Help:Extension:Translate/Translation example

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The translator dashboard shows that Fréttinga needs translation: Click on its title to translate it.
View all untranslated messages

Welcome, glorious translator. We have a lot of work to do: let's get over the basics very quickly so that you can start as soon as possible.

We hope that wherever you come from, the translation administrators have already setup something to translate. This tutorial uses the Fréttinga page, that is created in the tutorial for translation administrators. The things covered here do not depend on that particular page, and apply to everything you can translate with this tool.

Maybe you already have a link from someone, asking you to translate something. If not you can check the translator dashboard, in your wiki for something to translate. If you just want to see how it works in general, you can still read along and watch the screenshots to get an impression of it.

Usually you can't make translations without asking for permissions. Some wikis however have enabled translation to all users. You will quickly notice if you lack the rights to translate. If this is the case, contact a translation administrator of your wiki. Let's start with getting to the translation view.

  • 1a. Go to the Fréttinga page.
  • 2a. Click the "Translate this page" link (if it does not show up you don't have permission to translate).

Or you can try:

  • 1b. Go to the translator dashboard.
  • 2b. Click the name of any message group that has untranslated messages.

Messages to translate are grouped by "message group": Each translatable page is a message group, but there can be other kinds of message groups too.

  • 3. Choose a language other than the language of the source text (which usually is English or en).

Translation editor

This view and variations of it are the basic interface you will be working in. The long list of messages still to be translated may occasionally depress you, but fortunately we don't actually need to watch that list so often. You should see at least some untranslated messages here. Let's make your first translation. Click a row to open the translation editor. You will see the source text you need to translate and a text area where you can write your translation. If you clicked the first message listed for the page Fréttinga, it should say "Fréttinga" as the content. Since it is a name, you don't usually need to change it, so you can copy it as-is to the text area. If your language uses a different writing system, you can choose to transliterate it. Then just click save and you are done!

  • 4. Click the message name on the left column.
  • 5. In the editor dialog, write the translation of the source text in the place reserved for it.
  • 6. Click or tap "Save translation".
A message with a tip and a suggestion from two assistant languages (scroll till the end to see them)

Depending on the configuration of the wiki, you may also see other things in the editor besides the source text. There may be suggestions from translation memories or machine translation systems. There can be a section for tips that provide crucial information that you need to use to make a correct translation. So if there are tips, read them carefully. If there are no tips and you feel like you need them, ask someone in the wiki to add them; if you are knowledgeable enough about the text that needs translation, add them yourself. These tips help you to translate better and faster. Don't feel ashamed to ask for clarifications – it's highly likely that the other tens or hundreds translators are wasting their time thinking of the same issues.

One more thing about the translation aids: if you benefit from seeing the message translated into other languages as additional tip, go to your preferences –> Editing –> Translation options and add one or more assistant languages for yourself.

Feel free to make a few more translations and try out the other buttons. Clicking the suggestions or the "Paste source" button will immediately paste that text in the text area, overwriting anything already in that text area.

Translation view

Here we are again, watching the list with untranslated messages. If you refresh the page, the list should now be shorter, or even empty. The view has information like description of the group, but more interesting at the top you can choose language, message group and different message filters.

All message groups function the same way, and you don't need to worry about them too much. The important thing is that you always need to choose a message group to work on, and things like statistics and completion percentages are calculated on message group level.

Review all messages view

From the different views at the bar at the bottom, you can switch to the view suitable for doing other tasks, like review or translating whole pages. Depending the configuration, you should see all or some of the following vies: "List", "Page" and "Proofreading". Read more about reviewing translations and other quality assurance methods in the quality assurance page.

The page can also contain the message group status near the message group description, which can be set for each language of the group; if you see a dropdown selector of the possible states, it means that you can change it, and you should update it when you are working on the translation or if you are reviewing it. See more about workflow states in the message group states page.

Important concepts

The translation is incomplete, and as usual the top of the page gives us the link to translate: Click the link "translated version". In this case we'll discover that some English strings already have translations, which need updating.

You already know what a message group is, and have seen the translation editor and assistant languages. Now the translation administrator may have continued their page translation tutorial and changed the contents of the page Fréttinga. When the text that must be translated changes, it will show up again in the list of untranslated messages and also in the list of outdated messages.

When facing outdated messages, you have two options. You can confirm that the translation does not need any changes after all, or you can make the necessary changes to it. Messages may appear to be outdated automatically when a new translation is saved, if the automatic checks find issues in the translation, like for example unbalanced link syntax missing the other "]" character. You will also get a warning about these when editing the translation.

The outdated translations are replaced with the source text in translatable pages. If you now return to the translated page by clicking the link on the message group description, you should see that your translations are already there. Most of the translations you will make are applied immediately with exception about some message groups, like many of those in translatewiki.net, where the translation are regularly and manually exported by translation administrators to the software they are used in.

One more useful tip when translating translatable pages: magic words like {{FORMATNUM}} will format the output in the translation language, not in the language of the source text. If you like, you can read more on how magic words work and should be used in translations. This is not required reading, though.

Getting your translation to another wiki

If you're working with software documentation, you are probably translating this material because you want to use it somewhere else. To export your translation, go to the main translation page, and click the "Export" tab. Choose the language you want, and copy the wikitext from the box. You can then paste that text on to any wiki. This fast, simple process only works for translations, not for the original source language.

Exporting the original language (usually English on MediaWiki) for use on another wiki, without all of the translation markup, is more complicated.