After recent discussions on the topicness of translation requests or questions about difference in meanings
- Rewording the on-topic help section
- When is a translation request to German off-topic?
- How do I ask good, on-topic questions for translations or about differences?
- Off Topic - Prior research, why only translation requests?
we refined our help section to better reflect this. In addition we can now close questions as off topic that do not meet the standard we defined here.
It is without doubt that questions like "Please translate this for me" or questions on the meanings of single words which can easily be looked up in a dictonary have been and should always be off topic here, but there are many questions which are in the grey zone.
It is those questions that are not entirely off topic, where we feel they could actually become great question but where context or basic research effort is missing.
These question may be better not closed as off topic in the first place, as it often is only minor additions or clarifications from the poster which would make them instantly on topic. In these cases we should rather put the question on hold as "unclear what you are asking" for two reasons:
- we clearly indicate the need of an edit.
- being off-topic may cause confusion and frustration to new users. This is avoided by choosing unclear.
What we need now is a better definition of such questions. Which questions are not frankly off-topic? Which questions should better be closed as unclear?