What will be SE policy about Language sites when someone want answers from only native persons?

is it ok if we have an option to indicate something along the lines of "please only reply if you are a native speaker"

how would a native ask the question "Where are you going later?"

Note: I, myself pretty much annoying with that.

  • 4
    I know plenty of "native" English speakers with a very poor command of the language. It's no guarantee of quality or accuracy.
    – Michael
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 15:58

2 Answers 2


As an outsider to the language SE sites:

Askers have never have had, and in my opinion shouldn't have, the right to dictate who can and cannot answer their question.

Anyone in the community should be allowed to answer any question (with the usually defences for keeping signal/noise ratios high, of course), it's then up to the community to vote to get the best answers to the top. If that's not happening then it's time to get the community working on voting and commenting to fix the problem; introducing arbitrary limits that the asker can impose as they see fit isn't going to be a constructive step forwards.

Looking at this particular request, I can't see how this would be feasible (How would you know someone meets the criteria and isn't lying? How do you stop askers abusing it because they think they'll get "better" answers? And so on...). Just imagine, for a moment, what would happen if there was a "only allow answers from people with at least 10yrs experience in <programming language>" option available to askers on SO...

Luckily, from the links you've given, it looks like the local community there is naturally reaching this conclusion anyway.


What is a native speaker anyway?

(Given someone could be spending 90% of their time speaking English but have never set foot in the UK or the USA…, likewise for Spanish and Spain)

  • 2
    ObXKCD: xkcd.com/84 ;) Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 12:25
  • 3
    Or you have people who were born in the US and have always been raised in the US, and still have a grasp of their "native language" that is looser than most educated foreigners. Being a native speaker doesn't even give you a guaranteed advantage.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 14:28
  • 1
    I'm a native speaker of Public School American English. Basically, don't ask me to speak right.
    – user7116
    Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 15:07
  • @sixlettervariables, So you had mid-class parents that paid for you to go to a fee paying school, as they could not afford a height class education for you with a private tutor. Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 8:20
  • @Ian: they were my tutors (that and books). The only private schools where I grew up presume you're Catholic (or care about Catholicism). Private school kids didn't do any better than public school kids as far as I can tell :)
    – user7116
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 13:09
  • @sixlettervariables, but you just told us you want to a private school otherwise called a "Public School" Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 14:29
  • @Ian: no hablo ingles.
    – user7116
    Commented Jun 16, 2011 at 14:40

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