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I've recently put this question about the usage of the accusative case after the impersonal construct. Unfortunately for me, I made a lexical mistake on a word (which did not destroy the sense of the question, anyway).

I'm a learner, from a non-Germanic mother tongue and I love German so I mainly use the site to request clarifications about grammar points and/or to propose translations to sentences to this German speaking community. I usually write in English because of obvious reasons and I've always received very interesting answers and hints.

However, with that particular question, one answer and some comments here and there were put in German (I have no problem about comments but I think answers to questions put in English should comply to the same policy), and I was told that if I'm not able to write and understand German then the question is not useful.

Although I agree that a learner should make every possible effort to use the language he/she is learning, I don't see the reason why we shouldn't allow people to use English as the language for communication.

Do people agree with me or not?

This question on this meta answers my doubt, but I'd love to refresh opinions about this to make sure it makes sense for me to continue to use the site or if it is better to relinquish it.

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Even people who do not speak any German word are welcome on this site and may contribute if they do have questions (or answers).

We cannot expect beginners to be able to put their questions into a language they do not speak adequately enough to make their points.

I don't see any reason why we should disallow the English language. Actually non-German speakers are our most important 'clients'. We would weaken ourselves by dismissing these people by forcing them to put their questions into German.

If a question is written in English, the answer should preferably be in English as well. Some people tend to answer in German though, because they do not feel comfortable in writing in English as they feel they're not able to answer competently when not using their native language.
Occasionally it may happen that you overlook that the question is in English. It just happened to me a few days ago. If you don't understand the answer, feel free to ask for clarification.

In my book, there's no fixed regulation that force us to answer in English or German, there's just a rule of thumb. And most times we follow this rule.

To cut a long story short:

Feel free to ask in any language you feel comfortable with. In your own interests you should try to ask in German; if, however, you think English is the better option, go with that language.

  • fully agreed - nothing to add :) – Takkat Nov 18 '13 at 17:57
  • I have added a +1, even though I am not sure why you recommend asking in German. – Carsten S Nov 11 '14 at 20:42
-1

Even people who do not speak any English word are welcome on this site and may contribute if they do have questions (or answers).

We cannot expect beginners to be able to put their questions into a language they do not speak adequately enough to make their points.

I don't see any reason why we should disallow the German language. Actually non-native-English speakers are our most important 'clients'. We would weaken ourselves by dismissing these people by forcing them to put their questions into English.

If a question is written in German, the answer should preferably be in German as well. Some people tend to answer in English though, because they do not feel comfortable in writing in German as they feel they're not able to answer competently when not using their native language. Occasionally it may happen that you overlook that the question is in German. It just happened to me a few days ago. If you don't understand the answer, feel free to ask for clarification.

In my book, there's no fixed regulation that force us to answer in English or German, there's just a rule of thumb. And most times we follow this rule.

To cut a long story short:

Feel free to ask in any language you feel comfortable with. In your own interests you should try to ask in German; if, however, you think English is the better option, go with that language.

Disclaimer: Above text was mainly written by Em1. I just changed some words here and there.

Note that you aren't supposed to ask questions for your own benefit, but for a broader audience. And people, seeking for advice in German might not speak German well, but maybe no English at all. Maybe they're from Russia, India, Japan or older people with less education or people with less education in general, maybe native german speakers.

So if you don't understand an answer, use the comments for clarification. I guess you're able to formulate simple sentences, have a basic word pool and may help yourself in many cases on your own and to your own benefit.

In my english lessons, I had to ask my questions in english too, and I don't think it was a form of punishment, but something which has proven to be helpful in the long run, while of course more hard for the teachee.

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