A lot of tagged questions have useless titles:

This is unhelpful to the future reader. Perhaps their answers are useful, but nobody is ever going to look because of the useless title.

I see recently that we're lightening up on "translation request" posts. It's probably for the best, since

  1. while we don't want to become a "bulk translation service", we're not at risk of this any time soon (and we can be more selective at a later date if problems do arise),
  2. it's more welcoming
  3. it appears less distracting to just quickly answer these question and moved on, and
  4. these kinds of questions may encourage newer users to start answering questions.

However, this results in useless titles such as the above.

Question: What can we do about the useless titles of "what does this say?" translation questions?

2 Answers 2


To supplement/complement droooze's proposal, we can also use the existing context for uniqueness (and to the extent, searchability).


  • Can someone translate what these say? is about "a (Hip-Hop styled) hooded shirt/short sleeve pullover". While it might (or might not) add context to answer, it's a bit better to title it as "What do the characters on this Hip-Hop styled hoodie mean?".

  • Translate this sentence for me: By searching for the quote, looks like it's from chapter 93 of a short novel. It can be titled as "What does this passage from chapter 93 of <Insert Novel Name Here> mean?"

  • Help me translate this sentence: again, by searching the quote, looks like it's from chapter 85 of 极品飞仙 (direct link to the WebNovel.com source). Thus, it can be titled as "What does this passage from chapter 85 of 极品飞仙 mean?"

  • and so on...


We can edit the question to put the characters to be identified/translated in the title, then tag it with the appropriate topic (e.g. , , , or whatever).

When someone is actually interested in identifying something on a hunch of theirs (i.e. putting in the effort), they can use the search functionality along with the appropriate tag to get their question answered.

I guess this solution is suboptimal in some cases, as it makes no sense for a request to already have the identified characters in the title, but I don't know what to do about that...

  • While this might be a good idea, a potential problem with adding the characters to the title might give a wrong impression that the asker knows the characters already but lazy to look up on dictionaries or other references... and may invite unneeded downvotes :/
    – Andrew T.
    Nov 17, 2019 at 14:36
  • I feel like adding "[answered: 犯罪]" or "[answered: 罪犯]" (whichever is correct) to the title What does the lettering mean? would at least make it have some use. I'm a bit inhibited because I can't load Imgur images currently.
    – Becky 李蓓 Mod
    Nov 18, 2019 at 2:05
  • @Becky李蓓 I voted to close that question as off-topic. Otherwise I'd agree with you
    – dROOOze
    Nov 18, 2019 at 2:06

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