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I'm considering proposing a site on Area 51:

Would a general Languages.SE supersite (synchronized with the current language sites) be feasible?

Short description of what I have in mind:

An English-language site for learning non-English languages. It is synchronized with the existing language sites (which remain unchanged).

The Arabic-learning community here might be interested in this (since the proposed Arabic site has had bad luck). Currently Stack Exchange are harshly closing proposed sites:

Please link to the organization or website organizing this effort:
If you do not yet have a community organized, ready and eager to build your site, please do not submit this proposal.

So if you'd want to participate in this site, I need you to...

๐Ÿ…ผ๐Ÿ…ฐ๐Ÿ…บ๐Ÿ…ด ๐Ÿ…ฝ๐Ÿ…พ๐Ÿ…ธ๐Ÿ†‚๐Ÿ…ด!!!

Either here, or at the Area 51 post above.

It has no hope unless many people speak up (there's no point in even trying). I feel voting alone is not prominent enough, I need people to say things like:

I'm learning A and B and I have expertise in Y and Z. Currently, A is not represented at Stack Exchange. I would use this site for such-and-such.

And maybe point out if you'd be willing to be a diamond moderator.

(Also consider using eye-catching fonts for headers and writing in foreign languages to attract attention.)

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  • Hmm... the post was deleted by Community with the message " Via /api/posts/delete-related-discussions". I don't know how to interpret that. Mar 12, 2020 at 0:27

2 Answers 2

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I had a question considered off-topic regarding Arabic interpretation of some words/expressions in the Quran which is the Islamic Holy Book.

Today I searched expecting to find a Arabic language SE website, and I find none. I think until there's a SE site regarding Arabic language (that I'd love), there should be some tolerance regarding this type of questions.

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My biggest concern is the lack of a solid community around the Arabic language proposals so far. Having a Languages supersite doesn't really do anything about that: Yes, it means that there would be a site that Arabic questions could be asked at, but it doesn't mean that there'd be any community (much less experts) willing or able to answer them.

I think the obvious comparison to make here is to Stack Overflow itself, being a supersite that covers all programming languages. However, one important thing to consider is that there is a lot of overlap in what languages programmers work with, especially professional programmers: Programming languages change and develop and become popular and fall out of favour far faster than spoken languages, and programmer skills need to expand along with them. I myself have been maintaining a system with applications written in everything from BASH, Java, TCL/Tk, Perl, Ruby to an obscure German 4GL for the last decade and a half, and I don't think I'm particularly unique in that.

Languages, yes, there are people who know multiple languages, but the majority of people would probably only be fluent in one or two (plus English). There might be some overlap within language families (e.g. Romance language or Semetic languages), and there's some languages that would group together simply due to geography (e.g. the multiple languages spoken in India or China): If the proposed supersite was scoped to one of these categories, it might be viable, but I really doubt there's much overlap outside of them.

So where Stack Overflow really thrives by putting a bunch of programmers in one place, I don't think you'll get the same effect by putting a bunch of…languagers…together. I reckon you're mostly just going to end up with the same undeveloped communities ineffectually managing their own little insular sub-communities instead, rather than building an actual supercommunity that the entire site can benefit from.

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  • It's hard to predict---it's why I've taken some time thinking about this. Nevertheless, people who are not fluent can still contribute useful questions and answers (and often it's the learners who know how to teach other learners). And I feel many polyglots are interested in, and can responsibly handle questions about arbitrary languages. (Some people are active users of multiple language sites already.) Mar 8, 2020 at 3:40
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    My experience (here in particular) also suggests a successful site is about having active users utterly determined to make it work. If people come together and decide "we're going to make this work", they'll find a way. Mar 8, 2020 at 3:43

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