I've seen a few questions where a user posts in a foreign language (in my case: 100% Russian), for example: https://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/93451/69562

I usually put these through a translator and edit to the translated text with minor grammar/style fixes, plus leaving a comment asking to post in English next time.

Is this just the way to go or is there more to such posts?

I find it odd that somebody is obviously able to read and understand a question (with or without translation tools) but then isn't taking the 10 seconds to translate his/her own answer and posts in a foreign language straight... I never got a (comment) response on recent occurrences and I don't know if these accounts ever contribute more than a single post, hence the meta question....

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    Without having thought too much about this yet, I wonder if we might usefully distinguish questions and answers. Questions being more problematic, since if there are language issues it's less likely to get edited/updated by the poster, comments may be ignored and answers may not get feedback/acceptance. For these reasons I tend to be a bit harder on questions; on the other hand even drive-by answers can be useful sometimes. I'm still inclined to be harsher on them than English answers, though, and would ask more quality of them than if they were in English.
    – DavidW
    Feb 26 at 14:10
  • @DavidW Yeah, I think answers are less problematic, they can be one-shot and if they are somewhat decent, can stand by themselves (and the test of user votes), even if it is just a "drive-by". I kept the above because it is on-topic and a nice hack, even though it doesn't add anything new, but I wouldn't be bothered by it in English. Question is, where do you draw the line and just flag/delete instead of trying to improve things (for the "lazy" user)?
    – DoNuT
    Feb 26 at 14:16

1 Answer 1


Editing, as you have been doing, is certainly acceptable. I would recommend that you leave a comment explaining that you've made the changes because our site is an English-language site and inviting the OP to make any necessary corrections in the translation. (I believe I recall seeing that you're already doing this.)

Alternatively, flagging would also be appropriate. In fact, this might be the only action available to users who don't have edit privileges yet. In that case, one of the mods can handle it through edits, comments, or deletion, as is deemed appropriate.

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