I'd like to reaffirm an 8-year-old consensus [+4/-0] about posting in Chinese and English, which led to this on the on-topic page:

Should I post in English or Chinese?

Questions and answers can be written both in Chinese and English on the Main Site only. The Meta site should be in English only, though. This is a request by the Stack Exchange team so they can communicate with us. So, on the Main site you can choose either language, but we suggest a guideline that has been used on other Stack Exchange sites as well:

  • If the question is in English, please answer in English;
  • If the question is in Chinese, please answer in Chinese.

In either case, if you're not as comfortable in the question's language, you can provide a brief but complete answer in the original language, and then a more detailed answer in your preferred language. Other users may help improve your translation. Translations are not mandatory, they are just helpful for users who are not fully bilingual. But keep in mind that if your answer is correct without providing a translation, the OP might not consider it as much as it deserves.

I'm just writing to make sure we're all still generally okay with this.

Question: Are posts permitted in both English and Chinese?

When a fundamental claim like this is made, I feel we should have an individual meta post which establishes consensus: a place where users have had a chance to have their say. Moreover, it is useful to have a specific meta post to link to (where the future reader can add their opinions).

Please vote according to agreement:

  1. Upvote/downvote according to whether you agree/disagree with the general idea that posts are permitted in both English and Chinese. Downvote otherwise.
  2. Add answers if there is something beyond this you'd like to add.

1 Answer 1


My current thoughts on the matter (separate from above):

  • I welcome questions and answers in Chinese and English. In fact, I've written questions in both English and Chinese myself.

  • I'm not comfortable with this:

    • If the question is in English, please answer in English;
    • If the question is in Chinese, please answer in Chinese.

    I feel this leads to nagging in comments, which I feel is more annoying than beneficial (and may deter new users). And likewise with traditional/simplified Chinese. We should be welcoming and grateful when people contribute.

    Edit in a translation if you feel its needed (perhaps leaving a comment e.g. "I added my best attempt at a translation, please continue [edit]ing if needed."). And in general, we help each other out through editing to fix writing bugs.

  • I feel beginner questions are better written in English: if they're written in Chinese, aside from having grammar errors (which may be sufficient reason to close the question), subsequent authors may unwittingly write duplicate questions. Moreover, people who can already read Chinese won't find beginner questions useful.

  • I also feel writing in Chinese is best left for questions which are of interest only to people who can already read Chinese. It doesn't matter that beginners are "left out" of questions that are not of interest to beginners.

  • I feel the language of the question title should match the language of the question body. When you see the title, it should be clear what language the question is in.

  • Not right now, but at some point I intend to change the wording of the on-topic page in general, but this section in particular is needlessly wordy. It could instead be along the lines of:

    Posts are permitted both in English and Chinese (including traditional and simplified), but please consider what the reader can understand: beginner questions are better asked and answered in English. Please ensure the title and question body are in the same language. We help each other out through editing.

    Such changes are for a future meta post; here I'm just sharing my thoughts.

Edit: I forgot to mention:

  • 1
    I agree with all points, and as someone who nags people who post in another language than the OP, I agree also with 2 even though answers in Chinese under posts of a beginner are likely not going to be super useful, translating might be impractical, and/or not everyone might be willing to do that. For points 3 and 4, it's good theory but how are you going to enforce it?
    – blackgreen
    Aug 11, 2020 at 14:25
  • (At this stage, it's just my thoughts...) I wouldn't enforce 3. or 4.; it's just advice.
    – Becky 李蓓 Mod
    Aug 11, 2020 at 23:29

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .