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Today I flagged an answer to this question by user 企业应用架构模式大师 who answered in what I assume is Chinese.

It seemed at least an attempt at an answer (and I'm sure in good faith, trying to be helpful), so instead of flagging "not an answer", I flagged "very low quality". I see now that this flag has been disputed (although the answer seems to have been removed). There was another answer which similarly at least partially isn't English.

How should these answers be flagged to be considered helpful?

Note: I did write a comment notifying the user that this is an English language site.

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Matt put in an English version of the answer. Perhaps the person who disputed it only saw that one. – Some Helpful Commenter Feb 17 '12 at 16:07
@ConradFrix Ah, that might explain it. – Bart Feb 17 '12 at 16:08
Is SO only available in English or is it possible that the site is translated into other languages in other countries? The reason I'm asking is that if the user read the question only in English, they would have most likely answered in English as they would understand English enough to read the question. – Zack Macomber Feb 17 '12 at 16:12
For as far as I know, SO is English only although I think there is a Chinese alternative. What's more, the answerer did ask a question himself in English. So at least he should be aware. – Bart Feb 17 '12 at 16:15
That's funny...those Chinese keyboards must be massive to allow for both Chinese and English characters... – Zack Macomber Feb 17 '12 at 16:19
Honestly, the second answer looks like it might have been copy-pasted from somewhere (a Chinese documentation), hence the lack of proper formatting and the Chinese characters mixed in. Edit: Confirmed – animuson Feb 17 '12 at 17:32
up vote 6 down vote accepted

That's interesting that it was disputed, because the translated answer (provided by Matt in a pre-delete edit to the answer) looks very low quality to me:

Yii is very scalable, any component can be extended through inheritance, events, behavior, and achieve the same functionality can be used in three different ways. It's great!

Though, to be fair, I don't even see how the question itself or any of the answers have any merit. The question seems to boil down to little more than:

Is Yii good? Should I use it?

Which I just don't see as a good fit for Stack Overflow. The OP comes close to a real question with that last bit:

And the ability to pick and choose when to use it or your own php?

That should really be elaborated and made the specific focus of the question, because that seems (at least to me) to be more specific and answerable with actual examples.

The second answer to which you link, regardless of the presence of a foreign language, just looks like noise to me. I can see where the user is trying to convey some information about where in the API to find a solution, but something seems to have gone horribly wrong when pasting that information into the answer.

In short, I'd say that both of those answers can equally be flagged as Very Low Quality or Not An Answer. Given that Stack Overflow is very much an English-only community, I'd argue that any answer given in a different language is by definition Not An Answer, since it contains no useful information in the language of the site.

For a useful reference, Bill the Lizard posted some information about how flags are generally seen by and processed by moderators. Given that information, you can always flag as Other and give an explanation of why you're flagging it. It might take longer to be seen by a moderator, but would at least provide more context.

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If you're feeling generous, you can put it through google translate and edit the translation into the post (fix the nonsense of the automatic translation that you can fix if you're feeling very generous) if it seems like a genuine attempt to help or a good enough question if it were in English.

If you're feeling less generous, flag as 'other' and let the mods deal with it, if it seems a good attempt in the wrong language. If you're confident it wouldn't stand up to scrutiny if translated well, flag as NaA, VLQ, whatever seems appropriate.

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If you do translate it yourself, please read it and make sure it makes sense afterwards, because automatic translators tend to create goober text that's hard to understand, which is just as bad. – animuson Feb 17 '12 at 17:27

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