Dispirited and distressed by the closures of my 3 questions on resources, but still desiring assistance, may I repost them here on Meta please?

What books explain Spanish's difficulties?

2 Answers 2


Unfortunately, that would not be welcome.

We chose early on not to allow questions seeking learning resources, because the vast majority simply don't fit the Q&A format of Stack Exchange. A few other Stack Exchange sites do allow certain resource questions, but they must be worded in a particular way, so as not to solicit opinions or be too open-ended.

  • What books explain Spanish's difficulties?

    This question is open-ended, effectively asking for a list of books that meet a criteria. Questions in this format are, practically without exception, closed as too-broad on all SE sites.

  • https://spanish.stackexchange.com/q/15394/12

    Essentially the same as the one above.

  • https://spanish.stackexchange.com/q/15396/12

    This particular question might be acceptable, if it weren't for our policy against resource requests, since it is essentially asking a simple "yes/no" question of "Does a Spanish Reference exist written in French?" This means that any single answer which pointed to such a book could be considered "correct". But in reality, there likely are multiple such books, and (if we had enough French speakers on the site to provide answers), it could quickly turn into a voting war.

    These sorts of questions (on SE in general) are generally most appropriate for very rare or hard-to-find things, and where what the answer you're really asking is "Does this thing even exist?" not so much "Where can I find this thing?"

Having said that, what you can do here on Meta, is open a new post proposing your reasons why resource questions such as yours ought to be permitted on the main site. Maybe our community has grown or changed sufficiently since its inception, or maybe you can present some new reasons we have not considered, that now would be a good time to re-visit that policy.

I have wondered at times if our "no resource requests" policy is a bit too hard-lined, so I, for one, would welcome a revisit to the topic.

  • +1. Thank you. I have pursued your suggestion in the last para here; please inform me if you prefer not to be quoted, but I did so just to clarify the motivation for the post.
    – user10864
    Nov 25, 2015 at 2:02
  • I think that the "no resources" policy leaves something to be desired. That's not the same thing as saying that the policy is wrong, or ought to be revised. I wish there were a fairly generic way of pointing people to a resource catalog of some kind. Let me give a crude example. There are numerous questions that are answered by a word definition that cites the RAE as a source. So far, that hasn't resulted in voting wars, AFAIK. It should be possible to tell a seeker to go look it up in the RAE, and here's how. Dec 4, 2015 at 13:38
  • @WalterMitty: We have this post. Is that the kind of thing you're talking about?
    – Flimzy
    Dec 4, 2015 at 19:51
  • It's in the same ball park. I'm not sure where I'm going with this myself. Over in SO, when someone displays no effort at solving the problem, the experts want some idea of where they have looked for answers. There's this impicit assumption that there's this body of "the usual resources". For foreigners seeking to learn Spanish, we might provide them with some reasonable consensus about what the usual resources are. I'm sorry if this is not clear, but my thinking isn't clear either. Dec 4, 2015 at 21:44
  • I've been mulling this one over. I think there's a twilight zone of some kind between the two extremes. One extreme is to bravely try to answer the question with a few examples, and thereby start a voting war. At the other extreme is to pile on the downvotes, and then explain to the hapless newcomer that the reason for all those downvotes is that he/she has violated one of the fundamental rules of the forum's culture. There has to be a happy medium, some how. Dec 5, 2015 at 11:05

If I were trying to learn Spanish starting from French, I would look for a little Encyclopedia called the Pequeño Larousse Ilustrado. This isn't exactly a language learning tool, but it's a must have for people who want to look things up in Spanish. As I understand it, it's made by the same people who made the original Larousse in French, and so its structure might be more amenable to someone from French culture.

I'll note in passing that the first French classes I ever took were in Argentina, and the starting language was Spanish, not English.

You must log in to answer this question.