I come as an ambassador from the recently beta-launched Language Learning site, where we are still in the early in the trying to nail down some on-topic guidelines.

Strictly speaking, our sites' scopes don't overlap, as Linguistics prohibits questions about advice or help learning a foreign language, and Language Learning is about the techniques of language acquisition.

However, there is bound to be some amount of overlap, and perhaps more importantly, there may be some questions that fall in a crack between the two scopes.

Although I didn't follow it closely, I understand that at the launch of the ELL site, a number of "basic" English questions which were previously asked on EL&U, found much more love on ELL.

Similarly, are there questions you receive which might make more sense on Language Learning? Are there "grey area" questions that you've accepted, perhaps grudgingly, but might receive better attention elsewhere?

If such questions do or have existed, I'd love to know, then Language Learning can decide to what extent we would be equipped to handle such questions.

  • 1
    There are some interesting points given in answers to this question. In addition, the following philosophy can work as "rule of thumb" about the scope and migration: questions here at Linguistics.SE are about the intrinsic properties of the languages, while questions at LL.SE are about didactics, cognitive process, and other methodology of knowledge acquisition. Aug 17, 2016 at 5:12

1 Answer 1


Most language-learning related questions fall into your second category, questions which might make more sense on Language Learning. The list is huge, so I'll give you just a handful of examples.

  1. Where to learn Athabascan grammar?
  2. Is there a way to learn Icelandic phonetics online?
  3. Can I learn a new language just by listening or watching videos?
  4. What are the general ways adopted by most people to learn english syntax precisely?

There are many more. A quick way to find them is to just search for "learn" on the main site. The vast majority of them are about learning to speak a new language.

Generally, when people have asked about language learning, they did so to scratch a specific itch. I think questions that would be well-suited for both Language Learning and Linguistics sites would be those that ask about the broader aspects of learning languages. Few people ask such questions. And if they did, I don't think we have academics on this site who specialize in that field. I mean, sure, we have professors and former professors of linguistics, and they are likely to be better informed about language learning than lay people. But good answers about the general field of language learning would be better served by people who are active in that field in some professional capacity.

My rationale for mentioning the last part is that there are questions about the general field of language learning that are not being served well here. If Language Learning happens to acquire participants who are better qualified for answering such questions, I'd support migrating all such questions there. However, I won't take unilateral decisions on this.

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