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In my experience, there don't seem to be many Japanese people on Stack Overflow, at least for questions about the programming language Ruby.

I'm aware of some users who are Japanese but have worked in English-speaking countries. I'm also aware of expats from English-speaking countries who are working in Japan using Stack Oveflow. But two Japanese programmers who live in Japan that I recruited to Stack Exchange haven't used Stack Overflow.

Is this because Stack Overflow is not well-known in Japan with Japanese people? Or are they aware of the site, but have chosen to not actively participate in it?

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closed as off-topic by Martijn Pieters, Danubian Sailor, Stijn, nicael, Shadow Wizard Oct 7 '14 at 11:24

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East Asia is generally underrepresented. Working for a Japanese multinational, I can attest to the language barrier. – Uphill Luge Feb 13 '13 at 22:55
@MarJamRobless Expats is a different word to "experts". – Andrew Grimm Feb 13 '13 at 23:00
I just realized this question. Actually, I have had the same question. It is probably a special case of the mysterious Galapagos effect observed in various fields in Japan. – sawa May 7 '13 at 10:34
@sawa thanks for that link! I've noticed the phenomenon, but I've never had a name to put to it. – Andrew Grimm May 7 '13 at 11:21
@UphillLuge I do not agree with your generally underrepresented, as far as language barrier for Asians (may be for japanese) still do not agree. – user233952 Oct 11 '13 at 10:50
@SurajSingh I don't think "East Asia" includes countries like India, Pakistan or Bangladesh. – Andrew Grimm Oct 11 '13 at 11:00
Speaking as a native Korean, I can attest that stack overflow is not particularly well known to Koreans either. The biggest issue is the language barrier: stack overflow has grown large enough that programmers here have at least heard of the site but most of them don't have a good enough writing skills to ask/answer questions here. I'm hazarding a guess that it's not that different for Japan as well. – l46kok Oct 11 '13 at 11:33
Another problem I see is that the culture of Stack Overflow is not that tolerant of poorly written English. Many people would downvote/close the question even if the question is legit and salvageable, so this further discourages non-native English speakers from participating in Stack Overflow. – l46kok Oct 11 '13 at 11:40

StackOverflow seems to be used often by Japanese programmers. However, almost none of them will write or vote on the site. It is because most Japanese can read English, but are not good at writing English.

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That's an interesting point. I think that's what's keeping many other non-English nationalities away from actively participating in SO as well. – Pëkka Nov 2 '13 at 5:12
I second that. My colleagues often reference to answers from StackOverflow, but none have created an account. They use similar QA sites like or In other news, the Stack Overflow in Japanese proposal has been deleted:… – Nicolas Raoul Dec 10 '14 at 4:08
@akazah, How good is the average English reading comprehension of an adult (18 yr old)? Also, regarding writing, why is it that the participation at is quite "bad" even after one year? Was it due to competitors like Qiita? – Pacerier Aug 22 '15 at 11:34
@Pacerier, Average Japanese programmers do not write English articles and rarely read them on the job. (Qiita is not QA site. it is a place where programmers post their articles about tech.) – akazah Aug 28 '15 at 5:48
@akazah, Which are the QA sites in Japan? – Pacerier Aug 28 '15 at 13:58
@Pacerier, . However, I do not think this site is used by many programmers in Japan. Then I can say there is no major QA site for programmer in Japan. – akazah Aug 28 '15 at 15:16
@akazah,That's odd, seems like it's a business gap someone would fill very quickly. Hmm, so programmers there use English's stackoverflow too? – Pacerier Aug 30 '15 at 22:00
@Pacerier,It seems many Japanese programmers use Stackoverflow searching with error messages via Google just for getting code snippets. They do not join discussion of Stackoverflow.Some of them may do not know its site name "Stackoverflow" . – akazah Sep 1 '15 at 12:47

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