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To be more precise, there are quite a number of anime/manga that follows Cypher Language Trope.

Examples of Cypher Language:

Can we ask for exhaustive list of transcription of all the ciphertext in the anime/manga?

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  • Here's an example of one: anime.stackexchange.com/questions/565/…
    – Mysticial
    Mar 30 '13 at 13:11
  • That is a close example but not exactly what I want to discuss here. I would like to ask whether asking for exhaustive list is OK, rather than only the substitution chart.
    – nhahtdh
    Mar 30 '13 at 17:23
  • @nhahtdh: I don't see a problem with that. Note that not all users will have time to compile an exhaustive list for you, and you may want to ask a narrower question to get a high quality answer. Mar 30 '13 at 18:49
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I think it's fine to ask how to decipher encoded text in some anime, as in What do the Runes say in Madoka?. I also think it would be fine to answer such a question with an exhaustive list of all of the encoded text, though that isn't what was done in this case.

Whether it's appropriate to ask for a full list of deciphered text depends on how much is present in the source and how easy it is to find. In a case like Madoka, this was an effort that required people to go frame-by-frame through the anime to make sure nothing was missed, translating the runes to German, and then getting someone to translate the German to English. The whole process took a lot of people and many hours.

If you're asking someone to do all of that work from scratch, the question isn't reasonably scoped in my opinion*. Questions here should be things that people are able to answer without doing a large amount of work on their own. Practically, what's likely to happen in these cases is that the question just goes unanswered for a long time. On the other hand, if there are only a few instances of encoded text, which are fairly easy to find, and the code is known, I think it's fine.

What exactly constitutes the boundary is up for debate. From What is the status of list questions on this site?, the criterion for a list question to be reasonably scoped is:

If you can imagine an entire wiki-page listing your answer, the question is not reasonably scoped.

which I think is reasonable to apply in this case as well.


*I'd make an exception in the case that you are answering your own question. In that case, in my opinion the "reasonably scoped" criterion becomes irrelevant.

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  • I think an exhaustive list would draw in traffic. But I also agree that putting it up will require time and effort from whoever that is answering. Not sure whether community wiki would work.
    – nhahtdh
    Mar 31 '13 at 1:12
  • @nhahtdh An exhaustive list is great if you want to post it yourself and would probably bring in lots of traffic. It might also work with a community wiki answer, but I think it's more likely the question would just sit unanswered.
    – Logan M
    Mar 31 '13 at 5:37
  • 1
    However, I think it would be fine to divide up the translations into manageable portions (for example, all the instances from 1 episode would probably be acceptable for Madoka, preferably including screencaps). If you are eventually able to translate everything it would then be possible to make 1 large CW post compiling all the translations. But if you're going to do this, to limit the number of unanswered questions, don't post a dozen questions at once; wait and see if the first one gets answered before posting another request.
    – Logan M
    Mar 31 '13 at 5:40
  • "Questions here should be things that people are able to answer without doing a large amount of work on their own" I think questions that could require some research would arguably be more interesting than most basic questions. I agree that asking someone to translate every encrypted text in a show is asking too much though.
    – atlantiza
    Apr 1 '13 at 3:47

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