|Babel - Babylon
- This page has been created with content with the proposal for Betawiki being hosted by Wikimedia; see translatewiki:Project:About for most updated information.
translatewiki.net is a localisation platform for translation communities, language communities, and open source projects. It started out with localisation for MediaWiki. Later support for MediaWiki extensions, FreeCol and other open source projects was added.
Over 180 localisations of MediaWiki and its extensions use translatewiki.net as a convenient translation medium, as well as for coordination and maintenance. Mantis, FreeCol and Mwlib.rl can also be translated in translatewiki.net. More projects are welcome.
You can participate in the translation effort into a language you know. The translations of the MediaWiki interface into new languages for requested projects of the Wikimedia Foundation are also done there.
This project is not part of the Wikimedia Foundation projects, or any foundation or open source project. It is run by Nike and Siebrand, who both are MediaWiki developers and have considerable experience in i18n and L10n. The translation functionality is provided by a MediaWiki extension.
The aim of the interface translations wiki is to allow any user of MediaWiki to edit the interface messages of any language via the MediaWiki namespace on a central wiki. Previously this could only be done by administrators on a particular wiki or by people who understood how to edit the files in CVS.
Unlike editing the language.php file, the wiki makes it easy to collaborate, and to discuss translations before they go live. You also get the chance to see your changes immediately on the translations wiki. It prevents the need for pages such as
Requests for languageXX.php update (deleted).
Unlike editing the MediaWiki namespace, changes made here can be applied to any wiki rather than only the wiki on which you are an administrator. Previously, changes made on one wiki were never applied to other projects, meaning users of, for example, Wikibooks, had to separately edit the namespace and manually copy over changes that had already been made at Wikipedia.
The MediaWiki namespace is protected by default on all installations of MediaWiki. On the interface translations wiki, the namespace will be unprotected. This means users do not need to go through any bureaucracy before being able to contribute. Everyone will be able to edit.
The lack of protection of the namespace does have security implications since the HTML restrictions are different to the other namespaces. Some of the interface messages allow arbitrary HTML, there is a possibility that malicious users could insert scripts which could, for example, steal your cookies for this domain, crash your browser, and cause pop-up windows.
It is proposed that the wiki shall be located on a subdomain of mediawiki.org so that any cookie-stealing attacks cannot affect Wikimedia project domains such as wikipedia.org and wikimedia.org. Nevertheless, a subdomain should be used so that mediawiki.org remains available for other uses, should all security issues be resolved.
All languages will be on one wiki, with users selecting the language they want to translate in their preferences.
Possible names for the subdomain include translate.mediawiki.org (which could be confused with general translation requests), language.mediawiki.org (which matches the language.php filename which is, in effect, what is being edited here), and I18N.mediawiki.org (an abbreviation for Internationalization and localization).