Meta talk:Babylon

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Welcome to the Babylon talk page. This place is dedicated to discussions about all the translations-related issues here on meta.
Meta is a multilingual project so is this page. Any language is welcome here.
You can reply to a topic by clicking the [edit] link beside that section, or start a new discussion

Useful Wiki for all translators[edit]

There is a site based on MediaWiki software including WikiData now on its own that with your support may join the great community of WikiMedia Foundation. For details see Adopt OmegaWiki. We handle 400+ languages More about on our main page: OmegaWiki

Related Peeragogy Educational grant proposal[edit]

Dear Wikipedia Educators: We're advancing an Individual Engagement Grant here. If this is something you and your students might like to be involved with, please add an endorsement. Comments or questions in advance of the September 30th deadline would be most welcome on the proposal's talk page. In particular, our project involves translation work which we hope might be interesting to students.

--Fabrizio Terzi (talk)

Title-related magic words on translations[edit]

I realised the magic words as {{SUBPAGENAME}} and the whole family related to page titles would probably give unintended results on translated pages: one could expect the same value on the translatable page and the translated pages, for simplicity of use and for easier activation of the Translate extension on old pages.

So I created {{SUBPAGENAME-translation}} which results in the last non-language-tag subpage name: on both "Example/Page" and "Example/Page/hi" it will return "Page".

What do you think about that? Is the name of the template easy to remember? (I thought about SUBPAGENAME2 or SUBPAGENAME-mul).

~ Seb35 [^_^] 13:37, 22 January 2014 (UTC)

