We seem to get a lot of questions asking 'how should I go about learning this thing?'. (Learning Japanese alphabet and Transitioning to Japanese kanji from Chinese are two recent examples.)

At the moment, there's only two close reasons we can use for them:

  • Off topic because we don't provide learning resources
  • Primarily opinion-based

Neither of those really gets at the heart of the problem with the question. If we mark it as a learning resource question, the OP can rightly argue that they weren't asking for resources, but advice (and the link in the close reason can easily reinforce the misunderstanding). If we mark it as opinion-based, we fail to convey that questions about learning methods are still categorically off-topic (due to not actually being about the language); and indeed, some questions about methods can be answered fairly defitinively.

It seems to me like it would be a good idea to explicitly include questions about learning methods under the 'questions asking for learning resources' heading, perhaps rephrasing it something like this:

Questions seeking resources or advice about learning Japanese are off-topic here, but you may find our list of learning resources helpful.

1 Answer 1


I absolutely agree. The sentiment behind that close option ("Off topic because we don't provide learning resources") is surely that we deal questions about the Japanese language itself here, not about how to learn it. But as you say, the text doesn't accurately convey that sentiment.

I use the 'learning resources' reason to vote to close method questions, but I have often thought it should clearly include 'methods' and 'advice' too.

I think it would be good (for people's understanding of our site scope) if we could have an all-in-one close option for learning questions, and reserve the "Primarily opinion-based" close option for questions which are correctly about the Japanese language but are still off-topic for being opinion-based.

  • 2
    Okay, we went ahead and made the change! :-)
    – user1478
    Jan 6, 2016 at 4:59
  • Awesome, thank you!
    – Sjiveru
    Jan 6, 2016 at 17:44

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