I've been learning English on the internet for many years, but it is still very difficult to understand me sometimes.

I know that using English daily is best, and especially on Stack Overflow. I've improved a lot, and I'm really thankful.

However, I'm concerned whether it is rude of me to post when my English needs a lot of help. Should I not post at all?

  • 3
    If @KateGregory is correct, then this question is more appropriate to ask on Meta Stack Exchange. We have been asked by the Community Managers to not address Stack Exchange specific questions. If you have specific questions about improving your English, I invite you to visit English Language Learners for help. Please be sure to check out their tour and help center pages to see what sort of questions are on topic.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 17:50
  • 3
    Your downvotes are not because your question is "rude" but because it is very hard to understand. I could edit it for you, but this site has decided that questions about interactions on the stack exchange network are off topic here. I can't edit it to make it on topic for you. Few people think it's rude to have poor English, but not everyone will put in the effort to communicate with you. Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:04
  • If this is broadly about the entire internet, that's fine and it's welcome here. I was pointing you towards other SE resources in the case that this question is specific to SE.
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 10, 2017 at 18:07

3 Answers 3


I'm concerned whether it is rude of me to post when my English needs a lot of help.

No, it's not.

It's never rude if you are trying to the best of your ability. Nobody is perfect, and for the majority of people, English is not a native language. It would be rude to expect everybody else to speak your language, it's pretty much the opposite of rude to try and speak a foreign language so the other participants in the communication can understand you better.


The important part here is "to the best of your ability". It is rude, for beginners and native speakers alike, to not invest the time needed when sending a message. For example, spellcheckers come at zero cost, inbuilt into pretty much any modern browser. It is in no way rude to make a mistake because you did not know better. I consider it very rude when people make mistakes that their computer would have told them were mistakes, but they decided to ignore it and send the message anyway. That is not an honest mistake, that is a message between the lines saying "As the sender, I could not be bothered to send a clear message, please waste your time on the receivers end to figure out what I meant". That is rude.


Write the best messages your skills in that language allow, then use the available tools to check yourself before sending it. People will accept beginners (we all were or are), but people do recognize the difference between beginner and lazy. Don't be lazy.


It's not necessarily, rude, but it can be very difficult for other users of the community to understand.

On any sort of network that uses a single-language, such as Stack Exchange, posts that don't demonstrate a native proficiency of the language can often get mixed reception. What this means, is that some people will appreciate the post, whereas others will not.

Posting, therefore, isn't rude - it's actually what these communities are designed for. They want you to ask questions. What is rude, is if you don't make an effort to contribute a high-quality question.

In some cases, the lack of language proficiency can make the question viewed as a low-quality question (though I personally believe that on SE, it wouldn't make it low quality). What you need to do, is improve your question, and try to do it before you post it. Never be afraid to ask for assistance!

If your community has a chatroom, such as Stack Exchange, then ask in that chatroom how to best phrase your question. If you don't get much feedback there, then post your question. Be sure to stick around in the moments after you post it, and to check back regularly to see if any users post feedback.

But otherwise, always post your question! You post a question to learn. The fact that you have learned English to participate is also very admirable. Keep it up!

  • 2
    I've got to say, I'm kind of dumbfounded as to why my answer was down voted. Just curious, but is there something wrong with it, or do you just disagree and don't want to say why?
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Aug 11, 2017 at 13:05
  • 1
    Every answer so far has been downvoted, not just yours. There appear to be more "naysayers" on this site than on others I've been.
    – Tom Au
    Commented Aug 12, 2017 at 20:40

As regards SO, the preference of SO is that this question is asked on SO Meta and not here.

On most other English language sites, the preference is for you to post in "poor" English, over a non-English language, or not at all.

Of course, there are non-English language sites where posting in that language is not only tolerated but preferred.

In all cases, follow the expressed preference of the site.

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