I am a fairly new user of this stack exchange (active for only 1 week) and wish to ask a few re-occurring questions.

  1. What is the purpose of this Stack Exchange?
    What is this SE used for? Is it to be a place for questions about translations and meaning? I understand the reasoning behind "we are not a free translation agency" and request that people who ask questions show they put some effort in researching the question. But I want to have a discussion and ask subjectively, what they think this site is used for? Can we ask cultural questions? A previous post ( FAQ: What is On topic and Off topic on this site? ) said that cultural questions are off-topic. Are the two related or not? If I ask a question about Chinese New Year Slogans, would that be off topic? Why would someone want to come here for answers.

  2. Should this site be different from quora / reddit and other sites?
    I know Quora has questions that are more subjective and can feel like a lengthy discussion. Reddit is plagued with commercials and random stories about Chinese culture some not even pertaining to language. SE is unique in that it's a no bull shit and quick question / answer site. This site is part of a series of other Stack Exchanges that was branched out from the original Computer Science type of SE and its original purpose would be to solve questions. I personally feel that most of the questions on this site are not related at all to computer science. And most visitors come here for language learning.

  3. What is the future goal of this Stack Exchange?
    I saw a few post about starting a blog to attract other users beyond the realm of just asking questions pertaining to Chinese language. (Do we want a Chinese Blog?) as well as another questions asking how to increase the popularity of this site. (How to increase popularity of CSE?) Should we limit ourselves to asking questions about language only? Should this site evolve into something similar to Quora (without all the political questions) or be able to share posts like Reddit (minus all the learn chinese website commercials)?

  4. Should this site have more "features" or should it stick to its roots of short and fast Q&A?
    Some sites such as http://lang-8.com/ have native speakers offering to correct chinese language learners short essays. Should this site start with these types of broad check my grammar type of questions? What about a question pertaining to a specific part of an essay, like a is this sentence used correctly? Creating a blog would fall under this category as well. As would something like funny chinese caption/memes. Maybe all these would be better off linked off to a blog, and back-linked back to the SE, allowing people to ask questions about the topic/caption/picture or whatever medium there is. I also saw some old post about chat meetings and what not, but those are over 4 years old!

Sorry for making this sound like a discussion, but I feel these questions deserve to be discussed if this site is to make any progress.

1 Answer 1


That's a lot of questions. I'll answer the first one about what is on topic. Obviously, Chinese culture and language are closely related, so often a question will concern both. As long as there is some language aspect to the question, I think it will be fine.

If you want a more flexible environment, try starting a conversation in the chat section. You don't have to stay on-topic there. If you see an interesting question on the site, you can start a related conversation by using the asker's name or the answerer's name there. As an example, I started a conversation in chat with your name. Did you get a notification?

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