Translating/Transcribing postcard messages

Should guidelines and translation thread be kept as they are?
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Thank you for reframing it in this destructive dilemma! Destructive in the sense that the status quo is not okay in either case.

Why don’t you just accept someone has a problem :slight_smile: :hugs:
Or why don’t you just ignore this thread :slight_smile:

I would have a very off topic example, how ignoring and invalidating can make a problem bigger, but when someone accepts it, it’s a good start for a better situation. But, not every one needs to take part in it.

Also, problem solving can be good fun :grin:

I hope you can sense me not being mean with turning questions back to you :innocent:

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I do! But I reject the solutions that this persoon suggests.

For the same reasons as you don’t.

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Because it is needed by the few persons who ask there for translations.

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Yes, this option emerged in earlier posts in this thread as well as in the other thread Publication of postcard backs - Poll in Post 45 - #45 by varn

As you were typing, you’d probably noticed how tricky the translation thread is. So later I relegated this option to the “other suggestions” section in my OP.

More importantly, this exception jeopardizes the core concept of Postcrossing. I tend to believe Postcrossing founders prefer postcards to be kept private @admins. Personally, I regard some of such behavior as inconsiderately showing others’ writings for their own enjoyment without properly notifying the sender. It doesn’t hurt to keep postcard writings private, but there is a small but real chance that it might hurt the sender if published without permission.

Actually, regarding the initial proposed consent feature (which is rejected outright as in the polls in the OP), what I really had in mind is a per-postcard consent feature: Like the feature of the sender uploading an image, the sender can specify whether they are okay for the written side to be published before it’s registered. I’m afraid this feature won’t materialize anytime soon. So this brings me back to my current main argument:

Regarding the poll in post #109, not necessary but we can have it. I voted no because mine is a partial negation: I want to keep the community guidelines as they are but change/scrap the translation thread. Perhaps @RalfH can invite non-forum members to vote too.

No matter what the result of such a poll is, I think my argument remains valid. The translation thread is unfair.

Ok, those were actually rhetorical questions, but it didn’t seem you “accept” this problem, or what “one calls a problem”. But, happy to be wrong.



Same. Because if it’s about communication, it’s a one on one “chat”, not intended to be published. And also because it’s told not to scan the message side, I get the feeling it’s appreciated not to do then.

I would be surprised to join now, read the guidelines, and see the translation thread.


The tricky part of translation thread I noticed is just : it contradicts what’s written in community guidelines. Hence why I believe revising the community guidelines would be the easiest solution


  • It’s assumed that everyone has agreed with the guidelines when they use the platform
  • It’s written there that the it’s better to use English (so if someone writes their cards in a language that not everyone understands, they should also take the risk that the receiver could ask help on translation thread)
  • Maybe it should be added there to write in block letters are encouraged as cursive letters are taught differently/ or maybe not even taught in some places

To me it’s more like , control what you can control and community guidelines can be updated this way

You don’t like your message content being asked in public forum? Then maybe

  • write in English
  • write clearly with block letters

You concern about your privacy?

  • don’t write personal informations
  • use PO Box

For example.

Sure there’s an exception sometime if reciever’s English isn’t good , but I think this is a very small minority. Also online translator works okay most of the time

And yes one is fine to assume so, but maybe it does hurt the receiver when they don’t understand the message written for them. This assumption is ok too, right? Sure, the receiver can message the sender privately after they have the card registered. But will they get answers? I assume not always because in other thread I read sometime, many users don’t check their emails regularly, and some don’t even bother to reply the question (everyone’s different). Thus I understand why the translation thread is made because it provides easier solution (although we know the contradiction of it and guidelines has to be fixed)

Maybe it’s okay too to assume that majority of postcrossing users don’t care about the forum and what’s going on here (judging about how many people actually show up here), you can even notice on how many people would like to participate in discussion/suggestion thread like this :joy:, which makes me think maybe the majority of postcrossing users don’t care about the translation thread

Also about communication, it’s tbh hard to communicate when someone doesn’t understand and can’t figure out about the message

My suggestion for this stays the same : update the community guidelines that can accommodate users both in forum and official site for the easiest fluid solution (especially about this current issue : translation thread)

BTW translation thread also exist in few forum’s geographical & language section~ so I think it will be extra work to delete the thread (if it’s accepted) or to moderate. Not to mention that moderators aren’t many and several geographical & language section gets less attention (not that they have translation thread either)


I think it’s two different things.

I’d vote for keeping translation topic (maybe with a better introduction including not showing ID of the card). But adding it to the guidelines is another point, personally I don’t have a preference here as it didn’t bothers me, but I can understand this argument.

I’d suggest to make it two questions with 3 options each (yes, no, I don’t mind)

Thanks for writing in @catchycat . Let me see if I understand you correctly.

As with revising the community guidelines,


  • Community guidelines reflect current activities on the forum
  • Easy to explain on the main site
  • Easy to get a translation/transcription


  • Difficult to moderate the content of postcard writings in English as well as non-English languages (than to ban posting since the latter doesn’t require knowing foreign languages)

While for me, it’s

  • Community guidelines reflect current activities on the forum (applicable to entire Postcrossing community)
  • Easy to get a translation/transcription (a few people)


  • Difficult to explain on the main site (entire Postcrossing)
  • Difficult to moderate the content of postcard writings in English as well as non-English languages (than to ban posting since the latter doesn’t require knowing foreign languages) (moderators and volunteers)

In my opinion, the sender who wrote the message is the most vulnerable party in this case. So I tend to prioritize them. As I’ve mentioned above, this boils down to the core concept of Postcrossing. I don’t want to see it morph into something like a live feed.

