Grants talk:Project/Rapid/Celestinesucess/Twi Wikipedia Translatathon

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@A12n: Thank you for your suggestion. It is possible to have editors who work on both but we would like to focus more on the Twi Wikipedia so we can achieve our desired goal within the said period. If we have more time after achieving our target for the Twi Wikipedia, then we would do as you suggested.--Celestinesucess (talk) 09:53, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

@Celestinesucess: Ours to thank you for this initiative! Yes, focus on your main objective, naturally. Among other issues, two tech items to keep in view: (1) please keep good notes on how you facilitate participants entering text in the "extended alphabet" used to write Twi, as quite a few African language editions of Wikipedia face this issue; and (2) longer term, what might be your recommendations for systematic automated translation of WP content among closely related languages (Twi & Akan is but one; also for example Xhosa & Zulu and Kinyarwanda & Kirundi)? --A12n (talk) 11:59, 4 August 2018 (UTC)
One suggestion for working in Twi on smartphones: Swiftkey. For offline distribution with limited bandwidth: https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/swiftkey/ --Gereon K. (talk) 12:10, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Hi Celestinesucess, It is exciting to see that you’re working to promote Indigenous African languages which have not received that much attention on Wikipedia. I think it is a great initiative. Twi Wikipedia being scanty stems from factors like lower readership and the complexity when it comes to editing. Also a major challenge of the Twi Wikipedia is the different dialects that are intermittently used which sometimes brew confusion to the reader as they are often not sure which dialect they are reading (often mixed dialect within articles).

As a native speaker, a writer and a contributor I am fully aware of the challenges involved using the content translator. Unlike the english and other selected Wikipedia where translation using the tool is seamless, on Twi Wikipedia you require people with authority on the language. However going through your project l have a couple of suggestions I wish to make to enhance your work around this;

First of all how do you hope to do or lead the translation from English to Twi since you are neither a Native Speaker nor writer of Twi? The truth of the matter is the content translator cannot translate from English to Twi and as such it requires hardcore translation which can only be done by a native Speaker and writer of Twi with at least an intermediate level of written Twi. So how do you seek to do this?


Again which dialect is going to be your focus since the Twi has different dialects, Asante, Fante, Akwapim, etc.

Per my experience with organising events in Ghana, even organising edit-a-thons for English Wikipedia seems to be a difficult task and sometimes getting a maximum of 20 people to attend is not easy to come by. In view of this I think for a Twi translathon, 30 may be very ambitious and I will suggest that you focus on working with a realistic number. I wish to also know who your target audience is for this event as most native speakers can’t necessarily write even though they speak their local languages. How do you intend to reach such specific audience (who may not be found in our community)?

I know for a fact that the Wikimedia Usergroup has a partnership with the Impact Hub which gives them free use of that venue so why are you not exploring that facility since you’re a member of the Usergroup? Additionally Impact hub provides complimentary internet and this has been used for even upload sessions in the past so what is necessitating you to request for internet? Could it be that the community has not been involved throughout the planning of this project?

Lastly I will like to know the duration of each of the sessions to be held? --Rberchie (talk) 14:47, 4 August 2018 (UTC)


@Rberchie:thank you for your concerns. First of all, I may not be a native speaker of Twi but I was taught to speak and write in Fanti which is similar to Twi at the senior high school. And I graduated the senior high school level with an A(1) in Fante. Aside that we have Rexford Nkansah on the team who is experienced with the Twi Wikipedia.

During Wikimania, with the help of Amir I was able to translate the visual editor message strings from 0% to about 20% in less than two days. Although, leading this project will be the first of a kind for me I believe I would be able to apply some lessons learnt from similar projects which have been organized by the Cote D’viore team lead by Colette. Eddie Avila with the organization Global Voices, who works with indigenous language communities in Latin America also reached out to support us in anyway she can.

