On Sat, Jul 24, 2010 at 2:57 AM, stevertigo <stvrtg(a)gmail.com> wrote:
Translation between wikis currently exists as a
paradigm: Someone on the target wiki finds an article in another
language (English for example) and then pulls it to their language
These days Google and other translate tools are good enough to use as
the starting basis for an translated article, and we can consider how
we make use of them in an active way. What is largely a "pull"
paradigm can also be a "push" paradigm - we can use translation tools
to "push" articles to other wikis.
I don't know whether other wikipedias have similar policies, but on
the Italian Wikipedia an article which is just a machine translation
can be speedy deleted according to our policies. The reason is that
machine translations are not good enough and the autotranslated text
is too difficult to read, at least for Italian. It is true that as
Italian is not as used as a foreign language as others, native
speakers are not used to people writing in bad Italian (Bad English is
far more common) so it is natural to set a higher threshold. I agree
that machine translations are a good starting point, but that means
that someone who knows the target language (it doesn't matter whether
as native or not) must fix the translation correcting for the typical
machine mistakes (such as translating person names, etc.)
If there are issues, they can be overcome. The fact of the matter is
that the vast majority of articles in English can be "pushed" over to
other languages, and fill a need for those topics in those languages.
I see a big risk that this may be perceived as cultural colonialism,
but that's something that already happens (some parts of the world
write more on Wikipedia than others). But somehow pushing from the
small wikis to the big ones is one of the best ways to get local
topics globally known.