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Why?

Naturally, our site can be a valuable and attractive resource for visitors who speak English only a little bit or not at all. Be they language learners who did not learn English first or native speakers who never learnt English at school or have yet to learn it.

While these people will probably be able to deal with the basic interface (with help of a dictionary or basic English skills), they will likely have problems with understanding the general concept of Stack Exchange, our guidelines, close reasons, etc. Also, often people fail to notice that they may ask questions in German here. All of this leads to unnecessary frustration and may scare people away from the site.

Moreover, there inevitably are people, who will never even try to use the page in the first place, because they think that they need to speak English to use it.

What?

Since it will probably be some time until we get a bilingual interface and a regular German FAQ, I propose that we do the following with the methods we have at hand right now:

Make a Meta question titled, e.g., “Hilfe, ich spreche kein Englisch” (“Help, I do not speak English”), which contains an introduction and FAQ (just FAQ hereafter) for our site that is entirely in German – except for a short explanation in English as to what this question actually is. This question shall be permanently equipped with the tag such that it is always visible on the sidebar. Having a permanently featured post seems to be acceptable, since Programming Puzzles & Code Golf does this with its sandbox for quite a while now. Also, this post should be linked at prominent places of the FAQ.

How?

Should this suggestion be well-received, I would set up the FAQ question with a title and explanations indicating that it is work in progress, which will be changed or edited out, as soon as we deem the FAQ worthy to go live.

For now, I suggest to make the question a table of contents and the answers “chapters” covering different aspects, but we can change this if we happen to generate too much content for one question. Everything should be a community wiki.

Discussions about the FAQ should happen in English or bilingually on separate posts; and so do request of aspects that should enter the FAQ (we should probably have one post for that).

But don’t all Meta posts have to be in English?

Yes, but this rule exists for a reason, namely that the SE staff wants to be able to understand our discussions, questions and requests regarding the workings of the site, i.e., problems, decisions, guidelines, bugs and so on – more precisely exactly what Meta is usually for. However, the proposed German content will not be about any of that stuff and thus won’t be against the spirit of that rule, if you so wish.

The proposed project is now in progress: skeleton for the FAQ, discussion page.

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  • I fully agree. Please start with such a page.
    – PMF
    Feb 11 '15 at 10:18
  • What exactly is the question? Do you want to know if other people agree? Do you want to know how this could be done? Do you want additional suggestions on how this could be realized? Do you want some volunteers that say that they will help you? - I see no question here, and so it is really hard to give any answer. Apr 16 '15 at 6:50
  • 1
    @HubertSchölnast: On meta, questions do not necessarily have to contain questions (as in sentences ending with a question mark). This very question is a feature request, which implies: Upvote, if you agree; downvote, if you disagree; comment or answer, if you have arguments for agreement or disagreement not stated in the question or have improvements to suggest. (As a sidenote: I have done nothing so far, because I wanted to wait until this post has at least a score of 5.)
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Apr 16 '15 at 7:24
  • I finally set up a skeleton and a discussion page for this.
    – Wrzlprmft Mod
    Jul 19 '15 at 23:15
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    Whatever happens (and I'm supporting the German additions), I think the wisest to do is to continuously prevent the splitting into two sites (as did happen with Russian.SE). That would be a terrible loss.
    – c.p.
    Jul 21 '15 at 13:34
  • You wrote: »But don’t all Meta posts have to be in English?« And I say: This is not carved in stone. This is a subject of discussion: meta.german.stackexchange.com/questions/325/… Jul 28 '15 at 8:28

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