Sollte der Titel übersetzt werden?

^Suggestion for translation in body.^

I just translated a post as this question suggested and a question arose. Should the title be translated and if so, how?

Should it be translated in the title or in the body? The title might get quite long if translated in the title and if translated in the body it will not be visible in views that only shows the title. Therefore I think it should be translated in the title to be really usable.

A few suggestions on the format:

English question? - Deutsch Frage?

or maybe:

English question? (Deutsch Frage?)

I think perhaps the second format is better and probably how I would do it, but I want the opinion of meta before starting to translate titles.

Sollte der Titel übersetzt werden?

Second suggestion for translation of title in body. Just imagine that this text is the German translation of my question. The drawback of this suggestion is that the translated title isn't visible until the question is opened. However, it might be a cleaner solution.

  • Translating the title like that would effectively halve the space available. I don't think title translations need to be so readily visible, and that we'd be better off putting it in the question body until the devs help us with a solution.
    – Tim
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 16:28
  • @Tim That effectively means that I would have to click on all the German questions in order to understand them. Anyway, how do you suggest title translation should be put in the body?
    – Erik B
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:00

1 Answer 1


Should the title be translated and if so, how?

I'd say no, it shouldn't be translated for practical reasons:

  • Space constraints (longer titles would clutter the layout)
  • No "normalization" possible later - it would be impossible to separate english and german titles once a proper solution to the problem becomes available
  • Possible SEO problems with multi-language titles and headings

The problem needs a proper technical solution implemented by the Stack Exchange team - be it two title fields, or whatever.

Until such a solution is available, I am in favour of letting the question title be in whichever language makes most sense - if it's a translation request like

What's the politically correct way to say “mentally retarded” in German?

use English; if it's a linguistical question like

Sind „Ich denke, dass [Nebensatz]“ und „Ich denke, [Hauptsatz]“ auswechselbar?

use German.

  • 1
    +1 I agree. It would create a lot of work for the moderators, who could spend their time with more important subjects.
    – bernd_k
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:01
  • I added two suggestions of how to put the translated title in the body. Any comments?
    – Erik B
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:09
  • @Erik I like it, although having a second title might be a bit too loud - maybe just have it in bold? Would be worth trying out both though
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:10
  • 1
    Do you favor having the title in the top or with the rest of the translation?
    – Erik B
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:15
  • 1
    @Erik Having it on the top does have its charm, but I guess it makes most sense to have with the rest of the translation to avoid confusion.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:18

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