Help talk:I18n

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Regarding ArchWiki internationalization: There have been a number of discussions about this over the years: 2006, 2007, 2009, and 2010. In short, there are a number of potential solutions; none are perfect. Currently, the interwiki implementation is considered "best" because it provides non-English users with a fully-localized experience and isolates each language. Other "good" solutions include the creation of language-specific namespaces or migration to a different wiki which provides "better" internationalization options -- but require more effort to implement. -- pointone 16:07, 21 October 2011 (EDT)
See also #"Dummy" interlanguage links and deprecation of Template:i18n and #Language namespace(s) in place of suffixes? for more recent discussions. -- Kynikos (talk) 16:06, 3 June 2012 (UTC)

Officializing ArchWiki Translation Teams?

The Italian and Spanish translation teams have just decided to standardize the titles of their project pages: ArchWiki Translation Team (Italiano) and ArchWiki Translation Team (Español). Is it possible to link those pages here thus somewhat officializing the translation projects, maybe involving other languages too in the future? This could also help finding other people interested in joining the teams. -- Kynikos 09:24, 25 April 2011 (EDT)

I support your idea. I've been meaning to write a translation guidelines section (recording the translation date on an article's talk page, something about avoiding starting translations unless planning to complete it, etc.) This is also where I'd like mention the translation projects. I'd appreciate your input. -- pointone 15:04, 29 April 2011 (EDT)
Uhm I really don't want to dishearten you about this, but I think that translation-specific guidelines should be left to each language translation team: for example the Italian community uses tables to sum up translation dates, maintainers, notes and so on, and I don't think that writing to avoid starting translations unless planning to complete them would really change users' behaviour... It's already hard to make people follow generic style guidelines, which, by the way, should really be written down as we were discussing a bit of time ago. I want to make me understood: a style guideline would not make sure that everybody respects it at all, but it would allow administrators and occasional correctors (like I am sometimes) to have a definite reference for making corrections to edits and articles in general. You could start a Style Guide page, and then users could add new rules over time (under your supervision), so you wouldn't have to do all the job. I also remind you that there was that discussion on the possibility of restyling the templates.
Anyway, about this discussion, you could add a "Translation Team" field in the table at the bottom, with a link to the relative translation team for each language which has one. Then you could add a subsection to Guidelines similar to this:
Translation teams
Some languages have started collaboration projects (see table below) to efficiently organize the translation of the articles. Please consider joining your language's Translation Team or at least informing it when you are starting translating an article.
(I know, I'm not very inspired tonight ihih) If I'll happen to think of other (maybe better) ways of highlighting the translation projects I'll suggest them here ;) -- Kynikos 19:28, 29 April 2011 (EDT)
IMHO the non-English wikis should be separate from the main one, as it is with French, German and Polish. You have your own forum already. -- Karol 05:03, 30 April 2011 (EDT)
That would be the ideal situation. Anyway at least the Italian translation project (I don't know about the other languages) is completely independent from, where as far as I know it was asked some time ago to implement a wiki, but for some reason it came to nothing. -- Kynikos 05:55, 30 April 2011 (EDT)

Related: ArchWiki Translation Day. Mention external wikis and Translation Teams there. -- Kynikos 05:25, 31 January 2012 (EST)


About Article Title

ID+title in l18n+(l18n in english) would be better than the present.

1、the ID is the same with the id of the english original article

2、title in locale language would be convenient and friendly for the people who is not familiar for english.

3、l18n in english will help the admin to learn which article hasn't been translated.

so, with the help of the new subject style , the admin would learn the translated subject of article and the locals would get the native subject for convinient, perfect!

The current i18n situation is not ideal, but this proposal seems needlessly complex. Please find our ongoing internationalization discussion at International Wikis (2010 edition). -- pointone 11:54, 24 February 2011 (EST)
The same / similar idea was presented here. -- Karol 18:17, 25 August 2011 (EDT)


Clarification needed: there are currently articles tagged with Srpski (Serbian Latin) and others with Српски (Serbian Cyrillic). Are there objections to tagging Srpski articles with Српски instead? (For example: Main Page (Srpski) to Main Page (Српски)) Would this be confusing?

