Content translation/Templates

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Content Translation supports translating articles between languages, and this includes templates.

When you click a template in the translation interface, a card will be shown in the sidebar. The card shows the name of the source template. If an equivalent template in the target language is connected to the source template using an interlanguage link, its name will be shown, too. If an equivalent template cannot be found, the card will say "Not available in language".

The card shows the following options for every template:

Skip template
This doesn't insert anything into the translated article. This is useful when the information from the template is not needed in the translation.
Keep original template
This inserts the wiki syntax of the original template into the translated article. This will probably not work correctly when the article is published, and will have to be edited in the subsequent versions of the article, but sometimes this is the easy way to make the translation. (You may also want to publish such a translation to your user space first, by changing the translation title to "User:your_username/article title", and then when it's ready—to move it to the correct title.)
Use equivalent template
This option is available only if an equivalent template is available, and it allows adapting the template to the target language.

Adapting the template while translating[edit]

Template parameter editing

If an equivalent template is available, you can adapt it. Click the template again to open the template editor.

The template editor will show side-by-side all the parameters in the source and the target languages.

The value of the parameter from the source language will be automatically copied to the target language if the following conditions are true:

  • There is a parameter with an identical name.
  • There is a parameter for which an alias is defined in TemplateData with the same name as the parameter in the source language.

If a parameter cannot be found automatically in any of the ways listed above, the translator will have to find them and fill them one by one. Clicking a field in the template editor next to the source field will automatically fill the parameter value. The translator must select the appropriate parameter name from the "Select target field" drop-down list in the field. Note that the structure of template parameters in different languages is often not the same, and you have to write the parameters in a way that is correct in the wiki into which you are translating.

When you have filled all the parameters, close the translation editor. This will save your edits and show the template as it will appear after you publish the article.

Step by step[edit]

For example, the translation of the infobox at the top of the article "Yoshida Castle" from English to Portuguese shows an example of translating a whole template:

Yoshida Castle en-pt 1.png To start translation of a template, click a paragraph as you usually do to translate it.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 2.png When you start translating the template will show with partial or even confusing information. Click the inserted template again to edit it.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 3.png Click a template parameter field that you want to transfer to the translated article.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 4.png The value will be copied from the source article. Select the name of the parameter. Edit the value to make it correct for your language.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 6.png To add a field that is not available in the source article, click "Add more properties" at the bottom of the template editor. Here, for example, it is the name of a castle in its original language, Japanese.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 7.png Keep filling all the template fields that you need.
Yoshida Castle en-pt 8.png When done, close the template editor. The complete template will be shown. The design of the template may look different in the language into which you are translating, but the important part is to check that your parameter values were inserted correctly.


What to do if a template cannot be adapted[edit]

If an equivalent template is not available in the target language, you will have to publish the translation without it. If a template is needed in the translated article, you will have to edit the translated article and add the template after publishing the first translated revision.

However, you can also go further and make future translation more efficient by making the templates in your language more similar to the templates in the languages from which you are translating. If you are uncomfortable with changing templates yourself, please tell somebody in your wiki who frequently maintains templates about the template that couldn't be translated, and point them to this page here.

Making templates more easily translatable[edit]

To make templates translatable more easily, please use these tips:

TemplateData[edit]

TemplateData is a technology for describing each template and its parameters in a precise and machine-readable way. It helps wiki editors who use the visual editor fill the template parameters, and the same data is used by Content Translation.

  • Create TemplateData for templates in your wiki.
  • Make sure that TemplateData is updated every time that the template itself is updated.
  • If the name of a parameter in your wiki is different from the name of the equivalent parameter in a wiki from which articles are frequently translated into your wiki, add an alias with that parameter. If you do this, the parameter value will be automatically pre-filled when translating.
    • For example, articles are frequently translated from English to Spanish. In an infobox that describes a city, the English name of a parameter may be "mayor", and the Spanish name may be "alcalde". In the Spanish template, define "alcalde" as the parameter name, and "mayor" as its alias.
    • For practical purposes, you don't have to define aliases that correspond to all languages, but only to those from articles are translated frequently. You can find which languages those are by looking at the page Special:CXStats at your wiki.
  • Give parameters clear, human-readable labels. A name is the name of the parameter that is inserted into the wiki syntax, and the label is what is shown to the editors in the template editing forms in the visual editor and in Content Translation.
  • Write descriptions for the parameters whenever possible.
    • Explain what is supposed to be the parameter's format: plain text, link, another template, a particular set of values, etc.
    • If a parameter can be filled automatically from Wikidata, note it in the description.

Making templates more similar between languages[edit]

The parameters' structure is often different between different languages. For instance, in some languages images are provided as complete file links (for example, {{Infobox person|image=[[File:Sophie Kowalevski.jpg|thumb|300px|Sofia Kovalevskaya, 1880]]}}) and others have separate parameters for file name, size, and caption ({{Infobox person|name=Sofia Kovalevskaya|image=Sophie Kowalevski.jpg|image_size=300|caption=Sofia Kovalevskaya, 1880}}). Making the parameter structure similar to the structure in the language from which articles are often translated will make the work considerably more efficient for translators and article maintainers.

Some templates are unbalanced, that is, one template begins a section by inserting some opening HTML tags or wiki syntax, and another templates ends the section by inserting the corresponding tags. For example, this is done in some languages for columns layout. Such templates are generally problematic, and they are especially hard to translate, and they can usually be replaced by a balanced template, which includes all the necessary syntax in itself.

Wikidata[edit]

Make templates more Wikidata-enabled by making them pull parameter values from Wikidata. Such templates are becoming more and more common in some wikis, among them Russian, Estonian, Hebrew, Catalan, and others. When a parameter is pulled from Wikidata, it doesn't have to be filled by the article translators at all (although its label may have to be translated in Wikidata).

Known issues[edit]

The template editor is a new feature in Content Translation, and some functionality is still missing. Here are some notable known issues:

  • Editing templates inside references is impossible (bug report)
  • The template parameters are saved only after the translator actively closes the template editor (bug report)

See also[edit]