My site proposal has got a mildly respectable following, but is hampered by some disagreement about the intended scope. Eldros suggested posting a question here so we can 'discuss' it a bit more easily than in comments on the proposition.

To summarize the discussion so far:

  • I've resisted the idea of increasing the scope to cover translation in all languages, I think that this would end up with a fragmented community
  • I'm pretty certain that the questions should be asked (and tagged) in English, to avoid duplicates, mostly.
  • Several commenters have hinted that the scope should be larger than just translation: so something like "French Language & Usage". This is where I'm still undecided, as - for me - it is the translation aspect which would make the site useful (as opposed to just interesting)

EDIT please follow us on over to the discussion on Area51

  • There already is a French Language & Usage proposal.
    – Dori
    Jan 17, 2011 at 9:03
  • @Dori, good point, I'd overlooked that. My comment stands though: I do feel that the EL&U site is currently more interesting than useful.
    – Benjol
    Jan 17, 2011 at 9:09
  • @Benjol, yes but one can't deny the success of EL&U. I'll post an answer as soon as I have a bit of time.
    – Eldros
    Jan 18, 2011 at 11:06
  • 1
    It may take a unified "English to All languages" translation site for this to take off on a large scale. It would be a great thing to have
    – Pekka
    Jan 21, 2011 at 23:06
  • I think having duplicates in French and English isn't really a bad thing. Some people will google in English and others in French. Therefore, this is an instance where having duplicates is not harmful in any meaningful way. As for tags, that's what tag synonyms are for, no?
    – Borror0
    Jan 31, 2011 at 8:37
  • Maybe it would be good to migrate this thread to discuss.area51?
    – Eldros
    Jan 31, 2011 at 11:20
  • @Eldros, done: discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/272/…
    – Benjol
    Jan 31, 2011 at 12:14
  • I see it's too late now, but diamond moderators actually have the ability to migrate things to A51 Discussions.
    – mmyers
    Jan 31, 2011 at 17:23

1 Answer 1


I see English/French Translation and Le bon usage du français as targetting different topics and different publics. There is room for a site for francophones only and a site for translations.

As to whether it makes sense to have a single translation site for many languages, I lean towards yes. Stack Overflow combines programmers in all languages, after all, though there is admittedly a lot more cross-learning there. There is a single newsgroup about translation (not very active). Tags would allow people to select questions about the language(s) they speak. A single site would also have a better chance at reaching a critical mass.

If you're considering a general translation site, the sci.lang.translation charter is a worthwhile starting point:

The group provides a forum for those interested in the problems, issues and concerns of translators/interpreters. Examples of topics appropriate to this group are:

  • Automated translation software
  • Translation methods
  • Membership of professional bodies
  • Accreditation of professional translators/interpreters
  • International standards for translators/interpreters
  • Discussion of dictionaries for a given language pair
  • Software for displaying foreign character sets
  • Translation requests for passages/words/phrases for a given language pair
  • Reviews of translated works
  • Training and education of translators/interpreters
  • That's a proposition I can get behind a bit more. Do you agree that the language of the translation site ought to be English (tags, for example)?
    – Benjol
    Jan 22, 2011 at 0:24
  • @Benjol: Yes, I guess the meta-language (not just tags, but also the FAQ, meta site, and so on) would be English. I'm not sure about questions (requiring a question about Chinese→French to be in English seems strange; OTOH a common language is a plus for searchability). Jan 22, 2011 at 0:41
  • I've created a discussion here, if you want to paste some of your answer over there.
    – Benjol
    Jan 31, 2011 at 12:16

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