[Wikipedia-l] Suggestions for better cross-language collaboration

James R. Johnson modean52 at comcast.net
Mon Aug 16 05:29:01 UTC 2004

A related idea - I don't know if it's already done, but how about when
starting a new wiki, have a template main page and welcome page in a
language specified by the person requesting the wiki, so that person can
then translate into the new language, such as Manx Gaelic from Scots Gaelic,
or the like? 


-----Original Message-----
From: wikipedia-l-bounces at Wikimedia.org
[mailto:wikipedia-l-bounces at Wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Peter Shaw
Sent: Sunday, August 15, 2004 10:12 PM
To: wikipedia-l at wikimedia.org
Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Suggestions for better cross-language collaboration

The following is a mediawiki feature request concerning improvements to make
cross-language cooperation and translation more attractive. I also posted it
to the enormous feature-request- and bug-report-wiki on meta, which is
probably better to read, because of the HTML formatting. 

The unfortunate fact is that today the wikipedias reinvent the wheel for
every language. The only relationship that sometimes exists, is that
articles get translated from one language to another. Each of the changes
that are then made in both versions of the article benefits only the
wikipedia of one langauge.

This is not only a problem for the smaller wikipedias. Especially local
information is much better represented in the wikipedia of the regional
language, and it would be beneficial for the english wikipedia, if that
information were to be imported. Also some pages (I only know about german)
in foreign language versions are written from an interesting other
perspective or just have more work done, because some people speaking that
language happened to be very interested in the subject.

The reason why I personally don't translate wikipedia articles, is because I
feel that instead of benefiting wikipedia, I split up the manpower between
the english and the german version. This would change, if the work in one
language would benefit the wikipedia of another.

What I suggest is:

(1) The possibility to maintain a relationship to the link of the article in
other languages, like
- translated from (this article is a translation of the article in that
- translated to (this article has been translated to that language)
- independent (the content of the article is language specific)
- unmerged (no translation in either direction known)
- merged/corresponding (people work on the article in both languages,
changes in both articles get applied to the other one)

(2) A counter that counts up from the last edit made with a special keyword,
an trans-lingual edit could then be called something like "cross-language
[german] in: Added new section, out: rearrangement of introduction". Such a
counter could either count the changes made in the other language, the
changes made in this edit, both added up, or preferably both beside each
other to get a glimpse on which one is more dominant.

(3) A special page, that lists the topics that have the highest counter
between this and another language, for people interested in translating

The better the articles get, the more sense does it make to translate the
content. Making translation more attractive is beneficial for both the main
(adding local information) and the language (more/higher quality content)

Wikipedia-l mailing list
Wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org

More information about the Wikipedia-l mailing list