Somehow related (but not exactly) to Is it OK to translate and repost Stack Overflow questions/answers in different language?

Let's suppose I have a question in the following manner:

How do to x with y

Now, let's say a user is proficient with more than one language, in the current case, English and Portuguese (as of the time of writing, they are the public SO). Would it be wrong to crosspost on both SO and wait for anyone to answer?

Note that this is different than the linked question in the following way: we aren't purposely flooding a new SO with already asked questions by translation. Rather, we're allowing for good-written answers to appear, in different languages, at a natural pace.

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    I will flag this one for attention as there seems to be a discrepancy. Here the top answer is 'No, unless' but on the portuguese site the current top answer is 'Yes'. I suppose it is easy to deal with but should done so on short notice. Feb 14, 2014 at 13:31
  • Crossposting has been a sort of unresolved issue in SE because different people across the sites have adopted different stances about it. Have to admit though, that I didn't consider the Portuguese SO to have discussed this. Although even in that post and the one linked, different POV (somewhat related to translation issues) exist. Feb 14, 2014 at 22:23
  • Would be good to have a moderator/CM (or significantly stronger community) response to this question so we can integrate it into the general crossposting FAQ.
    – TylerH
    May 6, 2022 at 14:41

5 Answers 5


Would it be wrong to crosspost on both SO and wait for anyone to answer?

The whole reason cross posting is discouraged is it splits answers and comments between communities, however, the guideline was established when you had 2 sites with different but overlapping scopes, not 2 sites with identical scopes merely differing in the accepted language of the site.

Personally, I still don't think cross posting is the best option. Assuming you speak both languages well enough to translate, I think you should pick the site that think would give you the best answer, and ask it there.

If the question is really a good question and gets several good answers, then repost it in the other site. You can self answer with 1 or more of the good answers you already got, translated into the other language (preferably as CW and it must be attributed to the original poster based on the requirements of the CC license*). Then if either question gets additional good answers, you can add them in the future in the same manner. I think it will require some maintenance on your part, but I think it would be helpful to avoid problems of good questions being unavailable to users who don't speak the appropriate language.

* The attribution requirements are covered in https://stackoverflow.blog/2009/06/25/attribution-required/ and include the following as mentioned by Jeff Atwood

  1. Visually indicate that the content is from Stack Overflow or the Stack Exchange network in some way. It doesn’t have to be obnoxious; a discreet text blurb is fine.
  2. Hyperlink directly to the original question on the source site (e.g., http://stackoverflow.com/questions/12345)
  3. Show the author names for every question and answer
  4. Hyperlink each author name directly back to their user profile page on the source site (e.g., http://stackoverflow.com/users/12345/username)
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    "I think you should pick the site that think would give you the best answer, and ask it there." See, that's a problem right there. Both sites have the same thematic and, at first glance, should have the same skill-setted people behind it (with exceptions to some specific topics). If one goes by the number of active members, then the English SO would always be the go-to place, which wouldn't be beneficial to the network. Jan 31, 2014 at 17:14
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    @DoktoroReichard then pick the one you feel most comfortable with asking and translating responses. Not specifically directed at you, but in general, I don't want to endorse cross posting until the asker is sure the question is valuable. If someone cross posts a bad question on both sites, then you are forcing 2 different communities to clean up the same question. At least by testing it on 1 site, you give the community a chance to accept it, clean it up, and upvote it. Jan 31, 2014 at 17:18

The general answer to “Is it ok to cross-post between Stack Exchange sites?” is no. However, cross-posts between sites in different languages are different: in the end, a question asked and answered on multiple English sites doesn't help more people than if the question had been asked and answered on a single site, whereas a question asked and answered in two languages helps more people.

So rather than the general rule, I would apply something closer to the case of cross-posting between distinct sites. It's ok to do it, but:

  1. Mention it explicitly, and link the questions to each other.
  2. If you get a good answer on one side which doesn't have an equivalent on the other side, then copy the answer over — that is, post a translation of the other-language answer, with proper attribution.

The official standpoint is yes. Each non-English site has a Help Center article about this topic. Here is an attempt to translate the Spanish version:

Should I translate questions from English to Spanish?

Of course!

If you find a useful question on one of the Stack Exchange network sites (for example on the English Stack Overflow), which has not already been posted on the Spanish Stack Overflow and the question is valid as described in What topics can I ask about here?, please translate the question and the answer(s) into Spanish and post it on the site. Our manifesto is:

Create a world where, for any request to a search engine, the search results show the link to a detailed answer in Spanish.

The translations increase the knowledge available in Spanish and help thousands of colleagues to understand and solve problems currently limited by language.

What should I keep in mind when translating?

  • The author of the translations receives reputation. Translated questions are equivalent to self-answers. Please use this system to contribute to knowledge in Spanish on the site.

  • Don't forget to cite the source and the original publication. Thank the original author of the posts by adding a link to their post in the translation.

  • Take into account your own field of expertise. The best thing would be to translate those questions of which you already have knowledge of the subject. In this case, the translations will contain vocabulary specific to the field covered and will help when translating future answers, suggested edits, and comments.

  • Quality over quantity. Poorly translated posts, e.g. verbatim machine translations, can be closed and removed by the community like any other post.

  • Improvise. When translating, you can merge multiple answers into a single one, creating a canonical answer.


Gabe already covered that in his blog post:

As perguntas básicas – aquelas que um dia atormentaram todo programador – ainda não foram feitas. Você pode escrever a pergunta ou resposta definitiva, que vai ajudar dezenas de milhares de programadores no futuro. (Ah, e não se preocupe se a sua pergunta já está no site em inglês. Vocês vão construir um site justamente para que os desenvolvedores que falam português não precisem mais recorrer ao inglês para aprender coisas novas!)

Google Translate does a reasonable job converting that to English (makes you wonder):

The basic questions - those that once plagued every programmer - have not yet been made ​​. You can write a question or definitive answer that will help tens of thousands of programmers in the future. ( Oh, and do not worry if your question is already on the site in English. 'll Build you a website just for developers who speak Portuguese no longer need to use English to learn new things ! )

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    I don't think this really answers the question. I think this answer actually better addresses the other question that was asked earlier. The OP here is asking about cross-posting a new question to both sites, not asking duplicates that already existing on English SO. Jan 30, 2014 at 18:02
  • "Oh, and do not worry if your question is already on the site in English" seems quite clear to me. That the English version is a year old instead of 5 minutes old can't make any difference. Jan 30, 2014 at 18:31
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    I'm afraid I have to agree on psubsee2003 on this one. Gabe's statement doesn't quite clarify this particular nuance of the network. It just tells people not to worry if similar questions were asked (in English), which is not the same as crossposting, which is to ask the same question in different sites (and in this case, in different languages). Jan 30, 2014 at 18:37
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    @UphillLuge maybe we different on the idea of what cross posting is, but I see cross posting is the act of the same user posting the same question on multiple sites within the same timeframe. My interpretation of what Google is translating for Gabe is that you shouldn't worry about asking a question that was already asked and answered on SO. Maybe it is related to this question, but I don't think it really covers the same territory. Jan 30, 2014 at 19:02
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    @Josh, please take the idea and run with it, it's yours. Apr 4, 2015 at 20:31
  • All right, thanks; I'll see what I can do.
    – jscs
    Apr 5, 2015 at 8:35

The canonical Stack Overflow em Português answers to this question are:

The Help Center article: Posso traduzir perguntas/respostas de outros idiomas para o Português?

and the meta post: Posso fazer crosspost entre o SO em Inglês e o SO em Português?

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