I saw this question: Is my interpretation of this sentence correct? which I interpreted as "could you check my translation", i.e. a proofreading question.

Searching meta, I could not find any opinion or policy on whether proofreading questions should be allowed. So should they?

Here are some other stack exchange sites which have discussed whether to allow proofreading:

ELU: https://english.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/512/does-this-sort-of-question-qualify-as-proofreading

Disallows proofreading in general, but if the text is short it's ok

ELL: https://ell.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/258/should-proofreading-questions-be-closed-as-offtopic

Allowed as long as the area of concern is identified

Japanese: https://japanese.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/1069/should-proofreading-questions-be-allowed

Similar to ELL, the question needs to identify the area of concern


1 Answer 1


Uhm, I think we talked about this, about translations.

Anyway, my take on this is simple... The question needs to be focused regardless of the content. This means that yes, we don't do long texts proofreading. That's because the question is too broad.

However if someone proposes a question asking whether something of his translation is correct (note: showing prior effort) then we can help.

In short:

  1. the question must be about something specific, a specific expression that is hard to translate, etc...
  2. The OP must show effort to having done something, we don't provide translations.
  • Just confirming what Alenanno says, the question must be specific, meaning there must be a problem to solve otherwise it is not intended for a Q&A site but for a translation / proof-reading site.
    – going
    Nov 10, 2013 at 22:40
  • 2
    I am quite torn on the question linked above, I initially closed it and then re-opened and then added a comment which I have now deleted. This guy has shown some effort and it is only a couple of sentences, I would prefer not to have this question on here because it is too narrow, but I feel since this guy has attempted the translation that I am being too picky. Thoughts (close/comment/ignore)?
    – going
    Nov 10, 2013 at 23:04
  • I agree with @xiaohouzi79, reasonable effort is demonstrated. But the question title sucks. Maybe close it after it got an answer?
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 11, 2013 at 1:55
  • @xiaohouzi79 I would just change the title to reflect what the point was (the crucial one), the same that the answers addressed, and maybe improve the question in that sense, but leave it open... I don't see particular reasons to close it. That's my take. :D
    – Alenanno
    Nov 11, 2013 at 9:37
  • 1
    @xiaohouzi79 The test I've been using to decide close vote is 'will it be acceptable if similar questions are all over the site'. My personal answer is 'no' for the linked question.
    – NS.X.
    Nov 12, 2013 at 1:16
  • @NS.X. - Yet, yourself and the person who gave your comment a plus 1 haven't clicked the 'close' button. Personally, I like to be helpful when there is a genuine attempt by someone who is learning the language. I also don't like this question because it is not focused on an exact problem, but I would much prefer it's not just my name on the close, I already pulled the trigger but still didn't feel comfortable because the person made an attempt and they didn't think result was right. I'm still not sure either way, so I'm also looking to the community.
    – going
    Nov 12, 2013 at 22:55
  • @xiaohouzi79 I thought I've cast my vote... just voted for closing. The person gave my comment +1 could be agreeing on the principle but not the judgement for that question, just saying.
    – NS.X.
    Nov 13, 2013 at 0:04
  • @xiaohouzi79, I agree with NS.X., but the reason for closing just doesn't sound right. There has to be a better closing option, which is seriously lacking in the system.
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 14, 2013 at 2:10

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