There was already a meta-discussion about languages previously, but we didn't have a candidate before.

Now we have.

So: should we allow questions in English, that also contain the translation to the local language (in the example German), or should we edit them out, and only keep the English part.

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I'm fairly sure the SE wide policy is English only, until they made the Portuguese version of stackoverflow. We should close all non-English questions, and ones that have translations we should probably edit out, to prevent copy-cat questions. That's my view, happy to take other opinions though.

Stackoverflow blog post on the matter

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    While this might be true for technical sites, SE also has a few language related sites, which have different rules, so this might still be okay. I think the only required thing is that the mods/high rep users should speak the alternative language, and meta discussions have to be in English (or at least have English translations). On the other hand having some localized questions would potentally mean better SEO coverage – SztupY Jun 5 '14 at 14:48
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    “English only” is a rule for the original trilogy (Stack Overflow, Server Fault, Super User), but not necessarily for other sites. So far, only language sites (German Language, Japanese Language, French Language, …) have adopted a bilingual stance. It works there because there are enough bilingual people to run things; having a Babel tower of Chinese expats in Brazil who share no common language with Syrian expats in Russia would be hard to manage. – Gilles 'SO- stop being evil' Jun 9 '14 at 20:37
  • Well, obviously the language sites would be an exception. Agreed though - trying to handle every language on expats would be...tough. There are 12 languages spoken in 5+ countries, those alone would be difficult enough! – Mark Mayo Jun 9 '14 at 23:28

There's scattered precedence on Stack Overflow to translate questions asked in one language, while leaving the original in-tact.


Oinch Fe duble We jay mi lay dingleberry?

This is the translated version of the question, originally asked in TimPostuguese

You won't see it often, and it's done more as a utility for folks to spot problems with the translation itself than anything. It's also only done when others have run the post through Google translate (or just read it, knowing the language) then contributed valuable answers that received votes. Thus, it became a question and a state of a question that were equally worth preserving.

The stance should be that we entertain questions only in English, without totally closing the door to a few exceptions, but they really should be exceptional. Just translating the question isn't always helpful, as the question author might .. well .. not get much help out of English answers.

Your call, really - I just wanted to point out what had been done in the past.

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  1. We shouldn't actively pursue questions in other languages (but not expressly forbid them either)
  2. Allow the community who reads that language to determine if it's good enough to spend their time translating to English with an edit
  3. Allow the rest of the community to close it with the knowledge that if it's translated it can be reopened

Would a 薔薇 by any other name smell as 甘い?

A good question is a good question is a good question. We shouldn't get in the habit of punishing good questions just because it isn't in English. But we can't very well read them. We probably don't get many foreign-language questions for a reason (all our content and rules are in English), so I don't think that we need an express rule saying it's verboten.

Just a spoonful of edit makes the closing votes go down

Just because I can't read it doesn't mean one of you can't. And if you think it's a good question we should have, then who am I to stop you from editing it to make it in to a great English question? Like with this one, someone with a kind heart (and a few minutes to kill) can give us the best of both worlds: a good question in English

People fear close what they don't understand

For the rest of us, we don't have the first clue what it's saying. So we can just vote to close as Unclear What You're Asking or with a custom close reason (that we can link to Google translate for a translation for the asker who may not understand it). And if someone edits it, it will automatically be tossed in the reopen queue, so that we can again enjoy a good question in English.

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