Some questions on the conduct of asking/answering questions on Mi Yodeya.

(1)When answering a question and putting up a source, is it expected of the answerer to translates the sources used?

(2)If someone were to have questions or answers on certain topics, is one allowed to post them in LaShon HaKodesh?

The reason why I'm asking this question is that in doing so it could be that though limiting the audience to which the question or answer caters being only to people who can read Lashon HaKodesh, it could be an appropriate "filter" for who is able to answer the question while also being a more efficient way for writing certain questions/answers.

(This is of course on a case by case basis)

  • 1
    You tagged this feature request. Are you asking to find out the current practice or are you suggesting a future policy? (Note: it's completely OK to suggest new policies. That's part of what Meta is for.) The standing practice is (roughly) that all posts must contain at least English summaries.
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 14:50
  • Well besides for asking that, I'm suggesting that a different type of questions be asked as well. Like checking if Haaros had are valid, kind of like (lihavdil) how on Mathematics SE ask questions and show their attempts at answering the question to a larger audience. I believe it would be more effective in giving those over in Lashon HaKodesh as it narrows the crowd for who the question caters for. Obviously if the question is basic or a Hashkafa question then its not worthwhile writing it in Lashon Hakodesh. Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 14:58
  • 2
  • I thing that to report sources don't need a literal translation of it, even if it was best. The main answer need to be in English, to give a few lines from a text in Hebrew may lead some people to try to read and understand it, thing which enhances the pedagogic purpose of the site.
    – kouty
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 13:10
  • This never really went anywhere (cc @IsaacMoses)
    – Double AA Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2020 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


While allowing posts in any language would be problematic for our site (as discussed here that we need a user base "capable of answering, evaluating, voting on, improving, maintaining, categorizing, moderating behavior, etc."), it seems to me that as a byproduct of attracting a community of experts in Judaism we have also attracted a significant community of [rabbinic-]Hebrew-readers (if not -speakers), not to mention a number of users who live in Israel. We regularly have posts citing Hebrew works which users [seem to] follow up with, for instance. Thus it seems to me we can handle posts in Hebrew to a sufficient degree.

Obviously, we would need guidelines for how to implement this. (Possible guidelines could include: Hebrew answers not allowed on English questions (vice-versa?) so questioners will be sure to understand answers given to them, a tag for easy filtering, link in post to a "Hebrew post policy" on meta, etc. These would be figured out later here on meta. We could consider other things too like electing another moderator who is fluent in Hebrew or allowing Hebrew questions for a trial period (2 months?) to see how the site handles it.) If a user can't understand a Hebrew post, they simply have no need to vote on it. This isn't that different from a Python programmer skipping questions about R over on Stack Overflow. I don't expect we will be overwhelmed with these posts, and if we ever are it probably means we're gaining more users to help maintain them (after all, millions of Jews speak Hebrew better than English).

I note that obviously adding a translation to English would make the post more accessible to more people (just as adding a translation of an English post to Hebrew would make it more accessible to more people). But as you say, in some cases and for some people Hebrew is better for them (eg. they are more comfortable in Hebrew than English and their topic is such that they will get a satisfactory answer even asking in Hebrew to a (currently) somewhat narrower audience). If someone wants to go add a translation, that only helps so good for them, but until then, if we have the tools to accommodate it in the language the OP prefers, maybe we should.

Please vote on this post based on if you think we could gain by further exploring this option, NOT based on if you don't like a particular detail/guideline above or just don't think we are ready to commit to it yet. You are not voting on a final policy.

  • 2
    When Stack Overflow had enough users whose primary languages are Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Japanese, they made separate sites instead of mixing those questions into SO. I wonder if there are any meta posts where the community discussed that; if so, we might learn from those discussions. (SO is much bigger, so some user issues would be different but others would be the same.) Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 15:13
  • 1
    I just asked this question on Community Building about user engagement. I haven't done any SO research, though others might as part of answering that question. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 15:41
  • I'm not personally suggesting implementing another language so as to add another language for basic questions (e.g. Instead of asking "What bracha does one make on Mezonos Rolls" one asks " "איזה ברכה צריך לברך "לחם מזונות") I think it would be useful for more complicated questions. Particularly those of advanced Talmudic/Halachic nature. Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 19:34
  • @RoshHaYeshiveh if a question requires precise language (jargon) for advanced concepts you can already use those inline in an English-language question. Have you encountered difficulties doing that? Commented Nov 3, 2016 at 14:40

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .