Here's another plate full of tag spaghetti where we go out of our way to avoid being consistent.

Language tags:

Some languages get their very own tag all to themselves. I brought this up years ago and lost to the opposing idea that a tag for every language is a great idea. (I wasn't convinced.)

Yet we haven't followed through on that afterwards. Since then some tags created for individual languages have been merged into the languages tag. But others are still wild and free.

Do we ignore the previous discussion and make them all synonyms of ?

Or do we ignore the trend of not making new per-language tags and go through all current questions about languages to give them the correct specific tags, and de-synonymize the tags merged into against the outcome of the previous discussion?

1 Answer 1


As far as consistency goes, you are right -- we need to agree on a policy and follow it through.

I'm not convinced by your argument that all language-related questions should be tagged -- I mostly agree with Andrew Grimm's answer to the question you linked to. It's similar to -- not very informative, and unlikely many people are going to be interested in it.

However, I see problems with tag names such as , etc., which may also refer to the nationality as well as the language itself. We already have the -citizens suffix for nationality. What I propose instead:

  • Un-synonimize , and any other language-related tag that currently exist.
  • Rename existing language tags to have the suffix -language, even when language names are unambiguous, such as , , or whatever. This will facilitate searching for language questions if one is so inclined, by using [*-language] or similar as a query.
  • Eliminate altogether. Unlikely a question would need more than three language tags, which makes it superfluous.

I'm expecting your comments below. If there are disagreeing opinions on this, I'll move it to a separate question to have a contained discussion there.


Existing language tags (or at least, those I was able to find) are now renamed. and were un-synonimized from and were made synonyms to the newly-created and , respectively.

  • I agree with you 10000% Commented Oct 22, 2014 at 16:40
  • I'm not convinced by your argument that I presented any such argument, let alone tried to convince anybody of anything other than "we decided something then never went and did it". Can you show me this argument you attribute to me? Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 7:29
  • @hippietrail: I was referring to I brought this up years ago and lost to the opposing idea that a tag for every language is a great idea. (I wasn't convinced.). I also vaguely remember you being a proponent of having a single languages tag for all languages, but I may be wrong. Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 7:36
  • Oh in my old question, then you might be right. To me "languages" is a travel topic. "French" is not a travel topic. In fact the vast majority of questions on a given language are not very different from one another. "Do I need it? Should I learn it? How hard is it?" Can you show some points from the tagging guidelines, meta posts, and blog, as to how a tag for each foreign language can improve a travel site? It's not the same as programming languages on SO after all. Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 9:48
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    But we're getting ahead of ourselves. I have an opinion but the important thing is to first make it consistent one way or the other. Which way is less important. Commented Oct 23, 2014 at 10:26

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