Content translation

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Content Translation tool showing a warning when the user relies too much on automatic translation

The Content Translation tool is aimed at improving multilingual contribution. Content Translation allows editors to create translations right next to the original article and automates the boring steps (no more hunting for links, categories, or initial translations).

Translating content present in one language version of Wikipedia to another Wikipedia is a process that involves different steps and tools. Creating a new Wikipedia page based on an existing one from a different language normally requires the use of automatic translation services, dictionaries, reformatting text, tweaking links and references, and a lot of tab switching. This is a process that can be streamlined a lot so that translators spend their time creating high-quality content that reads naturally in their language.

Content Translation is a Computer Assisted Translation (CAT) tool aimed to make translation of Wikipedia articles easier and better. It integrates other tools such as dictionaries or machine translation services, and it can be extended to include more. Content Translation complements the existing Translate extension: while text from Wikipedia menus and other user interface elements are translated and kept in sync by the community using Translate, Wikipedia content can be translated using Content Translation.

Most Wikipedia users edit only one language edition, with just over 15% of users also editing a second language edition. These multilingual users were found to be more prolific than their monolingual counterparts, making about 2.3 times as many edits on average.[1]

Try the tool[edit | edit source]

Screencast showing how to use Content Translation

Content translation is available as a beta feature in all Wikipedias. This means you need to enable it first in order to try the tool:

  1. Log-in into Wikipedia (or create an account if you don't have one already)
  2. Access the Beta settings and enable Content Translation Beta feature.
  3. Access your "contributions" page, and select "translation" from the "New contributions" list.

Although most features to facilitate the translation process are available in all languages, language-specific features such as automatic translation are not available for all language pairs.

Purpose of the tool[edit | edit source]

Content Translation allows you to create an initial version of a Wikipedia page based on an existing version from a different language. So the main scenario we are addressing can be expressed as: A user creates a new page for language X based on the page for language Y, where languages X and Y can be any pair of different languages.

The tool is targeted to users that know two or more languages, and provides value for different kinds of users. For new users, the tool will provide a new way of contributing that is easier than creating a new page from scratch. For experienced editors, the tool will simplify the process of translating content.

We expect that Content Translation will help to expand the sum of the human knowledge to more languages, facilitate the process to translators so that they can focus on the quality of content, and simplify the process to make new users to consider translation as a simple way to get started contributing to Wikimedia projects.

The tool was designed according to the following principles:

  • Save time. Help translators to create content quickly, without unnecessary copy&paste to external tools.
  • Provide assistance. Prevent errors, and make the user confident of their translations.
  • Encourage quality of translations. The tool should communicate properly the purpose of translations in Wikimedia context and help the user to avoid bad quality translations.
  • Don’t force the user. Since different translators follow different editing patterns, the aids provided should not intrude into the editing process.
  • Focus on content. Translation is more focused on content than text styling. Technical elements such as wikitext should be dealt in a way that do not make the translation harder.

More details about the analytics considered are available.

How to participate[edit | edit source]

  • Try the tool
  • You can volunteer for our testing sessions. It may take some time for us to contact you since we select participants based on the languages that we are planning to enable next. In any case, we are interested in testing with as many users as possible and we'll appreciate your participation.
  • Take the new language survey where you can provide information on the support of existing tools for your language.
  • Provide feedback at the talk page.

All related pages[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Multilinguals and Wikipedia Editing, Scott A. Hale. Dec 2013