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The H+Pedia site features several multilingual and translation features.

Structure of pages

Most pages that were written originally in English will appear at either PageName or PageName/en. Translations will usually appear at e.g. PageName/fr


It's important to understand that a translated page is strongly linked to an original page with the expectation that the translation will follow the same structure and approximately same content of the original.

Pages initially written in non-English should not be created as translations, but as articles either at PageName or PageName/language. Later those pages can be translated from non-english into English.

Common translation tasks

Configure a page for translation

Start by going to the preparation page and selecting the article you want to support being translated. This prompts you to add various tags to an existing page to tag content to be translated, and replace internal links with language specific internal links. The page is now said to be 'in translation' and is ready to be linked with translated versions.

This can probably be done speculatively for all articles.

Linking a page to a proposed translation

Now the page is added to Special:PageTranslation. From here you can select 'mark for translation', with a priority language and reason notes. This creates a red link on the page indicating that it will or should be translated into that language.

This should only be done for articles that you plan to actively translate, or know someone else will be interested in translating, e.g. not all articles.

Performing a translation

The translation wizard then prompts you to translate each individual section of the page into the target language. Your unpublished translations does not show on the page. When you're happy for the data to be displayed, you can 'publish' the translated subsection, which will form the language specific version of the page.

Performing further translations

Pages 'in translation' can only be edited either on the primary language page, or through the translation tool.

The translated page cannot be 'directly' edited without first removing the relationship between the pages.

Breaking the relationship between translated pages

If the different language pages have drifted too far apart to have matching sections, you may wish to remove the page from the translation tool entirely, until they are more closely aligned. (avoid this!)

Using common translations

Many common elements will use a common translation on every page e.g.

References -> Références

Checking Wikipedia in the native language might already have some generic wiki conventions that can be used.

Practical advice

After some initial experiments with the translation system, the following points are worth emphasising.

In particular, translators will need at least some familiarity with the markup language used in the source of wiki articles.

Need to preserve markup

Symbols for bolding, italics, etc, from the original text, need to be preserved in the translation, without introducing any extra spaces.

For example, a phrase '''Bolded word''' in the original English should be changed to '''Mot en gras''' in a French translation, with the three quote marks (the symbol to the wiki engine to display a phrase in bold) left intact.

Don't translate the name parts of links

Consider the English-language original

The potential for supplements in regards to [[Special:MyLanguage/longevity|longevity]] is currently in a period of relative infancy

In the link, the word longevity should be translated only when it appears after the | character. Otherwise the system will not be able to find the link, and it will show as a redlink rather than blue.

So the sentence could be translated into Spanish as

El potencial de los suplementos con respecto a [[Special:MyLanguage/longevity | longevidad]] se encuentra actualmente en un período de relativa infancia

Don't translate the parameters of layout instructions

This is similar to the previous point. It applies, for example, to the parameters governing the display of an image on a page.

Thus the English-language original instruction

[[File:NVM_2016_a.png|thumb|right|Natasha Vita-More in 2016]]

could be translated into Spanish as

[[File:NVM_2016_a.png|thumb|right|Natasha Vita-More en 2016]]

where the only text that is translated is the caption of the image, that is, the final parameter.

Beware misleading review information

A translation which is shown inside the translation system as apparently correct, that is with blue links, may actually be faulty.

For example, consider this screen snapshot from inside the translation system:

Misleading confirmation of translation.png

That snapshot shows both links in blue.

However, you need to verify the translation by looking at the actual page, after you "publish" the translation. This is a screen snapshot from the actual page:

Actual translation showing link as being red.png

That shows the second link as being red - in other words, an error has inadvertently been introduced during the translation process.

Need to await translation to complete in background

Checking translations is complicated by the fact that the translated page is actually assembled in a background process, which seems to take a few seconds to become effective.

So you may need to refresh the page (e.g. by pressing F5) to see the actual results of your latest transation.

See also