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There is the main English Stack Overflow. There is a Spanish Stack Overflow. There is a Portuguese Stack Overflow. There is a Japanese Stack Overflow. There is a Russian Stack Overflow.

Why is there no French Stack Overflow?

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    Why should there be a French one? Why do you focus on French? Why not Hebrew? Or Korean? Or Tagalog?
    – Oded
    Aug 12, 2017 at 21:01
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    Because all ... cough ... some French people speak English.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Aug 12, 2017 at 21:05
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    Related on A51: Internationalization 'State of the Stack' - Stack Overflow edition
    – Catija StaffMod
    Aug 12, 2017 at 22:51
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    @Glorfindel It is one of the around 3 different "explanations" what they gave, why they don't want to grow. I have a much better explanation, which doesn't look so as a false excuse: the SE is a successful startup not being able to handle its success and growth adequately.
    – peterh
    Aug 14, 2017 at 2:44
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    @Oded Yes, Wikipedia exists on all of these languages. Some of them is small, some of them is bigger, but: all of them exists, and all of them is growing. Particularly in the case of the French Wiki, it is roughly 1/3 of the size of the main English site. If you had started the French SO long ago, it would be now so big as the whole SE network.
    – peterh
    Aug 14, 2017 at 2:59
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    I proposed one once, but it got closed and deleted. Aug 18, 2017 at 8:53
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    Peoples in Quebec speak French, so French Stack Overflow should be proposed.
    – user298438
    Jun 17, 2018 at 20:21
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    @user298438 not only in Quebec but in at least 40 countries and provinces ;) (but I disagree with this proposal and this is why : meta.stackexchange.com/a/311435/238720 ) Jun 18, 2018 at 14:19
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    Yeah. But Canada has French speaking-citizens, so we need them.
    – user298438
    Jun 18, 2018 at 14:19
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    We have matter in France for English Stack Overflow, so we also need them in France.
    – user298438
    Jun 18, 2018 at 14:25
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    Few hundred milion people in Africa speak French as their first language. They would be the primary target group for a French StackOverflow. Why do people focus just on France (or Canada) when it comes to French. Young developers from Africa would greatly profit from a French SO, just as their counterparts in Central and South America profit from Spanish and Portuguese SO.
    – cezar
    Apr 25, 2019 at 10:17
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    D00d, wh47 5b0u7 5 574c|< 0v3rf10 n 1337? May 19, 2019 at 2:03
  • 8
    Because French use Ordinateurs instead of computers. That just isn't supported by SO hardware :)
    – Luuklag
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:00
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    My guess is that there aren't French or German versions of SO because there English is in good standing and widely in use among programmers, compared to Portuguese, Spanish, Russian or Japanese. If this is actually a good or bad thing for French and German people I don't know. Maybe it's even just luck / bad luck. It could have happened if enough people would have been interested at the right time.
    – Trilarion
    Mar 6, 2020 at 14:31
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    You got it the wrong way around. First there's a community, then the community can start a Stack. If there's no community willing to take that burden, there will be no Stack. Just like any other Area51 proposal, the community should already be there when the proposal is made.
    – Mast
    Jun 19, 2020 at 7:01

2 Answers 2

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L'avis d'un français parmi tant d'autres :p

First, French-speakers aren't helpless: there are already many active online French-speaking communities on computing since 1999 (developpez.net for example, in which I am also actively involved).

Moreover, I think that good developers must practice English and I know it's not currently the case, but I've seen that since the increasing use of Stack Overflow or GitHub platforms (among many others recent platforms) around the world, the level of English is growing more and more in the young generation of French developers. And that's really good news. It's even a requirement of our institutions.

Finally, I think the first strength and maybe the main purpose of Stack Overflow is to provide the largest community of IT workers (with a maximum of represented countries), and allow different members of different countries to help each other. And to maintain this purpose, I think that creating a French Stack Overflow would be a really bad idea. Splitting the number of users and potential answers cannot be a good idea.

