Content translation/V2/Roadmap


Content Translation is a tool to create new articles by translating them from another language. Content Translation version 2 (CX2) is a major refactoring and architectural update of Content Translation. We want to complete these changes, and improve the tool to provide a great experience for new editors.

Desired outcome[edit]

At the end of this intervention we want Content Translation to be a tool that:

  • Is aligned with the Wikimedia standards in technology and design. Uses the editing surface technology of Visual Editor (VE), and follows the Design style guide principles.
  • Is a great way to contribute for newcomers. The tool provides a quick and easy way for new editors to start contributing. Even if the tool does not support dealing with complex content or situations, it always provides a clear path forward for new editors.
  • Is solid and reliable. The tool is reliable enough to go out of beta for at least one community.

Measuring success[edit]

There are several factors that will indicate our progress:

  • Better newcomer experience. Regular user research sessions indicate that there are no major pain points for new editors.
  • More newcomers using the tool.
    • The number of new editors using the tool increases (T194641).
    • The retention of newcomers improves, more users stick after their first translation (T195949).
  • More reliable tool.
    • The success rate for new editors using the tool increases (T194647).
    • The number of issues that prevent publishing a translation for new editors decrease (T194648).
  • Better content produced. The number of articles translated by new editors that aren’t deleted in 30 days increases (T194650).
  • Increased adoption.
    • The number of users and translations created with the new version increases (T196435).
    • The number of wikis in which the tool is available by default (out of beta) increases.


Different milestones are defined to evolve CX2 from the current state to the desired state described above.

A broken editor I cannot translate with[edit]

  • This was the initial state when work on CX2 was resumed in Feb 2018
  • Editor surface is based on VE, but it’s disconnected from the rest of the tool.
  • Not able to publish, save translation progress and resume later or keep translation paragraphs next to the source ones.

An editor for manual translations[edit]

  • Editors can manually translate an article paragraph by paragraph, stopping and resuming their progress, and publish the result as a new article when they are done.
  • No steps are automated, providing no additional assistance. Users create a new translations by typing their content completely, as they would do with a regular editor tool.

An editor with basic tools to speed the transfer of content across languages[edit]

  • Manual steps are automated to avoid starting from scratch: automatic translation is used as a starting point, links point to the right articles, equivalent categories are added automatically, references are added to the translation, etc.
  • Editors have proper controls to check the adaptation done is correct, and make adjustments when necessary.
  • The services needed (which already exist in the backend from V1) are reconnected with the new editing surface.

Additional tools to enrich the translation[edit]

  • Editors can modify content of the translation more freely: changing style, adding new elements.
  • Reduce the usual adjustments that editors need to do after publishing: Marking links as missing, adjusting categories.
  • Basic support for templates

Better guidance for newcomers[edit]

  • Actionable warnings and support for common situations new editors may face, with simple ways to deal with them. These include existing articles or in-progress translations, not editing enough the initial translations, getting abuse filter warnings and dealing with complex content elements.
  • Dealing with articles with existing content, changing content and translations started by others.
  • Guidance on how to get started.

An editor available by default[edit]

  • Polish the tool to solve issues about reliability.
  • Graduate the tool as default on one Wikipedia.
  • Respond to feedback and bug fixing.

Timeline estimation[edit]

A rough estimation of the above stages is provided below. The work described is expected to span the period of one year. Note that this is a rough estimation since the deep architectural refactoring performed may result in new pieces of work to be identified and some of the tasks becoming easier or (most likely) harder than expected. In addition, the Language team has other commitments during the year and several products to maintain, which would reduce their percentage of dedication to the project.

January - March 2018 (Q3)

  • An editor for manual translations

April - June 2018 (Q4)

  • An editor with basic tools to speed the transfer of content across languages
  • Additional tools to enrich the translation

July - September 2018 (Q1)

  • Better guidance for newcomers
  • Additional tools to enrich the translation

October - December 2018 (Q2)

  • An editor available by default

January - March 2019 (Q3)

  • Possible deployments and response to feedback