"speak" in profile changed to "you can write in"

I suggest in profile page, where one can mention the languages, the text would be changed to “you can write in”.

Now there’s a speech bubble saying hi, and if I put a cursor over it, is says “speaks”.
When actually we don’t need to know what language the receiver speaks, we need to know what language we can use to write to them, better text there would be “you can write in”.

Also this because some members have there languages that they still don’t want to get their cards written in, or they feel offended getting a card in that language, when it’s not the writers mother tongue. I don’t think anyone should guess if it’s ok to use some language, so this would solve that problem.

I believe it would be fair to have there only the languages the receiver can accept anyone to use to them.


I think that’s too confusing - when people talk about their language skills, they always start with “I can speak…” or you ask “What languages can you speak?”

I wouldn’t get into a conversation about what I can write likely at all.

I also think asking what languages people can write can bring up all kinds of literacy issues that I think are better avoided if you want to be inclusive - given that the default language of Postcrossing is English - lots of people have to work at what they write on a postcard to begin with.

Lots of folks do their best in their language of origin or a 2nd, 3rd etc language & I wouldn’t want to discourage people from trying by focussing on written rather spoken languages.

And let’s remember we’re talking about 3 to 5 sentences on a postcard - it’s an informal way to communicate, not a letter, essay etc.


I remember a member from the Netherlands who understands German, but wants to be addressed in that language only from native speakers. I think the reason behind thas was, that she did not want to be regarded as German.
Is it that, what you want to address?


Well, the cards are written, not spoken :slight_smile:
There would be no new questions, only the text would be different.
It would not be asking what languages you can write, but what languages other members can use in their cards to you.
(If asking what written language is ok brings up literacy issues, similarly what one speaks, brings up speech production issues, or…? I didn’t get what you meant by that part, but that’s not what I meant.)

I mean, if you go to your profile setting, there is the language part.
it says “speak” and you write there the languages.
But if not everyone is “allowed” to use these languages, why are the languages there?
What I suggest, have only the languages everyone can use.
And if any extra languages, add to the profile.

Yes partly, and because now I was looking through gallery and profiles, and saw this type again.
It had a language I could use in their speech bubble, and I know this language, but then later in the end of profile to use it only if I am from that country. (I believe it meant only use it if it’s my first language.)

Then I remembered I recently wrote with that language to another member :expressionless:, and now I don’t want to look if I just missed some part not to use it.

It would make things easier, if there were no mention about language, and then I should find the “extra conditions” in their profile, or worse, just guess if it’s ok to use it.

Also I don’t think I have any obligation to tell my nativity to anyone, to be allowed to use a certain language. So I suggest either accept everyone to use that language, or don’t mention it. Or, mention that only as an extra in the profile.

Feels it’s very hard to write what I mean :thinking:
but it would help people not to offend anyone unknowingly.


I think it is the receiver’s problem if they write they understand a certain language but then they are upset if they receive a postcard written in that language.

It wouldn’t solve the “write only if you are native” thing anyway. It doesn’t seem to me as something impolite. I think the motivation can be that the person is not very good in that language and they don’t want a message full of mistakes from another beginner (or they want to see how the language is used by natives)…


Why don’t they want to get a card written in language they can speak?

How is this offended? :thinking: :thinking: :thinking:

Thank you to all English native speakers who are not offended with my imperfect English :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:


Yes, I agree, it is mainly the receiver’s problem and my suggestion would lessen these problems. (It can also become sender’s problem if it’s complained for example here.)
The receiver might think “everyone knows” not to write to with language x to country y or something like that.

Also I understand why people want a mother tongue -user to use the language, because language learners from different language family can make very strange mistakes, that they don’t then understand. They could then leave this language out, and only mention in their profile they are learning this, so they prefer native writers to use it.

Some imagined that the sender thinks it’s the same language as some other, or that people in some country speak that language, something like that, and it was not thought nicely.

I don’t know.

