For those I haven't yet met, I'm Tim Post, the Director of Stack Overflow Communities here at Stack Exchange.

A little over a year ago, Portuguese Stack Overflow opened to a wildly successful public beta. Shortly after, Japanese Stack Overflow along with Russian Stack Overflow followed suit in becoming very strong communities where programmers get stuff done, and we couldn't be prouder of them.

I'm pleased to announce that we've finally hired a Spanish-speaking community manager, and that work on a Spanish site will begin within the next 30 days. More about this will be posted on our blog in the next few days.

We've also made translations a nearly community-owned endeavor through our partner Transifex. Anyone with time, skill and interest can help work on translations, while 'trusted' members of a new community review and approve them; very close to how things work on the site itself. The process still requires the support of a developer and community manager, but the quality of our translations and pace at which they're completed have significantly improved.

What now?

In the 'hopper' we've got a few more languages that seem like good candidates for localization from a technical standpoint. Turkish, German & Korean stand at the front. Since each new site is an enormous undertaking, our goal with each one is to reach the largest group of developers we're currently not serving as well as we should.

Deciding on the next language is not purely about how many people speak a language. It's more about how many developers speak a language, and aren't likely to be very proficient in English. There are also many technical, and sometimes political complications that we have to consider.

We're looking at years worth of data that we have in order to determine where the next largest net-win for developer inclusion might be. Fragments of this exist, such as TOEIC scores, but the best insight comes from our own data, as the largest active developer community in the world. We're making some interesting discoveries, and plan to share them publicly in the months to come.

What's next, and when?

After Spanish, it's going to be a bit of time before we're ready to take on another language. I can't say precisely how long other than much longer than I'm comfortable asking people to wait, while the Area 51 process itself continues to raise people's expectations.

What's important for everyone that has proposed Stack Overflow in another language is that we've heard you, and we know there's interest. If you propose something and it's closed, it's not us saying no. It's simply us saying not yet, and probably not for a while, but we're working on it.

When we're ready to start the next language, we will post here, and reach out to the folks that showed interest in the associated proposal. I wish we could do all of them, right now, because of how successful the sites we've completed have been. We'll keep working, and promise to keep folks abreast.

Could you please specify the requirements of opening a stackoverflow site in a totally new language? How many developers? How many dedicated personals? What costs? – Hamed Aug 25 '15 at 18:36
Why closing proposals instead of putting them on hold? – Franck Dernoncourt Nov 28 '15 at 18:09
Good to know. I'm Korean and I was a committer of SOK (SO Korean) proposal which is automatically closed last summer :( Please feel free to concat me if you need help when you make a Korean version. If you don't have a community manager who knows about Korean well, my commnunity would help you. Thanks. – Jason Heo Dec 9 '15 at 8:26
Oh I can't wait for The Persian version! I'll be there to help! – Alex Jolig Dec 14 '15 at 8:13
Just to clarify, it’s intended (and not a bug) that those language-specific proposals get deleted, even if they reached 100 %? -- The German Stack Overflow proposal had the banner "This launch is on hold while we add the international features needed to make it functional for this community. Dates will be announced when available." -- but now it’s deleted. – unor Dec 21 '15 at 21:24
How it will be available ? the international features ? I've been created for SO Indonesian and get [closed] after a minute... – Eko Junaidi Salam Mar 31 '16 at 13:43
I would like to propose an Italian site. Is there a process to do so? How are you going to choose which languages to open the sites in first? – user May 11 '16 at 11:45
Wish for Bahasa Malaysia version of Stack Overflow which my proposal been auto closed just now. Together with Bahasa Indonesia & Malay language which is the origin of Bahasa Malaysia. – Wafie Ali Nov 19 '16 at 5:20
I think that French is a good idea since every once in a while I see questions asked in French on Stack Overflow. – user167756 Feb 6 at 15:59

My plans are to develop an open source Chrome Extension+Firefox addon+ UserScript, that make StackExchange works in Hebrew and other RTL languages.

All what it is doing is to override the style and make it RTL. And also translate some basic buttons (Questions, Answers, Ask Question, etc'...)

If the team of StackExchange will see the extension and like it. There is any change that you releae the hold of this proposal:

Isn't this a little bit like encouraging people to jump in the water that can't actually swim? If translating a few buttons makes a big difference for people isn't that a pretty solid indication they don't actually have enough English to participate? And won't forcing the issue make it worse for them in that they won't be well be well served by the English content? – Caleb Nov 22 '15 at 17:52
I do not think the only problem is the buttons. Those users could not understand the questions or answers. Could not do anything except reading the buttons. If a user has enough practice on reading and writing in English, then the buttons should not be a problem too. – FallenAngel Mar 4 '16 at 7:17
The point is, that after the extension is ready, people will be able to ask and answer in Hebrew, in the new StackExchange Hebrew site. This why I want to open this proposal again – Aminadav Mar 4 '16 at 7:19

May 12 '15:

standing up a new site doesn't take a lot of work.

Jun 17 '15:

each new site is an enormous undertaking

What happened between May and June of 2015 that changed the situation so drastically?

Do you need help?

What changed is context. Creating a new site is easy: fill out a few forms, push a few buttons, and you've got a new, blank site ready for the community to show up. However, if you don't support the language yet, creating a new site is hard: you need to translate the interface, verify the software handles the language's quirks (eg. case-folding of "ı"), hire a community manager who can speak the language, and so on. – Mark Feb 24 '16 at 1:19
ok. supporting vietnamese language is very easy (…). but hiring a community manager is difficult. – Learn How To Be Transparent Oct 4 '16 at 2:54

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