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Since the Stack Exchange Network is an English-only website, it is not completely accessible to speakers of other languages, except through machine translation (which gives only partially accurate results). In the future, will the Stack Exchange Network be made accessible to users who are not fluent in English?

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@Anna I don't know if I should be excited or disappointed. Does that mean that the Turkish site (and future sites reaching 100% commitment score) may stay on hold forever? –  bfavaretto Sep 21 '12 at 4:23
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@bfavaretto Hopefully not! Seriously, we are working on it, but it is a hard problem to solve and do it right, so I don't want to accidentally make any promises we might not be able to uphold. I'd personally go with "excited". –  Anna Lear Sep 21 '12 at 4:24
    
@Anna I understand, and will follow your advice! I know it's a hard problem, if there's anything the community can do to help, please let us know. –  bfavaretto Sep 21 '12 at 4:32
    
@bfavaretto We sure will. :) –  Anna Lear Sep 21 '12 at 4:56
    
I think it is a horrible idea that only fracture community. I, for example, will have to waste time to search for answer (and potentially to merge pieces of them in mind) on English, Russian and Japanese, just because some lazy people didn't bother to acquire basic skills in de-facto standard language of industry. –  Oleg V. Volkov Sep 21 '12 at 10:16
    
Additionally, it defeats entire "Q/A for other users to come" purpose. Any question answered on obscure language site is complete waste for anyone who don't know this language (and let's face it, in programming pretty much anything non-English counts as "obscure", even Chinese). –  Oleg V. Volkov Sep 21 '12 at 10:18

1 Answer 1

up vote 6 down vote accepted

There are proposals on Area 51 for sites in other languages, like:

...and many others, including Super User in other languages, as well as sites on topics other than programming and technology. You can commit to any of those proposals, or even propose your own. It's the way Stack Exchange decided to deal with proposals of localization of existing sites, they should go through the regular Area 51 process (definition, commitment, beta, launch).

It's been suggested that language specific Area 51 sites use URLs like the ones you mentioned in the comments, like de.stackoverflow.com. And it is necessary to translate the UI too, and Stack Exchange is working on localization features for the engine. The Turkish SO site already reached the required commitment score for the beta stage, and is just waiting for some of those features to be available, so I guess we're close.

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I was actually referring to multi-lingual localization of specific Stack Exchange websites such as superuser, askubuntu, etc. –  Anderson Green Sep 21 '12 at 3:39
    
You mean actually translating all questions and answers? I think that's just not feasible (at least for Stack Overflow). –  bfavaretto Sep 21 '12 at 3:41
    
I was thinking of something more along the lines of language-specific tags for each question (like "english-question"). –  Anderson Green Sep 21 '12 at 3:44
    
Then only English-language questions would be visible on en.stackoverflow.com, only German-language questions on de.stackoverflow.com, etc. –  Anderson Green Sep 21 '12 at 3:45
    
Of course, translating each individual question is out of the question! –  Anderson Green Sep 21 '12 at 3:46
    
It's been suggested that language specific Area 51 sites use urls like the ones you mentioned. If you translate the UI too (which is necessary, and I heard Stack Exchange is working localization features for the engine), how would that be different than having separate sites? –  bfavaretto Sep 21 '12 at 3:55
    
I think that would be a good solution to the problem. –  Anderson Green Sep 21 '12 at 3:56
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I just saw a couple of example question from my native tongue and I am very unfamiliarized with the code terminology... I believe many will have the same problem as some of us learn programming by ourselves online, and since the best tutorials are written in English, we end up not knowing how to translate stuff to our own language. I feel very disappointed I won't be able to contribute much to the Spanish site (strangely, as a result of a language barrier from my main language) –  ajax333221 Sep 21 '12 at 4:54

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