I'm wondering if I can ask for English translations for Japanese words/phrases in Japanese Stack Exchange.

For example, 信濃川は日本で何番目に長い川ですか? is an ordinary question asking where Shinano River stands in the ranking of Japanese rivers according to the length, but I don't know how English speakers would ask such a question.

Suppose I ask English translation for the Japanese sentence above in Japanese Stack Exchange. Is it violating some rule of the forum?

I understand that some people would consider the question off-topic because (1) it is about English and (2) it could be asked in other SE sites with sufficient explanations in English.

At the same time, considering that a majority of users on this SE understand both English and Japanese, I don't think it is that unreasonable to ask English equivalents to Japanese expressions here.

A related question is the multi-lingual version of the above: "Does you native language have an equivalent expression to a Japanese phrase xxxx?" is allowed?

1 Answer 1


In my opinion such questions would help with my ability to formulate natural Japanese sentences, so in that sense they would be a good thing. On the other hand it might open the flood gates for lazy questions where people just try to get their Japanese translated to English. On balance I think it would be better to keep them off-topic.

Where does Shinano come/rank/sit in the list of Japan's longest rivers?

Your own translation is also perfectly natural.

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