Proposal: Ukrainian Language

Hear me out and just don't take this as trolling. This is a very subtle issue but I guess it's better to discuss here.

Let me start with some facts:

  • The thing is that huge amount or Ukrainians are at best L2-Ukrainian speakers who nevertheless are very interested in Ukrainian language.
  • Not all of such people know Ukrainian or English as good as to ask question in this tongues.
  • They nevertheless have enough proficiency to understand answers in Ukrainian.
  • The majority of people who able to answer in Ukrainian are able to understand Russian question.

Should questions written in Russian (not answers though) be allowed as well? My personal opinion is that though it sounds paradoxycal can all in all be beneficial for this particular Stack and strengthen it. But of course it's not a proposal, it's an invitation to discuss. De-facto Ukraine is bilingual, for good or for bad. I also strongly encourage us not to dive into any political discussions.

UPD: for those who answers "sure, why not", please consider the fact that this will be actually the first tri-lingual SE site dedicated to a single language, this is something new actually, so it's a big deal.

UPD: for those who thinks that this is all about well known stance "Ukrainian is just so close too Russian so come on" - it's not. By no means Ukrainian and Russian are interchangeable, it all boils down to whether trilingualism will be beneficial for Urkainian-language dedicated Q&A site or not.

  • TL;DR - Yes. Longer reads below the comment.
    – magnump0
    Commented Jan 8, 2017 at 21:21
  • I updated my answer. You're free to re-vote it. In short: I don't think it's reasonable to forbid any language (within our local norms/rules); but if we're talking about giving some special permissions to Russian (i.e. now we're talking about handling it specially, but with "plus" sign rather than with "minus" sign), I also don't think it's reasonable.
    – Sasha
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 14:13

7 Answers 7


Well, since the question was updated (and other issues arose), I updated my answer.

First of all, I am not sure whether using Russian language in questions and answers at all is allowed by higher-level Stack Exchange rules/policies1 (you should understand, that not the whole Stack Exchange is community-driven; hosted sites are, but top-management also exists). If it is, then this discussion makes sense. If it isn't, then current discussion makes sense only in the context like: "Should we allow Russian language with our local rules/norms, if higher-level Stack Exchange rules/policies would allow it someday?"

Second, my original thoughts were not about trilingual site, but rather about allowing every language (I had written that draft for local rules/norms before I realized I am not sure whether it's allowed by higher-level rules/policies). My idea was something like "Ukrainian is strongly preferred; you are allowed to ask in any language — with some languages the probability to get answer is drastically lower — still you may try"). If we're talking about giving Russian some special status among other languages, I'd rather say "no"2.

Sorry for those who have up-voted my answer (before I changed it). You're free to revoke your votes (or even vote it down).

My original answer goes here:

That's my opinion:

TL;DR: I don't see how we can forbid other languages (and Russian, despite all political issues, is one of them). However, I think users should endeavor to write in Ukrainian. Maybe, political preferences will come out anyway (e.g. when seeing question in Russian, some users will expressly answer in Ukrainian, even having advanced level of Russian and theoretically not knowing a level of questioner's ability to understand Ukrainian), but we should not encourage that.


  1. What I know/suppose about internationalization state of Stack is the following:
    • Some time ago Stack was open to non-English languagesprove.
    • In 2015 that was suspended; since then creation of new non-English sites is allowed only in those languages, into which Stack Overflow (flagship site about programming) is already localizedprove; as for now, these are four languages: English, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, Spanishprove.
    • Sites devoted to language learning have additional right: to use target language within questions and answersprove.
    • Although Russian language is in the list of allowed languages (en, pt, ja, ru, es), that still doesn't mean that we will be allowed (to allow) to use Russian in questions and answers. Because:
      • We initiated as (English) site for learning Ukrainian language. I assume that chance of success in this case is much higher; although pt, ja, ru, es are allowed for consideration, creating new non-English site seems to require explicit permission. And, in any case, it will look like we're changing our initial direction.
      • "Rebranding" us as Russian site for learning Ukrainian language, per my opinion, will automatically change list of allowed languages (within questions and answers) from English+Ukrainian to Russian+Ukrainian. Do we want that?
      • "Rebranding" us as Russian site for learning Ukrainian language, per my opinion, will automatically change user interface from English to Russian. Do we want that?
      • Otherwise, if we go neither as (English) site for learning Ukrainian language, nor as Russian site for learning Ukrainian language — we don't follow any of existing formats (which will surely require special permission).
    • In 2016 that was restricted even more: they don't accept non-English sites for nowprove.
  2. "I'd rather say 'no' [to giving a special status]" — that's actually my vote as one of members, not as initiator. You may vote in other way and, if community wants, I'd happy to participate in trilingual (or other format) site. But I personally prefer: either all-languages-are-allowed, or Ukrainian-and-English-only (I don't see a reason to specially allow/forbid Russian; I don't really care if Russian language will be here; but I don't see a reason to give any language special status [except English which seems to be special for technical reasons]).

So, my opinion is:
We shouldn't forbid any languages by our local norms/rules. But they (except eng, ukr) most certainly will be forbidden by higher-level rules.


