Death of FLEFO / CompuServe Fremdsprachenforum endet

The FLEFO forum on Compuserve is dead. It’s been replaced by the Languages Forum, which is accessible to everyone without charge via a Web browser.

The migration to the new system was foreshadowed by the appearance of a Wizop, who removed some sections and renamed the Issues section Tower of Babel, a ridiculous title. There is also a chat section called, in the U.S. spelling, Coffee Klatch. You can read the section headed Announcements to see a little of the frustration so well expressed by Stephen Brown, a long-standing and multilingual FLEFO member, to the erstwhile blogger Derek Thornton:

bq. << It is abundantly clear that everything possible is being done to alienate those who were members of this forum before >>
That has been my impression, too. I feel as though I’ve returned home only to find someone else living in my house and wearing my clothes … and most of them don’t even have real names. Extremely unpleasant!

For those who are interested in an attempt to keep the community going, there is a FLEFO Yahoo group and also, although the latter has not got off the ground yet. These are both run by Carsten Kuckuk, a German programmer who was a member of FLEFO for some time.

I’m sorry FLEFO has gone. When I joined in 1994, there was no WWW and searching the Internet was not what it is today. The translators’ sections of FLEFO were erudite and helpful places. Still, with the development of the Internet, members have scattered and it long since ceased to be the place to find answers. But I didn’t expect its final demise to be irritating in quite this way.

3 thoughts on “Death of FLEFO / CompuServe Fremdsprachenforum endet

  1. It is extremely irritating and overloaded with rubbish and advertising Margaret. I couldn’t even find an Exit/Get me out of here button….


  2. Yes, sad indeed. I suppose I must have joined Flefo in 1992. Flefo really was *the* place to be back in the 90s. It was the only real online platform for translators, but as you say, the Internet basically killed it off.

    The quality of discussions was vastly superior to anything you get on Internet translator forums today, even if there were often some heated debates (mostly centering around Bernie…). But you certainly didn’t get smothered in the bottom-feeders that seem to be everywhere now. The simple *quality* of people on Flefo was often stupendous, and I think it made a crucial contribution to breaking down the isolation that was so common in the translator community. I also went to several of the Flocktails that were organised at ATA conferences (the last one was in St. Louis, I think).

    Sic transit gloria mundi…

    I won’t be returning to the trashy new Internet version.


  3. Sad indeed, and I mean that even if I haven’t been a member for a few years now.

    BTW the link is lacking its http:// and goes to a not found page on your site.

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