Proposal: Islam

Given that a large portion of the site's target demographic probably do not speak English as a first language, would questions/answers in other languages (e.g., Urdu, Hindi, Arabic) be accepted?

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If you are going to write a question/answer in Arabic (or any other language) make an English translation. Stack Exchange is mainly English, hands down. We'll get less traffic if some questions aren't written in English. – Dynamic May 10 '12 at 10:44

Stack Exchange sites are defined by communities, not merely by topics. If a group of people are interested in a topic but are unable to communicate with each other then they do not constitute a real community for a Q&A site. Therefore I think the main part of the questions should be written in English.

Other users can help the OP in stating the question in English correctly. Note that this is not an issue only for this site, many users on other SE sites have the same problem of not being native English speakers.

On the other hand, quoting Quran and other references in Arabic (and in their original language, whatever it is) will be required for stating some questions, so it should be fine to quote in another languages. But even in such cases the OP should try to provide an English translation (preferably from a respected source and not a self-translation/interpretation).

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The site doesn't have to be in English, but splitting the site by language would not be a good idea. The site needs to pick a single language, whether English, Arabic, Urdu, or whatever.

We don't want to have questions that have to be duplicated solely because they were asked in a language that the person wanting to ask the duplicate doesn't speak. It's best to pick the single language up-front and stick to it.

This doesn't mean that it can't use other languages, of course. But entire questions and answers shouldn't be in anything but the site's language of choice.

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The problem with duplicate questions is easily solved as long as anyone reports that and at least a moderator speaks them both. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 18:51
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@Lohoris: How is it solved? If the person posting the new question cannot read the duplicate question and answer(s), then how is that person being helped? That's why picking a single language is important. – Nicol Bolas May 10 '12 at 18:53
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If you don't understand a language, you'll have access to a narrower amount of knowledge. Anyone with edit powers can edit an answer to add a translation, if he feels like. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 18:55
    
A nice feature could be small bounties for edits. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 18:55
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@Lohoris: So let me make sure I understand your position. I have a question about Islam. I understand language X. I post a question in language X, which is acceptable on Islam.SE. It is closed as a duplicate of a question in language Y, which I do not understand. How does that help me? It would be one thing if the entire site were in language Y; then it's obvious from the start that the site simply doesn't cater to my language of choice. But to invite me to ask a question in language X, and then close it because of another question in language Y? That sounds like a bait-and-switch. – Nicol Bolas May 10 '12 at 19:01
    
I wouldn't close it unless the old question already had answers in language Y. That said, you could offer a bounty for a translation of an answer of that question (if that was possible), or in general a bounty for giving a new answer, in the desired language. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 19:05

I suggest foreign language questions to be closed, unless they are translated into English in a few hours. And, the users should be patient while closing foreign language questions; they shouldn't vote a foreign language question to close if it is asked just one hour ago.

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That might not always be possible not every Muslim knows English so if they can provide the translation so that people can understand it, picking a single language is almost impossible.

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@Dynamic what gave you this notion? AFAIK Stack Overflow sites have always accepted in theory foreign language questions, with the caveat that it wasn't very useful to post them since most people wouldn't have understood them. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 18:50
    
@Lohoris You are correct. But, of course, SE is mainly english. – Dynamic May 10 '12 at 18:51
    
what you have said is what i meant, of course anyone would expect a english translation with it, but some one else might have to do it if the one who is asking does not know english. – مجاهد May 10 '12 at 18:53
    
@Lohoris: Perhaps you should read the Trilogy policy on non-English questions. Stack Exchange sites in general can conduct business on whatever language they see fit. But English is what the Trilogy sites use, period. – Nicol Bolas May 10 '12 at 19:02
    
@NicolBolas that's news to me, I'm pretty sure in past the position was different, as I described. – o0'. May 10 '12 at 19:07
    
@Lohoris: That post is from 2009, so it's not like this was a recent change. – Nicol Bolas May 10 '12 at 19:12

In my opinion, people could voluntarily add translations for questions and accepted answer and/or answer with highest rating for languages they know. This way more people can get benefit. Like below:

Question:

zxcv?

AR: xvcx

TR: sxcv

DE: sdfsdf

Accepted Answer:

werwer

FR: asdasd

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