Coming to a language near you!

In a movie theater near you, expect to soon see an explanation of MariaDB Server and MariaDB Foundation in your own language! That is, providing you speak one of the good dozen of languages we have frequently encountered in the MariaDB Server ecosystem.

English is a least common denominator

Like a majority of the MariaDB Server users, most of the developers behind MariaDB Server are non-native English speakers. We use Bad English as our lingua franca. Our pronunciation may be bearable to OK, but as with most techies, our understanding of written and spoken English is OK to good.

Picking the right language is a sign of respect

So why are we creating videos in languages other than English, if everybody understands English? Because we want to reach out to you. We want to connect with you. Anyone who has travelled to a foreign country knows that one will feel much more welcome, if one knows how to say “hello”, “please”, and “thank you” in the local language. It is a sign of respect.

The subsequent interaction is much different, when the foreigner starts by displaying a non-arrogant attitude – even if the locals quickly thereafter switch to a language understood by the foreigner.

We want a deeper interaction with our users across the world

This is the effect we’re after. We want to reach out to MariaDB Server users within various language communities, and in my role as CEO, I am your humble messenger. Growing up in Finland, I was born and raised a monolingual Swedish speaker, but have learned Finnish, English, and German at school, and French at university. Never afraid of making mistakes, I have made numerous attempts at speaking other languages, with varying degrees of success.

We pick Ukrainian first

Of the recordings, we are releasing Ukrainian first. No, it’s not the second biggest language amongst MariaDB users. The German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Japanese speakers will have to wait – these languages are recorded already, but will be released later.

First, we wanted to show that we care not just for the commercially most important languages. As MariaDB Foundation, we focus on the adoption, and quite a few developers and users of MariaDB Server have Ukrainian origins.

Second, we want to keep the expectations low, when it comes to delivery. If my Ukrainian is bearable, then other languages will likely be an improvement. It’s hard to speak Ukrainian!

Third, family reasons. My wife is Ukrainian, and I have made a speech in Ukrainian once before (see the video Виступ: Українська мета – наша мета! from 06:37 to 11:17), but I really should learn more and better.

Fourth, Ukrainian speakers deserve some positive, normal attention during these hard times for the Ukraine.

Our first ask: Please share locally!

Our request number one for each of the videos, once they are released, is for you to share them as you see fit. We don’t know enough about local MariaDB user forums, database forums, or general IT sites.

“Hey, now there is a short video (less than ten minutes) with an introduction to MariaDB Server. It’s recorded by the MariaDB Foundation, so it describes the database in their own words. And it’s in Ukrainian! You can now show it to your pointy-haired boss who claims to know English but doesn’t really understand it.” – or somesuch, and perhaps you find a more diplomatic way to refer to the language skills of some pointy-haired bosses.

Our second ask: Please give us feedback!

Our request number two is to get back to us and give us some feedback about what you think.

  1. Is it beneficial to have this video in your local language, and if so, how?
  2. What web resources in your local language should we be aware of? Include websites with URLs and a short description.
  3. What are the most important localisation measures of MariaDB Server that we should take?
  4. How should we better interact with your local MariaDB Server community?

In conclusion: Дякую!

In the meantime: Дякую – thank for your attention. And stay tuned, new languages will follow.