Actually we already have now the logic implemented in categories (using Template:Langcat) and with the "Special:MyLanguage/" prefix. Most translations are in the process of being migrated to the new Translation extension system. This is "titanesque", but huge progresses have already been done.~
Long reply follows (TL:DR).
When I have converted pages, I took care of keeping most existing translations found immediately after conferting them, using the page history to retrieve the existing strings, or using the translation memory (when they match at 100% or if I can find translations for example in Wikipedia categories liked from Wikidata).
We don't need new templated for getting subpagenames (notably because they are much more tricky than what you think)
I have never found any situation where it would be necessary to use your template (except possibly for transition, with pages still using the old manual system, something I take great care to avoid breaking links).
During this conversion I discovered lots of tricks (and sometimes this required converting pages in several steps using different methods until they can follow the new Translate system everywhere.
Some of the most tricky cases involve:
  • translatable pages that transclude translatable pages. For this case the existing Template:TNT could not work and I documented it, and created the variant TNTN instead (which does not perform the template expansion itself, to avoid recursion in TNT) but only returns the resolved page/template name, to be expanded externally with its parameters also provided externally.
  • complex templates which would have become extreley tricky to edit with the translate tags mixed everywhere : for them I converted these templates to use a "/layout" subtemplate which keeps all the trick wiki code, except translation of strings that are passed by parameter value from a translatable base template containing only these strings
  • templates used that were autotranslated: depending on cases, they used the content language of the current page (see Template:Pagelang), but some other templates (most often status banners for editors) use the user's preferred language independantly of the page's content language. The user's UI language is returned from Template:uselang, which is almost like (but not completely) the "int:lang" quirks, with some exceptions
  • directionality: beware of occurences of "left" and right" in CSS styles, in image alignment, in text alignment in table cells. The template:dir can be useful for that, but it needs a language code if it's not the content of the current page (so these templates receive a parameter that I have consistently named "uselang" that could optionally be passed to select another language, including the current user's UI language)
  • BCP47 conformance for HTML : some Wikimedia language codes are deprecated.
    • deprecated codes (though not invalid or BCP47) include codes used by variants (that have been blocked in the translate tool, because they are now handled by transliterators, or the variant codes are not used by translations themselves but for other localization data such as date formats).
    • deprecated codes which are not invalid in BCP47 but no more recommanded as they ahve now standard codes. In some cases, the recommanded codes are still not accepted/recognized by Mediawiki and the Translate tool.
    • violating codes (such as "nrm" or "simple"): they are still supported by MediaWiki and the Translate tool, but for HTML and XML conformance we need an adaptation layer when using them in "lang=" attributes (this is needed so that these codes are correctly resolved by CSS selectors, or by browsers to select the correct script variant to render).
    • And in some cases codes not even supported for new translations (even if they are conforming to BCP47): those translations can only be frozen and their resources converted to supported and conforming language codes. But in some cases, the language codes won't be recognized at all and the few pages using these (rare) codes (or codes meant for discussions in Meta of new languages whose integration work is in progress in or later in Incubator) need sometimes to be converted manually, until they are fully taken in charge by MediaWiki and then become usable by the Translate extension.
There are other quirks that I progressively discover but the overall structure of translations is now working for almost all important pages (and at least all the active ones, little things have been done to convert old archived pages, except when they would conflict with the new system, in which case they may be renamed (creating redirects temporarily, until I resolve these redirects).
Lots of categories are showing red links since long eveywhere. I have resolved many of them, and recategorized pages which were difficult to locate. The new system tries to make a strictly parallel structure of pagenames and categories, using the "/langcode" suffixes consistantly everywhere.
What this means is that most contents in Meta are now much more easily translatable to many more languages, in a much faster way than before. This allows many translators to contribute their translations, and making Meta a really multilingual site, correctly indexed by search engines (internal ones such as CirrusSearch, or external ones like Google or Bing). Most users will now find their way in pages without having to look where pages in their language are located.
The language bar is still present, but we no longer need to fill them (specific templates with lists of languages for a specific page are deprecated). It can still be used to go easily to the page version in another language, but users should now be able to navigate in MEta using their own user language (their preferred language in their user settings, or the default language set in their browser preference if they are not connected). Allmost all pages will now be in sync everywhere instead of becoming outdated very fast due to lack of maintenance (most of the maintenance is made by editing the English version, and by a translate admin validating edits in the English page to synchronize all languages at the same time, even if this means that some translations may become "fuzzy" and would need some check : generally I check all these languages immediately when I have prepared another existing page to the new system, but there are cases where I will not update them because the situation is tricky).
There remains also pages whose "translations" are actually very different from the English version. To avoid breaking them, I may need to rename them to avoid collisions and offer a temporary navigation to their specific parts which will need rework and merging later to be compatible wit hthe English base version (a few pages are like this such as pages containing the long lists of Wikimedia projects).
Finally during the conversion, it is possible that some pages have some templates no longer working in some languages; but if those pages are old and unmaintained/obsolete since long, it will not be a priority to fix them : I4ve focused first on making the on-going activities in Meta to be first converted with usable translations (important pages includes all pages related to policies in discussion or their amendment : the proposals and drafts need to be translated, but not talk page theselves, except the transcluded navigational templates used typically at top of these talk pages).
I just hope that everyone (not speaking only English) will appreciate the efforts I did to open Meta-Wiki to these users that hafe difficulties with English: Meta is a project meant to coordinate all existing wikis in all languages, and to coordinate the efforts to promote contents and adoption by users living in minorities eveywhere in the world. Yes some translations will not be perfect, but by making most contents translatable, translators will focus on things that they are the most interested in and with which they have contacts wanting their help to translate things that Wikimedians in minorities do not understand.
Thanks. verdy_p (talk) 02:27, 2 March 2014 (UTC)

language statistics[edit]

I've wanted to ask: how is translation statistics calculated? For example, we have Tech/News/2014/04 that shows that Russian translation is completed for 97%. At the same time, there are no untranslated or outdated messages - so, what does 97% show? How can it be fixed? rubin16 (talk) 14:18, 2 February 2014 (UTC)

