10

I'm not a native English speaker. Most of my writing is in Dutch.

But my question is, should we limit ourself to the english language or are other languages also acceptable? The question itself should be in english, but this is about the target language (the main tool of the writer).

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  • 4
    I'm also Dutch, but please write 'english' as 'English' ;-) – Marcel Korpel Nov 18 '10 at 21:12
  • I stand with @Marcel--this is a site about writing. – Mark C Nov 18 '10 at 23:38
  • Agreed, but Its better to be clear now than to have problems later. – Toon Krijthe Nov 19 '10 at 8:18
  • 1 down, 3 left (M.K.'s comment). – Peter Mortensen Dec 13 '10 at 20:06
8

I am also not a native English speaker (Spanish for me).
In my opinion, the site should be language agnostic, keeping it open for everybody.

One question to you, what would be different in regards to language in a question? I'm guessing questions about English should go to English.SE, questions about Spanish to the future Spanish.SE, and so on.

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  • For example Questions about grammar would be language dependent. I have seen one already. ;-). – Toon Krijthe Nov 18 '10 at 20:55
  • @Game, updated my question regarding exactly that – juan Nov 18 '10 at 20:56
  • 1
    @Gamecat Exactly; grammar questions are a matter of language, so those should be referred to the appropriate language site. – Mark C Nov 18 '10 at 21:02
8

I'm not sure that writing devices are terribly different across different languages, at least as far as fiction goes. A good story has all the same elements no matter what language it is written in. A translation will lose some of the subtlety, of course, but all the basics are still there.

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  • As a one-language speaker, I'd like to ask: How many languages are you fluent in? (I'm staying out of this because I only speak/read English.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Nov 18 '10 at 21:10
  • @neilfein I am only fluent in English, although I know enough German to get by and read novels in German, albeit slowly. – StrixVaria Nov 18 '10 at 21:12
  • @neilfein: I fully agree with StrixVaria, only in non-Western or ancient languages I think we get rather different questions and situations that are more ‘localized’ (in the Stack Overflow sense). E.g., in editing of (medieval) Latin there appear questions that you would never get with English, German, Dutch, and I think also Italian and Spanish (e.g., very specific meaning of a sentence, because of the use of a certain mode by omitting a verb). – Marcel Korpel Nov 18 '10 at 21:24
  • @StrixVaria - Not trying to be confrontational, just asking. My gut feeling is that a site on writing should be specific to a particular language, but I have no good justification for that. We can always use the tagging system to exclude posts. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Nov 18 '10 at 21:25
  • @neilfein It was a fair question since I was purporting to know about myriad languages. Since I feel grammar should be excluded altogether, language does not even seem like it should become an issue. But as you suggest below, let's wait and see what happens. – StrixVaria Nov 18 '10 at 21:27
  • 1
    @neilfein: I think the process of writing and editing doesn't differ that much across languages, not so much that we should exclude questions about foreign languages (provided that good translations of the texts are included). – Marcel Korpel Nov 18 '10 at 21:29
  • They are, e.g. poetry in different languages. – Kaveh May 16 '11 at 8:16
6

You should be able to formulate a question about writing in English.

If you would like a review of a foreign-language excerpt, it might be appropriate to post a translation with it (possibly with help from a native English speaker).

Like Neil said, this should be on a case-by-case basis until we have an idea of what to expect.

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5

It'll be easier to form a policy on this when we have some actual questions in hand to guide us. Let's allow such questions and see how it goes. From the SE official language policy:

But the idea that we should be forced to accommodate random human languages in our community is completely unsustainible. Now if you want to form an any-human-language-goes community like that, be my guest. I fully support your effort and we’ll be more than happy to direct any non-English questions your way.

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2

The question itself is ambiguous.

English is the lingua franca of Stack Exchange and related sites, and questions and answers should be in English. This is site policy, set by the owners, and I don't think it will ever change.

The site is about writing, and you can write in any language that has a written form. Questions about writing in any language should be welcome here.

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2

As long as the question (and answers) are in English, I don't think it matters much if the question is about something specific to a given language or region.

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0

I would vote to allow other languages, create tags for them, and then like/dislike the tags as appropriate for each writer.

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