I just stumbled upon the Area51 Stack Exchange sites and happen to see few proposals based entirely on language. For example:
- Stack Overflow in Portuguese
- Stack Overflow in German
- Stack Overflow in Russian
- Stack Overflow in Spanish
I think there will be many more. I did not go through all the language-specific proposals. Here is my concern:
The criteria required to make a site live (Proposals -> Commits -> Beta -> Live) will get easily matched for such proposals considering there will be a lot of SO users who speak a particular language and are likely to communicate/involve on SO in their native language only.
So there will be quite high chances that a person who is currently quite active on Stack Overflow and speaks (say Russian and English) will be more active on stackoverflow.com/russian_version and will likely to stop involve on English version in the longer run.
- Same questions will be asked again and again in multiple languages
- It will not make sense to share a link to an answer from Spanish version to English version of SO even if the answer is already present in Spanish version.
- A famous question in English can be asked again in different language to gain more upvotes.
I believe this is really a big problem and should be well thought before making such sites live.
PS: Please do not take my question personally as I am not opposed to any country/language. I am just concerned about the quality of Stack Overflow in the future along with the existence of language-specific sites.