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I want to propose for a Persian version of Super User (I will explain why later) so I want to create a proposal in Area 51, but this means non-English question and answers, Is this OK?

P.S: This may be a question for other non-English proposals too.

Update: The main question is: How can non-English site proposals pass the Commitment phase? How can the English community support non-English proposals?

You can find some information in Joel's blog post about the Stack Exchange 2.0 Site Creation Process (specially Commitment phase):

How does this thermometer work?

Intuitively, if Jon Skeet says that he’ll participate in the Sock Puppet Stack Exchange, that commitment is a better sign that the site will succeed than if we get a commitment from a random Internet user who has never participated in Stack Overflow. Sure, they’re both wonderful people, I’m sure, but Jon Skeet has proven that he likes to participate in Stack Overflow so it’s a good bet that he’ll participate in SockExchange, too.

.... we’re going to require a selection of existing users with certain badges and reputation that proves that they’ll participate. For instance (and I’m making these numbers up), we might require that a site get at least 100 commitments from people with the Teacher badge, at least 20 from people with the Enthusiast badge, and at least 50 from people with a reputation of 1000 or more on some of our sites.

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Here is my proposal: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/2912/… –  Hameds Jun 3 '10 at 14:15
Kind of a duplicate? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/62694/… –  Wikis Sep 23 '10 at 20:23
Downvoted because splitting the community by language would be a terrible idea. In particular for SuperUser, users are more likely to understand enough English anyway. Note: I'm not a native English speak either, but I realized that learning English will open doors to tremendous amounts of information. Insisting on communicating in my pet language would have been terribly shortsighted. –  Dan Dascalescu Mar 3 at 9:28
@DanDascalescu, if you want to call your own language as "pet language", ok. But, please, beware of the BRICS :P –  brasofilo May 13 at 14:04
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4 Answers 4

up vote 31 down vote accepted

Our mission is to make the Internet a better place to get expert answers to your questions. Nothing about that mission says the questions have to be in English. It is our long term goal to make the Stack Exchange Network a great, planetary resource for all the world's citizens no matter what language they speak.

Right now, on Area 51, it is OK to propose new sites in other languages. However, remember that right now the language of Area 51 itself is English, so the title of your proposal should be in English, and your proposal should include the language in which the site will be conducted. For example:

  • Cooking (in French)
  • Programming (in Russian)
  • Reindeer (in Norwegian)

The sample questions and comments can be in your own language.

Sites in other languages will be able to go through the definition and commit phase.

Any non-English sites that make it through the commit phase may spend some time in temporary limbo, while we gear up to support it. We don't yet have a localizable user interface, we don't necessarily speak your language, and we haven't debugged things like bidi issues yet. We really want to watch the first batch of new sites closely so we prefer that those sites all be in English. However we are committed to support sites in other languages just as soon as we're confident that the site creation process is working fine.

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Isn't the Reindeer site in Icelandic? –  Andrew Grimm Oct 1 '10 at 15:44
For Area 51, it would be much better to write proposal names both in English and the target language. That way they could be read by both English-speaking Area 51 natives and the target-language-speaking audience (who don't necessarily speak English). For example: "Software Development (in Spanish) / Desarollo de Software (en Español)" –  krubo Jul 3 '11 at 4:30
the problem with non-English website is that it can clutter the hot questions feed for English-only speaker –  Louis Rhys Aug 22 '11 at 4:22
Does any non-English site go to beta yet? it is 2 years now since this question was asked and if it takes that long and no non-English site are live yet, then I can decide if I should still try to propose one. –  Kulawat The Eidos Dec 15 '12 at 1:33
@AndrewGrimm Certainly not. there are no reindeer on Iceland. It could be in Northern Sami, though. –  gerrit Jan 15 '13 at 17:54
@gerrit it was meant to be a reference to the always Friday in Iceland meme. –  Andrew Grimm Jan 15 '13 at 21:41
@Kulawat The Eidos, now has, see culture category. –  doraemonpaul Mar 2 at 3:23
The Internet isn't a better place thanks to the diversity of language; on the contrary, it unites people of vastly different backgrounds using a common language, and like it or not, that language is English. –  Dan Dascalescu Mar 3 at 9:29
Should Area51 discussions (like this one) also be in English? I can't decide whether that falls under Area51, the proposal itself, or somewhere in between. –  Dukeling May 5 at 12:48
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Main problem is How will you attract that to non-native people to follow your proposals, and vote questions. IMHO.

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Good point,I read area51 faq: "The creation of Stack Exchange sites is a democratic, community-driven process. That does not mean the majority of Area 51 users have to love your site idea. It simply means you have to recruit a community of users large enough so that questions get good answers quickly" so for example there are more than 70 million people who speak Persian (as native language), this number for French is more than 128 million, so basically I want to know if we can build non-English community for no-English Q&A proposal in planet51 is there any way to get full membership of SE? –  Hameds Jun 3 '10 at 11:35
@Hameds, this is the whole problem with area51 at present, you have to build a target community out of the SOFU users who have made it onto meta, and from there to area51, and who are also interested in your proposed site. Looking at the top followed proposals right now, there is a strong bias to geekdom. –  Benjol Jun 3 '10 at 11:54
The wordpress proposal got through the first phase so quickly because we got wordpress users from the WP-Hackers list to help with the proposal. It is really simple. –  Arlen Beiler Jun 3 '10 at 14:28
@Arlen I agree non-English sites maybe have slow growth rate but eventually they can pass phases. –  Hameds Jun 3 '10 at 17:52
@Arlen: You "got through it" too quickly. There's too much confusion over what the proposed site is, and isn't. –  Gnome Jun 3 '10 at 18:20
@benjol: Looking at the top followed proposals right now, there is a strong bias to geekdom you day that as if it were a bad thing. –  perbert Jun 3 '10 at 20:53
@voyager, well, if the aim of SE is to break out of the SOFU ghetto... –  Benjol Jun 4 '10 at 6:59
I am obviously all in favour of other languages, but I think that it is quite reasonable that all sites have a set of core users that are able and willing to interact in English. –  Phira May 25 '11 at 5:11
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If you have a Persian proposal, you at least need to have the site title and description in English.

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As you can see my proposal have English title and description but question and answers are in Persian. area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/2912/… –  Hameds Jun 3 '10 at 16:11
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I suggest to put an English translation of the question into the comments. Then people who do not know Persian can also vote, if they want to support your proposal (premised you want their support :).

Google Translate is only partly helpful. I tried it, but I couldn't figure out all questions.

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Google translator can't help us in this case, we need to translate questions, but I'm not sure how English community support non-English site proposals? –  Hameds Jun 4 '10 at 7:36
@Hameds: Well, they can vote if it's off- or on-topic. I don't think that Iranis have different IT problems than the rest of the world :) –  Ladybug Killer Jun 4 '10 at 14:34
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