While questions could vary in language, the tags have to be in one language for obvious reasons. Tag synonyms would work fine, but we'd have to decide whether German tags should point to English tags or vice versa.

Which language?

  • 2
    Assuming we agree tags should be synonymed to the English; What if the question asked is in German? Should the tags be in German then, or should they still be in English?
    – Twelve47
    Commented May 24, 2011 at 20:45
  • 1
    "pitfalls" sounds good to me
    – Pekka
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 8:56
  • No, "falle" is what happens when you type in "Fälle" in the tag field.
    – Phira
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 22:45

8 Answers 8


Easy question:

German and English and the German tags are synonymed to the English counterpart, so that the English versions are finally visible.


After thinking a while I came to the decision that promoting german use at maximum may be the best possibility:

As an platform formed out of mostly english natives and less german natives our primary concern should be to attract as many german experts and intermedians as possible. There will never be a lack of non-natives asking about meanings of german words or needing help. However the community giving the answers needs to be attracted to.
Therefore we should have strong bounds and good questions targeted on german natives. Choosing our tags to be in english or to synonym to english will lock out a certain group of visitors who don't feel comfortable with english but would be a valueable addition to the community.

If we ever want to reach a level nearly as high as EL&U I suggest to use as much german as possible were appropriate and assist non-natives with tag-synonyms and an english interface. The localization should be complete as possible, maybe with a possibility for a user to choose his own interfacing but defaulting to german for new visitors, defaulting to english for SE users not located in the german region.

I've already invited 3 german teachers and one germanistic professor (with his main work about medieval german) and she + 2 teachers immmideatly backed off because off the english interface although they are as fluent in english as I am.

  • German native should be understood as synonym of German expert :) Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 5:35

Easy question:

German and English and the English tags are synonymed to the German counterpart, so that the German versions are finally visible.

  • The content of the page is about German language, and often it is in German.
  • I see more german than english questions, so the tags should reflect that.

I guess subscribing to tags will work for synonymed tags too.


Given that the whole page, i.e. the interface and all, is in English itself, it would make most sense to have them in English only.

At least unless they are related to a very specific German topic, that has no real counterpart in English.

  • 4
    Given that the content is about German, and the tags tag often german content, I disagree. Commented Jun 4, 2011 at 5:05

You can subscribe to tags on http://stackexchange.com/filters/ – if the tags here differ from other sites (like english) we make it unnecessary hard to detect the site and interesting questions.

  • but somebody who is subscribed to grammar will be quite surprised having german grammar topics on his reading list. maybe even in german with him not speaking german ... and the moment a french or japanese or other SE platforms start this would render tags like grammar completely useless. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:29
  • @SamuelHerzog Why useless? If my field of interest is I18n, this would make perfect sense.
    – fuxia
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 17:57
  • 1
    yeah. If your field is. Have you watched EL&U ? I highly doubt that an anglistic student or professor or an interested english native will keep up subscribing "etymology" when you get english etymology, german etymology + the next 3 languages which get their ohne SE. how many people are considered with internationalization or interested on the whole SE platform movement? I'd say way too little to spam them. And if they should get their own SE platform and shouldn't be forced into listening by us. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 18:00
  • 1
    @@SamuelHerzog You can restrict the tag to specific sites. There is no spam problem. But if we use different tags we make it hard to subscribe.
    – fuxia
    Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 18:35

Could the SX administration provide us with a new feature that simplifies the localization of tags? Something as simple as adding a translation field?

Honestly, I don’t care whether the tags are displayed in German or English, as long as they are synonymized correctly. Some tags are still only usable in English, because there is no German equivalent.

Right now, the process to make a tag accessible in German and English is to make sure the tag exists in both languages (create the missing one, if necessary), then make them synonyms.

This involves two tasks that require different amounts of reputation (150 vs 1250) as well as different levels of expertise (0 vs 5 overall positive votes in that tag). It is overly complicated, probably by design.


As long as no proper, 100% localization solution is present, I agree with using english-language tags and german synonyms.

Tag synonyms are possible, but I don't know who can set them up - I assume the moderator(s). I've started a separate question for collectiong synonym requests: Tag synonym requests

  • 1
    For now it is a good idea to collect them only. I'm not sure if synonyms are relevant only inside this site or have impact on the results of search engines. Later, when this beta becomes public the number of visits / per day becomes most important before transition to public. I guess the business model works like this inside we generate (hopefully good) content, but outside is were the money comes from by advertises. Therefore it is important to keep an eye on the impact of features on the number of external visits.
    – bernd_k
    Commented May 29, 2011 at 9:23

One base tag consisting english-german (e.g. cases-falle)
One synonym german -> english-german (e.g. cases)
One synonym english -> english-german (e.g. falle)

On the con:
- increased moderation amount
- slightly suffering readability of tags

On the pro:
- easy search (especially for native germans who are able to get additional hints about the question)
- easy typing - good keyword results.

And I guess we should poke the admin team for a) very good encoding (just noticed there is no html encoding meta-tag) and umlauts for tags. Falle is really misleading.

  • Because of changing my oppinion but thinking this possibility may still be a valid one which can be changed or refined by others I've chosen to make it community wiki. Commented Jun 2, 2011 at 18:14

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