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Should questions about identifying languages be on-topic here?


  • Such Q's are often interesting by themselves;
  • They may highlight some unusual usage of common languages or provide an interesting info about extinct or rare ones;
  • They may let the users to demonstrate their erudition (may be an important concern for someone);
  • At the moment, Linguistics.SE needs more users and more questions, so even if such questions are not {yet} on-topic, they may be included;


  • There may be disputes on which language it is, provided that several relative languages or dialects may apply;
  • They are not about linguistics! :)
  • 1
    Thanks for the question. I'll wait to see more community participation and then when there's enough consensus, I'll take the majority vote. :) I added the featured tag. It should bring more attention to it.
    – Alenanno
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 10:17
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is now out of date.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented May 15, 2018 at 16:10
  • 1
    @curiousdannii, how does that help? Would it not be more helpful to answer it instead, referencing current policy? Commented May 15, 2018 at 17:58

3 Answers 3


Note: in the years since this was written, the community has since decided that these questions are no longer allowed.

As you say, there are several good reasons to allow them, and that is enough for me. I vote yes.


Few considerations:

  • Methods of automated language identification given a text belong to linguistics. So language identification per se is not off-topic, but just this particular type of language identification as it includes listening to a recorded speech sample.

  • Sometimes identified language family or even a geographic area could be enough for the asker

Also it is not clear to me how language identification should be performed in principle. A web site where speakers of all possible languages listen to all samples provided by askers doesn't seem feasible.


More questions is ok with me!

And if there are some disputes about exactly which dialect/language it is then I look forward to some well argued linguistic analysis.

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