3

Background:

I started studying Chinese on my own about 2 years ago. My method was to learn enough grammar to translate and then translate many things. Due to lack of time, and also to make finding the translation exercises easy, I decided to translate songs randomly gotten off Youtube. So I bumped into a few songs in Min, Cantonese and Hakka.

Question:

If I ask a translation question on one of these, should I expect it to be closed as off-topic because they are about dialects, or should I expect an answer as if it were a translation question about something in Mandarin?

1
  • 1
    I personally encourage questions about dialects. Dialects are much richer than mandarin. Many great poets spoke dialects, their poems don't rhyme at all in mandarin. I didn't realize this until I came to contact with people whose spoke dialects. There are also a lot proverbs in dialects that have no trace in mandarin. – George Chen Sep 14 '14 at 18:10
5

According to the Help Topic on "What topics can I ask", there is no distinction made for dialects. Translation is supported under certain conditions. The criteria includes showing prior work and making sure that the question is specific (has a definitive answer) rather than open-ended (discussion based). Additional insight can be gathered from this question.

on-topic

3
  • Just for curiosity: is there a site where I could ask a hypothetical culture question without it being considered off-topic? – MickG Aug 29 '14 at 8:22
  • @MickG As long as the eventual question is about language, I think you should preface your question with some background about the cultural aspect of the language question and use this site. Just be sure there is a valid language question at the end. People may comment on the cultural aspects if the language question is interesting enough. – Tommie C. Aug 29 '14 at 10:32
  • @MickG Agreed with Tommie. You can also: ask on Meta for advice whether the question fits the site guidelines, or you can ask in our Chat. :) There is no "off topic" there. – Alenanno Aug 30 '14 at 8:58

You must log in to answer this question.

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