Is this site purely for experts to provide answers about translation, nuances etc about the Spanish language, or can advice be sought about learning the Spanish language.

For instance:

  • What tips do you have for picking up the Spanish language with a distance-learning approach (i.e. not interactively with a tutor).
  • I've tried learning from a book/CD audio combination before, but never seem to complete the course - do these learning books/CDs work, and if so, what advice can you give to help with using this method of learning successfully

3 Answers 3


Are questions about learning on topic? Sure!

Are the examples you listed on topic? No!

List questions

The problem with the examples you listed are that the questions themselves are bad. Those questions are list questions, which are generally forbidden SE-Network wide.

I believe that if you have a question on learning, this is a great place to ask. However, you have to make sure that it's not a list question. Asking for "tips", book recommendations, websites, etc. are all off topic and Not Constructive for this format.

Some questions are too easy

You also have to keep in mind that some questions are too easy. Questions that can be answered by using a basic lookup in a dictionary, for example, are discouraged.

This is a site for experts and people learning more about Spanish. Simple translation questions do not belong here. Tricky translation questions (phrases, technical terminology, etc.) will easily find a home here.

  • 2
    Asking for books and websites is off-topic? On travel.SE we do it all the time. But they have to be based on specific features rather than "recommend" or "the best" which are subjective. Asking for a language course, dictionary, or website that includes or specializes some particular thing should be OK in my opinion. If the question is "does such a resource exist?" it's good. If the question is "help me choose a good resource" it's bad. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 21:28
  • 1
    @hippietrail If we decided to implement that rule, we would have to be very specific about it. The general rule is that book recommendations are off-topic. Travel may be an exception, however, it looks like those are off-topic there as well. Still, if you are interested in opening up book recommendations, then start a new meta post about it and give a nice long explanation of why we should consider breaking the SE-given rule. See also
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 21:36
  • 1
    No not recommendations as I tried to clarify. Not all resource questions are recommendation questions. All of the Language & Usage site have a "resources" tag: English x 20, French x 11, German x 17, Japanese x 17. It's also used in more than a couple of the other sites too. There's nothing wrong with having strict rules on such questions though. Commented Nov 16, 2011 at 21:46
  • Okay, I get the list question bit, but there are some very useful SE questions and answers that are list questions and have been very useful resources which often come up when doing Google searches. What you seem to be after is questions with a definite answer and not those which could cause expert opinion to be divided. Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:11
  • Another question could be: When learning Spanish, is there any reason to learn one particular variation over another (e.g. Mainland Spain over Latin America). - Would this be considered a list question, or would this be acceptable? Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 7:19
  • 1
    That might be a list question. There are only a couple of major dialects that are really well suited for initial learning. The big problem I see with that question is that it's too local. The options depend on where you are located, what resources are available, and what the native population speak. Think of it this way: Would someone in Northern Russia find the same answer just as correct as someone in Argentina?
    – Richard
    Commented Nov 17, 2011 at 16:50

One thing to consider is that the site description for all Language & Usage sites is currently the same boilerplate for all of them:

Beta Q&A site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the ......... language.

But I don't think that should tie each language site into the exact same scope.

The Japanese L&U site is pretty hard-line on not allowing questions about learning, but personally the sites other than English L&U seem to mostly be about learning anyway so I would prefer to be able to allow good questions about learning Spanish.


For questions related to learning Spanish (or any other language), you would be encouraged to ask on the new Language Learning site.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .