For those I haven't yet met, I'm Tim Post, the Director of Stack Overflow Communities here at Stack Exchange.

When we said we planned to reverse our previous stance on localization some years ago, we really had no idea what we were getting into. We had some experience, we knew that it can be tricky to find just the right translation to fit design constraints, but we really had no idea what we were in for.

Now we do, and we're actually getting good at it. The process of translation for us is still more of a barrier than we'd like it to be, but we're light years ahead of where we started. People have in fact noticed that we're turning out some pretty great sites, and they're wondering when this great new thing will be open to Stack Exchange communities in general.

No French cooking site? That's crazy, and deprives the world of finer cuisine. Seriously, no martial arts for Asian languages? What?!

Here's where we are, in a nutshell.

In order for us to consider a localized site other than Stack Overflow, Stack Overflow must currently exist in the target language. Additionally, we positively must have community manager cycles to spare, from someone fluent in the target language.

Currently, this is not the case for any language where Stack Overflow has been translated, and we don't foresee it being the case in the amount of time we're willing to ask people to wait. We're not turning a deaf ear to what these communities clearly want, we simply don't want the Area 51 process itself to artificially raise people's expectations.

At the same time, we want these sites, but not at the cost of building them less than responsibly on our side. It will be some time until we have the resources needed, and tweaks to the process itself in place to start building these.

We're not saying 'no'.

We're saying not yet. As we continue to build Stack Overflow again and again in different languages while we create even more amazing developer communities, it's inevitable that these developers are going to want to use our software to ask questions about other interests. If we can learn anything from history, it's this.

When we first announced Stack Exchange 2.0, we didn't have the awkward problem of having only one person in the company that could even read certain sites, much less help guide them through their very critical early stages. We don't consider this an acceptable problem to have for the longer term, but there's a limit to how fast we can hire and grow responsibly.

In the interim, we're continuing to look at ways we can make the process of bringing up a new international site even simpler, while reducing the amount of developer and community manager overhead that's spent on administrative things we hope to eventually automate or offload entirely to individual communities.

Just as I noted in the update about localization progress for Stack Overflow itself, if your proposal is closed it's not because we're not interested in building it, we're just not sure when we can, and we don't want to unfairly raise your expectations.

We wish we could support additional sites in the languages we've currently finished translating, because the enthusiasm we've seen for them is amazing. We're going to keep working on it, and when we're ready, we promise to let you know.

  • 19
    What about the existing sites: German Language, Japanese Language, French Language, Spanish Language, etc.? Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 21:42
  • 4
    Does this mean that proposals for "X in (Portuguese|Russian|Japanese)" (and soon, Spanish) will be considered?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 23:56
  • @Rubén: I hadn't read that article, but I've already corresponded with Juan several times. And neither of your links answers my question. Or is there something I missed in comments somewhere?
    – Flimzy
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:28
  • 1
    Since Portuguese Stack Overflow is already on the fly, why not consider other Portuguese sites? I've made a proposal for a Brazilian Business Rules site. Here in Brazil we natively speak portuguese and use Portuguese Stack Overflow. So, why not?! Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 21:57
  • But,we do have ja.stackoverflow.com
    – Soham
    Commented Apr 7, 2016 at 7:20
  • 2
    So now that we have (4?) localized SO sites now will SE allow a Spanish Ask Ubuntu proposal to stay alive? You've deleted 2 already and I believe there actually is quite a bit of interest.
    – Seth
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 22:16
  • Is this post still correct? ie, foreign-language SEs are not being considered? A German-language SO was proposed today: area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/127818/…
    – warren
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 17:07
  • 1
    @warren I suggest a new meta post to find out - I haven't worked for SE for a few years now :)
    – Tim Post
    Commented Apr 7, 2023 at 19:57

1 Answer 1


@TimPost: Your post is confusing. I read in the comments that a ja.stackoverflow.com does exist. Additionnaly, why did wikipedia manage to do it and not stackoverflow ? What are the steps your team should take to achieve that in a short period of time ? BTW, I recommend a good read: 'from 0 to 1' by Peter thiel. It will not answer these questions, but will give you valuable tools to find the answers; Good luck.

  • 6
    Things can be grandfathered without justifying later similar sites. And Tim clearly explains why Stack Exchange won't do it: they can but that would not be responsible management. If you want it done fast and good, you should invest a couple of million dollars. Until then, get with the programme.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 31, 2017 at 10:08

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