We would be focusing on Asante because we have been able to find some online and offline dictionaries which will help us. We are going to send out forms to invite anyone who will be interested. We do not want to restrict ourselves with a select group for now because we need as much people as we can get.

And I agree with you, the language might be difficult but my team and I are willing to take up the challenge.

We will open the event up with an edit-a-thon which will last for about 6 hours. Then participants will be asked to keep on translating remotely for two weeks. At the end of every two weeks within the said period we hold an edit-a-thon which will also last for about 6 hours.


Finally, this is an individual project and according to the leader of the Wikimedia Ghana User Group, Impact Hub has a partnership with them and we can only use the place for free if the project is done on behalf of the group.

There is an ongoing Wiki Corruption Event being lead by Masssly and Impact hub is the venue we are using. The internet service provided by the hub is nothing we can depend on and so Masssly purchases internet for every session.

With the kind of prices we intend to provide, I am confident we would get a considerable number to attend this event unlike any other edit-a-thon.--Celestinesucess (talk) 16:25, 4 August 2018 (UTC)

Hi Celestinesucess, Thanks for your response but I am still not convinced, I am a Native Asante and write Asante Twi but I can’t write Fante, Fante Twi is entirely different from Asante Twi even the alphabet. I am also aware that Rexford edits Twi but what he does is Akwapim Twi. So why would you want to do a translation of a language you don’t even have at least one Native Speaker? My issue is you not being a Native Speaker of the language you want to initiate a training in. Again a dictionary is not sufficient grounds to make a translation as you need to first understand the the language before you can even use the dictionary. Additionally I have done some digging when it comes to such tools and what I realized is that most of the existing tools can only do a single world translation which makes it look machine translated hence my earlier point of having native writers of the language at the event to augment the translations you make.

In order to convince myself that you are well versed in the language I checked your edits on the Twi Wikipedia, the translations you have done are mostly inaccurate (use of english words and use of letters not recognized in the Twi alphabet) and I had to move and correct some of these errors. My other thought is that Twi Wikipedia is a small Wikipedia without a lot of contributors so there won’t be anyone to patrol hence care must be taken when making edits, this is why I believe we need native speakers and writers who are well versed so volunteers don’t have to waste additional efforts to be correct mistakes.

You also didn’t tell me how you’re going to get 30 Native Twi speakers and writers to attend the event. A similar event is been done in Nigeria for Yoruba language with 40 million speakers and all the facilitators are Native Yoruba speakers and active editors. Yoruba has 31k articles and 17k registered users but they are targeting 25 participants including facilitators.

Concerning the internet like I said I have even used the internet at Impact Hub for upload sessions. I am also wondering the type of internet you are going to purchase because you can get a surfline 100GB bundle valid for a month which is more than enough and able to cover the time frame of your event at 399 (That is less that $100). Apart from surfline I am aware that all prices for 100GB from other telcos hover around the same price.

Concerning the use of Impact Hub you’re a member of WMUG and you are likely to be granted access if you liaise with the leadership of WMUG. Yes there is no problem with running an individual project I believe it is just a matter of you contacting the leadership and letting them know your intention and I am sure they will be willing to help.Masssly is also running an individual project and got the same venue for free. Did you inform the leadership about your project? Also I don’t think it will make economic sense to spend donor funds on something we can derive for free.

Again I find your budget on catering quite high. That’s almost the same as the entire budget for the entire budget for WLM in Ghana and so far the highest amongst all open grants. Also if you need a tablet and tickets to motivate people to attend an event then I am not sure you are really looking for willing volunteers who will stay after the event. --Rberchie (talk) 12:40, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

@Rberchie: Hi Ralph, concerning the right candidate to edit we would leverage on the twi teachers and students from various junior high schools.These would provide further verification during the edit-a-thon.Mwintirew (talk) 20:53, 5 August 2018 (UTC)

@Mwintirew:

