In the last month I've been experiencing some issue with SE communities. Very often I've experienced hurried downvoting and hurried closing for wrong reason.

So I prefer to ask it before becoming upset :-)

Having a look here: http://area51.stackexchange.com/proposals/18413/german-language I read: site for students having questions about German, expert speakers of German wanting to discuss the finer points of the language and translation questions from any language to German.

This seems really clear to me. My interpretation of this phrase is this website allows people to come here to try to learn languages.

At the same time I guess you won't allow any kind of german learning questions (even if, I cite from the first link:

4.4 questions per day needs works: 15 questions per day on average is a healthy beta, 5 questions or fewer per day needs some work. A healthy site generates lots of good content to make sure users keep coming back. ).

For sure I can understand you may not like question as: "how do you translate this word?"

But if I come here and ask: "suchen vs besuchen, what's the meaning of the prefix be in this word?" I wonder if I can do it.

At the same I wonder if I can ask: "what's the difference between rühren and berühren? What's the meaning of be here?"

The question is: are you picky or you allow for flexibility?

1 Answer 1


Yes, of course beginner's questions are welcome and encouraged on this site. We are not only here to discuss difficulties of advanced learners or issues natives may have with controversial grammar or word usage.

Do not hesitate and ask questions where you have issues on learning basics of the German language. You will get help from other fellow beginners as well as from advanced learners, and native speakers of the German language.

Only few prerequisites should be met to make the question on topic, and interesting to a wider audience. They are only shortly outlined in our (beta-) FAQ. Further refinements of our FAQ will follow. Until then you may find valuable guidelines in our Meta discussions:

In short: do show us the efforts you made for yourself, give us some context where your issues arise, and avoid asking questions that could have easily been solved by a look in a dictionary.

The latter is a frequent matter of dispute, as for us native speakers dictionairy entries may appear easy when they are not for learners of the German language. Just tell us why you could not parse the dictionary entry, and where your problem is, and your question will be fine, welcome, and then will be upvoted.

In case you are not shure whether a question is fine:

  • Just ask anyway and see how the community treats you but don't worry too much about occasional downvotes or close votes. They usually are accompanied with a comment to show you where your question may need improvements. Most if not all of these votes are meant to guide you, not to slap you.
  • Do edit your question promptly whenever you see a comment asking for details, or improvements.
  • Ask in chat whether your question is welcome, or where it may need improvement.
  • I don't understand why some users just downvote so quick without leaving a comment. For example, apparently someone did not like this question that I looked up and wanted different word suggestions for. I looked up the word and wanted to make sure that I was using the most appropriate term.
    – JGallardo
    Commented Feb 26, 2014 at 9:32

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