User talk:Isaac (WMF)/Comparing Wikipedia language editions

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Another aspect related to Technologies[edit]

Thanks for writing this down and sharing it at the upcoming Research Readout (sadly I will be on vacation and will miss that session). I was especially excited to see this because I've been thinking a lot lately about the impact of technical documentation (in general) being mostly in English. Many our technical docs *are* translated, but there's also a large number that are not. The language in which we provide technical documentation (and code comments) can potentially be a barrier for people who might want to develop bots or tools to support and promote their community's wikis.

I think the Movement and the tech industry as a whole are at a pivotal point where we need to decide how and whether to invest in translating our technical content -- across all the repos in which it lives. However, I think this question requires significant research. Some of the user tests we did for indicated that developers are so used to working within the dominant-English paradigm when they're coding, they prefer to use tech docs in English. Multiple test participants said they wouldn't browse the Developer Portal or use docs in their native / local language. I'm hoping we can do some research to investigate how and whether translating tech docs would enable more people to join the technical community, and whether developers would use translated docs even if they could use English ones. I am hoping to propose a project around this topic for the current Wikimedia Research Grant cycle!

Related research: Guo, Philip J. "Non-Native English Speakers Learning Computer Programming: Barriers, Desires, and Design Opportunities".

Cheers! TBurmeister (WMF) (talk) 13:55, 6 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks @TBurmeister (WMF) for leaving this feedback! I wanted to acknowledge that we'd seen it and are including it our thoughts as we think about next steps / iteration on this work. It feels like it cuts across a number of the facets we identified and also relates to an aspect brought up in the meeting about how an editor community's overlap with English (or other language editions) affects what sorts of norms they might incorporate within their language community. Isaac (WMF) (talk) 13:51, 17 October 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]