Firstly, let me be clear that I'm not talking about translations of the full content of the entire site. Obviously with user-contributed questions and answers, this would be impossible without a huge number of capable translators to handle the ever-growing amount of content.
However, the Help Center articles are a finite amount of text. They may change in the future, but for the most part they are fairly static.
These articles (along with the Tour Page) are the most important text to fully understand in order to start participating in this community.
Yes, the questions and answers are in English, but wouldn't it be appropriate/helpful to be able to learn about the site in one's own language so that one could then participate to learn English better?
Note also that I'm not primarily asking for volunteers for translation; of course there would be a lot of work involved in translating the full set of help pages. What I want to discuss is a place to put the translations of the Help Center articles ("If you build it, they will come"), and whether such a thing would be valuable.
Perhaps there is already a project for this on GitHub that I don't know about. Perhaps GitHub would be the best place for it, rather than having it integrated directly in our Help Center. If so, it should certainly be linked to from our Help Center.
Points I would like discussed:
- Do you think a translated set of Help Center pages would be useful/valuable to the users of this site?
- If you're qualified, would you be interested in volunteering to aid translations of the help pages?
- Where should such a translation project be stored? (Should it be on GitHub, or some other place?)
My pragmatic opinion is that such a project would have to start on GitHub, gain traction, get a considerable amount of work done, and then the Stack Exchange team could eventually be approached to incorporate the work in the on-site Help Center (i.e., add a "language" option). But I want to know your views.