I don't know if anything can be done. But, would it be possible and would it be constructive to have a Translation Period for the Private Beta of SO sites in other languages?

During said Translation period, people could translate some canonical questions from SO and mark them as Community Wiki. We could grant a special "Translation Hero" Badge for people participating during that period.


I suggest this, because in new SO sites, it is rather easy to pick content from the original SO and translate it, or post a basic questions that you know will get a lot of votes. Causing people to gain reputation easily, but that is not representative of their true level of knowledge.

Also, people posting those basic questions, not necessarily will mark them as translated from the original SO, because if it is a basic question like "segmentation fault", or "difference between inner join and outer join", you can think them of the top of your head. Or you could search in SO, read the tittles, and then write them in your own words, so they don't look exactly the same.

There is a lot of room in these sites to post questions, and gain reputation for things they don't necessarily know. For example, translating things of a technology they don't know and potentially adding errors in their translation. Or using really weird expressions in their translations, because they are not used to that technology and the common words used for some of the terms.

Most importantly

Beyond the fact that this sort of "translation wars" or "basic questions race" could cause some discomfort between users, and annoy others, I think, the most important issue caused by this is that users can easily gain privileges that are usually hard to get in the original SO, which can cause a degradation on the quality of moderation and reviews in queues and as consequence there could be a degradation of the quality of the whole site.

There have been already discussions in the METAs about the possibility of raising the reputation level to be able to review certain queues, but if you could get that level of reputation much easier, the problem could get way worse.

Finally, I am probably late to arrive to the party, if there has been discussions about this already, or if the community has already a formed position about this I would really appreciate if you could point it out to me, because I couldn't find it.

I have posted in SO in Spanish Meta (I can translate it if you feel it would be useful) trying to get consensus on what to do about this. For example, if marking a post as community wiki or not if it is translated, and there is no consensus at all, I feel opinions are practically divided 50/50. Also as one user pointed out, most people doesn't read Meta, so even if we decide to do one thing or the other, most users won't know.

Note: You may notice I haven't posted any questions in SO in Spanish, that is because I have limited time during the week and I got access recently (2 or 3 days ago), I haven't had the need of asking in SO so far and there hasn't been unanswered questions of the technologies I handle.

1 Answer 1


The private beta period on International sites works a tiny bit differently than it does on regular Stack Exchange sites coming out of Area51. It's up to you, and the community manager that's dedicated to Stack Overflow in [language] to decide when it's ready to open the site up to the public.

There are a number of special considerations that have to be made, such as:

  • What words best fit Stack Overflow's English 'jargon' (terms like upvote, flag, etc) - these can be particularly fun to transliterate
  • What's the tone of the chrome? That is to say, how formal are we making the words used in the user interface itself? What's welcoming but not off-putting?
  • What developers speak [language] and have a large following? Who should we be inviting to see what we've built?

.. and more, it depends on the language. Japanese is a language that has no spaces, so you can imagine the complications we had to resolve during the private beta period.

A healthy private beta takes about two weeks. It could be extended to three, or possibly even four if everyone involved felt that a much stronger site could be unveiled. The first half of my answer is yes, we can extend the private beta if there's a good reason to do so.

Your suggestion worries me a little, because if all of the great [language] speaking developers came to a site and saw a bunch of very basic questions that seem to be copied from somewhere else, what's there to entice them to stay and participate?

It's much better to start the site with questions you currently have about work you're currently (or were recently) doing. This ensures a front page full of relevant questions that could use answers. If there's no interesting questions to answer, you risk losing the opportunity to really grab someone's attention.

Canonicals are okay to translate, we've got really good content on the English site that has been curated by people that really know their craft - but don't grab them until you need them, and make them your own as you remix and reuse what we have on the English site. Put them in your voice.

When folks think of localization they often think of Wikipedia, which has pages translated in many languages. That's not really how we work, we have sites that serve not only different languages, but also different cultures - and each one finds its own way of being amazingly awesome and unique.

We're looking at ways to 'link' stuff together throughout all Stack Overflows, so if you're browsing the English site from Madrid, you'd see a note that a similar question with some answers exists on the Spanish site. That's still very much in design, and probably will be until at least the middle of next year.

The time you're generously giving us during that period is much more efficiently used helping out on meta with translation stuff and asking questions on the main site that really matter to you while you do your day job.

I'm not saying don't do that, each site has different needs and we try to leave the building of it up to you as much as possible. Just make sure you've got a lot of questions that someone really knowledgeable can dive into before you start thinking about it.

I suggest waiting for a few months into the public beta before you start filling in gaps that you see.

  • Tim, thanks for taking the time to answer my question, and sorry I couldn't answer before. I think I wasn't clear on why I am asking if this would be a good idea. I agree with you, I think the way you describe is the way to use the site. That is not what people do. They pick up questions from the main site, or think of stuff that can have a lot of votes, and post it. This question is a follow up from this question and the post I linked in my question.
    – Dzyann
    Dec 9, 2015 at 12:00
  • As a user posts here (I can translate if required) in new SO, people that translates could get a bunch of reputation points while people doing technical contribution could take forever to get the same level of reputation. If we had a period were we knowledge we are translating, but no one gains reputation, we can start in a more even level for gaining reputation. I don't know what happened in the other languages, but in SO in Spanish this is a concern.
    – Dzyann
    Dec 9, 2015 at 12:03
  • SO in Spanish has a particularly apt localization of the "Spam" flag - "contenido no deseado", literally "unwanted content". Apr 27, 2020 at 14:50

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