What should be done with posts (e.g.) which are not in English and haven't been translated into English for an extended period of time? Their major crucial/important chunk not being in English.

What should they be flagged as?

Should the same grace period discussed in What should be the grace period before a post which doesn't provide the required attribution is deleted? be applied?

3 Answers 3


We are an English site. As such, everyone who posts (questions or answers) needs to write their posts in English.

Even when English is not spoken as a first language, this shouldn't be a problem for anyone who puts in some modicum of effort. If they know enough English to understand the question they're answering, they should know enough English to write the answer in English.

Sure, it might not be the best English, but let's be honest here: Even native English speakers can has attrocious grammer sometimes.

If one is having trouble explaining a particular term or concept in English, if it's essential to the answer then he should by all means include the original term (usually after trying his best to explain it). And in many cases, levels of expertise pretty much necessitate learning foreign jargon (I, for example, am hardly fluent in Arabic, but I'm not going to be lost when someone throws around terms like مرابحة or عربون); foreign terms often lose too much in translation to be useful in any other form.

If, however, someone puts absolutely zero effort into writing their post in English, that to me is no different than someone who puts absolutely zero effort into making their post intelligible, or who puts absolutely zero effort into ensuring that their post even answers the question. Such zero effort posts should in most cases be downvoted as unclear and/or flagged as VLQ, because that's exactly what they are.

And, quite frankly, if one doesn't know enough English to effectively communicate in English, then perhaps an English-language Q&A site isn't the best place to participate.

  • As i have translated a few urdu questions into english in this site.. i would like to know that when they are answered wont it be better to also add an urdu version of that answer so the questioner gets his answer and anyone who goes through the question can read either in english or urdu.
    – Syed Anas
    Commented Jul 8, 2014 at 6:09

In my opinion, I believe that answers in arabic (or any other language except for transliteration) should be treated like those answers which are in english. In my eyes, since this site's goal has been changed to

Islam Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for experts in Islam, students of knowledge, and those interested in Islam on an academic level.

then if we truly succeed in fulfilling our goals, and attracting actual experts and those interested at an academic level, then that would mean arabic would be more widely known or at least understood so that they can be distinguished as either good or bad answers as well as such answers being translated.

So what I am saying is, purely Arabic answers should be translated if it answers the question, if not then it should be treated the same way english answers are treated when it does not answer the question or is low quality or spam. I believe translations should be provided and is a requirement, so if an arabic answer has not provided a translation, then it should be flagged for deletion

As for the grace period, I don't believe the same grace period can be applied, but I think a grace period can be applied. It can be three days, or more, or less.

So in conclusion, I believe the following steps should be followed:

  1. If a purely arabic answer is either low quality, not an answer, spam, or copy/paste, then flag it as such on sight. Otherwise

  2. If a purely arabic answer, does in fact answer the question either partially or fully, then if you can add a translation to it then do so. If you can't, then comment under it welcoming the user, asking him to visit the help-center, asking him to provide a translation, and mentioning the grace period. As well as bring the answer up in the meta so the community can provide translations, and the translations can be voted on to see which one is best.

  3. If after the decided length for the grace period has ended, the user or anyone from the community has not provided a translation, then flag for moderator attention so the moderators can delete the answer.

  • 1
    Flagging isn't really appropriate for "translation needed" (except insofar as the grace period is over and it needs to be deleted). If one can't translate it himself, it could probably be brought up on meta where the community at large can and the quality of the translation can be voted on.
    – goldPseudo Mod
    Commented Apr 24, 2014 at 20:44
  • @goldPseudo so your suggesting that users on meta provide translations for the said post as meta answers and after reaching community concensus the translation be made mainstream? Commented May 31, 2014 at 16:43

Posts that are not in english should be deleted. They have no place here on Stack Exchange. Those who want to participate here should take the effort to translate their content to English so that it can be useful to others. English is really a wide spread language. There is no excuse for not using it. One can argue, all instruction/discussion on this site are in English. If an arabic user cannot understand any of it, how can he effectively participate on this site? Short answer, this site is not an Arabic site. It is an Islamic site. Its content should be understandable by anyone one who want to participate on Islam and should not be limited to arab users only. That will severely reduce the scope of this site.

The only arabic that needs to stay here is text from Quran. Arabic from hadith should not be encouraged also. We ideally would like English translation of a hadith. An arabic hadith will only benefit an Arab user. For a non Arab it is mostly not useful and makes the question lengthy unnecessarily.

Questions that should contain excessive Arabic or main main part of it is in Arabic should be flagged for moderator attention (choose "other" option) and write something that this question contains too much Arabic and will not be useful for general user and therefore should be deleted.

  • 1
    Stack Overflow em Português is own example of none English site (for more). "F [...] let" is certainly not a welcome tone and attitude to those who don't speak/read/write English fluently and natively. And assuming we did that we be filtering out a large chunk of none English speaking user and along with that a huge chunk of experts and (rare) knowledge. Commented May 31, 2014 at 12:49
  • @BleedingFingers I don't there are any experts here who have provided good answers in Arabic language. Importantly those answers are garbage because who will decipher it? This is not the duty of SO user to translate their their arabic. Remember that the sole purpose of SO is to help each other. By proving answers in a foreign language is not really helping each other. It is more of a pitchfork a particular language. The example you quoted is for portages language, which should not be confused with Islam.SE. If we were to create an arabic language site, of course we should expect arabic there
    – muslim1
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 14:15
  • Btw I used that sentence to send a strong message. Because some of us seem to be ok with Arabic here. Arabic makes no sense to a user who does not understand arabic. It makes the site useless in a way.
    – muslim1
    Commented May 31, 2014 at 14:18

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