Seeing how the site is dedicated to the Russian language, I think it needs to be be usable by the majority of the target audience, that is the people who speak Russian. Of course, we can't forget about the people who are just starting out with the language or are merely interested. Should we be allowing question in languages besides Russian and English, and if we do, do we need to make any special provisions for them?

  • It's unlikely that the interface could be translated. Both french.SE and german.SE have tried to convince the SE team to do so, unsuccessfully.
    – Tim
    Jun 13, 2012 at 21:14
  • @TimN good to know. I suppose it's a matter of return on investment. If language SE sites grow communities large enough, adding support for alternative interface languages will become a priority for SE.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 13, 2012 at 21:21
  • Separated UI question, it can be found here.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 14, 2012 at 10:05
  • 1
    @ТимН Not sure where you're getting that from, but it's not true. Internationalizing the interface is certainly a long-term plan. It's an extremely huge project and thus will take a long time until it's there, but suggesting we don't want it in the first place, and have declined it, is just spreading misinformation (and people believe it).
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jun 14, 2012 at 12:52
  • @balpha: While interface localization allegedly became "a larger priority" when it was requested over a year ago, no progress has been reported. I'm sure there's a lot of more important things to do at the SE office, but until something happens, I think it's fair to assume that the idea is in permanent status-planned stasis.
    – Tim
    Jun 14, 2012 at 21:51
  • @TимН You're free to assume whatever you want; I'm only asking you to be clear when communicating with other users to make it clear that it's an assumption of yours and to not imply that we claimed anything to that effect.
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jun 15, 2012 at 11:50
  • @TимН On the plus side of things, note that you were notified of that comment (and this one) :)
    – balpha StaffMod
    Jun 15, 2012 at 11:51
  • @balpha: Thanks, I'll stop complaining now :)
    – Tim
    Jun 15, 2012 at 12:50
  • @ТимН just FYI, we recently launched our first entirely non-English beta site: Stack Overflow in Portuguese
    – Pops
    Jan 6, 2014 at 20:18

4 Answers 4


As far as I know, the existing sites for languages use both English and the language they are devoted to. So in our case this means that it should be allowed to ask questions in both Russian and English.

I think this is fair, because not every Russian-speaking person knows English well, but they shouldn't be deprived of the opportunity to ask questions about their native language. The only alternative is a site in Russian about Russian, but it just seems awkward to me.

  • hello from future, there is Русский язык SE. It is awkward, indeed.
    – yalov
    Apr 3, 2017 at 10:39
  • @yalov It would be if this site didn't exist. It would be that you can only ask questions about Russian if you know it well enough to ask good questions.
    – Malcolm
    Apr 3, 2017 at 11:03

This is site dedicated to Russian language, so questions in Russian language should be allowed, as analogy to German Language and Usage, where most of the questions are asked in English, but some are asked in German and this is widely accepted.

And about interface, I haven't seen the Stack Exchange site having bilingual interface, but in my opinion at least FAQ could be translated (both language versions could be on the same page, what would not require any change in interface).


On the Spanish Language & Usage site an effort is made to add an English translation to posts made in Spanish, and to add a Spanish translation to posts made in English.

This applies to both Questions and Answers.

The sections each have a heading to state which language they're in (though it's always obvious). And the two sections are separated by three hyphens in the Stack Exchange formatting: ---

The result is a horizontal line like the one above.

  • 2
    It's a bold move, but I'm not sure we (or anybody) could pull it off. For every question asked without a translation, we'd be spending a huge amount of time translating, possibly detracting from our answering time. It would be great if we could translate high-quality questions and answers though.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 14, 2012 at 14:57
  • Yes it is a purely voluntary effort. In fact it would be great if the Stack Exchange system had some specific support for it, in which case badges could be awarded to people who do many. People who don't enjoy translating would never have to do it. Some people enjoy things many of us don't. (-: Jun 14, 2012 at 14:59

I suggest we should encourage using the Russian language as the main one for this QnA, because it's all about Russian at the first place. We also should accept questions in any language at the best of our knowledge, but the answer should be solely in Russian for the sake of Russian, this QnA, and the person who asks their question.

  • 5
    I can't condone that sort of linguistic chauvinism. If we're going to accept questions in English, then it's only polite to answer in English unless a) the asker is looking for an answer in Russian or b) you aren't able to properly express the answer in English.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 14, 2012 at 3:29
  • 2
    I'd like to mention that for native Russian-speakers there is an excellent resource to find out practically anything about Russian---www.gramota.ru. In my opinion, this SE should be more oriented towards foreigners, for whom Russian-only Gramota is hard to access. It doesn't mean we shouldn't allow questions in Russian, but we definitely should not duplicate Gramota.
    – texnic
    Jun 14, 2012 at 9:07
  • @texnic half of the time you need to know the information in question before you can find it on Gramota. SE is a network of sites that aims to catalog knowledge in a useful, easy-to-find manner. I see no problem with their being overlap between the two sites as long as it helps people discover the knowledge they seek.
    – kotekzot
    Jun 14, 2012 at 9:38
  • @kotekzot OK, agree.
    – texnic
    Jun 14, 2012 at 13:06

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