I already read Stack Overflow has released a Portuguese language beta version. So I would like to ask a question.

Why did Stack Overflow choose the Portuguese language over Chinese or other languages?


You may read this blog article: Can't we all be reasonable and speak English?

But why Portuguese?

To be clear, we still don’t think there needs to be a Stack Overflow in every language. We do want as much centralization as possible, and we know that devs who have mastered English will mostly keep going to the English site, since it has the most critical mass. Just like we want them to. So, you won’t need to learn new languages to find good answers – we expect almost every question asked on the Portuguese site to also be asked (and answered) on the English site.

We’re really only considering launching sites in languages that:

  • Have large, strong communities of high-talent developers, where
  • A meaningful percent of them aren’t comfortable enough to participate in an English-only community

That probably limits the list of potential candidates to Mandarin, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, and Spanish. From there, Portuguese was a no-brainer. The developer community in Brazil is awesome, and growing fast. And we wanted to start with a language with a similar alphabet, to minimize the localization work.


And so far, it’s an incredible success. Despite an audience limited to portuguese-speaking devs, the site’s activity in its first week was higher than all but 4 out of 120 sites we’ve launched to date, including the original trilogy.

More importantly, people who couldn’t ask questions are asking them, and getting great answers. When in doubt, we want to err on the side of helping more people. If just one little girl in Brazil sticks with programming because an answer on this site helped her finish her first project, well… that’s not good enough! I want to help thousands of them. And the boys, too.

Still, it’s a good start.


It is not SO, it is the community. Area 51 is almost completely driven by community, they choose what site to create, they follow and commit. Then SE's role comes after all of that, they create the site once the proposal reaches a certain criteria.

If one day we have more Klingon speakers, do not be surprised if someone proposed a "Stackoverflow in Klingon".

  • 3
    That's not 100% accurate, in case of localized Stack Overflow the SE team has big part in this since it requires major development efforts, it's not ordinary Area51 site. – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating Mar 3 '14 at 8:15
  • @ShadowWizard I was talking about the process of "choosing the site" or proposing it. Of course the development part is purely SE's effort. – Nean Der Thal Mar 3 '14 at 8:18
  • 1
    It's not true, Portugese wasn't the first and the most commited from the Stack-Overflow-in-X proposals. As far as I remember, community wasn't asked what language to pick first. There was no meta discussion, and SE team was very stingy with informing the community what's going on in that thema (and it still is). – Danubian Sailor Mar 3 '14 at 9:14

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .