I will translate: What will happen to questions that aren't in english?

What are the consequences for questions that aren't in English? Eventually there could be a storm of people that populate questions in other languages. What will be the policy on that?

And what happens with answers in a different Language?

Added the idea to the uservoice system of stackoverflow:

Suggestion 26304: Give users a possibility to translate questions and answers

please vote if you agree...


10 Answers 10

  • I don't think there are any programming questions that have a different answer in a different language.
  • There's nothing more frustating than seeing the question being answered in a language you do not understand. And all you have to work with is a bad Google translation.
  • I'm not a native English speaker, but currently English is the language most programmers (should) understand.

So, if we just stick with English, your question & answer will serve the largest audience.

The original question was, what to do with a question in a different language (as he pointed out to me). I think this question should be translated. Deleting looks wrong to me, since there is somebody out there, who really has this question.

  • Yes i know... but what if someone does post a question in a different language... I understand you want to ignore the question, but what is a solution for this problem?
    – Joepie
    Sep 17 '08 at 12:23
  • Thx, I've changed my response.
    – GvS
    Sep 17 '08 at 12:35

Personally, I would like to see all languages accepted, with per-user language filters. I wouldn't be able to help somebody asking a question in Thai, but you could probably turn on at least Dutch and English.

In fact, I'm going to go put that on uservoice now.

Looks like it's already been asked, and Jeff says "ask again in 3-6 months".


If writing correct English was the problem, I'd ask the question in bad English or in my native language and ask for help with the language. I'd bet 10 to 1 that someone will step in to help. Then, I'd improve the question, with thanks to the helper.

SO also aims to be a permanent information reference, so having a single language is important.


I don't remember reading anything in the FAQ specific to this, but look at youtube as an example. The site is swamped with videos in other lanugagues but that really does not affect the way I use it and that has not put my off the site.


Delete them. English isn't my first language, but I'd be annoyed by mixed languages, even if it were my native language. If you're a programmer and you're trying to improve, learning english should be the first task.

BTW: Please don't translate the UI, either. I hate websites that have a localized interface but english content. Adjusting for time zones might be nice, but not more.

Oh, and we're OT.


Easy... I just won't answer any questions in languages that I can't read. Just like I don't answer questions about programming languages I don't know. :)


You could attach a tag like 'nederlands' preferably written in the native language to solve the problem right now.


I don't think this will become a problem anytime soon - English has always been the language people used to communicate about programming.

  • Not anymore, I have seen lots of new programmers who lack the basic English skills. Sep 17 '08 at 12:24

Maybe you could mark it "Not English", and give a translation of the question by the user who marks it as "Not English"...

When the original creator of the question marks it as a valid English translation, this translation becomes the main title, and the translation is secundary...


I'm bilingual. I speak English and American :-)

Seriously, the success of Stackoverflow is that it is a one-stop place to come for information. Splitting it up into different language areas will dilute it.

I know it must be frustrating for those who do not have a good command of English but I think the overall benefits will be greater by having a common language. Just imagine turning on the Swahili filter and searching for a post on xyz.

Perhaps the questions and answers could be be given in the native language and English.

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