Usually null-editing one of the translation units fixes it. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:22, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
Ok, it's cache, thank you :) rubin16 (talk) 14:27, 2 February 2014 (UTC)
This is a current bug/limitation of the Translate tool used on Wikimedia sites (not just Meta, but Commons as well): the last edit being performed in a translation unit is not reported to the translated page with its statistics.
FuzzyBot runs too early by updating translated pages and statistics before the new saved items are visible in the database cache he uses indirectly via the API, so it uses the version just before the last change for which it attempts to perform its updates (the last edited item will not be visible, it will still remain fuzzy, or untranslated, or uncorrected and counted as such, but all previosu edits will be counted). FuzzyBot needs a correction by either instructing to bypass the cache when getting the contents of wiki pages (in the "Translate:" namespace), or by delaying its actions so that they will occur only 1 minute later (it should be enough...) instead of performing them immediately (the task will be started by MediaWiki in its job queue with an empty cache, and the actual page contents will be read instead of the old version currently being in the version being updated when we save things in the Translate tool).
I don't know if the Translate tool an submit background jobs to do that (in my opinion, it should do that, and manage its own "todo" job queue to perform them in a grouped way, just like it uses a job queue when it renames base pages and translated subpages: we have to wait for the completion in its own history log, but it does not take long even when renaming base pages with 200 translated subpages and renaming all translations items, even in a page that has more than 200 items, renaming such a big base page translated in so many languages would rename 40 000 items in the Translate: namespace).
There's no such bug of the Translate tool in because it does not use page cache (or its local page cache correctly monitors changes and invalidates cached pages automatically), so every action of its scripts actually will read the current actual content of the database, even if it was modified by the same user in the same task in the previous line of code. As long as this cache is purely read-only and ignores ongoing changes, it will reflect old versions that were just read before performing any change and the rest of the script will not see that saved change.
The Translate tool has other bugs more critical than this one for which the null-edit is a working work-around, not complicate to do:
  • if you are a translator, a null-edit in a single translation unit is enough:
    • reopen the last item you edited in the Translate tool;
    • in the editor window press SPACE (the Save button is enabled), and BACKSPACE to cancel it (the Save button remains enabled even if there's no actual change);
    • then click on the Save button (now the translated page will be reflecting your last edit).
  • Reflecting changes is a bit more tricky for translation admins when they mark a new version of a page for translation: they need either:
    • null-edit one item in every existing language (this is really lengthy to do), or
    • generally it is enough to reedit the base English version by inserting or removing a single space (generally the space in the middle of <languages /> as it plays no visible role on the page and its placement in the page is easy to predict and will be visible in the diffs; this would allow a bot monitoring changes to see this edit as being really safe and ignorable), save this pseudo-change, and mark again that version a second time: all translated pages will reflect the change that occured in your real version, but not the change in the second version for the pseudo null-edit performed on the base page (with the added or removed space) (but it does not matter if there's only this space difference).
verdy_p (talk) 14:18, 8 February 2014 (UTC)
I was looking for a solution to same problem and I came across your answer. Very well explained Verdy_p. Your explanation should be written into a help instruction page for this bug :) --WikiBronze [T] 00:18, 31 March 2014 (UTC)

Translation of FDC templates[edit]

Hey i18n specialists,

With @Seb35: we are currently looking into i18n-ing the all FDC stuff. Today’s menu: templates! Please see my rambling thoughts on Grants:APG/Comments#Templates translation − roadmap and tell if this will float or not.

Thanks! :-)

Jean-Fred (talk) 23:25, 7 February 2014 (UTC)

Bumping the discussion :) Jean-Fred (talk) 12:09, 5 March 2014 (UTC)

Why translating categories[edit]

Yes translating the categories is something new, it help categorizing many pages and avoids overpopulating the English source categories. I have initiated it first on a single category to try, then on a few ones, then I'm filling the most used ones. Translating them is still optional, but can be done in one click (but copying the proposed English name), but if you translate it, translate it completely and do not revert to English, and do not append language code suffixes as they are undesirable in page titles viewed.

But translating categories will also help users because they will be able to search for categories as well as in pages, within the search tool, and in their own language ! Visitors will then get a more global view about what is available in their own language on Meta, and the number of available translations will improve, and this will be beneficial for the global community of users (MEta is insufficiently visited by users except English readers, so decisions ae taken here by ignring the rest of the world that do not understand at all waht is discussed here, or how projects are managed globally).

Translatable categories also helps creators of contents on Meta, because they don't have to browse within categories overpopulated with hundreds or thousands translated pages. It was becoming a problem on categories frequently updated (e.g. Category:Tech News which is now easily navigatable, in English like in other languages in their own categories.

Categories also provide immediate synthetic statistics about which pages are at least partially translated for a given language, in one click on Category:Tech News/Translations you can know which languages are the most frequently translated, you can see the msising untranslated issues, translators can find a job to do there. There's also the special translation group "Categories" where you can easily find a list of categories whose titles that can be translated very fast.

If you find a red link on a category at bottom of content pages, now users can follow it and it will open the Translate tool to create the 2 or 3 needed items.

Categories can still be managed in articles, using the {{tlx|Langcat|{{subst:PAGENAME}} appended immediately to the English category name (keep the sort key simple in English, you don't need to change it, it will be the same sort key in all translated categories for the same source page, so their contents are easily comparable).

