Proposal: Latin Language

I'm curious as to how oriented these language exchanges are towards the newer and inceptivus (beginn[er][ing]) group that may ask questions as simple as, "How do I properly write this sentence?"

Are people going to get downvoted for asking for proper translations or incorrect spelling of latin words/ improper endings?

Basically, do these new exchanges allow for beginners and intermediates to ask the lower-ended questions without fear of being downvoted? I know Stackoverflow definitely has its issues with being a low-rep beginner programmer seeking help.

Please note: This is specifically aimed towards new language groups and Latin in specific.

up vote 15 down vote accepted

The language sites I frequent (Japanese, German & Portuguese) are all tolerant with respect to beginners' questions. A simple question can still be a good question.

The format for good simple questions is often

Here is a sentence/text from [my textbook called X / this website (link) / etc.]. I understand [this part of it], but I'm not sure what [this other part] is supposed to mean. I tried to look up [these words] in a dictionary, but [I couldn't find them / whatever].

In other words, it shows what the learner did him/herself to answer the question and shows clearly at what stage the beginner is, what they do understand and what they don't. Ideally a good simple question is instructive to read for other beginners, too.

There are bad simple questions, too.

What are the letters of the alphabet?

What is a verb?

Why is Latin so difficult?

Some of these can be turned into better or good simple questions, for example

Considering that the letters K, Y & Z were only used in loanwords, did these letters belong to the Latin alphabet right from the start, or were they introduced later?

(I'm just making this up as I go.) This invites a detailed answer, which might give early citations for these letters, etc. The original, bad question invites bad answers.

So as long as your beginner's question doesn't fall into the "bad question" category, I think you shouldn't be afraid of downvotes. (But you should also be prepared to think well about your question before posting it.)


As a Latin beginner (well, I've forgotten most of what I learnt at school) I would hope it would welcome good beginner questions. Not, obviously, the "Can you do my Latin homework for me" type questions, but "I'm translating this passage, I understand this, but don't know why the subjunctive/passive/dative etc is used here.


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