It relates to the principle similar to presumption of innocence. Assume the sender wants the written postcard to be kept private. The burden of proof is on the receiver: to seek consent. If it’s not obtainable, so be it. Move on to next postcard exchange.

They can ask the sender.
Which is good also because maybe the sender at this point notices they should use either language the receiver understands, if not English, or they can try to write more clearly, if possible.


Recently there was a message written in block letters published. And to me it was clear block letters.

Sometimes name already is :frowning: of course one can not sign.
Also, PO boxes aren’t available in all countries, for example in Finland.

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I agree, that’s why I think the community guidelines can be revised so they know that they won’t be in vulnerable position (as it will be revised there’s translation thread in the forum and receiver might post the message there if they don’t understand). Ofc with rules that some parts should be blurred

I don’t get the vulnerability here since I think like my post before, it’s better to control what you can control. I don’t understand what’s the vulnerability of generic messages without personal information written on the card when it’s shown in translation thread especially when users in general probably won’t even check it out if they don’t have issues. However, this is purely my opinion

Ideally the consent should be asked. But it’s often not applicable because the conditions I’ve mentioned in my previous post : sender doesn’t open email regularly, or maybe forget what they write there etc~

So of course people who are active in the forum (small number) and find out the translation thread normally would provide easier help there than “bothering” the sender to ask about the message or to ask about the consent (which is assumed will get longer time to notice). Thus why, back to your suggestion before that I agreed with, revising the guidelines will be practical and easier and let the translation thread as it is now (but perhaps delete the language community based translation tag since maybe they’re often go unnoticed by moderators)

Hi, I haven’t checked the current post there but I’ve encountered this post :sweat_smile: , I find it weird too! But maybe individual ability to decrypt written messages are different. Other assumption… Maybe they’re just lazy LOL (but ofc this is rude to assume)

Thank you for telling! I didn’t know about it, pardon my ignorance. ( I often draw P.O Box addresses so I assumed that it’s a thing in majority countries)

Also about name, I think if it’s only nickname or first name it won’t expose much privacy about the sender that’s concerning enough? Unless maybe that person live in a small village with only 10 villagers?
Even sometime some accounts in official site write personal things (like hi I’m XXXX 29, married, have 2 kids and live in YYY, I work as BBBB…). Imo, more vulnerable to creep attack since the official site gets more exposure than translation thread in forum. I know it’s different case but I hope you get my point

But then again, I’ve said it before, my naïve self doesnt believe that in general postcrossing users (especially in the forum) have ill intention to harm someone from postcard someone’s get and uploaded in translation thread. Maybe older members who’ve been in this platform can say more about whether they’ve experienced creepy stalker moment :sweat_smile:, and how often it is :sweat_smile: (but better not because sometime we can write too much lol and it’s OOT)


I think this too sometimes, or that they just see it easier to ask someone here write it to the screen, and they then copy to the translator.

Actually I’m not worried or thinking that any postcrosser would misuse the information muchly. I’m worried of the ones with a stalker, identity thefts, a lunatic ex etc., not giving them any material by accident. So it’s kind of a safety habit to learn not to publish everything just because one can do so.
(I think it’s every 6th woman have had a stalker, so it’s not a rare concern.)

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I’ve added it to the OP as an alternative which is my personal take. Simply put, I prefer Postcrossing Privata to Postcrossing Publica.

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Totally agree. There are so many users on the site, but not on the forum here. People post back sides of the cards in other social medias every now and then (I even run into a youtuber who reads the messages in his videos). And this happens way more often then here on the forum. So changing the way this thread works won’t make Postcossing more private.
I’m sorry, I fail to see a way to prevent back side of the card from being posted anywhere.
Maybe you could print special stickers with clear words “Please don’t share my text with anybody” and put them on your cards. I think that would help better.


I see. This is Alternative 2 in the OP. To clarify, individual posting behavior is secondary to the system or the core concept of Postcrossing in the discussion here. Of course, it’d be interesting to see detailed analysis of the absorption effect but it won’t eliminate the structural problem identified here (again, see Recommended measure and Alternative 2 in OP).

The proposed measure is not meant to change or police everybody’s behavior but is intended to restore Postcrossing to a form closer to its inception (which I tend to believe matches @admins’ original concept). No need for Postcrossing to mimic other social media. With this said, I do there may be a market for two versions of Postcrossing: Postcrossing Privata and Postcrossing Publica. In the latter, everything is meant for posting online. For example, the sender can broadcast their written postcard immediately. The actual mailing is only an afterthought. Or it’s no longer addressed to an individual but a chat group instead. You get an address of a group and write a postcard to them and vice versa — a many-to-many model.

As I believe the Postcrossing we have now is private by default, I don’t think the translation thread in its current form is warranted to break an important guideline. Just because someone is breaking the law doesn’t mean that the law is pointless.

Postcrossing may acknowledge the potential inconsiderate publishing of postcard writings elsewhere but declares that it does not allow it within Postcrossing.

I do hope Postcrossing here can be kept as Postcrossing Privata as best as possible. Also, I would love to see yet another new postcard exchange site launched where writings are published by default.

Okay have I missed something?

You’re upset that people post the backs here in the forums - where admins can delete them if required due to personal information - but don’t care if someone posts the backs elsewhere?

What exactly has happened that has made you so convinced the translation topic is such a huge problem?


To clarify, I said posting outside of Postcrossing is a secondary concern because it is less relevant to the measure that I’m pushing for. I’m not okay with that at all but that’s something out of Postcrossing’s control. If there is any discrepancy in my posts, my OP takes precedence.