If you want to change the structure of categories, you only need to do it in the English base category (all other categories will be updated once a Translation admin will mark the category again for translation). You don't have to visit 200 categories and update them individually. All translated categories will also have updated descriptions where needed (but most categories need only a single paragraph to describe what they contain). You'll find examples already filled for most Wikimedia-supported languages in Category:Community.

The older structure used for translations (using the category with 2 or 3 capital letters for the language code) cannot work reliably (over time, it has become an unmanaged mess and many pages are created without it and are now difficult to adapt for translation, every topic is mixed in those categories) and as simply as with translated categories. especially now that we have support for the "Special:MyLanguage/" prefix to find matching pages in user's language. This prefix is used by the utility template {{Ll|full pagename in English|description in the current content language}}. But most translatable pages will hide the full page name in English and the prefix in a "tvar")

verdy_p (talk) 15:46, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

Translations of the ToU amendment banner[edit]

See Talk:CentralNotice/Calendar#ToU_amendment_banner. If any translator was notified in advance of the need to translate and review this banner, shown for a week to all unregistered users of all projects, I'd be curious to know there. --Nemo 13:39, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Fix the Greek banner ASAP[edit]

Is there any way/anyone to commit the existing translation of the ToU change banner, or else deactivate the greek version? It was vandalised three days ago and fixed today, "Stfu" is on display on the wiki ALL DAY today - Badseed (talk) 20:11, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

@Badseed: Should be fixed. @Jamesofur, Jalexander: Please be more careful. Badseed, in the future, please notify ASAP. PiRSquared17 (talk) 20:18, 27 February 2014 (UTC)
@PiRSquared17: Thank you very much! - Badseed (talk) 20:20, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

GSoC 2014 proposal for page migration under the Translate extension[edit]

Hello everyone!

I am Pratik Lahoti (User:BPositive) from Pune, India. I am willing to participate in the Google Summer of Code this year. I am interested in the project titled - “Tools for mass migration of legacy translated wiki content”.

My mentors for this project would be Niklas Laxström and Federico Leva.

With their help, I have drafted the first version of my proposal page. You can find it here:

This project is a blessing in disguise for all the translation administrators, as it completely automates the tedious manual task of preparing the pages for translation as well as importing the translations. The proposal page mentions the Project Outline and the approach/solution towards the problem statement. I am done with most of the sections and left with the Project Schedule (which I will finish off when everything is finalized).

Please have a look at the proposal and give your valuable feedback/suggestions. While I have no problems in replying to the suggestions put forth over here, I would appreciate if you can do the same on the discussion page of the proposal, so that all the feedback is at one single place. Looking forward to hearing from you, Thank you! BPositive (talk) 04:46, 4 March 2014 (UTC)

@Nemo bis, Nikerabbit, BPositive: I really hope to see this become a reality! Marking up pages is sometimes quite tedious, and a tool to automatically do this would be awesome. I think I can represent most translation administrators when I say thank you for working on this. PiRSquared17 (talk) 16:24, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, the problem being faced right now definitely needs to be automated, for that is what computers were born for :) Please go through the proposal and let me know any requirements you have in specific. BPositive (talk) 19:02, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't have any specific suggestions, but maybe other translation admins do. I'm sure Nemo and Nikerabbit will tell you all the requirements. Could you please update us in the future? PiRSquared17 (talk) 19:08, 4 March 2014 (UTC)
Hey, the idea is that translation admins help prioritise what's most important and most likely to make a difference, not that we do everything on our own. :P Watchlisting the page at should help you follow the discussion, but surely there will be updates. --Nemo 21:43, 4 March 2014 (UTC)



I’ve just used Special:NotifyTranslators for the first time. I hope I did fine and did not break anything, nor spammed users against policy. Please advise whether it was okay, or how I should proceed (or not proceed) in the future.

Thanks, Jean-Fred (talk) 10:38, 12 March 2014 (UTC)

Upcoming IdeaLab Events: IEG Proposal Clinics[edit]

Idea Lab
Idea Lab

Hello, Babylon! We've added Events to IdeaLab, and you're invited :)

Upcoming events focus on turning ideas into Individual Engagement Grant proposals before the March 31 deadline. Need help or have questions about IEG? Join us at a Hangout:

  • Thursday, 13 March 2014, 1600 UTC
  • Wednesday, 19 March 2014, 1700 UTC
  • Saturday, 29 March 2014, 1700 UTC

Hope to see you there!

