[Foundation-l] hiding interlanguage links by default is a Bad Idea, part 2
saintonge at telus.net
Mon Jun 7 07:42:09 UTC 2010
Andreas Kolbe wrote:
> I used the interwiki links all the time in this manner at work, and still do. It was one of the things that turned me on to Wikipedia and caused me to start contributing, and eventually to register an account.
> As others have said, if the interwiki links had not been visible by default, I likely would not have discovered the feature, or discovered it only much later.
> An interesting thing is that even if the interwiki articles were poor, or incomplete, there was usually enough context provided to pick out the key terms in the field in the relevant languages, providing a starting point for further research and confirmation in and outside of Wikipedia. Extremely useful.
There is another way in which the interwiki links are useful. We need
to remember that an article in one language is often developed without
reference to the corresponding article in a different language. They
are written quite independently from each other, and thus can give
different perspectives on the same subject, or highlight different
aspects of the same subject. In a controversial topic the differences
could be startling.
Given the availability of translations that are just a click away, not
even a native English speaker has to fear that clicking on an interwiki
link will produce an unintelligible page. There could even be value to a
double list which gives the option of viewing the other language article
in its original form or in its machine translation.
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