In the last 90 days, a custom off-topic close reason along the lines of the following was used ten times (raw data for 2 k users):

I’m voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about English, not German.

I assume that most, if not all, of the corresponding questions are of the following type:

  • Asking for an English translation of a German word, whose meaning is known to the asker and clearly defined.
  • Asking for a German translation of an English word, whose meaning is unclear to the asker.

Moreover, there are probably some questions belonging in this category which were closed with a reason like “This is clearly not about German.” and thus are missing from the statistics.

I therefore propose to introduce a new close reason to ease handling these cases and to provide better guidance to askers, in particular by linking the new FAQ post on this matter. I do not consider such a close reason a change of policy, as there seems general agreement on this (if not, please correct me), but just an improvement of our interface.

Remember that Meta lives from your votes. Vote this question up or down to indicate whether you agree with creating such a close reason in general and vote on suggested wordings to indicate your opinion on them.

  • 1
    as a side comment: I came across a few of these in the close queue and I voted to leave open, because I felt they were actually asking for an English translation because the asker did not understand the German sentence. So from the perspective of a German native speaker, this might seem like "only about English", but for a non-native speaker, it is not. So I'm not sure if this close reason is going to be more abused than used.
    – fifaltra
    Jan 4, 2016 at 7:20
  • 1
    @fifaltra: If that is the case, the OP can clarify their question (saying that they are not actually after a translation, but after an explanation of the German expression).
    – chirlu
    Jan 6, 2016 at 9:58

2 Answers 2


I suggest as a wording:

This question seems to only require expertise of a language other than German. Please edit your question to clarify where you need expertise of the German language or ask on a site about the other language. For help in doing so, see Does my translation request belong here and if not, where and how shall I ask it?


The other off-topic reasons start with "This site is about/for". For the sake of consistency I suggest:

This site is for questions requiring expertise in German. Requests which mainly rely on knowledge of another language are not well-suited here and should be asked on respective sister sites. If you think specific knowledge about German is required, please edit your question to clarify [where German expertise is necessary]. For further guidance, see Does my translation request belong here and if not, where and how shall I ask it?

Note, the text within the []-brackets probably needs to be removed to match the maximum length of 400 characters.

  • Besides, I was lying when I said the other off-topic reasons start with "This site". In fact, one starts in "This site" and the other in "German language SE". It'd be nice if this would be fixed, but at the end of the day it's the same thing.
    – Em1
    Dec 23, 2015 at 13:20

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