I did not find a meta for law. Either I'm blind or it does not exist for betas or something.

On Stack Overflow, you are required to write in English. There exists Spanish and Portuguese versions, but on the main site, English is required. Always.

My questions is fair and simple: How is it on law.stackexchange.com? Are you allowed to use language X if the question is about the law in country X?

I would argue yes. After all, most people qualified to answer a question with the tag [sweden] will be native Swedish speakers or at least speaking fluent Swedish. The same goes for most people who have a genuine interest in the question.

Another thing is that law has a lot of hard terminology. The same goes for technology, but there English is the standard. If you speak English fairly well, you will have no problem at all to post questions or answers at Stack Overflow. But most Swedish people would find it very hard to translate legal stuff to English, even though we are quite known for being good at it.


3 Answers 3


The Law meta site can be reached from the hamburger menu at the top-right of the main Law site.

The question about written English on Law is answered here. If discussing a non-English speaking country, it seems the post should mostly be in English but can use some foreign language.


This is an English-language network, so unfortunately all posts must be written in English (with noted exceptions below1). We don't really have a system where folks can target questions to a specific group of users (i.e. "I'm only speaking to Swedish speakers", for example), so mixing languages on one site isn't really workable.

It's not sufficient to say "only people reading [Swedish] care about this". A large part of what makes Stack Exchange "work" revolves around community-led moderation, so folks have to know what is going on. There is a large contingent of users charged with vetting content and watching for issues like off-topic questions and spam, while providing enough engagement and activity to keep the site healthy and active.

When someone comes here looking for help, our site-creation process helps assures we have a sufficiently large audience to address their content. If a user comes here with access to only a tiny fraction of that community, we cannot make those assurances at all.

There are also the issues of instruction and customer service. All the system menus, the documentation, and in-site guidance are in English only. When folks contact us for help (or we have to contact them for whatever reason), we are primarily staffed to provide English assistance. With that gaping, unaddressed communication gap, we made an explicit decision not to provide a third-rate experience to our international communities without sufficient support.

1 We have several sites specifically localized to non-English speakers. We also have several "language learning" sites which allow a full-immersion experience by posting questions in both English and the target language of that site.


What languages are allowed in law.stackexchange.com?

In absentia council I offer that the languages permitted in North American courts should be expected on law.SE, i.e. English, Legal English, and Latin. The meaning of words and phrases may not conform with common English language usage, check a legal dictionary and your local law library.

Foreign languages are not permitted on English language based Stack Exchange sites. The use of Latin in legal proceedings is limited to a word or phrase, similarly you would limit your use of Latin in Q&A's to a word or phrase.

See: Do posts have to be in English on Stack Exchange?

Law.SE's help file: What topics can I ask about here? mentions that you can ask about: "Legal terms and language, doctrines and theory" and this question asks: What is the language scope of SE.Law? which explains:

Law.SE Moderator's answer: Questions and answers should be written in English to the extent possible, but questions about laws and legal concepts from any language can be on-topic.

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