IRC office hours/Office hours 2015-01-14

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Time: 16:00-17:00 UTC
Channel: #wikimedia-office
Timestamps are in UTC.

16:00:24 <arrbee> #startmeeting Language Engineering monthly office hour - January 2015
16:00:24 <wm-labs-meetbot> Meeting started Wed Jan 14 16:00:24 2015 UTC and is due to finish in 60 minutes. The chair is arrbee. Information about MeetBot at
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16:00:24 <wm-labs-meetbot> The meeting name has been set to 'language_engineering_monthly_office_hour___january_2015'
16:00:36 <arrbee> Hello everyone
16:00:48 <arrbee> Welcome to the monthly office hour of the Wikimedia Language Engineering team
16:01:00 <arrbee> The first one for this year
16:01:08 <arrbee> oh hi Niharika
16:01:16 <Niharika> Hi arrbee. :)
16:01:42 * arrbee = Runa, the Outreach coordinator for our team
16:02:04 <arrbee> First, the message we can't ignore:
16:02:17 <arrbee> IMPORTANT: The chat today will be logged and publicly posted
16:03:18 <arrbee> Before we begin, let me introduce my team mates who are also here - aharoni kart_ pginer
16:03:48 <aharoni> Hallo.
16:03:54 <arrbee> Our last office hour was on December 10, 2014. Logs at:
16:04:01 <arrbee> #link
16:04:20 <arrbee> aharoni: is that the explanation for the 'Hallo'? en-gb?
16:04:53 <aharoni> [Yes - but I'll give more details later ;) ]
16:04:58 <arrbee> okay :)
16:05:33 <Niharika> We should include one language fun fact from aharoni in every meeting. :P
16:05:45 <arrbee> So it may have been rather noticeable that we are super excited these days about the progress with Content Translation
16:06:24 <arrbee> We made an announcement earlier this week about preparing Content Translation as a beta feature:
16:06:35 <arrbee> #link
16:07:23 <arrbee> TL;DR version: Very soon we are deploying Content Translation as a beta-feature in Catalan, Spanish, Portuguese, Danish, Esperanto, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmål) Wikipedias
16:08:13 <arrbee> This will enable editors to translate articles directly on the Wikipedias and not on the beta servers any more
16:09:00 <YairRand> translate from any of these Wikipedias to others on that list?
16:09:05 <arrbee> We will also be deploying Content Translation on the Swedish and Norwegian (Nynorsk) Wikipedias, but these can only be used as a source
16:09:22 <arrbee> YairRand: No, there are some limitations. Let me show you the list.
16:09:56 <arrbee> Check the table here:
16:10:30 <arrbee> You will see which are the source languages for each of them and also whether MT support is available for each source-target combination
16:10:46 <Rastus_Vernon> Do you support yet all the language-to-language options offered by Apertium?
16:11:16 <Rastus_Vernon> Ah, clearly not.
16:11:22 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: Not yet. We are doing that slowly based on the language quality survey that is going in.
16:11:40 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: some language pairs on Apertium did not give very helpful results
16:13:04 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: For instance you may notice that we are not enabling Swedish to Danish MT right now. The initial user tests suggested that the Apertium generated content was not very helpful
16:13:19 <arrbee> But the users still wanted to use Swedish as a source to translate from
16:14:03 <arrbee> For all the languages, English will be available as a source
16:14:29 <arrbee> But only English to Esperanto will have MT support
16:15:04 <YairRand> is the plan to eventually support any language to any language?
16:15:35 <arrbee> YairRand: Well, the real limitation is the MT backends that can support language pairs
16:16:41 <arrbee> But since we are introducing non-MT pairs too, we would use that as a study to understand what features would be helpful for editors who are using Content Translation without MT
16:17:02 <aharoni> And yes, eventually it will be enabled for all languages, with or without MT.
16:18:08 <YairRand> does that include incubator languages?
16:18:31 <arrbee> YairRand: its probably too early to say that right now
16:19:18 <aharoni> YairRand: as arrbee says, it's too early, but I hope that some day it will be possible. It certainly makes a lot of sense.