To me it feels totally strange, but there were some historical reasons, but since I think here the communication is the main thing, and if I can better German than English, then why not write German to a Dutch person who has German in their languages?

And if it’s not ok, then it would be better not to mention it (the language) there.
Because it’s like asking to be offended, isn’t it :)?

I think everyone is in their best intention trying to write the message in the language they feel proper to that situation, so it’s not nice, friendly or kind (that is often here asked for) to see it badly. And to prevent this from happening, only keep the languages that doesn’t offend you.

I agree.

Just because a couple of people are offended by something or hold a strange perspective, it doesn’t mean a problem exists that has to be solved.

The grand majority of people would be delighted to receive a postcard in a language they could understand. If a small few are offended, that’s their problem.


Why you think it’s just a couple of people?
I remember you asked for kindness, compassion etc. so why not treat this, maybe minority, thoughtfully and kindly, and help avoid getting cards in “wrong” language :slight_smile:

I think if it’s problem for one, the problem exists already and if it’s easily solvable and doesn’t make things worse for others, why not make it better then.

I am not sure I understand how it is unkind to maintain the status quo.

I think what you are proposing is complicated and unnecessary. I don’t think we need to cater to picky or demanding postcrossers.

I agree it is easily solvable - the user can write in their profile, what exactly they want. It is simple, quick and everyone will be happy :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


I agree with this suggestion. Technically makes more sense because we write postcard

For example, to certain language which isn’t written in roman alphabet. Some people know how to speak Japanese and Chinese but to write… not really :laughing:


Then wouldn’t those people just not write it? They can just write in English.

I like your suggestion. The languages I have listed on my profile are the ones I can read.
There are a few other languages I can speak but I don’t list them out because I can neither write nor understand the script. Most people write to me in English though but it’s also good to remember that there is a large population that haven’t had the privilege of learning English.

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I didn’t mean this situation now is unkind, but it apparently causes confusion to some. So it can be “kinder”, to consider these who are offended, and make the language part more clear (if it isn’t to them), so they don’t get the cards with language they don’t want to.
And also to the sender, they can feel sure it’s ok to use the languages mentioned.

So, a little “problem” only. Yes.
Is there a solution? Yes.
Does the solution change something to worse or harm? I don’t see, I tried to think.
How will the old members know about it? Maybe a pop up and blog post, that please note, only list languages you feel comfortable getting cards in.

Of course I know it takes time and energy from Postcrossing team, but just a suggestion.

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I guess we’ll see what they say.

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I have to agree that this would be the simplest solution. :slightly_smiling_face: :+1: If someone really is offended by another member writing in a language they both understand, then it is their responsibility to explain that in their profile. I believe it’s a small minority anyway. From my experience, most people really seem to appreciate the efforts made by the sender.

No doubt that there are some people who for example prefer to have cards written in German only by native German speakers, but then again - if this suggestion was implemented, wouldn’t those people need to explain that in their profile anyway? :thinking: I mean, if they still want the native speakers to write to them in that language, they would have to state that somewhere in their profile. If they simply don’t want anyone to write in that language, they can just leave it out, simple as that.


Yes, I think this too, but some don’t want to do this, or think others should know. (I don’t.) Actually I first thought they just want attention and play offended (not really being) :grin: because to me it seems so unfair, but then I thought again and it can be a true situation (the historic reasons and all), so it would benefit both.

I try to remember where this kind of situation was discussed earlier, and link if I find it, but the ones who felt offended thought even the conversation, questions or suggestion they should explain it, was putting them in corner or something like that. Of course no one wants that, but then again of course people like to know if they offend someone.

Not necessarily.
Next to speech bubble they list language everyone can use.
In the longer profile text they can write, if you are this and that, then you can write to me this language.

So I could have:
speech bubble: Finnish, English

And in my longer profile write about, if you are from Aino-iland or it is your native language, you can write Ainoan :slight_smile:

But of course I could not mention it, and no one writes me in Ainoan.