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I'm writing a 200 word essay for my sociology class regarding the effects that online communities have on society. And the essay has led me to an interesting question: How are communication barriers overcome on Stack Overflow? Are languages translated from one country to the next? In other words, if I ask a question on SO in English, can somebody else read and respond to that question in another country with their native language?

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

In other words, If I ask a question on SO in english, can somebody else read and respond to that question in another country with there native language?

Nope. SO is an English-only community.

Starting non-English branches has been discussed and is likely to happen at some point, but there are many challenges to the practical implementation, and it doesn't currently seem to be a priority at Stack Exchange (from what we can tell from the outside.)

Related discussion on Meta:

There have been some user attempts to get localized versions started through the Stack Exchange site seeding process. I don't know what came of them - they should be listed on Area 51 if they're still active.

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Just like Pekka, I am not a native English speaker. See who are answering here!

Working with computers, a lot of the good information and almost all programming languages are in English. Many of us are more used to that than to get the info in our respective native languages.

Another possible communication barrier is that some technical terms just don't exist in my native language (Swedish), so it is actually easier for me to have the discussion in English.

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Interesting point about the technical terms. – Andrew Barber Jan 22 '12 at 22:15

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