Últimamente he visto distintas respuestas muy bien documentadas con citas en catalán o en italiano. Si bien creo que es útil tener el texto original, también me parece que ocupa un espacio excesivo dada la poca cantidad de gente que va a poder entenderlo.

En general se asume que Spanish.SE lo consumen usuarios que conocen inglés, castellano o ambos. De ahí que asumamos como duplicadas preguntas iguales en idiomas diferentes o que proporcionemos respuestas con idioma cruzado (alguien pregunta en inglés y le contestamos en castellano, o viceversa, siempre y cuando podamos asumir que el autor de la pregunta pueda entenderlo).

Ahora bien, en este caso el texto que presentamos está en un idioma que es potencialmente conocible, pero que en muchos casos no lo será.

De ahí que me pregunte: ¿es necesario mantener el texto original en un idioma que no sea el castellano o el inglés?

Lo que sí creo que queda fuera de duda es lo indicado en el Centro de Ayuda > How to reference material written by others:

  • Provide a link to the original page or answer
  • Quote only the relevant portion
  • Provide the name of the original author

Por lo que mi sugerencia iría en el sentido de añadir lo mínimo necesario y proporcionar la referencia exacta de donde sacar el contenido completo si alguien quiere bucear en el texto original.

  • 1
    Voto porque me parece una discusión interesante, pero mi opinión es que es mejor mostrar explícitamente el original en la respuesta. Si es muy largo, siempre se puede poner al final: así los usuarios no tienen ni por qué mirarlo si no quieren (fue una idea tuya, @fedorqui, para esta respuesta que me pareció buena: de hecho, lo acabo de editar para que esté realmente al final).
    – Charo
    Apr 10, 2020 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


I agree in the pursuit of concision and clarity only the relevant portion should generally be quoted, whether foreign language or not. And (if foreign language) it should be clear from the answer body what the citation is supposed to corroborate.

However, provided the quotes aren't too extensive (note in light of this I made this answer much more concise), I don't think it is an egregious use of space to quote the specific relevant part of a foreign language citation (as opposed to just a link, title, or page number, which is less transparent what exactly is being cited - and may be difficult for many readers to access, depending on the source).

Personally I think including both the original and a translation is more of an eyesore - I would prefer in most cases1 either one or the other, and if it's a translation done by the user, a link to the original material and a note it has been translated. It seems like less and less of an issue to me though that text is in a foreign language, given the current state of e.g. Google Translate. Also, it seems to be the standard in many linguistics journals to quote foreign language texts verbatim, even if there are multiple from different languages (example).

If a translated version of the work exists, it might be preferable to quote that; and if not, it might be more aesthetic to include the quotes as footnotes instead, but I don't think we should enforce either of these.

1. Though note I myself have occasionally included both when I don't believe automated translation provides a very accurate result (e.g. Japanese > English), and it's not readily apparent which section of a source is being translated/quoted.

  • 1
    It is great to have an insight that seems to be coming from Academia :) It has gained reasons and rationale through time, so sticking to the standard sounds good to me (not to reinvent the wheel). Agreed in not enforcing either of these, it is a bit like how to format text. My initial thought on this was the frustrating part of seeing a long block of text I cannot understand. That being said, I am not very fan of the footnotes part, since they work well on paper (you always see the foot of the page) while on SE posts it makes it a bit difficult to follow.
    – fedorqui
    Apr 9, 2020 at 15:18
  • 1
    I think the principle of having the original accessible is a good one. Given that a link to it might go dead the safest thing is to include it.
    – mdewey
    Apr 10, 2020 at 12:37
  • 2
    I agree with @mdewey and, in addition, note that some of my quotations (the ones in the answer linked in the question, for instance) come from books that are not available online. I wonder if I would be authorised to publish a translation without quoting the original.
    – Charo
    Apr 10, 2020 at 15:05
  • Genial, veo que vamos llegando a consenso. Me interesa lo que comenta @Charo, bucearé en MetaSE a ver si ha habido debate al respecto
    – fedorqui
    Apr 11, 2020 at 9:34

You must log in to answer this question.

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