Why would you decide to use students from the basic school who can just write basic Twi? I also find it even disturbing that Celestinesucess an A1 student of Fanti will make grievous mistake like writing kente cloth"(which is like creating an article titled Good morning on French Wikipedia when it should be Bonjour) on the Twi Wikipedia and after reverting it and making the necessary correction she has gone to change it back to the wrong thing. I also think she is using the wrong keyboard because she is using "3" instead of "ɛ" which means more work for editors of Twi Wikipedia. Celestinesucess was also a team member of the Wikineedsgirls project and one critical issue we faced was that even students at the Senior High School level lacked basic computers skills and hence this had a toll on their editing skills. Again how are you even going to select the teachers? From the numbers stated it means you need at least 10 or more teachers which will mean at least 5 or more school since you cannot get all these teachers at one school. Have you selected the schools, have you even reached out to these teachers?

@Celestinesucess:

I also noticed you edited the budget line items and introduced these:

  1. What printing materials are you talking about?
  2. Doesn’t your current change (Social media advert) contradict the response of your team mate? Since she mentioned that you will be targeting teachers and students in Junior High Schools. In any case I clearly think a definite or precise target group is important as this is a delicate topic and inviting people of facebook may not serve your purpose and may only be there because of the prizes.


I will suggest that:
  1. You hold on to the project until you have gotten at least 2 Native speakers and writers of Asante Twi.
  2. Start with a small and realistic number 5 -10 (pilot).
  3. Liaise with WMUG to get Impact Hub for free and even the community.
Hold on to prizes for now. First find out how the pilot project will go, get a base of contributors and once that is done subsequently you can hold a competition to motivate people who stayed on. Giving out a tablet and two tickets for 2 for 50 translations by 35 people over a 3 event to me is not a great goal.( In my opinion, you haven’t even been able to demonstrate that you’re even well equipped to lead this since you the trainer keep making fundamental mistakes on the Twi Wikipedia). I see you have made adjustments to your budget after my earlier comments however I am still of the view that budget for internet and catering are quite high. You're just starting out and I don't think having 6 hour long events is realistic from my experience. You may consider having shorter events and serve water and snacks. I am also available to help brainstorming in refining this project for the better.--Rberchie (talk) 10:38, 8 August 2018 (UTC)
@Rberchie:

Thank you for your concerns once again. We have updated the budget concerning feeding and internet traffic. Since I joined the movement, I have come to realize that our local wikis are not doing so well but no projects are being organized to do something about them. However, my team and I are willing to work in that area and we want to begin with the Twi, because it is the most spoken local language in Ghana. We would do our best to ensure that there are few errors. One does not necessarily have to be a native speaker to participate in this competition because the natives can translate the articles and they can be trained to input the content on the Twi Wikipedia. I assure you as indicated in the project description that we would have native speakers amongst which will include Twi teachers. So if there are errors, we have experts of the language on board to help. We already have a whatsapp group of native writers and teachers of the language who are interested in helping this project.

We would need to do advertisement on social media to create the awareness of a Twi Wikipedia and the need for people to help add content on it. Again as a team, we have come to the conclusion that it would be best we allow translation in all dailects, whether Akuapem Twi, Asante Twi or the new breed which is a mixture of both. Why because, we are getting responses like “I can only translate in Akuapem Twi”. We are beginning to realize that if we focus on just one dialect we might get only a few natives participating.

Amir has offered to build us a feature we can use to differentiate which dialect a particular article was written in. He has offered to help us with other technical issues we may be facing like keyboard configuration for the language. Once again, we are aware of the difficulties ahead but we are not letting that hinder us. We cannot say because of this and that issues so such projects should not be undertaken. I believe some local language wikis evolved with these similar issues but have improved over the years and so can we too.

Finally, concerning the venue, we spoke to the leader of the Ghana User Group and she said we could use the place but we have to book through two other members of the user group. But we want to book directly with the hub owners to avoid any miscommunication like Massly encountered last Saturday with the Corruption event. Then again, during the second Corruption edit-a-thon, we were made to use a different room which was so small and not conducive for participants instead of the one which was booked for. Why because, another organization which had paid for the space was given higher priority than Massly.

