[Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad Idea, part 2

J Alexandr Ledbury-Romanov alexandrdmitriromanov at gmail.com
Fri Jun 4 08:27:36 UTC 2010

Me three for using the interwiki links as a way of finding the word or
phrase I'm looking for in another language (along with Wiktionary). Not only
do they assist me in finding translations of the words or phrases I am
looking for, they also give me context and relevant material for languages
I'm comfortable using. They are also particularly useful for languages where
I am not at all comfortable (e.g. Modern Standard Arabic) where I get
results with images of the subject that confirm that I have found the right
noun I need.

Sometimes I get false positives, but unlike with my various dictionaries
which I now rarely use, I can usually figure out pretty quickly that I have
not got the translation I need.

I'd be interested to know what the default languages I would get based
computer profiling. Geolocating would put in me in Morocco (official
language Modern Standard Arabic, though French is commonly used), browser
configuration would give French, and Wikimedia system user preferences are
set in English, simply because I predominantly use the English Wikipedia and
English Wikinews; I'm far too lazy to have to translate the Wikimedia
terminology in my head when navigating in French, German or Russian.


2010/6/4 phoebe ayers <phoebe.wiki at gmail.com>

> On Fri, Jun 4, 2010 at 12:10 AM, Gregory Maxwell <gmaxwell at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > Sort of tangentially, ... am I really the only one that frequently
> > uses the Wikipedia inter-language links as a big translating
> > dictionary?  I've found it to be much more useful than automatic
> > translation engines for mathematical terms (both more comprehensive
> > but also in that it makes it easy to find the translations for many
> > related terms).  The hiding doesn't make this any harder for me, but
> > it would make me a lot less likely to discover this useful feature.
> Of course not,  I do this all the time (I even wrote about it), but I
> don't have any idea how many non-wikipedians use the interwiki links
> in this manner. On the list of research projects I wish someone would
> get around to: I would love to know more about unexpected/atypical
> uses of the projects like this... I guess the reference desk is a
> similar feature, an unexpected service cropping up in the middle of
> the encyclopedia. I wonder what others there are.
> -- phoebe
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