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.

  • 1
    Good question. There needs to be a border for opinion based questions Commented Apr 5, 2016 at 23:50

2 Answers 2


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.

  • yourlogicalfallacyis.com/strawman . Try to come up with genuine examples of problematic questions.
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 11:47
  • @AndrewGrimm notice I added "(these are exaggerated examples)") ;)
    – Downgoat
    Commented Apr 6, 2016 at 15:32

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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