Talk:Translating/HowTo

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Revision as of 09:50, 1 March 2012 by SvenAERTS (Talk | contribs)
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This edit has corrupted specific Unicode characters, http://wiki.laptop.org/index.php?title=Translating/HowTo&curid=7623&diff=68250&oldid=68080

Could someone revert the change?

Thanks! Walter took care of it. As far as I can tell, it's a new version of an old bot: one that 'ate +' and 'aborted on &'—also known as the ampersandphobic bot on a + diet... (I saw one of the many corrupt edition you mention falling into the old habits, irrc). --Xavi 19:22, 3 October 2007 (EDT)

Why so complicated?

I find this translation system extremely complicated! I had to struggle with the instructions for an hour before starting to understand a bit, and I don't think I would have succeeded if I hadn't been vaguely familiar with "wiki syntax".
I know that translating the wiki is not priority number 1, but if it ever becomes really important, the system needs to be more user friendly in order to attract contributors.
The biggest problem, in my opinion, is that the procedure is difficult to understand for a beginner: creating a new page with the appropriate tag, editing the language bar, leaving the original text inside special tags (I know there must be a good reason, but I really can't see it!) etc, etc... Contributors who are willing to translate should focus on translation instead of having to take care of technical details before eventually translating, or maybe abandoning the idea because they couldn't understand enough.
Why not adopt a system a bit similar to Wikipedia's one? A project page for each language, to which volunteers could subscribe, could be created. On these pages, a list of the pages to translate, in priority order, would be displayed. The translators would choose a page, and access to an already edited page (maybe a bot could do it). They would only have to click on edit, and translate the content inside the already appropriate tags. Once finished, they would update the status of the page on the Project page. Whenever the original page would be modified, translators could be automatically contacted to update their translation.

These are only a few ideas, and I am perfectly aware of the fact that it means a lot of work for developers to implement such a system, especially when they must be busy with more important things. Yet if the translation becomes a big project, improving the system will be necessary.

--Valp 13:40, 10 January 2010 (UTC)


Valp, Unfortunately, you are correct that wiki translation is hopelessly complex, far more so than software translation process which is hosted on the very nice Pootle toolset at http://pootle.sugarlabs.org. The current system was adopted some time ago and has not received serious attention from volunteers. I do work on both wiki and localization (translation) toolsets and issues, but I'm not convinced that it is as easy as you suggest it could be, but I would be willing to hear more, perhaps you would like to take the discussion to the Sugar Labs / OLPC localization mailing list to bring in a larger group of interested parties. Your input would be welcome. Given that this is a MediaWiki-based wiki, we try to leverage Wikipedia tools and practices where we can, but for the most part I think that Wikipedia handles this by having completely different wiki instances for each language (albeit with cross-links provided), which is not a sustainable model for OLPC.
Perhaps the biggest challenge would be keeping different pages of the same page in synch as wikis change very dynamically. It is an open question of whether that is either feasible or a good use of localizers time and effort. My own impression is that localizer time is best spent primarily on the software user interface and secondarily on static content like the FLOSS manuals and that most of the wiki just doesn't rank high enough. Machine translations tools (e.g. Google Translate) can do a passable adequate job for much of the content (in many languages) and do not need to keep up with wiki editors, and so the Template:Google_Translations template may be of some interest to you. In this way, hand translation effort can be restricted to only the most critical wiki pages where the human touch is needed. cjl 15:29, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

I concurr. This is the result of a first time attempt to implement it on our http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Guinea landing page for Guinea where the second language seems to be french, serving as the lingua franca for the over 40 ethnic groups and languages and dialects. The translation module is not working properly. E.g. some of the English instructions have Spanish words in them all of a sudden iso english. I followed the instructions but now I have a number of translation buttons now that need to be deleted but I haven't got time to figure that out. Help appreciated.--SvenAERTS 09:50, 1 March 2012 (UTC)

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