they can speak Englisch. Very seldom they only list German as a language.

@Robinchen this thread is not to complain about non-English profiles, there is already another thread about this.

I opened this thread to find a possible solution / to minimize non-English profiles in the future.

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Sorry I was not trying to complain but simpley point out where problems might be. Also I tried to offer an solution. Contact them friendly and tell them how it is supposed to be the right way.

I have received cards in English, and then, after registration I see their profile is in German or other language. So, I believe some think everyone uses translater program.

Now I have started to write, to please put an English profile in addition to the other language. (Before I mentioned only the English). At least one changed it like that. Hopefully it sounds friendlier that way. I do like to see other languages, and try to understand the more foreign (to me) first.

This is so adorable :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Thank you @bom_dia

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I have on my to do list an item to add some improvements in this regard by detecting the language being used and adding a notice/reminder about it.

Unfortunately there’s some technical limitations with integrating the library that does the language detection bit which made this take way longer than reasonable so the idea is shelved for now as this isn’t high priority. If the issues with the library are addressed and it becomes easier to integrate, I’ll work on this again. :crossed_fingers:

If there’s someone out there with knowledge of C and PHP extensions, get in touch!