Is about literature in German or from Germany?

The tag seems to suggest that should be about literature from Germany. However, I think it is more useful to have tags for the language of the book.

Edit: Not really a duplicate (of Do we need such broad tags on questions about specific works?), this post focuses on and only, and it doesn't seem that that is really answered there.

  • 2
    Do you have a specific book you're trying to categorize? Something like this is difficult to talk about in the abstract.
    – user80
    Mar 24, 2017 at 18:18
  • @Emrakul Just the two questions I asked with the german-literature.
    – wythagoras
    Mar 24, 2017 at 19:13
  • Retracted my close vote. Mar 25, 2017 at 15:48
  • 1
    @Gallifreyan I'm voting to leave open: the linked question doesn't really go into the specific issue of country tags vs language tags, except maybe tangentially in one or two of the answers, and it's useful to have an explicit stand-alone consensus on this issue, even if it's arguably a sub-issue of the one you raised a few weeks ago.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 25, 2017 at 15:48
  • Possible duplicate of Should we have language-specific tags (excluding one for English)?
    – fi12
    Mar 26, 2017 at 19:50
  • @fi12 No, if anything the other one should be closed as the duplicate, since this post reflects the latest consensus on the issue. We've moved on a long way since that older post was made, and attitudes towards country/language tags have shifted dramatically in that time.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 27, 2017 at 2:01
  • @Randal'Thor If the community has new concerns regarding this topic, they should be expressing them on that question and not this one (which addressed exactly the same topic).
    – fi12
    Mar 27, 2017 at 2:03
  • @fi12 What, and try to overcome the FGitW effect which has given that question a highest-voted answer that hardly anybody supports any more? Also, the questions are slightly different anyway: yours asks whether we should have tags like [german-literature] and [russian-literature] at all, while this one is asking, given that we have these tags, whether they should be for language or country.
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Mar 27, 2017 at 2:09

1 Answer 1


I think we should use language-based tags over country-based tags.

This is because language-based tags are much easier to define. If a book is set in country A, written in country B by an author from country C, and becomes a classic in the culture of country D, then which of those countries should it be tagged with? The answer to this question would likely vary from book to book, but I'm sure there will be cases where it's very hard to decide.

On the other hand, "the language a book was originally written/published in" is much easier to define, and will usually correspond to the culture a book is part of (most books originally written in Russian could reasonably be counted as part of , and so on).

IMO, tags for English-language works could be considered as a special case. If we use an tag for every question about every book originally written in English, this tag will be on the majority of questions on the site. (Efforts to diversify notwithstanding, the fact remains that this is primarily an English-language site and the majority of our users will be primarily interested in English-language works.) It might make sense to split the tag into , , and so on, or simply not to use country/language tags at all for English-language works.

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