[Foundation-l] English language dominationism is striking again

Magnus Manske magnusmanske at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 23 13:47:03 UTC 2010

On Wed, Jun 23, 2010 at 11:17 AM, Tisza Gergo <gtisza at gmail.com> wrote:
> Samuel Klein <meta.sj at ...> writes:
>> I'd like to see such translation tools used to enhance the tags used
>> to identify an image, so that all internet searches can find images by
>> those tags.
> I think this stuff should be left for Google. A clever search engine should be
> able to figure out that if you are looking for "Pferd" images, "horse" images
> will also be of interest; and Google is getting clever quickly in this regard.
> (For example, recently Google web search has been offering to translate the
> search phrase to English, and translate the results back to you.)
> OTOH, it would be a nice feature to show translated page and category names when
> someone looks at the page with the interface language set to non-English.

OK, technical solution (hackish as usual, but with potential IMHO):


Basically, this will (on the search page only!) look at the last query
run (the one currently in the edit box), check several language
editions of Wikipedia for articles from the individual words (in this
case, "Pferd" and "Schach"), count how many exist, pick the language
with the most hits (in this case, German), and put a link to link to
Nikola's tool under the search box. The link pre-fills the source
language and query in the tool, which automatically opens the
appropriate search page.

In essence, clicking on the link gets you to the toolserver and back
to the search, this time in English, without you noticing.

I am checking all the languages the Nikola's tool offers (so no
Estonian), except English (no point, really).

Experimenting, I noticed that even if your original query got you some
results (e.g. "Schaufel"=47), the translation in English will give you
more ("Shovel"=484).

I tried to restrict the language search for the languages accepted by
the browser (so, using 1 or 2 queries instead of 32), but there
appears to be no way in JavaScript to get that information. MediaWiki
could pass it on, though...

Feel free to improve!


More information about the wikimedia-l mailing list