According to the rules of Stack Exchange, questions should be made primarily in English, however the purpose of this site is to help English language learners, and we assume that many users speak a different language (Spanish, German, etc...):

Is valid to ask your questions in the original language and use Google Translate to also write your question in English?

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    Automatic translation services are to be avoided. I find questions in the OP's mother language much more readable than whatever such a translation service spits out. (Although some words end up in the right place in the result, the subtler points of the question are always lost.)
    – Mr Lister
    Feb 1, 2013 at 22:52
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    With the understanding that many native English speakers won't understand the "other" language, I think it's reasonable in some cases to include the original language along with the OP's best try at the question in English. This gives an opportunity for participants who do understand the original language to comment on the manner in which the question is asked, as well as providing answers. I don't think Google Translate is a particularly good idea for this purpose. Feb 1, 2013 at 22:59
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    For most common languages, I wouldn't be surprised if the editor community could translate such questions into English. I certainly wouldn't mind translating a few questions for/from languages I know from time to time. Feb 1, 2013 at 23:27
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    I invite anybody contemplating Google Translate or Babelfish or anything of the sort to enter a moderately long passage from their own language ... translate it into another ... and then translate the translation back into their own language. It can be very funny. Feb 2, 2013 at 0:05
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    Why was this question down-voted? I was wondering if native-language snippets are allowed, after trying to understand this question. Now i've got a nice answer, admittedly buried in the comments below. I up-voted both.
    – noam
    Sep 18, 2013 at 12:50

1 Answer 1


I'm sorry, but this is an English-language site and posts need to be in English. Beside the pragmatic considerations, it's probably better for the participants, too.

Language Immersion

We've even considered establishing a "native language" policy for our non-English learning sites.

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    I agree. However, I also welcome those times when an O.P. includes a snippet of something in their native language, particularly when it helps clarify the question. Not only are such insights interesting, they often provide insight into why the O.P. is asking the question in the first place. For example, I think that was done rather deftly in this ELL question, and in this ELU question. I wouldn't want anyone to misinterpret your answer here to mean that such examples or comments were taboo.
    – J.R. Mod
    Feb 1, 2013 at 23:13
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    Yes, thank you for highlighting that point. Certainly quoting snippets of a native language to establish context is helpful... and allowed. Feb 1, 2013 at 23:16
  • @J.R.: I wouldn't go so far as to say I'd "welcome" snippets in OP's native language. Tolerate, maybe. It sounds potentially like the thin end of a "please translate this" wedge. I think languages should be learnt on their own terms, not by finding points of correspondence with other languages. Feb 2, 2013 at 0:42
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    @FumbleFingers it's difficult to learn a language if you don't find corresponding points in your native language. There are things that we say in English that do not translate well into Swedish and vice-versa; understanding those corresponding points is a perfect way of learning.
    – Deco
    Feb 2, 2013 at 4:28

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