In a recent question there were some comments with parts of them also in another language than English. While I now know the language requirement I don't think that it should be overemphasized. In questions and answers I totally agree, but I'm not so sure about comments. Ich will mir nur ungern vorschreiben lassen, in welcher Sprache ich schreiben soll.

The main reason for using non-english language was to be helpful. The question was then edited by a moderator and all the comments were apparently removed without notice. First I thought the question was created anew. I have looked in chat if the comments were moved there but did not find them.

So my question is if it is acceptable for a moderator to remove comments without notice or if this even could be called good practice in certain cirumstances.

1 Answer 1


The question being asked about here is Recognize a handwritten word from a Spanish town and it was me who deleted the comments from it after I Google translated them to see that the asker had acknowledged them. Comments are meant to be temporary post-it notes used to clarify posts, and have no guarantee of longevity/permanence.

My empathy for speakers of other than English using this site should be apparent at What should our policy be on Q&A in Language Other Than English (LOTE)? where the most upvoted answer, from an SE staff member, was basically "don't do it". If both the SE company and our community indicate that view, then it makes t hard for me to pursue doing more to try and assist Q&A presented in other than English.

I commend your efforts to help this user in their language which is the main reason that I upvoted both their question and your answer but I think to leave posts (or comments once they have been seen/used by an asker) on an English-only site in a language other than English may encourage more questions to be asked in other than English.

I am very open to doing what we can to assist non-English speakers but I think non-English needs to be restricted to comments and for comments in another language to be considered temporary (like all comments).

Naturally, it is fine to include images and transcripts of documents in other than English within posts. It is just the text around them that asks and answers the question that I think needs to be moved to English as quickly as possible.


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