When someone asks for a term or a phrase, especially if it's How Do I Translate This to Spanish, a recent question illustrated that one can't properly answer unless the following is specified:

  • target country or region (or if it's the US, country or region of origin of the target audience)
  • target tone (formal, informal; written, spoken)

Where could this be documented?

I don't have a suggestion because I'm currently finding the site's various layers of documentation quite confusing. Here are some layers I'm aware of:

  • Click the question mark to read the Help pages (top right)
  • Get your question closed with a canned reason
  • Read the short tag description
  • Read the looong tag description

Maybe there's more....

1 Answer 1


Since this is a recommendation that applies to most any question about Spanish, unless otherwise specified... I think the best place to include it would be the How To Ask help section, specifically here:

Be specific

If you ask a vague question, you’ll get a vague answer. But if you give us details and context [like target Spanish dialect, tone, examples of the usage you're looking for], we can provide a useful answer.

Something like the bold part (which I just added) might do it. However I don't think moderators can edit the contents of the How To Ask page :(

Another option would be to edit this part of the Tour page:

enter image description here

The example question could be changed to one that shows regional tags like or .

Of course, the option of closing on-topic questions (which you seem to like a lot :D) for minor details like this one, is totally unacceptable to me.

We are here to answer questions. Specifying the target country is a tip for the questioner, in case they want a specific answer; but said info is definitely not a sine qua non for us to contribute an answer (as seen in the very same question you linked).
I don't see a problem in a general translation question getting several regional answers, I think it enriches the questioner's knowledge and shows the stack is alive and kickin'. Who knows: maybe OP is writing a book and their main character was from Spain but, thanks to our answers, OP decided that Mexican Spanish sounds cooler!
So in my opinion, inclusion of any kind of details that are not necessary for a question to be sufficiently understood and answered, should be just a recommendation.

  • I especially like your idea for the How to Ask, I think that's a great place to start, if it can be edited. My experience with other stacks, especially ELU, is quick closure and quick reopening if the OP improves the question. I know you don't like that approach for this site. So I really appreciate that you thought about my question and contributed some constructive ideas. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 19:47
  • I chose the "close reasons" tag not because in this case I think it would be a reason to close, but because "close reasons" is one of the places guidance is given about how to ask. Commented Jan 11, 2018 at 19:48
  • We could also try to add this information when people added the translation tag, like SO does on SQL questions, for example.
    – fedorqui
    Commented Jan 15, 2018 at 10:51

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