P.S: I'm not speaking for other French people or other French speakers, this is a personal point of view.

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    Please read the post linked in the top answer here. There was a proposal for a French Stack Overflow, but it was declined because Stack Exchange realized they don't have enough resources to support many non-English sites. Jun 18, 2018 at 6:10
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog I only gave my personal point of view about that (I'd prefer to add a comment in the first post but the limit is too short). Jun 18, 2018 at 9:10
  • @SonictheInclusiveHedgehog Don't believe for a moment that it had anything to do with the skills of their programmers! They can French, Russian, German, Hebrew beside of course English (and they don't need to know any language to translate the software to it). It is simply a boss decision, the programmers could create the site in a couple of hours any time. They don't do it, because the boss says no. Why says the boss that? Uhm, it would be a more interesting question, I have a couple of theories but none of them is rational. A rational theory, well, that I don't have.
    – peterh
    Jun 18, 2018 at 23:57
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    I wonder, what is "democratization of Stack Overflow"? Jun 19, 2018 at 6:35
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    @ShadowWizard Maybe it's only a French expression and I'm sorry about that: that mean the increasing use of these platforms around the world ( no relation with the political sense of this word). I'll update my answer to change this expression. Jun 19, 2018 at 6:41
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    Fair enough. Now the answer is clear. :) Jun 19, 2018 at 7:00
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    I'm also French and I agree: people should learn the common language (which happens to be English) to connect to a bigger collective brain (the IT part is a small part of the stack exchange). It's necessary to step out of the village mentality trap.
    – JinSnow
    Jun 19, 2019 at 10:59
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    I just wanted to react to "First, French-speakers only aren't helpless: there are already many active online French-speaking communities on computing since 1999 (developpez.net for example, in which I am also actively involved)." IMHO, these communities are pretty bad overall (I really dislike developpez.net!), even worse in Spanish. In German, it's getting better but... still. Cannot say for other Europeans languages. Like most already said, learning the scientific and technical (and lingua franca) of your field is REALLY a must.
    – Paradox
    Aug 5, 2019 at 19:14
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    Another point you might be forgetting something subtly given by OP question: French is the language #5 in number of speakers worldwide, so not a dumb question.
    – Paradox
    Aug 5, 2019 at 19:18
  • @Paradox I never said that is a dumb question, but I said that I think that would be a bad idea and I explain why even if French was the second spoken language in the world. Splitting the number of users and potential answers cannot be a good idea. Aug 6, 2019 at 13:41
  • @IdrissNeumann Do not feel assaulted, I was just stating that OP's question was not dumb, since all the four most represented languages worldwide had already a dedicated SE and French is ranked #5. End of story. Regarding your point, it is as well a good one and should be taken into account. Only thing that bothers me it that these two points do not have anything in common but they are strong points which seemed mostly primarily based on the point of view of each one of you. Regarding yours, consider that users on the English SE network are already splitted in communities. ;)
    – Paradox
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:32
  • @IdrissNeumann ...and even you are already splitted between communities (SE, developpez.net, etc?). So, long story short, community fragmentation may not be the best approach to address comprehensively this type of problems.
    – Paradox
    Aug 6, 2019 at 14:39
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    This does not provide an answer to the question. OP asked why there was a Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, etc. version of the site and no French one. And this doesn't address it at all.
    – MrUpsidown
    Aug 3, 2020 at 11:49
  • @MrUpsidown The OP asked why there is no a French version of the site and I answered that I think it'd not be a good thing. It's an opinion-based answer but still an answer (and many people seems to agree with that). Aug 5, 2020 at 6:02
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There has been a previous proposal (since deleted) for a French Stack Overflow, and its purpose was discussed at https://area51.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1280/french-stackoverflow-translation-or-not. However, that link now gives "Page Not Found".

For the current status of Internationalization efforts for Stack Overflow you could review Internationalization 'State of the Stack' - Stack Overflow edition.

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