User:Siebrand/Pagetranslation test

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Content management[edit]

This documentation is for those whose responsibility it is to mark translatable parts of wiki pages and mark the pages for translation. Parts of it are useful for almost anyone, who are likely to see the markup in the page source. There may be dedicated translation managers or the responsibility may fall on the content writer's shoulders. Either way, this manual is for you and you should take the time to read it. First I will explain the syntax and how to deal with it, then the actual marking of pages for translation and finally explain how the syntax works and its limits.

Editing translatable pages[edit]

When a page is marked for translation, the software will add some marks to it. See the example below. These marks correspond to the named sections and they are used to keep track of each section.

== Birds == <!--T:1-->
Birds are animals which....

Birds can fly and...

The tags are always on the line before the section, or if it starts with a header, after the first header on the same line. The reason for different placement for headers is to keep section editing working as expected.

It is not recommended to add these marks manually or tamper with them. The software doesn't currently enforce their validity and sanity very rigorously. The best practices are:

  • If a section is moved, the section marker tag should be moved with it.
  • If a section is deleted, delete the section marker tag too.
  • If a new section is added, do not add a mark to it. The software will generate one for it when the page is marked for translation.
  • If the section content changes so much that old translations would no longer make any sense, delete the section marker tag.
  • When merging multiple sections, keep only one section marker tag.
  • When splitting a section into multiple sections, keep the section marker tag only on the first new section, or not at all.

When marking a new version for translation, wikitext differences are shown for each section. New and deleted sections are also listed. The person who marks can then do the final review, before creating new work for translators. Then all the translation pages are updated to match the new template. If there are many translations for the page, the updates are handled with the MediaWiki job queue and are not immediate.

Before marking the new version of the page for translation, ensure that the best practices above are followed, especially that translators get a new section if the content has changed. Also make sure that there are no unnecessary changes to prevent wasting translators time. If the source page is getting many changes, it may be worthwhile to wait for it to stabilize, and only after that push the work for translators.

The software does not check if a previously used section id is first made unused and taken into use again. These messages will show the difference like a changed message to translators. Unused section translations and translations pages are not cleaned up automatically, but that should not cause trouble.

Marking process[edit]

Once the page is ready and the translatable content is marked, it is time to put it up for translation. After the page is saved, users with the pagetranslation right will see a link at the top of page. It is also possible to go to Special:PageTranslation and select the page from the list.

At Special:PageTranslation you will see list of pages divided into groups according to their status. First you will see list of pages that are marked for translation. Pages with pending unapproved changes are highlighted. For those pages you can see the normal diff between last marked version and current version. Only latest version of a page can be marked for translation. In other groups you will see pages that can be marked for translation, and pages which are previously marked for translation, but latest version cannot be marked for translation.

Marking page for translation[edit]

If you choose the mark this version for translation, you will see an approval page. The page will contain the section division. It shows how the page is split into small, manageable parts. You can give each section a short name. By default it uses a running number from number 1 upwards. The names are permanent, so think up a good future compatible name if you choose one. Each section will have corresponding translation pages where the name is in the form Translation:Source page namespace:Source page name/section name/language code. These have to be unique and valid titles, so two sections cannot have the same name.

Remember that spaces and underscores and even dots are considered the same character in the equality comparison. The main reason to give names is to keep Special:RecentChanges more readable if section page translations are not hidden with the CleanChanges extension. Translators will see the sections in the order they are in the page regardless of the section names.

For each section whose content has changed, there is a check-box that allows you to skip the normal process that invalidates translations. It is useful for spelling fixes, where the normal process would just waste translators' time in marking translations up-to-date without any actual changes.

At the bottom the translation page template and any changes to it are shown. All translatable sections are joined together by a translation page template. The template is the full page, where each translatable section is replaced with a placeholder.

Verify changes[edit]

Always review the changes carefully. Badly made section division and other errors can waste all existing translations for those sections if they need to changed later on. Consider also that when content of a section is changed, users viewing the translated page will see the old translation, which is highlighted as outdated. If this is highly undesirable, you can change the section name by editing the page content and removing the section marker. However by doing this you will lose all the old translations. Currently there is no way to show up the new contents while showing the old translation for translators when updating a translation.

When everything looks ok, use the form to mark the page for translation. If the page had not been previously marked, then it will appear on the usual places including Special:LanguageStats and the page itself will have a direct link to translate it. Users with the translate right can translate the page by translating each section individually. If there has been changes to the translation page template, all translation pages are updated to reflect changes in the new template.


It doesn't matter whether you create new pages or mark existing pages for translation. Marking a page for translation is a two step process. Once you have a page with content that you want to translate, you must mark the translatable parts by enclosing them within <translate>...</translate> tags. Beware, these tags work differently from other tags, because they do not go trough the parser. This should not cause problems usually, but may if you are trying something fancy. In more detail, they are parsed before any other tags like <pre> or <source>, but after <nowiki>. There can be multiple such pairs of tags in one page.

The text inside translate tags is split into translatable sections (roughly paragraphs). There must be at least one empty line between each section. It has simple whitespace handling: whitespace is preserved, except if a starting or ending tag is the only thing on a line. In that case the trailing newline character for starting tags is eaten, and similarly for the preceding newline character for the closing tag. This only means that they don't cause extra new lines in the rendered version of the page. If possible, try to put the tags on their own lines, with no empty lines between the content and the tags. Sometimes this is not possible, for example if you want to translate some content surrounded by the markup, but not the markup itself. This is fine too, for example:

{{Template|<translate>Some localised parameter</translate>}}

It is possible to use variables similar to templates. The syntax for this is <tvar|name>contents</>. For translators these will show up only as $name, and will automatically be replaced by the value in translation pages. This can be used for often changing non-linguistic content without the need for waiting for translators to update their translations every time it changes. You still need to mark the new version of the source page for translation, though.

Avoiding too much mark-up in the text makes it easier for translators to translate. The page translation feature places some restrictions on the text. There should not be any mark-up that will span over two or more sections. In other words, each paragraph should be standalone and be complete in isolation. This is currently not enforced in the software, but violating it will cause invalid rendering of the page, the severity depending on whether the resulting html is fixed by tidy or not.

It is also possible to use the <languages /> tag to add a list of all translations of the page, with their completion and up-to-date percentages. Currently this is recommended, because there is no other indication that translations exist. You can use [[Special:MyLanguage/Pagename]] syntax to redirect users to translated page which matches their interface language. If there is no such translated version, they will see the original page. This feature has a small overhead, because browsers need to make one more request.

Special pages[edit]

Below you will find some special pages people may like:

Have fun!