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It occurred to me that there is the potential to have non-English speaking students in the JLU community, and that the heavy use of English might hinder their ability to use the site.

Is it possible to create a localized JLU in Japanese? If not, I think the site's design is intuitive enough for non-English speakers to figure out.

But, besides the UI, does JLU intend to be an English-centric site? For example, the tags are all in English, or romanized. I think it would make sense to have tags be Japanese, with English synonyms (or the other way around). Japanese tags have been discussed before, but it seems like the needs of non-Enlish speakers weren't considered.

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For better or for worse, StackExchange sites are in English unless otherwise noted, including JLU.

That said, there are several proposals for sites in other languages (for example, this one), and there's nothing stopping someone from proposing a JLU in Japanese on Area 51.

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Note that the site's code currently doesn't cleanly support full-Japanese posts, as shown in bug reports like https://japanese.meta.stackexchange.com/q/450/162, Kana in question URLs should be transliterated, and Do we need support for kanji tags?, which makes it harder for a non-English localized version of JLU.

The content of JLU doesn't necessary have to be English-only, if you can work around the limitations of the Stack Exchange system. An ideal question would probably be in Japanese with an English translation so both audiences could benefit. You could also make kanji versions of the tags and link them to the english ones with synonyms. But, I don't think you could have a fully localized site unless the dev team gets involved.

  • That sounds good. But are Japanese tags discouraged? Is JLU supposed to be for English speakers? That was really what I was getting at. – Louis Aug 17 '11 at 14:31
  • @Louis: I do not know why you think that this website might be for non-English speakers. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 20 '11 at 12:12
  • @Tsuyoshi, well I don't think it's for all non-English speakers. But for someone studying Japanese it could be possible for them to communicate on JLU entirely in Japanese. With extra difficulty right now, mainly because of the tagging system and slightly because of the UI. Simply adding Japanese synonyms could ease things for them though. I guess I never thought of the site as "JLU in English" and thought it could be JLU in Japanese and English. – Louis Aug 20 '11 at 12:33
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    @Tsuyoshi, I see why you would think that though, clearly the site is for English speakers. I just think it would be worthwhile to remove obstacles for people where Japanese is the only common language. – Louis Aug 20 '11 at 12:41
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Our goal to make the Stack Exchange Network a great place to produce high-quality Q&A sites, no matter what language you speak. Questions in either Japanese or English should be welcome.

Localization to full support the Japanese language is becoming a an increasing priority on Stack Exchange. We are committed to supporting sites in other languages. But in the meantime, we have been able to launch sites like the Japanese Language SE without delay… But that means there have been a few compromises to fit these non-English subject into the predominantly English-speaking system.

The State of Localization

I know this is not always ideal, but it's all a bit of a compromise in lieu of saying "Sorry you cannot create proposals for non-English sites until we have a proper localization interface." We've made a lot of progress by launching four non-English sites in the last three months and accommodating your immediate needs. Despite some of these short-term growing pains, these sites are doing very well and I hope to continue improving the prospects and features of this site.

  • I agree either Japanese or English should be welcome. Great to know it will be technically possible in the future. I guess my original question will come up again around that time. – Louis Aug 23 '11 at 5:16
  • when you say "Japanese Language SE" are you referring to this site or a Stack Exchange site FOR Japanese people? I searched and couldn't find it though. – Mark Hosang Aug 30 '11 at 9:03
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    @Mark Hosang: I am referring to this site. – Robert Cartaino Aug 30 '11 at 18:53
  • Out of interest, what is the fourth site besides the French, German, and Japanese L&U's? – hippietrail Aug 31 '11 at 7:20
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    @hippietrail: Judaism was the first site which had to support non-English content – Robert Cartaino Aug 31 '11 at 13:28
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小さい注釈したいんですが… ここ10日間前から成立したFrench Language & Usageでも、通常使用言語が話題になりました。 フランス語で交流することになるようですが。

英語を禁じるまでもないが、日本語をもっと使った方がいいと思う。 英語だけを使うと日本人のユーザ数が低いまま増えないと思う上、母国語が日本語でない人はできる程上達しないだろう。間違った日本語を修正してもらうことが重要だと思うからだ。

  • 別の例として、下記の質問はフランス語についてのサイトで、ドイツ語で書いてあります:french.stackexchange.com/questions/290 – Nicolas Raoul Aug 30 '11 at 9:06
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    Are we expected to correct errors in questions written in Japanese? I have not been doing so because doing so might degrade this website to a proofreading service. Also, unnaturalness is often hard to explain, and I do not want to distract the asker from the question being asked. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 30 '11 at 12:37
  • @Tsuyoshi: well, why restrict corrections to English, when the point is to master Japanese? I think that correcting Japanese on JLU is more important than correcting English. – Axioplase Aug 30 '11 at 23:46
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    I do not usually correct errors in English, either. I point out errors in the Japanese text included in questions as an example, but beyond that, it would be proofreading, which I am against. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 31 '11 at 0:01
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    For example, even this post of yours contains several bumps in Japanese, but the point is that the text is understandable. If I am your language teacher, I might have corrected them, but I do not think that that is either my role or the aim of this website. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 31 '11 at 0:05
  • @Tsuyoshi: I believe that Japanese is a language in which it is very hard to be natural for a foreign language speaker. The possibility to access the edits on SE makes it great to see how a text should be fixed for improved naturalness, so that one knows what constructions are bad and thus tries to avoid them later on. If JLU is only going to be the place for discussing JLPT grammar nuances, and synonyms out of context, then I misunderstood its objectives and think it's doomed to never expand. – Axioplase Aug 31 '11 at 0:13
  • I am perfectly fine with “doomed to never expand” (why should I even care about expansion?), but I understand different people have different aims. – Tsuyoshi Ito Aug 31 '11 at 0:20
  • as much as i would love for someone to correct my broken japanese (and english sometimes <sorry about that>), I have to agree with Ito that it has the possibility of this site becoming a free proofreading service. So while i don:t think there should be the expectation, if you are a grammar nazi or just really nice I'm sure people wouldn:t mind. – Mark Hosang Sep 2 '11 at 1:27
  • @Mark: It can't become a proof reading site, for what's important on JLU/SE is the contents of questions/replies, not how they are written. Moreover, by letting clumsy Japanese around, it (1) has a bad influence on learners (I mean, hey, I have XXXX points of karma, so I must master Japanese, or so they may think), and (2) falsely makes the writer believe that what he wrote is correct, amplifying the risk of keeping being wrong. – Axioplase Sep 2 '11 at 1:53
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Is JLU an English-centric site?

Yes. My understanding is that it was proposed as a website in English from the beginning, even if no one stated it explicitly. There is no changing of this fundamental characteristic of the website this late in the game.

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