Out of private beta, how do you feel the site is shaping up?

  • Have we found our 'voice'?
  • Is a community starting to coalesce?
  • Are we heading in the right direction?
  • Is there anything that particularly worries you?

How do you feel about the future of this site?

5 Answers 5


The main issue raging right now is the status of English on the site. There are gradations, from people who want to encourage the use of English, through people who want to indifferently allow English and French, through people who want to encourage the use of French, to people who want a site in French. Look through the questions tagged on this meta site.

Are we headed in the right direction? I hope so. Most of the questions in the private beta were pretty interesting, and received many high-quality answers. Let's hope we keep it up.

  • 2
    A non-bilingual answer? Pushed for time? :D
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 7:31

I think that Gilles is right that "what language are we in?" is the main unresolved question for us here.

What I like however, is that it is not preventing us from asking and answering interesting questions. We don't seem to be accumulating the kind of cruft that I've seen on other early betas, and I don't get the impression we've even had to close that many questions.

I do feel that even this early, we're getting some kind of 'community' feel: it doesn't just feel like a bunch of geeks throwing questions at each other. That's the kind of intangible sign that I find very encouraging.

  • 1
    Saying "tu" to each other when writing in French sure helps towards that "community" feeling - something the other SE sites may lack.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 8:36

My own fealing is one of unease, to be honest.

I committed because I'm a native French speaker and thought that would somehow make me an expert on French. In a week time, I discovered that I was extremely naïve to think so, to the point of actual stupidity. I am, of course, not much more knowledgeable of French than my neighbour... well, actually, I am, but that's because my neighbours are... anyway, I digress.

What worries me then is that I still managed to get a comfortable reputation in a week time. Does that mean the level of the site as of now is, indeed, not so high?

And then... should it be? What are we aiming for? As far as I understand, SE sites aim for as much expertise as possible, striving to get a plethora of very good questions and very good answers, in order to become a reference.

I think FLETU will ultimately need to address the needs of "regular" French speakers, and that's especially true if we include those learning French, who will rather understand the difference between "y" and "en" than know what twisted relation Joachim du Bellay had with favorite river.

But on the other hand, I now realize a lot of these mundane questions are already answered on the Internet somewhere (I wanted to ask if one should rather say je n'ai pas de référence or je n'ai pas de références but gave up at the sight of the list of google results on the subject.)

So there. Not only am I uneasy, but I'm not even sure I can pinpoint correctly why. But hey, you asked.

Anyway, I'm curious to see what the site will become, but I'm really not sure what my part of it will ultimately be. I'll probably fade out in the background when we reach a critical mass.

  • 6
    I think the reputation is a representation to the importance of your particitation, not your level.
    – Louhike
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 9:56
  • I should keep that in mind, thanks. Not that it's less worrying.
    – Joubarc
    Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 10:03
  • 3
    I confirm from my experience here and on other SE sites: all a high reputation means is that you're not completely ignorant, and that you participate a lot. There are experts who have a low reputation because they've only answered difficult questions where everyone else gave up (so they haven't posted many answers and each answer hasn't received much audience). There have to be people who answer the long tail, too. Commented Aug 25, 2011 at 11:46

I'm finding it hard going to keep participating - it's pushing my language skills (which is a good thing) and taking time to read.

To succeed the site must be primarily with questions in French to allow the broadest spectrum of responses.

So far, one of my longest unanswered questions has been resolved (ets), and I'm happy to know how aujourd'hui came about (and from now on I'll be able to spell it).

So overall I think it's shaping up nicely.


I agree with Gilles about the main current issue and with his position on the subject.

Currently the proportion of questions in English and questions related to translation is high. Not high enough that I'm uncomfortable. But high enough that I fear that people which aren't fluent in English will feel uncomfortable. If it is the case, the site won't become a place where students, teachers, and linguists discuss the finer points of the French language but a place where English speakers learning French are getting some help.

What makes me uncomfortable is questions asked in French which get an answer in English.

  • 1
    Totally agree that a question should be answered in the language it is asked in.
    – Benjol
    Commented Aug 26, 2011 at 4:54

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