Creating a new wiki page based on an existing one from a different language requires the use of automatic translation services, dictionaries, reformatting text, tweaking links and references, and significant amount of tab switching. Content Translation simplifies of creating translated pages by showing the translation right next to the original page, and when possible, inserting automatically details such as formatting, links, categories, and references.
First of all, consider some non-technical tips about translating articles.
If there is a page in your wiki about translating articles, read this page before you start translating. It will have more tips and policies that are special to your wiki. In the English Wikipedia, this page is w:en:Wikipedia:Translation (check the interlanguage links on that page to find the corresponding pages in other languages).
If you can write in the language into which you are translating, but you think that you don't write it perfectly, ask your friends who know this language or other editors who write in this wiki for help. Talking to your friends about choosing the right or improving your grammar is fun!
Read the whole article in the source language before you start to translate. This is important for several reasons. First, it's quite possible that it is not perfect! There may be mistakes in all articles and in all languages. Besides, knowing and understanding the whole story of the article's topic, whether it's a biography of a person, a history of a city, a description of a natural phenomenon, or anything else will help you with writing every sentence of the translation.
If you see that there are some problems in the source article, and you can to write in the source languages, be bold and edit the source article before starting the translation. Changing the source article after the translation began may interfere with the translation process.
Do your best to check that the references in the source article are correct and relevant (references are also known as sources or footnotes). Read the book, check the linked website, etc. If you aren't sure that the reference is correct and relevant, consider skipping the part of the article where the reference is used, because it may be incorrect.
It's OK to skip some parts of the source article especially if they are not very interesting for the people who will read it in the target language. For example:
- Some encyclopedic articles in English may have a section that explains the etymology of the English word in the title of the article, for example the article Chef. If this word is completely different in your language, translation this section is probably unnecessary, unless you think that the etymology of the English word "chef" is interesting to the readers in your language.
- Some Wikipedia articles about musicians include a section about their concerts in the country where this language is spoken. When translating this into languages that are spoken in other countries, this section can probably be skipped.
In Content Translation, automatic translation is available for a limited number of languages through several machine translation services. Currently, depending on the language in which the article is translating, users will be able to use Apertium, Matxin, Google, Yandex, and Youdao translation engines.
However, automatic translation is a feature that the user can choose to use. They can select the service to use, from a dropdown list, and their preference will be remembered. Users can also choose to not use machine translation, by using the ‘从空段落开始’ option.
Publishing machine-translated articles is not the intention of Content Translation, and it is actively discouraged to publish articles without modification and review. Users are shown warnings if they try to publish unmodified content.
At the moment Content Translation is a beta feature. To use it you need to enable the feature in your beta preferences. To do this, log in to your account, click 测试 at the top of the page, check 内容翻译, and click Save, at the bottom of the page.
The dashboard is the main entry point to the translation interface.
First way: hover your mouse pointer over the "贡献" item in your personal menu at the top of the screen. In the menu that appears, click on "翻译".
Second way: click the "贡献", and then click the "翻译" button at the top of the page.
Third way: find the page that you want to translate in the wiki in the source language, and click the target language name in the interlanguage links list in the sidebar. (This will only work if the tool is installed in the wiki in the source language, and you enabled the beta feature there.)
Fourth way: you can type "Special:CX" or "Special:ContentTranslation" in your wiki's search box.
- When possible, categories will be adapted automatically. They are adapted when there is a directly corresponding category in the target language according to the interlanguage link.
- If machine translation is available for the pair of languages that you selected, the paragraph will be auto-translated when you click it. The machine translation will not be perfect; you must always correct it before publishing.
- If machine translation is not available, the source text will be inserted, and the links will be adapted automatically.
- Images can be adapted simply by clicking on them. You will have to type the translation for the image captions (captions will be machine-translated if machine translation is available).
- References will be automatically adapted, though you may have to adjust them to your wiki's style after publishing.
- Math formulas are transferred as-is.
Writing and publishing the translation
- Type the translation of each paragraph in the translation column. You don't have to translate all the paragraphs - translate as much as needed for the wiki in your language.
- Until you publish, the translation is regularly saved automatically, so you don't have to worry that you'll lose it. To come back to a page that you started translating, go back to the dashboard and select the page from the list that you'll see.
- After you have written everything you want for the first version of the new translated page, click "发布".
Continuing a translation
If you started translations to any language, they will appear in the dashboard. You can continue a translation by clicking on the item in the list.
You can also see a list of translations that you published by going to the dashboard and selecting "已发布的翻译" instead of "进行中的翻译".
Deleting a translation
If you don't want to continue a translation that you started, or if you published a translation and you still see it in the dashboard, you can delete it. Click the trash can button in the corner of the row:
When there are templates in the article, you can skip them, transfer their wiki syntax to the target article as-is, or translate them in detail, parameter-by-parameter. For a detailed guide to translating templates and making them more easily translatable, see the page Content translation/Templates.