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Is English required on Stack Overflow?

Usually questions at SO are asked in English, and I thoroughly agree with English being encouraged since English is probably the most widely spoken and understood language in the world.

But I have seen that some questioners, (usually Hindi/Urdu and Chinese speakers), who are not that proficient in English. They try their best to explain themselves (and mostly fail badly) and sometimes even resort to posting a translated version of their question generated by something like Google Translate.

Most of these questions get closed as "Not a real question" etc. because frankly, not a sentence in them makes sense. But I have a feeling that if the questioners could explain their problem in their own language, it may turn out to be something quite sensible. Now, take a popular language such as Hindi, there are many users at SO and other stackexchange sites, who are familiar with Hindi, and can properly understand it.

Now if an OP was to ask a question in Hindi (or whatever language he speaks), or at least include a Hindi version of his question after the English version, a lot of other SO users who are familiar with the language may be able to answer it and solve the OP's problem.

So can the OP ask questions (or include a translate version of the question) written in a widely-spoken language other than English, which the OP is more familiar with?

  • Of interest: a proposal for user-improved standard translations on SO.
    – S.L. Barth
    Jan 11, 2012 at 14:43

1 Answer 1


Nope, sorry, not on Stack Overflow. Stack Overflow is an English language site and questions are expected to be answered in English.

If English isn't your first language, please don't be discouraged. Ask your question as best as you can, and be sure to include lots of details and code, so people realize it's a real question by a non-native English speaker. There's lots of helpful people who will help rewrite the question and correct spelling/grammar.

For more information, please see this FAQ entry.

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