Wikimedia Language engineering
The Wikimedia Foundation Language team is responsible for providing standards-based internationalization and localization tools support for Wikimedia sites on the Web and mobile platforms. The group is part of the Product department.
The Wikimedia Foundation Language team has a combined working knowledge of more than 15 languages.
Amir E. Aharoni
Technical Program Manager
Lead Design Researcher
Neil Shah Quinn
Senior Data Scientist
Senior Software Engineer
Senior User Experience Designer & Product Manager
Principal Software Engineer, Tech Lead
Community Relations Specialist
Many languages are provided with internationalization support at various levels across Wikimedia projects, of which the Wikipedias are the largest, with over 300 languages. The tools created and maintained by the Language team are continually updated to increase the number of languages these tools cover. The goal of the team is to provide the same level of support for all languages and to provide translation tools.
- Content translation – The content translation tool assists multilingual editors to translate Wikipedia articles. Hundreds of thousands of Wikipedia articles have been created with the tool. Making the process faster, easier and resulting in articles more likely to survive the community review. Recent development, under the Section translation name, expand the initial capabilities to support expanding existing articles by translating an article section on mobile. Read more
- Universal Language Selector – Universal Language Selector (ULS) provides a flexible method of selecting and configuring a language to use in the user interface. It provides options to select fonts and input method. Languages can be searched using the ISO language code, with language names written in current user interface language or in its own script (autonym). Depending upon the user's location or the browser/operating system's language, the user interface language will be suggested. Cross-language searches – using any script – can also be done. Read more
- Translate – Translate extension is a feature-rich extension that lets users translate software strings and pages in their browser. For both software and page translation, it supports translation memory, statistics by group and language, advanced grammar support for multiple languages, and more.
- MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle – The MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle is a collection of selected MediaWiki extensions needed by any wiki that wants to be multilingual. It follows a monthly release cycle. Get the latest release. The following extensions are part of the bundle:
- Project Milkshake – Project Milkshake aims to make generic jQuery components for commonly needed internationalization feature components that have been developed for use through MediaWiki in Wikimedia projects. These include input methods, web-fonts, and grammatical rules for languages. For easy participation and wider adoption, the source-code repositories are hosted on GitHub and the components have been dual-licensed as GPL and MIT.
- jQuery.ime – More than 150 input methods in various languages are provided through jQuery.ime; many of these methods have been contributed by the Wikimedia community. See Demo.
- jQuery.i18n – This library provides internationalization elements to support grammatical rules for languages, including rules for plural forms and gender. See Prototype.
- jQuery.webfonts – jQuery.webfonts uses the WebFonts technology to allow usage of fonts from a font repository. This eliminates dependency on system fonts while viewing pages in those languages. Read more about webfonts
More details of how we maintain the different projects can be found in:
The Language Team conducts research on language-related products and features, in addition to running projects aimed more generally at better understanding the cultural and language-specific needs of Wikipedia communities worldwide.
- Section Translation Research – The Section Translation Design Research project evaluated current mobile prototypes with two small wikis. The project evaluated not only initial prototypes, but also a number of design changes after each round of testing. The project also supported design exploration by gathering interview data around critical assumptions of Section Translation, including the role of mobile and the relevance of article sections as a meaningful unit of translation.
- Content Translation Newcomer Survey, India 2020 - The Content Translation Newcomer Survey was administered during a series of edit-a-thon events utilizing the Content Translation tool, and results provide insight into the Content Translation newcomer experience. An updated, modified version of the survey was added to 'Best Practices for Content Translation Events Feedback Survey' as an additional resource for collecting feedback.
- Multilingual Editor Experiences in Small Wikis - The Multilingual Editor Experiences in Small Wikis project investigated the experiences of editors in smaller wikis who are leveraging translation to contribute across knowledge and content gaps.
- Section Translation Usability Testing - The Section Translation Usability Testing (Bengali Wikipedia) project provided usability testing for Section Translation as soon as it became available in the first wiki, Bengali.
Follow our work
Why we're doing what we're doing:
Readers, editors, translators
- Tell us about:
- text you can't view, and
- input methods that are not working well
- Write a new article using Content Translation
- Translate interface messages
- Write help documentation for input methods
- Report new bugs
- Fix some bugs
- Help write unit tests for input methods
- Make a possible i18n project come true
- Join the i18n mailing list
- Follow our blog posts
- Participate in our office hour (announcements are sent before the event)