In my view, it looks like it.

This is from both personal experience and observation.

My top voted question so far is regarding English idioms corresponding to a proverb in Tamil(my native language).

@Soudabeh's profile is loaded with such questions, as evident from her( or his?) Profile page. And most of them are very well received (high up-votes, viewed many times, favorited by many, diverse answers, lots of comments and discussions).

That said, in recent times I've also come across questions (sample) concerning the very basics of English, but tend to get less votes/views. However they attract well researched and well written answers from users.

My questions:

1. If I happen to have lots of questions about English equivalents of thousands of expressions from my native language, can I ask them too without any hesitation?(of course after duly verifying that they have not been asked before)

2. Why is that "English equivalents of foreign phrases" questions are (generally) more popular than other types of questions(grammar, etymology, pronunciation or anything that a serious English language enthusiast would be interested in)?

P.S: I enjoy @Soudabeh's questions and this question is more about my curiosity than me being nitpicky. I apologize in advance for taking (user)names of others. Please feel free to edit and remove the information if that's unnecessary.

  • 2
    ELU is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts + idiom (single-word) enthusiasts.
    – user140086
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 7:04
  • 2
    I have also noticed this. I think it's simply because, like you, many people enjoy Soudabeh's questions and others like them. The readers get to learn an interesting saying in another language that they probably didn't know before. A lot of the grammar questions we get are boring/repetitive. I enjoy pronunciation and etymology questions, but they are not asked very frequently, and it seems that other people don't like them as much as I do.
    – herisson
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 7:48
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    @sumelic - Agreed! I simply couldn't resist myself from posting one today!
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 11:50
  • 3
    Don't forget our honourable and esteemed member and mod, Yoichi Oishi, has asked for many an English equivalent to a Japanese proverb or idiom in the past. When questions show a wealth of detail, and are beautifully presented as yours and Soudabeh's, they will nearly always attract the bees. I've seen more than one proverb request that has fallen flat on its face when the asker merely limits their request to a sentence or two.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Feb 19, 2016 at 20:30

1 Answer 1


A well-asked question will almost always be welcome, whatever the subject. If you have done some research and come up with apparently unhelpful results; if you then put some effort into asking a specific question and checking that it has not been asked before; above all if you have a new and interesting topic, you will gather upvotes and answers in profusion.

Of course, this is easier if you are looking for an equivalent for a pungent foreign idiom than if you are teetering between the Scylla of "Everybody in my new class pronounces exit with a gs sound rather than the ks I am used to; who is right?" and the Charybdis of "I want there to be a word irregardless; why are all the dictionaries wrong?". But just asking "What is the English for this Tamil proverb?" will certainly not be popular, even if it is not closed as off-topic.

  • But just asking "What is the English for this Tamil proverb?" will certainly not be popular, even if it is not closed as off-topic.. You mean it won't be popular if it lacks any research effort , don't you?
    – BiscuitBoy
    Commented Feb 22, 2016 at 6:51

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