Stack Exchange is an English language-based network. Every site uses English for all purposes, with the sole exceptions of

  • Stack Overflow in non-English languages: the sheer volume of non-English questions on Stack Overflow couldn't be dealt with, by simple removal. This was the solution.

  • Stack Exchange communities for non-Ebglish languages: these allow the subject language for obvious reasons, to any extent within that community/site.

Russian is not Ukrainian. That's all that need be said.

  • I'm down-voting not because I disagree - it's just that you've stated how the things are as of now - but that does not answer anything and does not reason anything - actually what you've stated is the reason why this question occurred.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:11
  • That's how Stack Exchange works. The question is "should we totally ignore one of the basic rules of SE?" and the only reasonable answer is "don't be daft, follow the rules or you risk being shut out".
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:16
  • rules are something that community comes up with actually.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:17
  • No, norms are what the community comes up with. Rules are what Stack Exchange tell you will be followed. One of those rules is consistently that English is the language of the network, and use of other languages happens under conditions they provide.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:20
  • no they aren't what is on-topic and what is off-topic is decided by each community. The other thing is that best practices from one language dedicated SE are usually can be considered as such for another resource as well. It's all about best practices, things that proved to be working. It's not a Constitution though.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:23
  • On-/Off-topic is a norm, not a rule. And best practise is following the rules: English plus the subject language, that's it.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:26
  • I assure you you are wrong.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:26
  • No, you really don't assure me. You've ignored the difference between universal rules and site-specific policy, and brought up an irrelevant aspect that only nullifies your point.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:33
  • please care to provide a link to the page which claims these to be rules in the sense you understand them.
    – shabunc
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:34
  • 2
    discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/questions/20988, meta.stackexchange.com/a/109051/341260, meta.stackexchange.com/a/278299/341260, meta.stackexchange.com/a/285279/341260. Non-English sites (aside the existing exceptions) will not be supported, and by that, I mean actively shut down. The language sites use English and the subject language for obvious reason, anything outside of that is firmly frowned upon, consistently.
    – Nij
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 9:51
  • @shabunc, Nij may be right in that general Stack Exchange rules (not rules/norms of specific community/subsite) may prohibit a language-devoted site to use in questions/answers any language except English and target language (see this answer for more info, though that question was about UI). In this case, current discussion (and related one) makes sense only in context like "Should our norms allow Russian (other languages), if general SE rules would allow it?".
    – Sasha
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 11:00
  • @shabunc, I mean that, while our community may benefit (or have disadvantage) from allowing Russian or possibly other languages (e.g. Polish) or every language in world (with remark like "language you use in question may affect quantity/quality on answers you get, as not every community member is able to understand every language"), that still may be forbidden by general SE rules. Sadly, I'm not sure about that. In the very beginning I made sure that Ukr is allowed; I know for sure that non-English UI is forbidden; no more info from me yet though.
    – Sasha
    Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 11:22

I didn't think that stack exchange had language restrictions. I would assume you can use whatever language comes most natural, be it English, Ukrainian, Russian, Polish, or Swahili. People who understand the question should probably answer it in the same language though, so that the person who posted the question can understand and evaluate the answers. At least that's how I envision it.


Any other language could be used, but it's use must be in reasonable amount. Not just like i fill right now like to use that language.

  • 2
    -1: 你确定吗? Using random languages makes posts incomprehensible for most of the users and distract them away from the site. Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 17:15
  • @bytebuster It is decided to use only English and Ukrainian, that is Stackexchange policy. discuss.area51.stackexchange.com/a/22567/154623
    – Yola
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 17:19

My vision is that questions can be written in any language, but they must, obviously, relate to ukrainian language grammar, syntax, word meaning etc.

Moreover, it may be a good indication that questions are written in russian (or any other language) - it should mean people are interested in switching to ukrainian. It's a popularization of ukrainian language! Person speaking russian and being completely happy with it wouldn't ask about ukrainian, will he?


I believe that both questions and answers should be allowed in any language, as long as they don't violate StackExchange rules, and are really on the subject of the question. But if discussion goes off-topic, or turns into a political argument, the relevant questions/answers should be blocked.

I don't think that people will prefer writing in Russian if they know Ukrainian, when discussing Ukrainian language. It will sound weird, and will even be unpractical, because one would need to change keyboard layout too often.

And I agree with Serhiy about answering in the same language as the question, to show respect.


I don't think we should ban russian Language But I would suggest to move all russian topics to the dedicated russian server, because this one is named Ukrainian Language Mixing these 2 languages is a bad idea, because due to historical reasons, decoupling them is a good point to development for both.

  • 1
    If when saying "Russian server" you mean rusSE/russianSE, then we can't move such questions there, because these rusSE/russianSE are for questions about the Russian language; while this discussion relates to questions about the Ukrainian language written in Russian (do you feel the difference?). But actually this discussion is almost closed as it appears to be that higher-level SE rules won't allow us using any other languages except ukr and eng.
    – Sasha
    Commented Jan 17, 2017 at 17:43

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