[Wikimediaindia-l] Google's Indic Wikipedia translation project closing down

Ravishankar ravidreams at gmail.com
Sun Jun 5 16:14:36 UTC 2011

In a recent mail to the google group regarding Google's Indic Wikipedia
translation project, Dimple Batra from Google reported:

"We are in the process of closing down the wikipedia indic language
translation project.

We had initiated this project to bootstrap the creation of indic content and
encourage consumption in indic languages. Having accomplished the same over
the past 2 years we would now like the community to continue contributing.

Please feel free to reach out to us if you have other proposals on how we
can create more local content in India"


Please let us know how the different Indic Wikipedia communities involved in
this project are going to handle this.

As far as Tamil Wikipedia is concerned:

1000+ articles created using this project went through few rounds of
corrections by both Wikipedians and the paid translators. About 50% of them
were found to be of acceptable quality. We selected few translators who were
doing a better job and a test case of 25 articles were assigned based on
which further articles should be written. But, the collaboration between
Tamil Wikipedia and Google lost its momentum after this stage.

Frankly, Tamil Wikipedians were exhausted in this year long project with
more than 20 Wikipedians contributing for this. The good will between Google
- Translators - Wikipedians did not improve as the translators didn't show
interest in improving their previous articles any further until new articles
are assigned to them. (Which means continuous employment for them and profit
for the companies involved). Later, we came to know that most of the
translators involved in the project resigned from their respective companies
and expected a stand still in this project.

In this situation, the above reply from Google came for a query posted by
Arjuna Rao Chavala regarding the project's status in Telugu Wikipedia.

We haven't decided yet on the next course of action on the Google created
articles. My expectation is that they will be treated as regular articles
and the community will try to work on them. In case of very badly written
articles, part of the article may be moved to talk page and moved back again
after they are corrected. However, this will really be a time consuming
exercise for sure.

My personal opinion is that I am very much disappointed. Google's intention
was good but execution left very much to desire. It didn't show interest to
talk to the community before starting and before ending the project abruptly
on its own.


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