I am part of the community management team at Autodesk. We’ve had an online community for a couple decades now. Most of our forums are in English and get the majority of the traffic worldwide. We also have a non Engl section with 8 other languages, each having their own community management and separate boards.
According to our research, the visits TO the English boards coming FROM non Engl speaking countries represent a significant proportion of the total.
In order to facilitate the consumption of English content by non Engl native speakers, we are considering putting a widget of sorts on the threads that would allow members to read in their own language. It is not necessarily a tool to search for content in a language other than English, nor would it be to facilitate posting by non Engl native (at least I don’t think so).
We already do a significant amount of business worldwide with many localized product and have a vast database of specialized words that would be fed into the process. But this would remain machine translated content - with the appropriate expectations, especially considering a “community conversational” type of English.
Does anyone have an experience with this approach? Any studies to point to? Positive of not so positive?