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We all love French Language Stack Exchange, but there is a whole world of people out there who need answers to their questions and don't even know that this site exists. When they arrive from Google, what will their first impression be? Let's try to look at this site through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before, and see how we stack up against the rest of the 'Net.

The Site Self-Evaluation review queue is open and populated with 10 questions that were asked and answered in the last quarter. Run a few Google searches to see how easy they are to find and compare the answers we have with the information available on other sites.

Rating the questions is only a part of the puzzle, though. Do you see a pattern of questions that should have been closed but are not? Questions or answers that could use an edit? Anything that's going really well? Post an answer below to share your thoughts and discuss these questions and the site's health with your fellow users!

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I'm quite disappointed by the evolution of the site. It seems to be increasingly a site for learners (and at a quite basic level), and not "a site for linguists, teachers, students, and anyone interested in the finer points of the French language". I don't think there was one question in the review queue which could be put in the finer points class. I don't mind questions from learners, I worry about the total absence of other questions.

I used think that we'd have an hard time to keep a correct balance of questions on the site until we got a French interface and then things would become easier. The current mix makes me now think that we have failed. Even if we got tomorrow a French interface, the site is not in a state were someone not already deeply invested in it will ask a question on fine points.

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Final Results

Net Score: 13 (Excellent: 13, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 10 (Excellent: 11, Satisfactory: 3, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 10 (Excellent: 10, Satisfactory: 5, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 8 (Excellent: 8, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 0)


Net Score: 6 (Excellent: 7, Satisfactory: 7, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 5 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 8, Needs Improvement: 1)


Net Score: 4 (Excellent: 6, Satisfactory: 8, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 4, Satisfactory: 8, Needs Improvement: 3)


Net Score: 1 (Excellent: 3, Satisfactory: 9, Needs Improvement: 2)


Net Score: -3 (Excellent: 2, Satisfactory: 6, Needs Improvement: 5)


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Let me start by saying that I agree with what @Unfrancophone stated, and let me continue by offering a few points of my own. First and foremost, there aren't enough francophones asking questions. When I joined this site not too long ago, I was expecting that I would be reading answers to questions that I wouldn't have even thought to ask. Instead, I've found that many questions (including my own) come from an anglophone perspective. Some questions are of poor quality and can be answered with 3-5 minutes of research, but others are not. Many questions are difficult to answer with a Google search, but easy enough that any native francophone would know the answer. Many of these are valid questions according to the site's criteria, but in my opinion, they shouldn't be the focus of the site.

Instead, I'd like to see more questions coming from native speakers of the French language. This would benefit both the anglophone and francophone users of the site. The francophone users would actually learn something from their fellow French speakers, and anglophones like myself would learn about questions we would never have known to ask.

The Dog walking "Heel" question is a prime example. It got 6 excellent ratings in review, yet a simple dictionary search yields the correct translation: WordReference: heel. While I can't speak with certainty, I would assume that most, if not all, native French speakers would already know the phrase « au pied ! », and therefore gain nothing from this question being on the site.

I also agree that a French interface is long overdue. This site should be intended for francophones and linguists, and anglophones with an interest in French should be on the periphery. If language learners are to be the focus of this site, then perhaps it's time to consider pitching "French Language Learners", as has been done already with English Language and Usage and English Language Learners

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