One of the closing reasons for off-topic questions says:

This question does not appear to be about Esperanto language, within the scope defined in the help center.

The link takes to the Help Center page, where it is visible a What topics can I ask about here? link that takes to a page containing a generic text (generic as text that would be valid for any site in beta phase).

Please look around to see if your question has been asked before. It’s also OK to ask and answer your own question.

If your question is not specifically on-topic for Esperanto Language Stack Exchange, it may be on topic for another Stack Exchange site. If no site currently exists that will accept your question, you may commit to or propose a new site at Area 51, the place where new Stack Exchange communities are democratically created.

Should not we have already have our customized text, and a list of at least two types of questions that are considered blatantly off-topic.

Italian Language, which is in public beta phase too, already has the following text.

The Italian Language Stack Exchange is for linguists, etymologists, and Italian language enthusiasts, as well as for people who are learning or teaching Italian as a foreign language.

The best questions are those that have specific answers; Italian Language Stack Exchange is not a general discussion forum. Questions on the following topics are welcomed here:

  • Word choice and usage
  • Grammar
  • Etymology (history of words’ development)
  • Dialect differences
  • Pronunciation (phonetics and phonology, dialectology)
  • Spelling and punctuation
  • Practical problems you encounter while learning Italian

But please, don’t ask any questions about the following topics. They are out of scope for this site.

  • Proofreading ("are there any mistakes?"), unless the source of concern is clearly specified
  • Writing advice or critique requests
  • "How to improve my Italian?" or "What's a good tool for...?" (this is not constructive anyway)
  • Translation requests
  • Questions about languages other than Italian
  • Requests for resources

Where can I find answers to simple and basic questions?

Please make an effort to research your question before posting it, and be sure to add as much detail as you can when explaining your problem. The more you can tell us, the better answers you'll receive!

If your question is simple and can probably be easily answered by looking it up, then you may find common online internet resources to be of some help. View our list of community recommended resources to find some that may be of help to you.

  • Try a dictionary if you want to know what a word or phrase means, how it evolved, or how it is pronounced.
  • Try a thesaurus if you want to know words or phrases that have a similar meaning to one you already know.

Of course, if your question isn't adequately answered by these resources, feel free to ask here on Italian Language Stack Exchange. Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!

Clearly, there are parts that are very specific for Italian, for example the part about dialects, and the links to the resources to consult before asking a question. Still, should not we already have similar text that explains exactly the purpose of the site, which questions are perfectly acceptable, and which questions are considered off-topic?

While I think that having an exhaustive list of off-topic questions is very important at this step (although we should have a list of more than two items before getting out of the beta phase), I feel that not having a short description about the purpose of the site could be read as we are missing our site identity, or that we aren't even sure what we want to be, which is probably seen as something negative.
For sure, that part needs to be added before the site comes out its beta phase. Having it doesn't make sure we are going to quickly come out our beta phase, indeed.

So, is there anything we can already add to that page? The text can be later changed basing on the questions trend, but there should be at least a first version.


Yes, I think a better (and documented) notion of what is on-topic and what isn't, specifically for esperanto.stackexchange.com would be good. This doesn't need to be set in stone - I'm sure we can change it whenever discussion here on meta indicate that's necessary or generally wanted, even though I don't know how the process for such changes works.

Looking at the list for Italian you quoted, I think all they consider on-topic (with Italian replaced by Esperanto) should be on-topic for esperanto.stackexchange.com, too.

Some of the stuff they list as off-topic, should IMHO though be also on-topic for esperanto.stackexchange.com:

  • Translation requests (within reason — single words/phrases, idioms, specific meaning within contexts; certainly not whole sections/chapters/books)
  • Learning advice ("How to improve my Esperanto skills")
  • Tooling (e.g. automatic spell checker, or how to enter "ŭ" on device x / on OS y)
  • Requests for resources (as they may be harder to come by than for Italian)

On other things Italian SE considers off-topic, I don't know whether there's a community consensus yet for Esperanto SE:

  • Do we want to allow questions about other languages, e.g. Esperanto derivatives like Ido?
  • Should we allow writing advice requests?

IMHO clearly off-topic for Esperanto SE, too:

  • Proofreading
  • critique requests that go beyond single words/phrases, idioms, specific meaning within contexts
  • Questions about languages unrelated to Esperanto

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