[Foundation-l] English language dominationism is striking again

Bence Damokos bdamokos at gmail.com
Tue Jun 22 18:28:32 UTC 2010

On Tue, Jun 22, 2010 at 8:07 PM, Magnus Manske
<magnusmanske at googlemail.com>wrote:

> >> I would consider this state as a poor reflection on Commons'
> accessibility.
> > Especially as Google image search (imho, the likeliest avenue of
> searching
> > for images) gives 130 000 pictures of horses on Commons if searched in
> > English, zero if searched in Estonian ("hobu"), and while it gives 160
> 000
> > results for a Hungarian search ("ló") on the first page only one of it is
> an
> > image that resembles a horse.
> Here's a thought: Enter "hobu" into translate.google.com, leave
> "source language" on automatic and target on "English", and it will
> happily translate it into "horse". Could we offer a "translation" link
> in search? As in, "translate my query into English and try again"? I'm
> sure we can come to an arrangement with Google (or someone else).

Sorry if I misunderstand your suggestion.

I'm sure power users can find  any number of ways to do this  (I think
Google already offers a similar service somewhere hidden away) though they
probably speak English as well, to reach those who do not speak English or
aren't power users it has to be super obvious, I'm afraid.
Google will probably reach that point sometime, but while they usually
support a couple of dozen languages, we do so with a couple of hundred.

I would be happy to see though some translation magic applied to Commons'
category system the way templates now autotranslate - given the fact that we
have a huge translation community and that interwiki links and links from
Wikipedia's to Commons can be used to guess the meanings (which than could
be confirmed by a human in some addictive "game").
I am not sure if Google would take the hint of the localized category names
in their image search but it would be a start.

(Having an easy, special interface -- that cuts away all the wikicode
confusion leaving just the image and the existing translations and a next
button, adds some AJAXy background magic,maybe suggestions through the
Google Translate API  - to translate image descriptions  might also help
drive the localisation of the image descriptions. Probably there are some
userscripts that do this but they could be turned on by default or at least
made more prominent.)

Best regards,

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