While searching for an answer to this question that is written in English, I have seen a lot of similar questions in Russian on many other sites including otvety on mail.ru, google answers etc. But the answers there were not helpful.

So, after finding the answer to the question that is much better than on that sites I want it to be findable by Russian audience as well. Can I suggest the translation to the question, or I should directly contact question's author first? (By the way - question title has no English word at all, but the body uses Russian for citations only).

Currently I see a lot of questions asked and answered in English and I think RL&U would target much wider audience if the interesting questions are findable by Russian users as well.

3 Answers 3


Adding a Russian translation to the question itself? Of course you can!

Just make sure to separate the two visually, I mean, make it so that it doesn't come out as a mess and the two parts are easy to be located. :D

While you're there, please add an english title too.

Concerning your question, you should provide also an English/Russian answer if the question has both.

Edit after comment

Let's say that translating is not compulsory. Users can ask in Russian and/or English. We only ask that the answer is in the question's language. But if the question's language is not your strongest, you can answer in the Question's language, and expand on your preferred language (someone else will help translating the rest).

And that's it: someone else will help.

  • Does this means that you must translate all questions and make them all bilingual? No.

    Translating is a voluntary act, you volunteer to do that. But thinking about doing it for all questions is impossible and far from reality.

    What you can do is translate the questions you personally think might deserve to be bilingual.

  • Is that going to harm the question/site?

    As long as you retain the original meaning, no. On the contrary, it's going to be beneficial for the site (more keywords that users can search on Google).

So to resume: Translating is not mandatory but if you want to do it (for any question) you're welcome to do it.

Just make sure the question has an answer to its original language. For your information, asking a question and answering in Russian ONLY is perfectly OK.

English is more required in Meta because here we need to answer policies for everyone. The main site is about the language and if you want to use both languages or only one, then you can do it.

  • 1
    Unfortunately other mods have different opinion though.
    – Artemix
    Jul 28, 2013 at 11:53
  • @Artemix Are you referring to some specific episode? As far as I know there is nothing problematic about providing translations.
    – Alenanno
    Jul 28, 2013 at 16:17
  • @shabunc told me that I should contact question author first, because otherwise all questions should be translated from English to Russian on regular basis.
    – Artemix
    Jul 28, 2013 at 18:39
  • 1
    @Artemix, actually I haven't and I'm really sorry if I was not clear enough so made you think so. All I want is, just like you, to discuss the issue and I'm very grateful to you for both the attempt to improve this Stack and for raising this question here.
    – shabunc Mod
    Jul 29, 2013 at 8:29

While some questions have no sence in translating them into Russian (for instance "What is the word for brogrammer in Russian?"), some questions (about ethymology of the words in particular) may be interesting for both Russian and English audience. If we keep this Russian-for-Russian, English-for-English way of asking and answering the site will be in fact split ito two parts. Potentially this leads to:

  • Doubling of the questions;
  • Separate voting for English/Russian questions and answers (e.g. high-voted answer in English has low-voted "brother" in Russian.

If good questions are asked in English only, then the extremely large potential Russian audience will never find this site. And currently the wast majority of questions are asked in English, so the average russian user that happens to get here looks at all these English questions and thinks "Oops! Wrong site...". But the Area 51 visits/day goal has following description:

A great site benefits people outside the community. Eventually, 90% of a site's traffic should come from search engines.

Why waste good answers by not allowing Google find the answers in Russian?

What if I translate good questions and answers into Russian as a separate posts? Without original-post-translation allowed I would have to create my own questions and answer them myself. I don't think this would be accepted by community: "I have asked a great question and this user just copy-pastes it for reputation!". The votes for such questions and answers will be low, because community members already saw this question ("Oh, not again! This looks like a duplicate question!") and this answer and won't bother voting them again. So, such way looks like misusing StackExchange way of doing things.


While you can edit the question and add a translated section, I have strong doubts that such kind of edits should be welcomed.

The first premise made about all StackExchange sites devoted to some specific language, is that English language is at least as important and allowable as any other language.

That means, among other things, that both questions in Russian and in English should be treated at least equally. As to me (but this is my personal opinion and this has nothing to do with me acting as moderator), English language is even more important on SE, since it is de-facto lingua franca of all SE universe.

Actually, when we are talking about adding translation, we should consider two different cases. First, translations from Russian to English. I believe that, most probably, such questions are asked in Russian, because the author, for some reasons, expects it to be answered in Russian. Adding English section to the question hardly can improve anything if majority of answers is Russian.

Second case - translations from English to Russian. Once again, most probably, the author of question most probably expects to get English answers.

So, I'm a strong proponent of the idea of co-existence of Russian questions, Russian answer, English questions, English answers in any combinations, but as for bilingual questions - well, I'm not so sure they will improve anything.

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