There are quite a lot of proposals that want to provide a Stack Exchange site in another language. None of these sites seem to have gone very far into the commitment phase and there are a number of people wondering whether any of them are viable. I was thinking it might work better to just give multilingual people the option of translating existing SO questions into a different language. A number of other sites like Wikpedia have translations available in such a way already. We could give translators reputation for each post they translate or maybe even badges.
- SE users for whom English is a second language can see SE in their native tongue
- The English SO community will not be diluted by multilingual users leaving that site for one in a different language
- The same question will not be duplicated
- This could extend beyond popular SE sites to any with multilingual users (e.g. not just Stack Overflow in Spanish but also Philosophy SE in Tagalog)
- It would be difficult to regulate the quality of the translation. If we give people reputation for translating questions, what's to stop folks from loading them up into Google Translate en masse? Or folks who just took a year of Japanese to mistranslate answers just to get the badges?
EDIT: Apparently this has already been suggested in meta.