This question is content-wise a pretty clear duplicate of this question, however the latter question is asked and answered in German while the second one is asked in English and the asker remarked that she cannot understand the German question.

How should we deal with such cases?

Note that the issue as to whether such questions are duplicates has been discussed before but this was in the first few hours of this site’s existence and arguably very prematurely. Also, it does not cover the current case that the asker of the duplicate cannot understand the other answer.

  • 2
    Another pair: Worte/Wörter (German)Worte/Wörter (English)
    – user9551
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 15:23
  • 2
    How do we know, whether the person is able to understand the other answers or to figure it out? Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 1:59
  • @userunknown: We don’t, but at the end of the day, this is not only about the asker.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 6:16
  • @Wrzlprmft: So let's translate everything to French, Turkish and Chinese! Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 11:20
  • @userunknown: English and German are the two languages of this site. Also, this looks like it should be a comment on another answer.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 10:50

3 Answers 3


Let me suggest to leave the question open. The question per se may be an exact duplicate but the audience, and hence the answers probably are not.

People searching for a solution may come here either by an English query or by a German query. It seems unlikely they search simultaneously in both languages.

We should however link to both questions in a very similar way to the dupe close messages so that whoever finds one of both will be directed to answers on the other question too.

Example for a German dupe of an English question

This question also has an answer here (in German):
What to do when the asker cannot understand the duplicate question due to it being in the other language?

or for a German dupe to an English question:

Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet:
What to do when the asker cannot understand the duplicate question due to it being in the other language?

Zum Kopieren:

> **This question also has an answer here (in German):**  
> *http://german.stackexchange.com/questions/[question-ID]*

> **Diese Frage wurde auch hier (auf Englisch) beantwortet:**  
> *http://german.stackexchange.com/questions/[question-ID]*
  • 5
    If at all, I would say "Similar question/Ähnliche Frage", in order not to raise any unintentional misunderstandings.
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:37
  • @Em1 that could be another good possibility indeed - I believe by saying "possible" or "mögliche" this may imply this too (SE chose this wording even though they could also have said "smilar").
    – Takkat
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:41
  • 1
    Actually it reads "This question already has an answer here:" What about "A strongly related question is also asked in German/English"
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:48
  • The newest is just two weeks old: german.stackexchange.com/q/18146/1224 – The text has been changed in the last year.
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 8:11
  • @Em1 aaah - my bad I performed a poor search query. Thanks for pointing out. Adapted my suggestion.
    – Takkat
    Commented Dec 9, 2014 at 8:21
  • Who ever might have the same question should search for "laufen" and "rennen" in German, and such a search yields both questions by now. So your answer is bogus. Unclear parts of german answers can be clarified in the comments. Commented Dec 11, 2014 at 7:02

I suggest to close such questions as duplicates to avoid fragmenting of content and avoiding duplicate answers.

However, in order to help users in such a situation, I also propose that we create a default procedure for such users to request translations. To this purpose, I suggest to create a meta question for translation requests. This question should be bilingual and users can post answers to request translations of existing posts from German to English or vice versa. The respective translations should be edited into the original answer.

As a prerequisite for requesting a translation there, a comment should have been left on the original post asking the author for a translation and been left unanswered for 24 hours. This is because translations by the original authors are preferrable as the original author knows best what he wanted to say and edits by other users might cause dispute. In most cases, the proposed time window should give the original author sufficient time to at least state his intentions on translating the post himself.

It would be nice if users could gain reputation for translations for translating other user’s posts (translating one’s own post could be awarded a bounty). but the only way I see to realise this with the current system would be using individual answers for the translations, which I consider to be a bad idea, since it is confusing and making questions disorganised. (If bounties were allowed on per-site metas and we would use one question per translation request, they could fascilitate this.)

  • 2
    I'm afraid but this sounds rather complicated. I don't think that SE will support this in the near future–or ever.
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:36
  • Am I assuming correctly that this only refers to the last paragraph?
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:39
  • Oh, well. Yes and no. The last paragraph was indeed what made me write this comment, but I'm not sure on the paragraphs before. Don't get me wrong, though, I think it's a good idea, but probably very complex.
    – Em1
    Commented Dec 8, 2014 at 21:46
  • Also what I though – a nice idea, but due to its very nature (i.e. there not being many posts across the SE network that would need to be translated in such a fashion), it probably wouldn't be incorporated. Commented Nov 27, 2016 at 15:23

This will lead to duplicate answers (and discussions) in both questions and should be avoided. The person can ask in comments or chat what is unclear. The usability of the site is not for persons, who don't have basic language knowledge.

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