While this site is home to a wide variety of different types of Spanish Language questions, one of the common broad categories is the question that just asks for the best way to translate a specific word or phrase in English.

How should these questions be titled? While currently I don't think there's any problem with the titles, there are several variations that are possible:

  1. How do I best translate "phrase" into Spanish?
  2. Translation of "phrase"?
  3. How can I communicate/express "phrase" in Spanish?
  4. Is there an idiomatic equivalent in Spanish for "phrase?"

None of these are bad in any way, but since this is such a common type of question I'm curious what the 'best' form might be. I know SpanishDict suggests that users include only the phrase to be translated in the title and no other words, but this IMHO makes the content of the question a little harder to discern when you are just skimming the titles from a search-engine. For instance, I'd be a lot more like the click on a link from google that said "Best translation of 'so close' in Spanish?" than one that said merely "Translation of 'so close'?" or just "so close". This also brings up the issue of whether we include 'in Spanish' at the end of titles to make it more clear that the question is about a Spanish translation and not one into some other language.

Again, I don't think this is big problem on the site, and I also don't think we should start mass-editing questions to use a specific title format, but I was curious if anyone had any thoughts on which they think is most readable so we possible could show it as a suggestion to new users or otherwise gently encourage it. :D

1 Answer 1


Of the examples you have given, I feel that 1., 3., and 4. are all fine conventions that could be used. A title should summarize the content of its question as accurately as possible, and I feel that we should support any title that does so. Titles that specifically mention that they're looking for idiomatic phrases, or means of expressing things also seem to sound a bit more professional.

On the other hand, I'm rather opposed to convention 2. as well as the SpanishDict style. They both seem a little too blunt, and I think they would send the wrong message (e.g. this is just a translation service.)

As for whether or not we should require "in Spanish" at the end of question titles, IMHO it doesn't really matter that much. Search engines are pretty good when it comes to relavancy, so if a person were to find a question from this site in their search results, they probably already have spanish in their search terms. On top of that, a preview of the content, and page titles would also give hints. If the asker of a question chooses to append it, it's fine; if not, that's okay too.

That's just my 2¢... :)

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