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Many questions are about how to effectively learn a language. Some of them are voted for closing, since they are too opinion based.

Should this site be entirely based on studies, or should a level of experience and opinions be involved? I personally see value in opinion questions, since there are no right answers to a lot of these questions and even opinions can be helpful.

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    Good question. There needs to be a border for opinion based questions – Anthony Pham Apr 5 '16 at 23:50
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There is good subjective and bad subjective

We are not a science site so not answers don't need to cite sources. may request answers to cite sources but that's pretty much where the citing ends.

Opinion =/= Subjective

The close reason primarily-opinion-based doesn't discriminate all subjective questions. Key word: primary.

Some examples of opinion-based questions are:

  • What is the best language to learn?
  • Why does English suck so much for learners?

(these are exaggerated examples)

As you can see all these answers are opinion based. If I give you an answer, it will be what I think is the best answer.

Attempts to cover up opinion-based questions

If I change the question to:

  • According to scientific research, what is the best language?

Well... that can be considered objective but the question is truly opinion based and this is really just a cover-up. What is "scientific research? A poll?

These are especially bad for the site's health as they result in unanswered questions (because chances are the study has not been done), and low quality content.

What's wrong with opinion based?

Stack Exchange is a Q&A forums, for answers not opinions. Opinion-based questions bring forth low-quality content such as "Why is English the worst language?".

What's good subjective?

As I said earlier, the only very objective questions are probably going to be going to be . Good subjective isn't opinion based, meaning answers aren't simply a binary preference and bias is minimal. Examples are:

these are both subjective, as their is no cut and dry "way" to do, but they are the good type of subjective.


If you have disagreements or questions about what I said please leave a comment or ping me (@Downgoat) in chat

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I think this is a lot harder on a site like this than on most other SEs - on something like Stack Overflow, a question can be clearly objective - an answer will either work or it won't, but with language learning, a lot of techniques will vary from person to person (and probably from language to language) in their effectiveness.

Therefore I think we will get a lot more subjective questions here than on many other SEs, so should be more careful about closing questions for being opinion-based.

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