The question on whether character identification/translation is allowed can be very frustrating. As I am trying to learn the language if one cannot ask about a basic logogram then how could they build a foundation of learning Mandarin?
I believe that closing such questions without acknowledging the prior effort is a disservice to language learners. Every person had to be taught basic character recognition at some point. I think it unreasonable to have questions considered off-topic that show obvious effort.
I put up a series of questions (currently on hold), A, B, C that clearly show effort and place the question into an appropriate conversational context (producing obvious benefits to other learners). These were placed off-topic because I included the word translation but in fact, I just needed character identification in most cases.
If the deciding factor is to be that some effort is shown and the work must be useful to others, then I would say that my examples are on-topic. If there is never to be any translation assistance then maybe this is not a site for those who want to learn but rather a site for those who are already native speakers (or those who have more than a beginner's knowledge).
Character recognition is the foundation of learning Chinese. If such questions on the basics is not allowed, then something seems wrong with the site mandate. I agree that frivolous posts detract from the content. I do not believe that my examples were frivolous because they clearly show effort and are helpful to others (note the up-votes, I assume the down-votes are those who think any translation is banned).
This question of showing effort and utility when looking at translation/character recognition requests really ought to be made clear and adhered to by the community.
Did I misunderstand the instructions??
If so, please advise.