Should all questions here be asked in English apart from the Korean being 'asked about'? What about answers and comments?


I think that Korean and English should coexist happily.

By doing so we do not restrict our target to users with a working knowledge of English and thus, we can welcome native Koreans as well. We cannot assume that every Korean speaker is fluent in English but the help of native speakers is something we cannot afford to disregard, so we should also welcome their participation.

In fact, I would suggest the site to be bilingual, like french.se for example. I mean that you can write your question/answer/comment both in English or Korean, preferably the language you are the most at ease with, then a knowledgeable somebody could add an English or Korean translation.

In the case of an incomprehensible question in Korean or in English, it is possible to request from the questioner/answerer to add a translation of his/her post in the other language.

I also think that allowing questions in both languages creates a good environment for learning too, so it allows to see real Korean instead of seeing fragments.

  • if we are genuinely bilingual, does that mean we should have each tag duplicated in Korean and English? – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 23 '16 at 6:33
  • I think that we could take inspiration from the Japanese.se for example. For each tag, the first word is the Japanese equivalent but tags are in English. We might have tags in both languages but I think that tags in Korean should be tags synonyms of their English counterpart. (Native speakers ask less question so by having only tags in English and if the first word of the description is the word in Korean it should not disturb natives too much) – Lyle Jun 23 '16 at 6:43

No the questions and answers can be in Korean as well. learning to express one's question in Korean is also a part of learning the language, as well being able to write and understand an answer written in Korean. This site is not only for the most basic learners, and we would like to attract more advanced users of the language to the site in the future as well. Learning to read/write questions/answers in Korean will also be a part of this.

Unless the question or answer is completely incomprehensible (due to grammar or whatever, in which case somebody can edit in the translation or correction) questions and answers in Korean should be allowed.


I think yes - and I think this should extend to question bodies, question titles, comments, and (unless impractical due to context) to answers as well. I say this for two reasons:

  1. We are a language-learning community of people learning Korean, and we should try to avoid alienating beginners or casual learners with answers or questions that are written entirely in korean.

  2. Most of us aren't advanced or native users of Korean, and it's likely that we might use Korean incorrectly and thus make a question or answer less useful.

    • This is something that we see a lot on the Korean subreddit - people asking questions, but nobody can understand the question because it's in bad Korean - and would probably be good to avoid.
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    Absolutely, we shouldn't alienate beginners. – bravokeyl Jun 22 '16 at 17:42
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    Two thoughts: The title of this SE is 'Korean language', not 'Korean language learners'. And English Language Learners SE is conducted almost entirely in English. – Sydney Jun 26 '16 at 6:51

I think the question should not be entirely in korean

it should be preferred to put both languages when possible for the body and response. (ie. if korean only is written, add an english translation)

Even if the asker/answerer understand fully it's not useful if the question is not readable by the next person who comes by, and could lead to duplicate questions (since they might not know its a duplicate if they dont understand the body&response)


Even at the grade-school level, studying any language has long been known to be best conducted in a full-immersion environment (i.e. in the target language only). Obviously, not everyone should be required to post in Korean, but we encourage our language sites to use the target language wherever they are able.

So, yes — Korean should be allowed in questions, answers, comments, meta posts, etc. If someone is struggling with expressing themselves in Korean, users are encourage to help correct the errors (another way that helps in learning). You can even add an English translation to the bottom of the post, if you wish; that may even help help expand participation.

Incidentally, we once considered (on the Stack Exchange Team) urging our language sites to become full immersion only, but since converting the UI to another target language was much more difficult than anticipated, we never raised the recommendation to that level.

  • 1
    That first paragraph makes me twitch a bit... 1) you say even at grade school level, but I would think that that's the age that people would be most receptive to full immersion. We're mostly, sadly, rather older than that I would guess! 2) Full immersion on its own doesn't guarantee success at all - part of successful immersive tuition is targeting the immersive environment to the level of the students, and as we're all different levels here, and wanting to ask questions at different levels, that would be hard to achieve. – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '16 at 14:18
  • @topomorto I understand your concerns, but those fears have already proved to be somewhat unfounded. Every other language site has been highly receptive to allowing posts in the target language, and we haven't seen any cases of chronic, irreversible twitching among them <grin>. I wrote more about this here: Default Language for Questions in Portuguese – Robert Cartaino Jun 22 '16 at 14:25
  • I'm not personally against the idea of allowing posts in the target language- but encouraging language sites to use the target language wherever possible is going a step further, and I'm not sure quite I followed the logic there. This is my first language site so here to learn this 'meta' stuff too! – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 22 '16 at 14:28
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    While I agree that full immersion is the best way to learn in general, I want to respectfully say that I don't think full immersion is useful within the context of this StackExchange site. In fact, I fear it would be a hindrance and should be avoided, except for perhaps in our chat. Full immersion is helpful for many reasons, particularly because you can get real time feedback and consistent practice. But the problem is that this site isn't really a good substrate for either of those. Instead, we might wind up with a number of poorly-written questions/answers that nobody understands. – user12 Jun 22 '16 at 15:34
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    @dotVezz It seems a shame that we patterned this Korean-language site after a string of highly-successful language-site launches, but the top answer suggests that participants shouldn't be allowed to post in Korean at all (excepted to cite quoted examples). It doesn't make sense to me, but I'm only here to offer my insight and guidance. – Robert Cartaino Jun 22 '16 at 16:28
  • @RobertCartaino, You mention that this site has been patterned after a string of highly-successful sites but (and this is entirely my own ignorance) I don't actually know what that's referencing, or what the implication of the statement is. I hate to be a bother, but could you expand on that? – user12 Jun 22 '16 at 16:34
  • @dotVezz Ah yes, I am referring to these sites: Stack Exchange Language sites. – Robert Cartaino Jun 22 '16 at 16:40
  • @RobertCartaino So the implication is, "We've got a bunch of other experience that shows it's better to allow fully-immersive text in questions and answers."? – user12 Jun 22 '16 at 16:43
  • Yes, we've had this conversation long ago and we've never looked back or regretted allowing the target language to be used (even exclusively) on any language site. – Robert Cartaino Jun 22 '16 at 16:56
  • Fair enough. If it's not caused problems in the past, then that's a huge relief! It's been sort of a pain in our sides on the Korean subreddit, but that's hardly a fair comparison as the sites work so differently. – user12 Jun 22 '16 at 17:27
  • @dotVezz from a quick look at japanese.stackexchange.com, it really seemed like 'question in English, subject of the question in Korean' was generally the way they rolled... – topo Reinstate Monica Jun 23 '16 at 6:33

I think no, Korean should totally be allowed. Besides the reasons already outlined by others, a lot of Korean learners do not know English (or at least know Korean better than English). These learners should be able to ask their questions and be part of the community without be alienated.

In Korean classes that I have taken (even low level ones), Korean was the lingua franca because we had students from so many different countries. We all spoke in broken Korean to each other, but we got our points across because it was the only way we could.

Bottom line is that I think people should ask questions in the language they can express themselves in the best.

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