I have translated this song from Russian to English. Can you correct my mistakes?

This is one of the questions in the proposal. Asker then wonders if this kind of question would work well for Q&A site. I'm surprised by the number of 'great on-topic example' votes on that question.

I don't think help in translating more than a couple of sentences is suitable for this and other proposals; it's better done at http://translated.by and similar crowdsourcing sites, where a lot of people add and edit their suggestions. Here in turn we'd obviously have a lot of answers, and accepting a single answer would be almost impossible due to variety of possible translations.


Proposal: English-Russian Exchange


5 Answers 5


My immediate reaction (for English/French translation), would be that that kind of question is off topic. But I guess it's mostly a question of volume/proportion. If you get one question like that per week, and hundreds of others, it's not too much of a problem, and (I suspect), some of them could end up being 'gelling' questions - the 'in jokes' that build community.

However, if your site is drowned by fly-by users who want their work done for them, that's going to be more of a problem.

I guess you could decide on a rule that only users 'in good standing' (150+ rep) can ask these kinds of questions. That could:

  1. limit the number of those questions,
  2. avoid having to change your mind later and get people angry (just change the rep limit),
  3. be easier to justify to both halves of the debate.
  • 1
    +1 This is a nice idea. Jan 31, 2011 at 6:21
  • @Yasir, thanks, I thought so too. I was quite pleased with myself :)
    – Benjol
    Jan 31, 2011 at 6:24
  • 1
    However I wonder if it's possible technically. Jan 31, 2011 at 9:07
  • @Yasir, it doesn't have to be technical. Questions can be closed by the community based on this criteria.
    – Benjol
    Jan 31, 2011 at 10:17
  • 4
    I've just changed my mind regarding limits. I'm not sure if kind of asked questions should depend on rep, because there would be a lot of closed questions due to people unaware of that limits. Thus I think a site should either allow translations of texts or generally disallow them irrespective of rep, and the main question is whether Stack Exchange is suitable for text translations. Jan 31, 2011 at 13:01

My proposal is that that kind of questions should be off topic. I'd say that we could do like other proposals and point at idioms/rare expressions as absolutely on topic, and any expression too; but, for any case, ask for at least some research effort.


Such questions could increase the site's popularity. If they are properly tagged, so that they could be simply filtered off, then why not?


If those questions are allowed, the question would have to be Community Wiki, so we could crowdsource the answer. As you say, there's a large variety of possible translations.

A limit on what is admissible would also be necessary. I would say that material should have some notability, like newspapers articles, press releases, etc. so we don't end up translating every kid's homework and other similarly spammy requests.


Actually, nobody ever needs to ask for the whole text translation - if it's not some kind of those spammy requests. When you decide to translate some song, you somehow know the language. Of course, in every beautiful song text there are some difficult expressions to translate, and that kind of questions can certainly be on-topic, but not the whole song text. It's not intereting to translate some simple pfrases like "I'm feeling good", and this exactly kind of phrases make up 80% of every artistic text. I don't even mention non-artistic ones.

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