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There are a fair number of questions which are fine content-wise, but which suffer from poor presenta­tion due to the poster's lack of command of English. Such questions may seem obscure or downright non-sensical to an impatient reader, but to a fellow native speaker the mistakes and intended meaning are perfectly obvious.

Perhaps it would make sense to solicit specific editing help from fellow native speakers? This could con­sist of a tag saying something like "edit-from:arabic" or so, and anyone familiar with typical beginner's mis­takes in English of native Arabic speakers would be able to bring out the intended meaning, and remove the tag in the edit. As an extra feature, users could register themselves as "bilingual" and get alerted about appropriate edit requests.

What do you think?

  • Are you proposing that people post questions in non-English languages? If not, then why would it matter what language they speak naively; either it's understandable enough for a good English speaker with any background to fix, or it's not understandable enough for anyone to fix. – Servy Oct 21 '13 at 19:25
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    @Servy no, I think he means English language posts that contain errors typical to a certain non-English language – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Oct 21 '13 at 19:25
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    @Servy: Not at all. I'm proposing that someone who knows their struggling annotate their own (English) post with a "help me I'm foreign" tag, so that their post can be improved. – Kerrek SB Oct 21 '13 at 19:26
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  • @perhapsPekka That's what I thought as well, but he's talking about tagging it with a specific language that it's coming from, which wouldn't really make sense if that's the case. – Servy Oct 21 '13 at 19:26
  • @HugoDozois: Ah, nice - I looked around a bit but didn't see those. Thanks! – Kerrek SB Oct 21 '13 at 19:27
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    This suggestion is well meant, but I doubt how practical it is going to be. It sounds like a lot of complication for relatively little gain - if a post is salvageable, it usually is somewhat readable to anybody taking the time to read, no matter what their native language. What might work is a generic "help I need language help" flag of some sort but you'd probably end up being called to help to tons of garbage help need codez thx questions where language isn't the primary problem at all. – Pekka supports GoFundMonica Oct 21 '13 at 19:27
  • @perhapsPekka: A flag wouldn't be visible to normal users. And I'm thinking of a targeted solution where the OP's native language can be taken into consideration, which may provide an important heuristic for improving the text... – Kerrek SB Oct 21 '13 at 19:30
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    There could be a queue for it... – Josh Crozier Oct 21 '13 at 19:36
  • @KerrekSB There are various proposal of Stack Overflow in different languages that are already in Commitment phase on Area51 – Walker Oct 21 '13 at 23:58
  • @PreciousTijesunimi: That's very different. Separating sites by language separates the communities and doesn't allow for cross-communication... – Kerrek SB Oct 22 '13 at 0:03
  • @KerrekSB Okay. – Walker Oct 22 '13 at 0:05