It is my understanding that most Serbians are literate in both scripts, and Cyrillic is considered the "official" script.

-- pointone 16:11, 17 January 2010 (EST)

Localized templates, categories and special pages?

As Archlinux Turkiye team we will begin translations on wiki soon. It is very hard to organize Turkish pages with currenti i18n policy. Non-english speakers are always confused and told us that they lost themselves while trying to reach knowledge here. Currently we decided to use official wiki instead of create a localized wiki on our server. Lack of manpower :). We need to ease things in current i18n policy but need advice and help. So;

  • Should we create localized templates? Instead of "Warning (Türkçe)" ==> "Uyarı" for example? -- tarakbumba 10:03, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Localized template names should only be redirects to the standard title, so in your example "Uyarı" should be a simple redirect to "Warning (Türkçe)" -- Kynikos 06:16, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
  • Should we create localized categories? If we can, it will help Turkish users to find what they seek to. We can group certain translated articles into their respective localized categories. -- tarakbumba 10:03, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
I understand the need for localized categories, but currently they're not allowed, although I'm perfectly aware that there are many. You've already noticed that internationalization is still quite messy, please stick to the current rules in any case until they change if they ever do, otherwise we're messing things up even more :) You must understand that the MediaWiki engine is not made for hosting multilanguage projects, even Wikipedia uses different databases for the various languages, so there's always the need for workarounds for handling translations: here we're currently using the "language suffix" method, which means that all pages should be named with the English title followed by the proper language suffix, and then they should use Template:i18n for enabling navigation between translations. This must be done for ease of maintenance, because the Turkish team is not the only one lacking manpower... :D Other i18n methods have been discussed in the past and also the present, just see the note at the top of this very page, and I'm also aware of the forum thread you started, but these changes require lots of time and efforts, and we're currently unable to manage them. -- Kynikos 06:16, 29 March 2012 (EDT)
  • Should we create localized Special pages? As this wiki talk mentioned some templates automatically add articles to special pages. We need to gather i.e. articles those marked to be translated into Turkish and will use localized translateme template to achive this. Is that right way to do this? -- tarakbumba 10:03, 28 March 2012 (EDT)
Yes, I warmly suggest you to use ArchWiki Translation Team (Türkçe) for organizing translations, you can also take example from what other languages are already doing. -- Kynikos 06:16, 29 March 2012 (EDT)

MediaWiki translation extension

Speaking of multi language support for MediaWiki. It does have an extension to support translation. See: Here is forum proposal [1] and bug FS#26638. As a user of KDE userbase and techbase, I think this extension is exactly what Arch wiki need. But again, lack of man power to do it.

Exactly, time's not ripe for talking about this. Please for now let's use the suffix method as consistently as possible: if one day another method will be enforced, it will be much easier to handle at least some parts of the transition automatically with bots or other scripts. -- Kynikos 06:01, 30 March 2012 (EDT)

Language namespace(s) in place of suffixes?

This discussion is about the possibility of replacing the current system of classification of the articles by language, using suffixes in the title, with a namespace-based system. This issue has currently a lower priority than #"Dummy" interlanguage links and deprecation of Template:i18n.

The main advantage would be that it would be possible to have only English articles as results when using the search engine, and, depending on the implementation of this idea, it may be possible also to select the language of the search.

Another advantage would be that in article-list pages (such as those in Special:SpecialPages) that list articles alphabetically, all the articles for a language would be grouped together.

There are many ways we can implement this solution, and each has its advantages and disadvantages; I'd like to also keep the current suffix solution in the discussion, for comparison and also because it has its advantages either.

