I have the Russian Stack Overflow request open in a another tab, and this seems to me foolhardy because then it sets a precedence for creating a Stack Overflow or Server Fault or Super User in Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, etc.

It seems much simpler to me if a subsystem were created for each language on each site:

  • Upon registering, users specify their primary language and secondary languages that they speak, or just a list of languages they speak (primary/secondary has the benefit of putting the website in the language of the primary).
  • The languages supported would be either added incrementally to every site, or added to each site on request.
  • Questions can be asked in any language, but the user must specify what language that question is in.
  • Question feeds will only show languages that the user has set in his or her account settings. Questions in other languages will be on the site, but never seen by people who do not speak the language.
  • 2
    Quick Question: How will the mods moderate questions in languages that they don't understand? – Mysticial Mar 3 '13 at 2:46
  • That's why my second bullet point gives two options. Based on your input, languages should be added to sites only on request (i.e. there is someone who speaks that language who can moderate). – NobleUplift Mar 3 '13 at 2:56
  • What if that specific moderator is asleep, or on vacation, or even quits? Should we remove questions in, say, Italian if nobody can moderate those any longer? – Bo Persson Mar 3 '13 at 7:15
  • By 'someone', I did not mean a single person. I meant "some group of people", but for brevity I said 'someone'. There would have to be a large enough audience for that language, possibly proven through chat, to warrant support of that language. – NobleUplift Mar 5 '13 at 3:47

Of course, it might bring people who don't speak english to the site, but it would only encourage everyone to ask questions in their native language.

I fear that it might lead to simple questions being asked in every language, so the site would get increasingly fragmented.

Another point against it would be flagging as duplicates, as some people would find the duplicated questions (because they selected those 2 languages), whereas others wouldn't.

  • No, because as I said in my third bullet point, there would be an option of some sort asking the user to specify what language his or her question is in, and it would default to English. – NobleUplift Mar 5 '13 at 3:38
  • If a Stack Overflow in Russian were created, wouldn't it already have questions duplicated from the main Stack Overflow? And if a question is unreadable to someone, is it truly a duplicate question to post it in his or her language? – NobleUplift Mar 5 '13 at 3:52
  • Part of the infrastructure might have to include not only asking questions in a certain language, but answering a question in different languages. Or, instead of marking a question as duplicate, it should say, "This question is also in Spanish. Esta cuestión también está en español." – NobleUplift Mar 5 '13 at 3:55

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