So I'm going through the First Posts review and I find an answer that is in French. By the time that I see it, someone has edited in a Google Translate version of it. So now there's French and English. I can see a mistake in the translation (coins was translated to corners when it should have stayed coins).

Where do I go from here? Are we supposed to be an English-only site? Should I remove the French and leave only the English translation? Should I flag the answer? Fix the translation mistake? Downvote it? Upvote it?

Does it matter that the answer seems to be for a newer version of the game (which is why it is different from the original answer)? Clicking the link in the original answer leads to a better explanation of that.

Oh, and just to top it off, the tag name is misspelled. It should be zuma-blitz not zumba-blitz.

Personally, I don't really care which direction we choose. I just think that we should have a community choice rather than me randomly picking a direction.

  • Generally, I just flag it as not an answer. While we can use Google Translate to get the gist of the message, quite a bit of context and fine details are going to get lost in the translation. At the end of the day, Arqade is an English-only site.
    – Frank
    Commented Oct 6, 2014 at 22:55

4 Answers 4


It has been quite well established that unless otherwise specified (for example on the German Language & Usage SE, or the SO in Spanish etc. sites) the Stack Exchange network uses English as its only supported language.

See: Do posts have to be in English on Stack Exchange?

Also, it's stated clearly in our help centre: https://gaming.stackexchange.com/help/quality-standards-error

"Questions should use correct English spelling and grammar"

(slightly paraphrased for context)

As such, the correct response to any foreign language posts is to flag them for closure/deletion with the reason stated that content must be in English.

I'd say the rare exception to this would be if a user is bilingual and can translate naturally. Meaning can be so easily lost that automatic translators such as Google Translate are NOT adequate.

  • even a natural speaker might not be able to translate a question properly. As an example, Quebecquois is very different from Acadien is very different from French spoken in France. English isn't immune from this either, but here, we at least have the advantage of sheer numbers, so that we can easily clarify meaning across dialects. That might not be the case for other languages.
    – MBraedley
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 0:42
  • 1
    Additionally, while you might be able to use a translator to get the original meaning of the question in English, translating any message back to the OP language can cause even more issues.
    – Ben
    Commented Oct 13, 2014 at 2:16

I think you should flag them for moderation Attention with a comment like: "Foreign Language Post". The site is English only and if someone already posts in another language than english, chances are that he will not understand a comment or Answer in English (Yes I know Understanding and writing are two different things, but there is a chance).

Now that doesn't neccesarily mean that these posts are the Devil. If you see a post and you understand the foreign language it's written in you can translate it If the post is helpful. If it's a low quality post it doesn't belong here, no matter what language.

The community on this site is multilingual and chances are that someone will notice and edit such a post but if this doesn't happen the only right thing to do is deleting it.

I feel like Google Translate isn't a good option since the translations are horrible and often completely out of context so it's better to refrain from using it.


If i notice a question is in another language and it's not something like

jhdfsak dfa ksjhdfka shfd lakha flkh afd halshfa h

which i tend to see sometimes from unregistered users i'll translate it, after that i leave it to the mods/anyone who has more experience than i do, here's hoping that it is a valid answer and that someone is going to just note in a comment to the poster that the primary language here is English.

That being said, i just copy and paste into google translate and use the Auto-Detect to do the translation to English so

I can see a mistake in the translation (coins was translated to corners when it should have stayed coins)

that was Google's fault, not mine. there was another (now deleted) another which was

minecraft es grande no no grandísimo porque me gus ta mucho

which Google Translate says is

minecraft is big no no for me gus ta huge lot

but Google was also telling it the original text was wrong and that gus ta may have ment to be gusta which changes the meaning to

minecraft is big no no because I like huge

^ kinda thinking Male Chicken was supposed to be at the end there

so pass off my translation edits as 50% me being lazy and 50% me not having the confidence in proofreading a translation since i don't know the original language too well and in most cases the game the answer is for, if it was Al Bhed and they are using standard dialect the i'd have more confidence in correction (of cause what idiot here is going to post up a potentially high up voted answer entirely in Al Bhed).

I'd say however if you pick up a mistake with a translation go ahead and correct them, there's no harm in doing so and it would make it clearer which flag to use. i'd leave the original text and note the translation and from there do what you normally do with any other answer (up/down vote, flag, delete, etc.)


In my opinion the best thing to do about cross-language posts is flexibility: do not refuse the multi-cultural facrbic of the internet, but flexibly integrate it StackExhange.

As I said it would be nice to integrate things, and this may take the practical form of dynamic language-specific tags such as:


Where %LANG% changes the tag into:

    translate-this-FR for questions in french
    translate-this-ES for questions in spanish
    translate-this-IT for questions in italian

After the rollout of this tagging system, the next step would be making it useful by instituting a translation service integrated with language-learning stack exchanges by letting the people over there translate&proofread as a reputation-giving task.

A sort of "system bounty", to be simple.

In this way we would then have questions available in the original language and in English.

For the comments, as they are lightweight and generally short, I would welcome the Facebook approach of integrating an automatic translation button, maybe in this case along with an "improve translation" button and/or a "report non-english", so it can be fed into the translation-reward system.

Or, much better, stimulate the reputation-translator to get more by following a question and translating everytime there's something new/modified...

  • 2
    It's a nice idea, but I don't think it is useful for this site. This would be a lot of effort with integrating translations and such, and I'm not sure if there is even a high enough demand for using other languages. Translations also often have the risk of (unintentionally) changing the intention of the asker and content of the question. I just don't think keeping a site in one language is a problem. English as a world language is a good choice for people from all over the world to find a common ground, and if someone doesn't speak it there are many game-specific sites in other languages.
    – Kodama
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 13:39
  • I know people who believe the internet speaks their language, often people 50+ years old. At least a button to submit the question/comment to human translators in languages stacks would be fine, and keep the site in plain english without loss of potential information.
    – beppe9000
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 18:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .