As @WBT has thankfully reminded us, this community has not yet created an official on-topic definition for the Help Center. Almost exactly a year ago, @fi12 started this discussion here, too. Lets try to finish it this time!

By now regulars seem to have a pretty good sense of what is and is not on-topic here, but lets formalize this a bit.

I'd like this post to be a place to post on-topic and off-topic items for discussion, one per answer. (I'll provide a few myself, to get discussion started, and provide examples).

Please post both on-topic and off-topic examples, and your suggested wording. And leave comments to discuss and work out the best wording. In a week or so, I, or one of the other mods, can aggregate the responses into the Help Center document.

  • This is an exact duplicate of this question that I asked one year ago. – fi12 Apr 29 '17 at 2:42
  • 1
    Thanks for the link, @fi12! I've marked that one as a duplicate of this one, not because it was inferior, but simply because a year has passed, and we've changed our on/off-topic expectations a bit as a community. Feel free to merge any relevant bits from that Q/A into answers here if you feel so inclined. – Flimzy Apr 29 '17 at 10:16
  • Ok, soo... when are these suggestions considered finalized? – Hatchet May 9 '17 at 12:52
  • @Hatchet: I think we can consider them final enough to add them to the help center. Should I do that, or would you like to? – Flimzy May 9 '17 at 13:07
  • @Flimzy Go ahead – Hatchet May 9 '17 at 13:07
  • 1
    @Hatchet: done. – Flimzy May 9 '17 at 13:22


  • Questions regarding certain language learning techniques or resources, and their effectiveness in comparison to others.


  • Questions regarding definite obstacles you're facing in your L2 acquisition.


  • Requesting resources such as books, studies, PDF's, websites for on-topic reasons to back up answers in topics such as:
    • Proving the effectiveness of a technique(s)
    • Scientific reasons behind language learning guidelines or tips
    • Scientific effects of a trait on the acquisition of learning
    • How one affects the other

Please make sure that this is not .


I like the completed list Flimzy has right now, but I'd like to suggest a few changes. The changes I have made are in bold.

For the first bullet point in the on-topic section:

  • Questions about learning or teaching techniques regarding any human language, including unspoken and constructed languages. If the question relates to a specific language but can be generally applicable to a wide variety of languages, it is considered to be on-topic.

I think we should also add this bullet point to the on-topic section:

  • Using language learning or teaching software or technology (ex. Duolingo, Anki, etc.) in conjunction with the learning/teaching process

I think this should be added to the off-topic section:

- Translation or proofreading requests, and/or rating the quality of a translation


I just put the new On-Topic text live. Please feel free to create a new post if you think something should be expanded or edited.

Language Learning Stack Exchange is for students, teachers, polyglots, and anyone interested in the techniques of language acquisition.

Questions on the following topics are welcome here:

  • Questions about learning any human language, including unspoken and constructed languages.
  • Questions regarding definite obstacles faced by anyone learning a language.
  • Questions regarding specific language learning techniques or resources, and their effectiveness in comparison to others.
  • Requests seeking books, studies, web sites, or other resources supporting the scientific basis for any aspect of language study.
  • Questions seeking hard-to-find learning resources for a specific language. Be as specific as possible.

But please don't ask questions about the following topics, which are deemed off-topic here:

  • Questions about grammar, spelling, phonetics, or other aspects of a specific language. Such questions are better asked at one of the language-specific Q&A sites.
  • Questions about non-human languages, such as those used by animals or machines.
  • Have you seen @fi12's suggestion regarding teaching? That should definitely also be on topic. – Tsundoku Jul 2 '17 at 17:27
  • 1
    @ChristopheStrobbeI hadn't seen it. Thanks for drawing my attention. The suggested changes have now been incorporated. – Flimzy Jul 3 '17 at 9:09


  • Questions about grammar, spelling, phonetics, or other aspects of a specific language are off-topic. Such questions are better suited for the various language-specific SE sites.
  • This is very broad. Would "(other than learning that language)" be a helpful insertion after "specific language?" – WBT Apr 27 '17 at 23:05
  • See also: Meta question #1 – WBT Apr 27 '17 at 23:35


  • Specific questions about learning resources for a specific language and/or target audience. Be as specific as possible.

You must log in to answer this question.

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