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I was thinking of how to say "Stack Exchange" in Chinese, but realized the same question could apply to any language. And given that several Stack Exchange sites are not in English, there may be an answer to...

Question: Are there official translations of the phrase "Stack Exchange" into languages other than English?

In principle, I could simply translate "stack" (the version of this word that relates to programming) and "exchange", an stick them together. But even then it's not easy. In Chinese:

  • 堆栈 (duīzhàn) = "stack"
  • 交换 (jiāohuàn) = "exchange"

So Stack Exchange could be 堆栈交换. But I wouldn't be surprised if someone told me it's abbreviated to 堆换 (in which case, it would be the correct word).

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    Afaik you are not supposed to translate company names when referring to them in other languages. So it wouldn't make sense to have "official" translations. They shouldn't exist.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 13, 2019 at 3:31
  • I flagged this question to be moved to Chinese.SE, where you will surely get a more knowledgeable answer. Dec 13, 2019 at 6:05
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    @animuson Microsoft is translated as 微软 ("small soft") into Chinese. That is not a transliteration, but a translation. Obviously, company names are (sometimes) translated into other languages. Your generalisation is wrong. Dec 13, 2019 at 6:08
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    @Iamnotthewayyouspeak There may be people who translate things because theythink it's necessary, but Microsoft the corporation most certainly does not refer to itself via Chinese translations of its name. I would not refer to them as "official" translations by any means.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 13, 2019 at 6:26
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    The “official” part of this question seems to be a misunderstanding on my part (I expected these would exist), but since I asked it this way already, it’s best left unchanged. If the answer is “there won’t be any because [reason]”, then so be it. (While my original motivation was Chinese [I’m an active user of Chinese.SE], I’m now interested in the general case because there’s multiple non-English Stack Exchange sites.) Dec 13, 2019 at 6:37
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    No, and a simple explanation why not; if instead the name was "Stak Xchange" translation would be extremely difficult or impossible to translate the concept. Usually it's best to have a new name for each country (even all English speaking countries) because how things are received/perceived differs everywhere. Exactly how to translate "Stack Exchange" is partly opinion, research, and the owner's decision. Fails: inc.com/geoffrey-james/…
    – Rob
    Dec 13, 2019 at 12:05

2 Answers 2

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The name "Stack Exchange" is a proper noun.

Proper nouns are not normally translated, so at-best you might find official translations for "stack" and "exchange" but if you are referring to Stack Exchange in a translated document, you would still call it "Stack Exchange."

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  • Microsoft is translated as 微软 ("small soft") into Chinese. For non-Chinese personal names there are dictionaries in modern Chinese that translate these. So quite obviously, company names as well as personal names are translated (at least that is the convention in some languages) and your answer, as given, is wrong. I'm sorry. Dec 13, 2019 at 6:02
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    @Iamnot "your answer ...is wrong" Not necessarily. There is the loophole in "are not normally translated" so if in some languages like Chinese some proper nouns are translated it doesn't mean that normally they aren't. They are just exceptions. Dec 13, 2019 at 11:54
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“Stack”, yes. “Exchange”, no.

To determine this I looked at the Code of Conducts:

Notably, “Stack Exchange” isn’t ever translated. However, “Stack Overflow” is—but only for the name of the Japanese site:

スタック・オーバーフロー

But this is just a transliteration to something like “sutakku ōbāfurō”.

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  • On es.stackoverflow.com/conduct nothing is translated, or is it? "Se aplica a todos los que usen Stack Overflow en español y la red de Stack Exchange..." Is Stack alone used for anything? Dec 13, 2019 at 11:56
  • @Trilarion “Stack Overflow” is only translated into the Japanese site.
    – Laurel
    Dec 13, 2019 at 12:02
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    Maybe some kind of general rule is that for languages using the latin alphabet, usually nothing is translated and for languages with a different character set (Arabic, Japanese, ...) a more or less accurate translation takes place. Dec 13, 2019 at 12:07

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