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We've even considered (on the Stack Exchange Team) urging our language sites to become full immersion only, but since converting the UI to another target [language] was much more difficult than anticipated, we've been dragging our heels about suggesting it at all.
Robert Cartaino, 2016

So...

Questions: Why do we allow asking questions in English?

There must be some concrete reasons, other than "that how things are". We're meant to be attracting experts, and it seems that asking in English is an inhibition to this.

(I mostly ask in English because I'm afraid my Chinese is not good enough.)


Related: Asking questions completely in Chinese

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  • I think immersion would only further alienate our site at this point in time. When I have more specific questions I end up on Chinese 贴吧s, myself. – Mo. Jan 19 at 3:11
  • I'm not suggesting implementing an English-ban right now, I'm just interested in the reasoning. – Becky 李蓓 Jan 19 at 3:13
  • I don't have anything concrete myself, but I would imagine that it stems from meta. Meta is in English so community mangers can stay up to date with what's going on. Starts from the top and trickles down. – Mo. Jan 19 at 3:16
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Another comment from Robert Cartaino might shed a little light on this:

Our goal to make the Stack Exchange Network a great place to produce high-quality Q&A sites, no matter what language they speak. But we are still predominantly an English-speaking organization and we need to understand the underlying premise of these sites.

Although he's talking about foreign language SE sites, I think it gives a little indication of what might be going on here.


You might also be interested in this page:

Will the Chinese Language site allow for questions to be asked completely in Chinese?

@Borror0 asked a similar question(?, maybe) and was downvoted for it until I gave him an upvote just now to return his answer score to zero.

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While we're playing a friendly game of "quote Robert Cartaino"...

We also have several "language learning" sites which allow a full-immersion experience by posting questions in both English and the target language of that site.
Robert Cartaino, 2019

In the context of a feature request for bilingual tags he wrote:

Despite its outward appearance, Esperanto SE is still an English-language site whose subject just happens to be learning another language. Yes, there is a strong component of full-immersion learning, encouraging reading and writing in the target language — and we fully support that — but purporting to support non-English communities in this one feature ONLY presents a problem our international design was meant to avoid.
Robert Cartaino, 2019

(This is also relevant for What's a suitable Chinese name for the Community bot?)


The Russian Stack Exchange (in Russian) arose atypically:

The Russian Language [in Russian] site was imported from another community at the same time that Stack Overflow in Russian was imported. The sites were seeded from HashCode because they already had a good base of Russian programmers.
animuson, 2017


There's also the matter of Hot Network Questions:

International Stack Overflow sites are now excluded from the Hot Network Questions list entirely.
Adam Lear, 2019

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