We have long supported questions about claims made in other languages and answers referencing sources written in other languages, but the body of the question and answer needs to be in English to be widely understood by our users.

A recent question was about the authenticity of some French text.

One of the answerers wrote their answer in both an English and French version.

I appreciate that. Many of the people who have this question are likely to be French speakers, and it makes a lot of sense to address them in their native tongue.

However, both the English and French versions needed an edit (especially the French version), and my French-language skill are limited to making my French-speaking friends cringe.

I reluctantly deleted the French version during the edit. It felt parochial to do so.

Is there a better way of handling this? Are there any languages where we have sufficient active, trusted users to be able to allow multilingual answers?

  • 1
    Well about the language: Hindi (Indian language) , as Indians are taught multiple languages starting from the play school(kids of age 3). Having mother tongue as Hindi, yet we have More English Speakers than US, Canada and Mexico combined. As to trusted and active , you can always find some exceptions. May 15, 2020 at 21:34

1 Answer 1


A counterpoint: though needing an edit, perhaps leaving it will attract French/English speaking persons to edit and become regular users. I think we should generally leave translations as long as there's an obvious reason to have one. If you believe a translation needs work, add a comment inviting capable users to provide it.

We should remember this is an English language site and all answers should be given in English. As such, translations should only go one direction, from others to English.

In this specific instance, I'd be more concerned with keeping a single voice on the answer. Wiki projects constantly struggle with keeping a singular prose. That's not a major issue, I think, but there's a loss in polish and clarity when writing styles on a single project are too different.

  • "translations should only go one direction" In this situation, it was going the other way, which is part of what made it difficult.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    May 8, 2020 at 4:36

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