I'm not familiar with the Translate extension, although I'm looking for an excuse to finally give it a try. :) Is it possible to promote a set of pages where translation is prioritized? Using a category, for instance.
Trying to translate the whole mediawiki.org is pointless and actually counterproductive, but there is a bunch of pages that would really welcome more translations, and a formal request to be translated. It would be useful for the project and for translator to identify those, and if possible get those nice stats telling that Japanese is 100% up to date, Italian is 83%, Arabic is 12% and so on.
There are two types of translatable pages based on motivation:
- Promotion: local languages are good to reach out to new users and contributors. Homepage, the hubs, How to contribute, the local Groups (mainly in their respective native languages)...
- Support: essential pages for users of MediaWiki and our technical infrastructure. The most basic and required pages of the manual, how bugzilla works how to get developer access...
Maybe it's worth having both translatable categories separate? Maybe some languages make total sense for Promotion but less so for Support (no specific examples, although I can imagine Indic or Latin languages speakers needing those translations more for Promotion than Support, since the average sysadmin / developer of those languages is used to deal with English documentation).
It is clear that the deeper you get into both categories the clearer is the need to manage some English, at least in our current reality. We could probably define a VERY LIMITED set of pages translatable here and now in both categories and then consider the addition of new pages based on actual need.
And I agree with Nemo that those pages need a review in the canonical English version before making big calls for translation. But maybe this is a feature? It forces us to go through identified pages, mark them as translatable progressively and giving more time to translators to deal with new content. For instance, we could start focusing in How to contribute and Help:Formatting, and do a first test with these pages.
This post was posted by Qgil-WMF, but signed as Qgil.