I would like to update our translation policy as part of the help topics so that we have something that we can point to when commenting or closing translation questions. This has come up a few times and I think if we can agree on a definition and add it to the help topics then it will solidify everyone's understanding and will assist with moderating.

Currently the help topic "What topics can I ask here" states:

We do not forbid translation requests but note that this is not a translation service, so we will close any translation request that does not show research effort. Make sure you clearly show it in your question.

Please work with me below to try and update this to provide a better definition of what we allow in terms of translation questions.

1 Answer 1


I prefer to have something like:

We are happy to assist with your translation questions if you are having a specific problem. Please show your attempt at translation in your question and state which area you are having difficulty with.

Open ended questions regarding the accuracy of a translation or asking for a translation of a word or passage without showing previous effort are not allowed.

Questions requesting the Chinese version of a word or phrase where there is only a passing interest and not asked by someone learning the language are also off topic. This includes asking for a Chinese name, a suitable tattoo or the meaning of a Chinese character seen in a movie etc.

  • Not bad. Fine by me! :P
    – Alenanno
    Nov 11, 2013 at 0:19
  • How about forbidding people from asking for a Chinese idiom that corresponds to an idiom in another language?
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 11, 2013 at 1:51
  • 1
    @QuestionOverflow - I have amended the statement. I think your case should be covered. 1) There doesn't exist an English version (or if it does the source language is irrelevant). 2) There is only a passing interest. If someone can convert their request into a specific point of difficulty in English and has shown prior effort to find a match in Chinese then it should be on topic.
    – going
    Nov 11, 2013 at 3:50
  • Passing interest is quite subjective. Somebody asking for a Chinese version of something is obviously not learning the Chinese language but the other language. How about shortening it to "Questions requesting the Chinese version of a word or phrase are also off topic."?
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 12, 2013 at 2:46
  • @QuestionOverflow - But they are on topic if someone is learning Chinese and they have tried to find something equivalent. The point I am trying to get at is to prevent those people who are not learning Chinese. It is subjective, but I think that's part of moderation (which the whole community can assist with). Appreciate your feedback.
    – going
    Nov 12, 2013 at 22:51
  • You are right, I miss out such a possibility. What I am trying to say is that if the closing reason is ambiguous, then it would be hard to stand your ground or apply it consistently to be seen fair. This can lead to arguments and a bad user experience.
    – 杨以轩
    Nov 13, 2013 at 1:47

You must log in to answer this question.

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