There are a lot of people who use Drupal whose English writing skills are poor. I feel bad writing this because I have no language skills at all even in my own native English. However, I have a difficult time understanding some of the questions posed by non English speakers. I wonder if it would be better for them to write in there native language and translate the text with Google translation tools or another source?

1 Answer 1


It's hard to say if Google Translate will improve on their attempts at English as a second language. Results vary.

The best solution is human-aided assistance. That's the wiki-component of Stack Exchange. If you can make a question clearer, please do so. If you need clarification, ask for it; That's what comments are for.

Please be patient with non-English-speaking users. It is generally clear when a question is being asked poorly out of laziness and when the user is struggling with their second language.

But if it is not clear what is being asked and users are off in all directions answering apparently-different interpretations of the question, it's best to close it quickly— hopefully for a more successful relaunch if it can be fixed.

Sometimes an author neglects to follow up on comments directed to them; Sometimes a question just can't be fixed. While we all try to be helpful, there's a point where you have to close out un-fixable questions to maintain sanity on the site. The author is always welcome to try again. Do your best to help them.

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    I completely agree. I always try to fix grammar errors in questions, when possible; if it is not clear what the OP means, I comment to ask what he means. @Adam S doesn't have the reputation to edit a question, but he can propose an edit; I always welcome any edit that makes the question clearer, and the user can gain points by getting his proposed edits accepted. :-)
    – apaderno Mod
    Apr 14, 2011 at 16:59
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    Agreed. The results of automated translation can be bizarre, and if you think about it, the OP can't even really evaluate that before posting. So you actually end up introducing a third language that nobody quite speaks. In contrast to that, many of the basic errors non-native language users make are comparatively predictable, and you can learn to essentially auto-correct them while reading.
    – Su'
    Apr 18, 2011 at 9:54

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