There are some topics that are specific to certain regions. For instance; in Brazil there is a specific technology called "Nota Fiscal EletrĂ´nica NFe" (something like electronic invoice), which is regulated by the government. I'm sure there are quite a few technical questions about it.

I enjoy Stackoverflow and I'm sure there are plenty of Brazilian programmers here. I think there is no need to discuss NFe related topics in English, as it would be of no use to English speaking non-Brazilians.

In short, I'd like to talk specific subjects in Portuguese here, without violating the rules. Any ideas for how this can be achieved?

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    Stack Overflow in Portuguese seems somewhat related as far as having the discussion in non-English is concerned. Note that I'm not at all knowledgeable about the difference between pt-BR and pt-PT. – Jeroen Jun 21 '12 at 15:28

I have made comments Mike Stone and Mendelt's posts, here are my thoughts:

  • This is primarily an English speaking forum.
  • I do not speak a second language (yes the ignorant Englishman that I am). Therefore I would want to be able to filter posts in other languages.
  • I do not think people posting in other languages should be downvoted. Rather, politely reminded that this currently (may change?) an English speaking forum and to either update or delete.
  • If nothing comes of the above, then a mod should close to clean up.

While I do not speak a second language, I feel quite strongly that we should NOT EXPECT everyone to speak English - rules are rules, and should be upheld (i.e. delete non-English posts) but we should not hold anything against non-English speakers and downvote them.

An auto-translation engine may be nice, but one of the toughest things in software is communication of needs, I wonder how well an online translation tool would really work :S

Just had a brain wave, if a language other than English is used, then why not put the culture string in the title, that would make it easier for us to see as contributors, and possibly open up the abiltiy for Jeff to chuck in the results of a Google Translate on the fly..

e.g. (note this is courtesy of an online translator)

[de-DE] Wie ich kann, hallo Welt sagen?

Hallo, Wie ich kann, hallo Welt sagen? (auf c#)

Auto Translated from German

Title: How Can I Say Hello World?

Body: Hi, How can I say hello world? in c#?

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    Tagging questions strikes me as a great idea. Auto-translating would be even better. But this would really take flight if bilingual users were active in editing non-English posts. With Google doing the rough translation, a human editor could fairly quickly correct problems. +1 – Jon Ericson Sep 23 '08 at 16:37

I guess questions in languages other than english will get voted down quickly. One of the goals of stackoverflow is to create a repository of knowledge that's usefull for as many people as possible.

I see no reason you can't just ask these questions in english. This might be useful for non-brazilians working on systems in your country.

Edit I normally dislike telling other people what they are allowed to do on a site like this. Right now there's no good way to filter out content in languages you can't read, therefore it's just as important to write in a common language as it is to stay on-topic.

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    I agree with you here Mendelt, it's all about the majority, we need to make sure the site is accessible for as many users as possible, English is the de facto language for most geek forums :) – Rob Cooper Sep 22 '08 at 18:22

I would suggest simply asking the question and adding appropriate tags.

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There was a recent incident where someone posted a question in spanish... and it got a lot of immediate downvotes because of it. I find that kind of result disturbing, but it exists, so you should be aware of it.

That said, I think it would be neat if stackoverflow had a built in translation system (mashup of google translation tools), which would automatically translate questions and answers. That way, english speakers who are so rude as to downvote because they don't understand the question can at least see the question and realize it is valid and then not act on it, letting someone who knows the technology act on it.

I think such a system would allow more people to be involved in the community and benefit eachother across language barriers... a lot more useful than if we segregated things like pt.stackoverflow.com for Portuguese speakers.

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    I agree Mike, I dont think people should be smashed for it, at worst, "Please post in English and closed" (I would probably run it through translate and update the post personally) - However, in either case we may well have the problem that the poster cannot read answers :S – Rob Cooper Sep 22 '08 at 18:23

Just discuss in English. Even if technology is regional, there always could be other non-Portuguese programmers working with it (say, on outsource) who could benefit from Q&A or just gain general programming wisdom from discussion.

Let's face it: in modern programming world English is prevalent and it is language of choice if you want to reach widest audience. Discussing in some other language automatically makes this information hardly usable to most future users (which, as I understand, is against of goals of SO), making question something akin to your private forum, not KB entry.

And don't even talk about automatic translation. It sucks and errors are unacceptable when you need precise information, as you usually do with programming.

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I'd say post in your language of choice. Assuming the Stack Overflow is working as a it ought, someone will add a translation either as an edit to the question or as an answer. I don't see why language agnostic shouldn't refer to human languages!

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