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I just came upon this non-English (Portuguese, according to Google Translate) answer.

Google Translate came up with an incomplete translation which, incidentally, mentioned the Lord of the Rings (!), so I am quite doubtful about its accuracy (either that, or the answer really did mention that). I will admit that I became quite frustrated at an answer that I could not understand, let alone comment on.

Although the poster of the question lives in Brazil, where Portuguese is the local language, the question itself was written in quite understandable English. From what I could tell, there is also an unofficial policy on SO and its sister sites about English being the preferred language.

Therefore I left a (hopefully polite enough) comment to the poster of the answer, indicating that they should consider translating the answer to English.

Should I have done something in addition or differently? Is there a policy, official or unofficial, on record for this?

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Sadly, the translation was accurate. He actually mentioned he was not going to test because he was going to watch the Lord of the Rings. –  Artefacto Jan 16 '11 at 2:16
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It's actually an official policy: Non-English Question Policy –  Michael Mrozek Jan 16 '11 at 3:26
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See the question in the FAQ on Is English Required on StackOverflow –  Jonathan Leffler Jan 16 '11 at 3:27
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1 Answer

up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm under the notion that the language requested is the answering language. Though I don't come across many bi-lingual questions, it would stand to reason (IMHO) that a french question gets a french answer (pardon the double entendre)

The only problem here though is do you mandate asking twice (one in your native language and once again in your version of an English translation), or do you let it go and worry about moderating/supervising it by others that also speak that language and English?

EDIT

To follow up, I don't know if it stands to reason and just tell those that aren't able to translate that they are not welcomed to the site. I can almost bet there is someone who can speak their language and can help, it just comes down to moderation and how much people want to "tolerate" non-English posts. (This probably gets more in-depth when you want to talk about a "stackexchange.com/fr/12345/how-do-i-ask-an-english-question" URL)

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