16:19:45 <arrbee> YairRand: For instance, we are yet to go deep into languages with complex writing scripts
16:22:15 <arrbee> One correction. We are also supporting English to Catalan and English to Spanish machine translation
16:23:33 <arrbee> The last 2 months, we tested heavily on the beta servers and fixed numerous bugs to make the tool more efficient and stable
16:24:23 <arrbee> Currently, we are waiting for the deployment to be completed and then run a few more tests to make sure nothing is broken
16:24:44 <arrbee> After that we will follow up with a bigger announcement
16:25:22 <arrbee> Right now, the beta server is still open (and will continue to be) for everyone to come and test
16:25:37 <arrbee> #link
16:25:46 <arrbee> You will have to enable the beta feature here
16:26:49 <arrbee> We made several bug fixes for the translation dashboard that we introduced in our last version
16:27:06 <arrbee> The dashboard looks like this:
16:27:12 <arrbee> #link
16:28:42 <arrbee> aharoni: pginer: Would you like to add something here about the entry points that editors can use once the beta feature is deployed?
16:28:58 <Rastus_Vernon> The translation dashboard is global? As in, it is not specific to each wiki?
16:29:19 <aharoni> The entry points to ContentTranslation are:
16:29:36 <aharoni> 1. A red link in the interlanguage links list.
16:29:42 <aharoni> It appears if you enabled the Content Translation beta feature, your user interface language is one of the supported languages, and there is no article about the given topic in your language.
16:30:03 <aharoni> 2. A button in the Contributions page. (The logic behind it is that a translation is a kind of a contribution.)
16:30:38 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: It opens on each wiki separately, but the information about translation drafts is pulled from one common database.
16:31:27 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: That's a good question - ContentTranslation is a multilingual project by its very nature, so many things there must be cross-wiki.
16:31:41 <Rastus_Vernon> That makes sense.
16:32:03 <aharoni> So, for example, we have to do some trickery about enabling the beta feature:
16:32:42 <aharoni> the preference are separate in each wiki, but if you enable the beta feature in one wiki, it will appear to work in the wiki in the language into which you are translating.
16:33:03 <aharoni> (It's a bit of a hack, and we hope that MediaWiki will have global preferences as soon as possible.)
16:33:13 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: And its restricted to display only data for the specific user
16:35:20 <arrbee> So right now, besides all the work related to the actual deployment, we are still looking for more suggestions about other languages we can evaluation
16:35:50 <arrbee> prioritize for evaluation*
16:36:32 <arrbee> You can help us by filling this survey:
16:36:35 <arrbee> # link
16:37:28 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: YairRand: Have you tried the tool on the beta servers?
16:38:30 <Rastus_Vernon> Yes, though not recently.
16:38:44 <YairRand> I have not.
16:38:53 <pginer> Instructions are here:
16:38:56 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: In which languages can you read and write?
16:40:11 <Rastus_Vernon> aharoni: None that is supported by Apertium, unfortunately—English and French.
16:41:04 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: Have you tried using it without MT for en-fr?
16:41:49 <Rastus_Vernon> I have not, but I shall try.
16:42:06 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: Alright. :) Do let us know how you find it.
16:42:18 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: At the moment, there's a trick that you need to do to translate to a language that doesn't appear in the selector.
16:42:24 <aharoni> You need to use a special URL:
16:42:35 * arrbee wonders if Niharika has ever tried the tool ;)
16:42:39 <aharoni> note the values of "from" and "to" parameters in the end.
16:42:49 <pginer> Rastus_Vernon: That would be really useful. If you do, feel free to report any issue, or suggest potential steps that could be improved
16:42:54 <arrbee> Rastus_Vernon: you can find the instruction in the link that pginer passed a few minutes ago :)
16:42:54 <Niharika> arrbee: Yes I have! :)
16:43:13 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: If you use that URL, then you'll see English and French when you click "Create new translation".
16:43:24 <arrbee> Niharika: Nice. I am guessing without MT?
16:43:32 <Niharika> I actually tried installing it and getting it up and running to make a few contributions, but I couldn't get it up.
16:43:49 <arrbee> Niharika: ahh ok
16:44:18 <arrbee> Niharika: you might want to catch hold of kart_ to get that sorted
16:44:23 <arrbee> :)
16:44:38 <Niharika> arrbee: Will do. Is it possible to get a vagrant role for this?
16:44:47 * arrbee pokes jsahleen
16:44:51 <jsahleen> Niharika: We are working on a mediawiki-vagrant role for ContentTranslation. That should make it easier.
16:45:10 <Niharika> jsahleen: Great! That would be perfect.
16:45:11 <jsahleen> It is under review at the moment. I hope to finish it after the deployment.
16:45:32 <pginer> Another option, depending on what you try to do, is to install only the CX extension locally but use a remote server
16:46:15 <jsahleen> We have that with the role now, but would like to have cxserver be deployed locally as well. That takes a little more work.
16:46:26 <Niharika> pginer: Any documentation on how I could do that?
16:46:53 * arrbee mumbles something about getting that documentation sorted
16:47:02 <Niharika> :D :P
16:47:14 <Niharika> No worries. I'll wait for the role to be activated.
16:47:28 <jsahleen> Niharika: Thanks. I'll make it a priority.
16:47:33 <arrbee> Niharika: I am not sure if you have already seen this:
16:47:49 * aharoni mumbles something about being old-school and just cloning stuff from Gerrit ;)
16:48:08 * jsahleen mumbles something about how vagrant is soooo much easier.
16:48:13 <aharoni> :)
16:48:47 <Niharika> arrbee: Did see it. Don't use Ubuntu, hence everything is much easier with vagrant. :)
16:48:59 <arrbee> :)
16:49:15 <arrbee> We have just under 10 mins left
16:50:58 <aharoni> YairRand, Rastus_Vernon, Niharika - do you translate articles in Wikipedia to your languages in general?
16:51:08 <aharoni> I mean manually, without ContentTranslation.
16:52:22 <Rastus_Vernon> The most difficult part of translation is clearly the templates, since they are different from one wiki to another.
16:52:45 <Niharika> arrbee: No. :( I've tried doing that, but I've found it really hard to type in Hindi using on-screen keyboards and google translate tool. I have translated stuff on translatewiki though. That was easier.
16:53:30 <Rastus_Vernon> I do not translate Wikipedia articles, but I have contributed to the interface translations on and also translated some pages on
16:53:45 <arrbee> Meanwhile, pginer has created this very nice screencast of the whole process. If you haven't yet used Content Translation, you can get a preview through this:
16:53:49 <aharoni> Niharika: it's really great to hear that translatewiki is easier than Google \o/
16:53:52 <arrbee> #link
16:54:13 <arrbee> or if you prefer youtube:
16:54:17 <arrbee> #link
16:55:23 <arrbee> We have just under 5 mins more on the channel
16:55:38 <aharoni> Rastus_Vernon: Templates are on our radar. We are going to try to translate them automatically in the foreseeable future, but it will require some clever development and help from the editors community.
16:55:41 <Rastus_Vernon> Content Translation seems even easier to use than the Translate extension.
16:55:58 <arrbee> :)
16:56:16 <aharoni> Woo-hoo! \o/
16:56:57 <arrbee> I will start wrappng up now, just in case there is another team waiting to use this channel
16:57:02 <jsahleen> Rastus_Vernon: Great to hear!
16:57:07 <Niharika> aharoni: Hallo fact?
16:57:10 <arrbee> We will be around on #mediawiki-i18n
16:57:38 <arrbee> Our office hours are generally held every 2nd Wednesday of the month
16:57:44 <aharoni> Oh!
16:58:07 <arrbee> But we are looking to change it to an earlier hour i.e. not like the earlier 1700UTC
16:58:15 <arrbee> Please let us know if you have any suggestions
16:58:35 <aharoni> So the story is that I started learning English in the Soviet Union in the 1980s, and Soviet English textbooks used "Hallo". When I moved to Israel, I found out that Hello is much more common, but for the fun of it, I still frequently use "Hallo".
16:59:01 <arrbee> :D
16:59:10 <arrbee> Our next office hour is scheduled to be on February 11th. But do please check our announcements
16:59:12 <jsahleen> You can't beat a Soviet education.
16:59:46 <Niharika> :)
16:59:49 <arrbee> Thanks a lot everyone and do lookout for our big announcement in a few days!
16:59:52 <arrbee> #endmeeting

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