1) Every language has its own namespace

  • This can be done either with local or English language names. Note that it's not possible to have namespaces named like interlanguage links! For example an article named Ru:Some Title could currently be created, but once the ru interlanguage links are activated, that article won't be accessible anymore, and it will be possible to edit/delete it only via the API using its ID (this has already happened with an article that was named with "tr:...").
  • This solution would create 2*N namespaces (where N is the number of languages) because every namespace must have a _talk namespace; I don't know what effect this would have on select menus and other interfaces that list the namespaces (e.g. in special pages filters).
  • Examples:
Dansk:Some Article, Dansk talk:Some Article, Magyar:Some Article, ...
Danish:Some Article, Danish talk:Some Article, Hungarian:Some Article, ...

2) There's one big namespace for non-English languages

  • There are various possible choices for the name of the namespace: "Lang", "Local", "i18n", ???...
  • The language can be separated from the title with a colon, a slash or some other punctuation mark
  • We could use language tags or full language names
  • Language names could still be suffixes or be part of the prefix
  • This solution just adds 1 namespace and its associated talk
  • Examples:
Lang:pl/Some Article, Lang talk:pl/Some Article, Lang:zh-CN/Some Article, ...
Local:Some Article (Polski), Local talk:Some Article (Polski), Local:Some Article (简体中文), ...

3) Some languages can have a proper namespace according to some objective rules based on the number of translations

Note that the namespace solution wouldn't be able to separate the languages completely, in fact we'd have to keep mixed Template and Category namespaces: how would we deal with those cases? Case 2) may have the simplest solution by using Template:es/Lorem Ipsum and Category:es/Lorem Ipsum or something like that, and we'd still have the advantage of having templates and categories grouped by language in alphabetical lists. About the Help and ArchWiki namespaces we could do something similar.

Note that solution 2) would break the use of Template:Lowercase title in non-English articles. The only way to solve that problem would be using an extension that can parse substrings, or force using {{DISPLAYTITLE:...}}.

The bot algorithm to implement such a change should avoid creating redirects for every title, and instead it should update all the backlinks of every article (Wiki Monkey should be able to do that, it has already done a similar thing when removing the English suffix from category names, although in this case it would be a much bigger job).


I think this can be enough for now, as you can see it's quite intricate, I don't even have a clear idea about what's my preference at the moment, let's see if somebody can help sort out the ideas.

-- Kynikos (talk) 20:48, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I like (2) -- a single non-English namespace. I had never even considered this option before! This will solve the biggest problem with our current implementation -- non-English articles polluting search results and other special pages -- whilst still promoting external wikis with interlanguage links as the "ideal" solution.
(We must keep in mind that, in the end, separate external wikis is the only complete solution to provide non-English readers with a fully-internationalized interface (as long as we are running MediaWiki, that is). Everything else at this point is simply a stepping-stone toward that goal.)
Creating separate namespaces for each language would quickly complicate maintenance, as you note, and add little benefit over the single-namespace solution. -- pointone (talk) 14:27, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I too tend to prefer solution (2), especially in the form of Lang:pt/Lorem Ipsum because that would group articles by language in alphabetical lists.
I'd use Template:pt/Lorem Ipsum and Category:pt/Lorem Ipsum, but Lang:pt/Help:Lorem Ipsum and Lang:pt/ArchWiki:Lorem Ipsum for special templates.
The bot should be able to convert {{Lowercase title}} to {{DISPLAYTITLE:...}} in existing articles, but when a user copies an English article for translating it, he should remember to do that conversion by himself. Alternatives can be abolishing Template:Lowercase_title or using parser functions to detect the actual title (without the prefix).
-- Kynikos (talk) 16:16, 3 June 2012 (UTC)
Moving here the considerations about interlanguage links and Templates/Categories (interlanguage links cannot be used directly with Templates and Categories if language namespaces are implemented):
-- Kynikos (talk) 19:36, 15 June 2012 (UTC)