Just ran into this dilemma on Dans quel ordre enseigner le français ?

A question that could be considered applicable to a very wide audience was asked and answered, but the question and title are in French.

I'm concerned that a French title with French tags will attract absolutely no search engine traffic. Comparatively few people will be searching for Dans quel ordre enseigner le français ? as opposed to Where should I start learning French? What order should I follow?

I changed the title to English, but another member changed it back to French, arguing that the title should be in the same language that the question is written in.

And thus the debate was born.

Am I wrong in thinking this is potentially very disadvantageous to our site?

EDIT: I changed the title knowingly from "teach" to "learn" because I think they're equivalent. What order to teach and what order to learn are the same thing. You might just as easily search one as the other. however, "learn" is more likely to be searched. More people will be wondering how to learn French than how to teach it, and this question is applicable either way. And despite that it seems logical that the question would be asked in French if someone were wondering how to teach, since they would already speak French, I doubt that this is the case. The vast majority of internet resources are in English, and I think most people know to search in English, even when it's about teaching a different language.

  • 13
    I think this question must be solved by the community of french.se. On SO it's clear and in general English is the language of SE, but the language-specific sites should decide this on their own.
    – Joachim Sauer
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 7:55
  • Also: could you link to the question (as an example)?
    – Joachim Sauer
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 7:55
  • 5
    In any case, I agree with the argument that the title should match the text of the question. What good does it do someone who knows (only) English to find the French question?
    – Joachim Sauer
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 8:21
  • 9
    If this is just related to french.se shouldn't this be on their meta?
    – ben is uǝq backwards
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 8:53
  • 1
    This is NOT only a French.SE question; this pertains to all language betas, which is why it's on SO Meta. I strongly disagree with the motivation for closing this. It's meant to be visible to all the language site users, not just French. Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 17:08
  • 2
    Teaching and learning are not equivalent, even though they happen at the same time. If the person asking the question is trying to teach, they need advice about trying to teach, not about trying to learn, and the advice given to them will not in general be helpful to people trying to learn. It's important to remember: though we want questions and answers to be helpful to others, there's an actual person who's asking the question, and our first job is to help that person, not to try to modify their request into something that'll help other people.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 17:38
  • 2
    And saying that most internet resources are English so everyone should just search in English is...unhelpful. google.fr and google.ca in French exist, and tons of people use them, and are quite happy with what they find. Yes, a lot of the internet is in English, but that doesn't mean it always has to be that way. We're doing a disservice to most of the world if we try to create a monolingual internet.
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 17:40
  • So, um. With your edit you have answered your question yourself. The answer is comprehensive and makes perfect sense. Is there anything left to address? What answers do you still expect to see at this point? I can only see myself posting a "Yes, I agree". Rather pointless.
    – RegDwight
    Commented Jan 18, 2013 at 19:24

1 Answer 1


If you translate the question title, also translate the question body. And always keep the original version: do not remove content.

Ideally, all the posts here would be bilingual. Failing that, it is generally beneficial to have “advanced” content in French, because people who have extensive knowledge of French know French by definition, but may not know English. (And yes, this is not theoretical. There are indeed many educated French people whose English is not good enough to write questions and answers here.) For “beginner” content, English is ok, but not universal (not everyone learns English before French).

This question falls squarely in the advanced category. A large part of its audience are French natives who want to teach French to a friend. The audience definitely knows French and may or may not English, so French is unambiguously the best language for it.

Why on earth would I search for material about teaching French in English? I personally use English when searching the web for most things, but for material about France or French, I use French. The vast majority of Internet resources about French are in French.


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