We've received a number of questions from one user that often follow the same general pattern. They generally take up a topic and, in the course of a rather long series of loosely related comments on that topic, ask for translation advice on different aspects of the theme. Here are some recent examples:

Here's an example of a question that was heavily edited so as to address only one (albeit, highly specific) translation:

I see a couple issues with these questions:

  • Their titles give almost no indication of what they are actually about.
  • The question itself is not unified and is highly unlikely to be useful in a knowledge-base.
  • There is a large amount of opinion/speculation, and even political commentary, that distracts from the actual point.

I often don't do anything with such questions. I suppose there are three options:

  • Downvote
  • Heavily edit
  • Close

It's also entirely possible, of course, that I'm the only one who thinks these questions aren't a good fit, as currently written.

On the one hand, we ought to be a welcoming community to all levels of Latin, and we don't want a series of rote questions. On the other, if we don't have any consensus about how to treat questions like this, I fear the quality of the Q&A will go down, and we'll stay in the current status quo. How do we think questions like this should be addressed?


1 Answer 1


I agree that those questions have issues. To me the main issue is the irrelevant narrative and commentary; a backstory can be provided, but it should come after presenting the actual question and it should be stripped of things like political commentary. This same narrative extends to the title, and it is indeed often not clearly linked to the actual question. (I do use tongue-in-cheek titles occasionally, but I always try to word them so that they give an idea of the question.)

If a question does not meet our quality standards, all of the reactions you mention are valid. I would also add another one:

  • Leave a comment explaining what is wrong.

If the question contains a reasonable question, it is salvageable by editing. It is great if you can go and edit it to make it better, but do not take that as your responsibility. The responsibility is with the Original Poster (OP), and others can help if they feel like it. One of the most helpful things is to explain the cause of the negative reaction so that the OP may improve and ask better questions in the future.

I think it would be helpful to heavily edit a single example question to show what would make it have more focus. Of course the user can also comment whether such examples would be useful.

As always, I'm open to any suggestions.

You must log in to answer this question.

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