Proposal: Chinese Language

All of the examples provided so far have a mainly English component with Chinese characters added.

I would like to know what everyone thinks about asking questions purely in Chinese?

There could potentially be many questions that are more Chinese than English but still be valuable questions to the site.

Also, if it is an experts site I wouldn't want to discourage experts from asking or answering purely in Chinese. Limiting the language to predominantly English will end up restricting the site to a limited subset of questions and I suspect would discourage some experts from getting harder "expert" type questions.

3 Answers 3


Personally, I have no objection to questions or answers written entirely in Chinese. I think if a question is asked in English, though, answers should be at least partially in English. If an answer writer is uncomfortable with writing in English, it would be polite to give at least a brief outline of the answer in English before giving a more complete answer in Chinese.

  • @Don - Good point, if the question is in English we should aim to give answers that make sense to the asker.
    – going
    Commented Apr 26, 2011 at 1:09
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    @xiaohouzi79 @Don My opinion is that we should do like the German SE: If the question is asked in Chinese, reply in Chinese. If the question is asked in English, reply in English.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jun 13, 2011 at 22:09
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    I would be fine with that, @xiaohouzi79, but as I said in my answer, I'm also willing to accept English summary & Chinese details together as an answer to an English question. In my opinion it would be fine for another answer to just improve the English translation of an expert's Chinese answer. It's similar to Stack Overflow answers where a newer answer has the same code, it's just formatted better and has a better explanation.
    – Don Kirkby
    Commented Jun 14, 2011 at 0:33
  • Also, having editors translating Chinese posts into English, having the 2 versions side by side, will heavily improve the added value, not mentionning helping interesting answerers to get a better grasp of English. English questions can also be translated into Chinese to receive additionnal attention. Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 6:32

There is precedent for this within Asian languages currently in the Japanese Language SE, they use mixed languages.


Considering that questions on the Chinese Language would need to be IN the language, unless it's about Pinyin systems, I don't see why it would not be a mixed case. If I was asking a question about a character I'd need to present that character, I couldn't just say my question is about Ma(3) and people would know what I mean unless you already knew the character. Even then, I'd need to specify Traditional or Simplified, so it would take much more to create my question. With that said not everyone is able to install Chinese IME's either, so I would imaging we would need to support mixed use of the language but in many cases you'd need to present the characters to make the question meaningful.


There seems to be this odd tendency for language sites to arbitrarily allow questions asked in English. I don't understand why that should be the case. Stack Exchange is for experts, in this case experts of the Chinese language. So, why should English be at all tolerated?

Someone who does not speak Chinese well enough to phrase his question in Chinese is unlikely to ask an interesting question. After all, he/she is still learning the language.

So, IMO, this proposal should only allow questions asked in Chinese.

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    @Borror - Yes, but looking at the Chinese language proposal as it currently stands ALL of the questions are in English and that is what all of the current followers have chosen to follow.
    – going
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 3:06
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    @Borror - While the experts might be fluid in Chinese, most people asking questions about the Chinese Language will not be.
    – Theodor
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 9:43
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    @Theodor: Addressed that in second paragraph.
    – Borror0
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 14:26
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    I disagree Borror0 - I'm always learning things from people who are new to the language because they look at it in a different light, or just want to know the rationale behind something. I certainly don't think being fluent in Chinese should prevent people from using this site. The idea is the community should help people who are interested in learning, as much as people who are already experts.
    – Ciaocibai
    Commented Feb 20, 2011 at 23:58
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    @IntuitionHQ: +1. I do agree with you, using only Chinese to ask questions might just end up in a very closed circle of "Chinese language" experts, which is, IMO, not the aim of this proposal, since newcomers or even average users won't be able to learn and share about a Chinese only question/answers site. Commented May 3, 2011 at 2:43
  • I think the comments on Chinesepod lessons show that this can work. Grammar and vocabulary questions that are for beginners usually get asked in English, and answered in English. From intermediate onwards, they're pretty much done in Chinese. There are many interesting questions that can be done in English. Chinese is an exciting language to learn. Commented Jun 15, 2011 at 21:10
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    What, is this proposal for experts only? If so I'll withdraw my commitment.
    – rxmnnxfpvg
    Commented Jun 20, 2011 at 1:05
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    I don't understand how beginner questions aren't valuable. The site will be searchable from external search engines. Compiling all information about the language in Q&A format would be a boon to the language. You might not find the answer helpful, but someone will. Someone who has mastered the language well enough to not need to ask questions in another language, won't have any questions at all. Commented Jul 7, 2011 at 22:45
  • @xaade: It's not that they are not valuable, but they are not important. There are tons of ways to get answers to basic stuff. It's much harder to find answers to difficult questions, and thus that's the kind of question you should optimize for.
    – Borror0
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 4:37
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    "Stack Exchange is for experts." This is simply not true. For instance, math.stackexchange.com is for mathematics learners of all levels. Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 7:36
  • @Borror0: I also disagree that it's easy to find answers to basic questions, especially when it comes to Chinese grammar. Commented Sep 24, 2011 at 7:36
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    @Borror0: Beginners can ask interesting questions. My eight-year old daughter is now struggling with the question of the different uses of the three Chinese particles that all sound like "de". The three "de" particles, 的, 地, and 得, are often confusing to a beginning Chinese student, and while the basic usage has rules, the usage in practice can remain confusing until he or she sees them repeatedly in their different grammatical settings. A questions like "How do I decide when to use 得 or 地 in a sentence?" can be asked by a beginner, but is a completely on-topic question.
    – GTK
    Commented Sep 28, 2011 at 2:03
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    I know this post is old, but it's not true at all that SE sites are only for experts. When you commit there are many choices apart from "expert", such as "avid enthusiast", "beginner or learner" or even "just curious"; if it was only for experts, you wouldn't have those choices at all.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Dec 11, 2011 at 18:35
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    For English, there is a large enough audience to split English Language & Usage from English Language Learners, well, if it makes its way. There is nowhere near enough people for Chinese, for the moment at least. Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 6:36
  • The post linked to in this answer has been deleted. Commented Jun 21, 2013 at 8:19

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