Proposal: Italian Language & Usage

Motivated by a response to my previous discussion, should we encourage people to submit and answer in Italian?

Despite the heavy editing that that requires, it could be a good learning experience.

  • I think we are not reaching out to the proper audience using English language. I have been to 2 Italian Language schools in central Italy, and the largest group of learners is spanish-speaking South Americans. I dont know spanish at all, but we should at least promote the proposal in spanish and on spanish speaking forums. Maybe also allow spanish as a second language on the site
    – Midhat
    Sep 11, 2012 at 20:33
  • 1
    @Midhat : good point, not totally sure about allowing spanish as a second language, though..
    – Lucius
    Sep 12, 2012 at 8:24
  • Considering that area51 is in English and some of our target audience do not know any English, I think we need web pages in Italian, Spanish and any other language we want to target. The pages should explain how to follow the proposal, create potential Questions, and vote for existing questions. Later we can also create a page for the commit phase
    – Midhat
    Sep 14, 2012 at 9:49
  • We should also provide translations for current example questions
    – Midhat
    Sep 14, 2012 at 9:49

7 Answers 7


I see your reasons for an "Italian only" version of this site. However, I think that it might be a little too demanding for learners, and perhaps some of them might even be put off by the difficulty at expressing their own questions, or their answers for that matter, only in Italian.

I think that all those who are Italian mother tongue should stick to Italian only, thus hopefully providing well written texts which might be useful for learners, but I would not oblige the learners to use Italian all the time. Obviously, they should be encouraged to do so, and we "experts" should be ready to devote time and energy to the improvement of those texts which require it.

  • 11
    Not totally sure about Italians writing in Italian only.. Personally, I had rather stick to English as much as possible, since it would give the site more visibility on search engines
    – Lucius
    Sep 9, 2012 at 22:54
  • Paola, your answer is perfect with those quote marks around experts, without which I'm not sure I would have upvoted it! Sep 19, 2012 at 13:35
  • In case of italian-only questions, comments can help providing a translation. Is it common on other language stacks?
    – Agos
    Oct 9, 2013 at 20:47

No. Users should post in the language they prefer and I suggest only encouraging users to provide a translation of their post (or others to add a translation).

All the language sites use both the language being treated and English so I don't see why we should be any different.

If a user asks a question in a certain language, I'd advise answering in that language and then adding a translation for other speakers to enjoy it in case the original answer was in italian. It will be already difficult like this, let's not make it more difficult. :P


I think it should be encouraged, but not a requirement. Writing in Italian may be helpful for people whose native languages is something other than English.

On a side note, the asker could say something like, "Please answer in English because I don't quite have a full grasp of the language" or the answerer might be able to tell whether or not the asker can handle it given the nature of the question. (Questions like, "When should I use 'un' and when should I use 'uno' would, perhaps, be the sort of thing that someone brand new new to Italian might ask.)


Well, I'm new here and I don't know a lot about other sites. But I think we should encourage, indeed! Just asking questions is very limiting. Expressing your ideas, problems and questions is a nice way of learning and improving any language!


I think that we should encourage people writing in the language they prefer, because this will be easier on the novices, both when asking questions and when wandering through the website. On the other hand advanced questions can and should be written in italian, as the answer will only be useful to people who can already read the question. At the end of the day I think we should let people ask questions in the language they're most confortable with: I know, for example, some people who wouldn't be able to ask questions in english.

On the other hand we should strongly encourage people answering in the same language

  • I read your answer after having written mine in the "sister" discussion about what languages to use and who the target public should be. We seem to reason along similar lines. +1
    – Paola
    Dec 27, 2012 at 21:18

I know it's a bit of paradoxical, but it would be nice if people who are learning Italian would try to write in Italian (if they have enough confidence), while Italian speakers would try to write in English (ditto). This must not be an official rule, however: everyone should use the language he or she prefer. I have some doubt in allowing other languages, because it is less probable that there will be a lot of users who grasp them; but I may be wrong.


well, we can try "Italian only " for a period ,to see if thats practical, but Japanese stack dont do that,maybe other languages too so we can try an experiment,and we ll see.

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