This message was delivered automatically to IEG and IdeaLab participants. To unsubscribe from any future IEG reminders, remove your name from this list

The Wikipedia Adventure[edit]

Some italians are interested in translating this. Can someone please

  • copy the JS pages to pages with the same name on this wiki (but in Template namespace),
  • prepare and mark the linguistic content for translation?

So we can proceed without bothering to make devs learn about i18n of their code and everyone can just import on their wiki. :) --Nemo 12:16, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

How much of the strings needs to be translated? The whole thing (often including <br>s and files), or just the "linguistic content"? What if someone puts an apostrophe in a translation? (This could also inject malicious JS into the page, which could be unknowingly copied). I'm probably just being paranoid. PiRSquared17 (talk) 17:28, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
Only the linguistic content, strings scattered here and there. Well, you're right, the administrators importing such stuff into MediaWiki namespace will need to be very careful. But they would need to in any case; we could however make sure the script can't be hot-imported at all from the unprotected pages. --Nemo 17:33, 19 March 2014 (UTC)
This is key. The mediawiki code can make automated edits through the API, without the user knowing it's happening (in the game, we disclose that it is happening, of course). That's essential to simulating interaction, but it could be used for a multitude of inappropriate purposes if not in a protected namespace or page.
All pages are located here: W:EN:Wikipedia:TWA/Index. Let me know if I can help or if you have questions. Cheers, Jake Ocaasi (talk) 21:15, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Translation activity stats by language now available[edit]

See Meta:Babylon/Translation stats. :) --Nemo 17:23, 19 March 2014 (UTC)

Translate-a-thon in Grenoble[edit]

Benvenuti a Grenoble! Bienvenue à Grenoble! Welcome to Grenoble!

Save the date: 13 april 2014, the day of the translate-a-thon of Grenoble to turn Wikipedia articles about "Grenoble & neighborhood" from French into Italian (from to I hope to see you soon at the CCSTI in Grenoble! :-) --Patafisik (talk) 16:28, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing[edit]

I'd like to ask of you to take a look at a Wikimedia IEG grant a few of us over at Wikiproject Medicine are behind. You may already have heard of the translation of medical articles that is being done (if not please take a look at w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation Task Force). The goal of the grant is to get the translation and integration process to run smoothly, and to assess which articles are the most important to translate. We've come far at w:Wikipedia:WikiProject Medicine/Translation task force/RTT, but to get further there is need for some form of organization, preferably by someone who can devote significant time to the task.

I'm very hopeful that I can provide real benefit with this grant, as there are so many articles on Wikipedia that could help people all over the world.
It's even more important when you take into account drives such as Wikipedia Zero, and readers who might not have access to any medical information at all can benefit.

Please take a look at the grant page: Medicine Translation Project Community Organizing, and add a comment or give your ideas on how we can best benefit the Wikipedia communities.
Thanks, -- CFCF (talk) 21:19, 2 April 2014 (UTC)

Tagging Texas Wikimedians and Wikimedia Egypt for translation[edit]

At Talk:Texas Wikimedians I was told I should contact a translation administrator to tag the page for translation of Texas Wikimedians (English to Spanish). On top of that I notice Wikimedia Egypt has no content in Arabic. May I contact any translation administrator or does it have to be one who knows the particular language?

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 14:29, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Thank you! What is the protocol for tagging other pages? Do you need permission from the coalitions/chapters before tagging the pages for translation? I had also started Spanish versions of:

I also found Wikimedia Colombia which has Spanish and English on the same page and a message in Spanish which is not yet in English. Also I want to make an English version of Wikimedia Colombia/Grupo de usuarios.

Thanks WhisperToMe (talk) 05:28, 9 April 2014 (UTC)

@WhisperToMe: Oops, sorry. Forgot to post here. :/ I tagged the Texas page for translation. We do not need explicit permission before tagging (at least in practice), but it would be nice if someone from these groups would recommend that we mark it up. PiRSquared17 (talk) 14:51, 9 April 2014 (UTC)
Ok. I do participate a little bit in the US Wikimedia Council family of projects, but do you want me to notify them of the possibility of the change happening first? I personally started the Spanish pages of all three US WikiProject family pages. WhisperToMe (talk) 04:36, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
I went ahead and notified the groups WhisperToMe (talk) 05:56, 10 April 2014 (UTC)