@Celestinesucess:

I am really keen about this project and willing to contribute as native speaker of Twi and a contributor to the Twi Wikipedia. Could you please add me to the existing Whatsapp group you mentioned? Rberchie (talk) 14:27, 8 August 2018 (UTC)

@Rberchie:

We have created a facebook group and made it open so that people like you who are interested in helping this project can easily join. The group is called Twi Wikipedia.--Celestinesucess (talk) 08:51, 21 August 2018 (UTC)

@Celestinesucess:

Thanks for the info but I thought you said it was a Whatsapp group which was already existent. What happened to that?Because what I see is a facebook group created on the 19th August. Anyway I have requested to join the group.Rberchie (talk) 00:54, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

@Rberchie:

I tagged you in a picture I posted on facebook showing you a screenshot of the whatsapp group that was created on 8th August 2018. However, we decided a facebook group will be visible to many. So All participants from the whatsapp group have been added to the facebook group--Celestinesucess (talk) 08:16, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Comments from WMF[edit]

Hello Celestinesucess, First of all please accept my heartfelt apology for not getting back to you on this grant request in a timely fashion. Below is how I would like to proceed. Having taken into account the discussion that has taken place on this talk page:

  1. Would you mind reducing the number of people for this program to 10 participants?
  2. I understand the point you're making for renting space and I would like to keep that and the internet cost in your budget.
  3. Would you please remove the prizes listed for this project? I think Raphael makes a good point regarding people wanting to participate for the sake of prizes as opposed to the project itself. Given the concerns around the quality of the edits I think removing it would get you closer to finding quality contributors.
  4. Would you also remove t-shirts from the budget item?
  5. Let me do a different budget below so you can see what I'm envisioning and you can correct me if I've misunderstood anything.
    3x Room rental at Impact Hub Accra - 810 GHS = 170.02 US$
    3x Internet traffice at Impact Hub - 800 GHS = 167.92 US$
    Feeding and water for 3 events 755.64 US$/3 = 251.88 US$
    5x Team Management (Transport to venue for organizers and call cost) - 800 GHS = 167.92 US$
    Social media advertisement - 200 GHS = 41.98 US$
    Printing materials (pins and stickers) - 300 GHS = 62.97 US$
    Total request = 862.69 US$

Please let me know if this works for you and we can move forward. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 04:05, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

@WJifar (WMF): Thank you for finally responding to this request. My team and I have agreed to work with your proposed budget.Kind regards--Celestinesucess (talk) 23:53, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Hello Celestinesucess, can you please edit the proposal accordingly? I can move forward with next steps once that has happened. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 02:01, 8 March 2019 (UTC)

@WJifar (WMF): I have updated the budget as requested, regards --Celestinesucess (talk) 06:16, 8 March 2019 (UTC)


Hello WJifar (WMF) we have come to the realization that some participants will have to travel a longer distance to the venue in order to attend. In order to encourage the attendance of these, If it is okay with you we will like to include transportation for 5 participants in the budget as follows:

5x transportation for Event participants - 60 cedis per head - GHS 300 - $54.31

Regards--Celestinesucess (talk) 08:59, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

Approval[edit]

Hello Celestinesucess, thank you for updating the budget and for letting me know about the additional event participants joining. Yes I think that would be ok. We have updated your budget to reflect this additional expense. We also changed the dates of your project so that it is taking place in the upcoming weeks. If you would rather have it be later than what we have please feel free to change it and let us know on the proposal page as well as the grant information form. I am approving your grant request. Best regards, WJifar (WMF) (talk) 20:13, 15 March 2019 (UTC)

@WJifar (WMF):Thank you for endorsing the grant --Celestinesucess (talk) 11:49, 17 March 2019 (UTC)