I submitted an edit for the following question:
How is 니까 used in this sentence?

In that edit, I transcribed the text from the image:


Q. 집에 (       ) 비가 내리기 시작했다

A. (1) 도착하거나     (2) 도착하기까     (3) 도착하거든     (4) 도착하려고

The edit has been reviewed, but rejected based on the following reason:

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

While I disagree with the reason given, 2 people decided otherwise. I think this is something that should be discussed.

Should we transcribe text from image?

3 Answers 3


Yes, certainly. There is no reason to have a photo of text that contains the crux of the question itself. It makes the question virtually impossible for others to find through search.

The primary goal of Stack Exchange is to compile a collaborative work of sharing knowledge for those who come after. If the author is having trouble transcribing the text (or transcribed it incorrectly), then the community can help improve the post by using the wiki editing features to make the question more comprehensive and searchable.

But be mindful — screen captures of questions are often copied from a text book or other sources the author almost certainly did not have permission to copy. I don't suspect that was the case here, but please try not to use images where the text is needed to understand what you are asking.

  • I think your answer has a valid point. But based on my experience on English Language and Usage and English Language Learners, learners who are not proficient enough in English sometimes make a mistake in transcribing sentences making a question more difficult to understand. I think it depends on the proficiency of a questioner. If they can't transcribe what is in a textbook correctly, there is no way they could ask a question about the sentences. We need to be flexible as we will have users who are beginners. That's my opinion.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:42
  • 2
    @Rathony Yuriko had already transcribed the question (correctly) making it eminently more useful to this site... and it was rejected. That makes no sense. Jun 29, 2016 at 18:48
  • I don't think you read the thread of the comments above. Yuriko transcribed the question incorrectly and that's one of the main reasons why the edit was rejected.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:49
  • @Rathony Can it be corrected rather than deleted? I restored the text of the suggested edit, so it is probably incorrect again. If it cannot be fixed through the wiki features of the system, then just remove it completely, but improving these posts to make them better is sort of the whole point of this system. Jun 29, 2016 at 19:00
  • Edit done. The question is about choosing No. 2 as an answer and the answer itself was mistranscribed as 도착하기까 which doesn't make any sense at all in Korean.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 19:08
  • @Rathony Thank you. Jun 29, 2016 at 19:22
  • Always my pleasure. :-)
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 19:26
  • It would be nicer if you could encourage users to cite the name of the source when they quote sentences or a question as in this case.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 19:27

While I agree that this might not make the question easier to find, it definitely makes it easier to read and thus, more accessible. Here are a few reasons:

  • Visually impaired users can struggle to read text on image, especially when the contrast is low. In this case, the contrast is not that great - I, for example, had some issue to read it.

  • Screen readers can't process images. People using them won't be able to understand the context, and will need to struggle to guess based on the answers. Even though, in that particular case, the image has been transcribed in the answers, I highly doubt that visually impaired users will go as far as to read them if they can't understand the question.

  • There's no harm done in making it easier to be found. The text seems to come from a resource helping people to learn Korean. Even if the content might not be of paramount importance, other people using the same resource to learn Korean might struggle on that question. (As the author did.) Allowing search engines to index it should be welcomed.

People might post more and more screenshots of text written in Korean. Typing Korean on a occidental keyboard might not be easy, and many people might find it more convenient to directly post a screenshot instead of writing the content. Thus, we should encourage this kind of edit.

  • 1
    I would argue that it also makes it easier to find (StackExchange search or Google). Both certainly index the text of the question, which they cannot if it is an image.
    – 파울울
    Jun 29, 2016 at 15:27
  • I agree, I sometimes want to look up a specific word which would be as easy as copy/paste into naver (or double click w/ the extension) but if i have to type it out (esp when at work) it becomes a hassle. Jun 29, 2016 at 17:13
  • What is the purpose of asking the question and answering it right after you posted the question? Meta question should be used to discuss workings and policies of Korean Language Stack Exchange. It is not just for expressing your opinion.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:16
  • @너구리 Do you mean you can't read the Korean words in the quote and type them?
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:21
  • 1
    One of the few problems that your edit had when I reviewed it is you misspelled one of the word. When you transcribe a word that you are not familiar with, it happens. Sometimes it is better to use an image because people make a mistake. Maybe the OP might have had the same problem as you have. What if the OP is not able to transcribe it? Do we have to force him/her to do that? Have you ever thought about this issue from the OP's point of view?
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:27
  • @Rathony it is perfectly reasonable to answer your own question, even more so on Meta. If you have a topic for discussion, why shouldn't you be allowed to give your own opinion in an answer? I have seen that quite often on other SE sites before.
    – 파울울
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:35
  • @파울울 The purpose of asking a question on Meta is to seek opinion from others first. Let other users express what they think about the issue. I am not saying you can't answer your own post. But this question is different. You can answer your own question after some users express their thoughts. What's wrong with waiting for a few days until one of the reviewers explain why (s)he rejected the edit? You can express all of your opinion or thoughts in the question. Is it impossible? The question ends with I think this is something that should be discussed.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:40
  • I agree, that seems reasonable and might be a preferred style of discussion, but I wouldn't go as far as criticizing someone for giving their opinion first without waiting.
    – 파울울
    Jun 29, 2016 at 17:51
  • @파울울 Well, there are a few Korean Meta questions that have been closed or whose answer was deleted because the OP answered his/her own question first without seeking others' opinions first. Now, I don't think there is any harm in waiting for a few days. The question and answer don't sound reasonable as they are just a one-sided argument. Let's see how this discussion evolves. I have expressed my opinion in the above comment and I thought about posting an answer, but I've just changed my mind.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:01
  • @Rathony I think your comment might be worth an answer, it did change my opinion slightly.
    – 파울울
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:03
  • 1
    @파울울 That's why we need some discussion. :-)
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:06
  • @Rathony I just mean that if its a picture, I can 'read' them, but if i dont know the meaning or something, its easier to look it up if i can just copy and paste, rather than being forced to type it out. I think that while theres no need to force the OP to type out the text, it should be allowed to update the question with a transcription of what is in the image. Jun 29, 2016 at 18:08
  • @너구리 What good would it do if you copy and paste a misspelled word? Wouldn't it be more confusing and time-consuming? What if the OP doesn't know how to type Korean words as well as we expect? What if an editor doesn't transcribe them as well as we expect? Sometimes it is better to leave it as it is when there are not many words that are difficult to read.
    – user7
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:14
  • 1
    @Rathony I understand that you are trying to reduce risk, but as with open source code, I was under the impression that edits would have to be approved (possibly even by multiple people) and people other than the OP could propose/accept edits. in this case, more eyes would mean that any minor mistakes would be caught. Jun 29, 2016 at 18:17
  • 1
    I think OP argued mostly against "this edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible.", while actually they didn't realize that, by introducing a typo, the "more accurate" was the problem. So it seems in this whole discussion we have been talking about different things...
    – 파울울
    Jun 29, 2016 at 18:29

Usually, I would say yes - but I'm aware that there are a couple of questions where I have put in photographs of text:

What's the difference between 상태동사 and 형용사? - where the photo serves as confirmation of a reference - and

How does 15th Century Hangul writing/type differ from modern Hangul?, where the writing would be very hard to reproduce and would lose context.

So I think this has to be considered on a case-by-case basis - a blanket rule might not be appropriate.

  • I didn't know you answered this question. I agree with you and I think it should be optional.
    – user7
    Jul 16, 2016 at 11:00

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