How should we deal with non-English content?
(unaccompanied by English translation)

The Over-Meta has this canonical.

This has been discussed on StackOverflow Meta here and here and here and here. This answer seems to be the canonical policy, copied below.

We require English on Stack Overflow. See this list for Stack Overflow sites in languages other than English.

  • Questions written in non-English should be closed/flagged as unclear what you're asking.

  • Answers written in non-English should be flagged as very low quality, although not an answer will also work.

  • Comments written in non-English should be flagged as no longer needed.

Please do not translate questions for the original poster. They need to be able to respond to feedback, and if they cannot themselves >translate a question we cannot be certain that they can understand any feedback >provided (by comments, answers, or Help Center content).

The Mathematics SE Meta discussion is here. I was unable to find a CrossValidated Meta on this except for the usual "be respectful" discussions. I found nothing from Computational Science or Data Science SE Metas.

I think the StackOverflow model is a good one, especially given the breadth of Operations Research as a field and discipline. For reference it seems "American" English is the current prevailing preference for our tags from this Meta post.

I'll withhold further comments for now. What do you think?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ At CrossValidated a few times I see Qs in spanish, then I write a comment in spanish (with this above information.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 13, 2019 at 9:51

2 Answers 2


I agree with Stack Overflow's canonical on non-english content: we should not be keeping content written in any language other than English. Stack Exchange is made to support one language per site (which is English on every site except the international Stack Overflow's).

Questions written in non-English should be closed as Unclear What You're Asking, answers should be flagged as Very Low Quality and deleted, and comments should be flagged as No Longer Needed. Also be sure to leave a comment so the author is aware that only English is allowed, and hopefully translate the post to English if they know how.

However, you should not translate them because 1) translations can be easily messed up, changing the meaning of the post (no, not even Google Translate is perfect), and 2) if the OP can't write the post in English, they probably can't understand English either, meaning that they can't respond to feedback and (for questions) any answers they get would basically be useless.


I believe it's important to mention that foreign language is permitted on some English only sites, for example Law.SE allows Latin for good reason. Similarly, we allow Greek letters.


Please see the Wikipedia pages for the complete and lengthy lists.

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    $\begingroup$ I would hope the community would know mathematical notation and conventions are on-topic and reject any flags for non-English content. Good to have this here just the same to reference. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 13:12

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