It is sometimes difficult to choose a close reason adapted to the site's specificities. Could we try and see if we could modify the community-specific close reasons or add to them? I know this topic has already been discussed. For example:
Nouveaux motifs de clôture — New close reasons
Why haven't we rolled out custom close reasons?
but the site has evolved since they were asked and I think we could have a reset instead of reviving old questions.

A few examples:

How to ask for a pack of cigarettes (In Québec)
The first commentator gave what could have been a perfectly adapted close reason.
I am not saying that they should have asked for the question to be closed straight away since the OP was a new contributor and inviting them to visit the help centre was the proper thing to do. The close reason that came up hours after that first comment was: "A community-specific reason → Dictionary-lookup question" which was probably the closest to what is best but it is not really appropriate because a dictionary will not give the OP the translation of this specific phrase (an online translator might). "We are not a text translation or proofreading service" does not seem appropriate either, OP is not openly asking for a translation.
To my mind something like: Please edit to add the research you have done in your efforts to answer the question (adapted from one of ELL close reasons) seems more appropriate.

What is the meaning of "polynôme m-extrémal?"
The close reason given is again: "A community-specific reason → Dictionary-lookup question" which to my mind is a nonsense because "polynôme m-extrémal" will not be found in any dictionary (unless specifically dedicated to maths). And we are not sure if the OP wanted to know what polynôme m-extrémal is in English or if they wanted someone to explain what a polynôme m-extrémal is. Since only one close reason appears we could have escaped the problem if the first person who asked for the question to be closed had chosen "Other - add a comment" and everyone had followed but now if the question is closed the reason will appear as "Dictionary-lookup".

Help me to find lyrics "Couleur Amour" by Jaïa Rose
I gave a close reason under "Other - add a comment", but OP has now deleted the question, but this brings back the problem of asking for resources which is not always appropriate to the site in as much as it does not "discuss the finer points of the French language".
The question of resources has been raised before but it did not get much response. Maybe we could have another go at it and decide if we want to add requests for resources as a community-specific close reason.
We get quite a number of questions asking for resources that are not specific to French and that would really benefit to be redirected to LL, e.g. Drilling tools for active mastery?, Learning to read French for fluent speakers or How to improve conversational French when I live in an area without French speakers?. So I am wondering if a direct link to LL could be included is the community-specific close reasons, something like Consider if your question suits our Language Learning site (slighly adapted from a ELU close reason).

  • I agree with None.
    – Oo.
    Nov 19, 2021 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


I'd like to answer this question by discussing the answers one by one.

The question How to ask for a pack of cigarettes in Québec, which has the following comment:

Please include the basic research you have found on this (from a dictionary, for example). I encourage you to take the [tour] of the site and see the [help], et bienvenue.

I support the suggestion of creating "Needs more details" close reason similar to the one on English Language Learners. The text "I encourage you to take the [tour] of the site and see the [help], et bienvenue" shouldn't be part of that close reason, however. It would be more appropriate to use comment templates for that. New close reasons would also need to use the new format with audience-specific texts, like the revised dictionary-lookup close reason.

The issue with What is the meaning of "polynôme m-extrémal?" is that we would like the question asker to provide evidence that they have consulted at least one dictionary, listing examples of dictionaries that don't contain the term. A new "show us your research" close reason would be more appropriate than the existing dictionary-lookup close reason. Unfortunately, none of the close voters ask or encourage the question asker to list consulted dictionaries, which is not helpful at all. Close voting without clarifying why you are close-voting comes down to abusing close reasons. We should stop doing that.

Help me to find lyrics "Couleur Amour" by Jaïa Rose (currently deleted) is formally a resource request but it does not request a resource that is about the French language. It may be on topic on Literature Stack Exchange, another site that I moderate. See What are the rules for resource requests?, where the answers are actually more about recommendation questions, which are off topic.

We currently have 145 questions tagged . Many of these have been asked by learners of French. Some of these are even very open-ended, e.g. Book like “l’étranger” in French (which would be closed immediately on Literature Stack Exchange, even when asking in English). For this reason, creating a close reason for migration to Language Learning Stack Exchange (which I also moderate) would imply a change in policy regarding resource for language learning. (The question Are resources for learning French on-topic? Les demandes de ressources pour l'apprentissage du français sont-elles valables ? is now ten years old and even the most recent answer, from 2014, points out that "no concrete answer has been given by our community". Based on this, I currently don't recommend a close reason for questions about learning French. Questions about language learning in general can be migrated to Language Learning Stack Exchange, but I am not certain this type of question is common enough on this site to warrant the creation of a custom close reason for it; such questions can be migrated ad hoc. (Anyone can raise a flag for moderation attention and suggest migration in the message to the moderator.)

  • Thanks for this an argumentative response. It is a good start for discussing the subject.
    – None
    Nov 20, 2021 at 17:28
  • Do you mean Literature SE would accept a request for lyrics of a French song? OP asked the question on Musicfans, hasn't got an answer yet but was suggested to as on FL ! Yes, for resources flag and a mod migrates if appropriate seems OK.
    – None
    Nov 20, 2021 at 19:40
  • Literature SE has an identification-request tag; here are a few examples of questions: Where can I find Magda Szabó's tribute to Tibor Szobotka? and Where can I find the text of the poem "Climbing Tintagel" by (I think) Vicki Feaver?. The site also has a song-lyrics tag. So that question may have worked there.
    – Tsundoku Mod
    Nov 20, 2021 at 21:50
  • The problem was that question about lyrics request was that since it was clear the lyrics weren't available online OP wanted s.o. to send him the lyrics. It's more a do the job for me request, that is why I suggested chat. But it's impossible to upload a txt file, nor pdf file. It'll need a copy paste job, takes much space and time consuming.
    – None
    Nov 21, 2021 at 9:51
  • In an answer to that Meta post on resources you mention I suggested to have a wiki on learning resources on Meta which hardly got any notice. If we had one I could use it to point to some "interesting resources" I sometimes bring to attention in chat. Just thought about it because I added one today. Problem with chat is that it disappears from immediate view when it gets too old. Actually this resource might also be interesting for LL I expect.
    – None
    Nov 21, 2021 at 10:00

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