Supporting a multilingual community / wiki translations

edited March 25 in General

I've added the Spanish forum to our wiki navigation. I think it would be good with a page dedicated to linking to a group in each language with overlapping aims - obviously there's a limit to how much those of us who don't speak the relevant language can help with that.

To make a start I've added a link on the wiki to the Spanish part of the forum.

I suggest making a dedicated page with native language short descriptions, but I can't decide what to call it. I thought 'International Friends' but that doesn't capture that it's about different languages, we're already inter-national. I also think it needs to be very near the top of the front page. But if we start with a single page in multiple languages we can go from there.



  • edited April 9

    So as suggested by the Wiki itself, I'd like to start with translating. How do I do that? Does an admin ( @duncan ?) have to enable switching to different languages?

  • @Moult any idea how this works in the back of mediawiki? @yorik who has the skills to help us out here, there must be someone from the FreeCAD project who we can ask?

  • Ah yes I need to do some tweaks serverside to enable translation. Sorry, I did see this thread but forgot to respond. If anybody else here (ping @avnd ) is keen to get their hands dirty on the server side of OSArch, please let me know. If there are no volunteers, I'll find some time and get around to it.

  • @duncan said:
    @Moult any idea how this works in the back of mediawiki?

    The FreeCAD wiki uses a MediaWiki extension for translating pages. The main page is in English, and you must enclose the text that you wish to translate in <translate> tags; normally this means the entire page, except for static images and source code examples that don't require translation. When a wiki administrator sets the page to "translate", the English version of the page becomes available for translation. A bar to choose the language is displayed with the <languages/> tag, which is normally placed at the top of the page.

    This system is a bit inconvenient because the information is meant to be kept in synchrony with the English page. Changes to the English page are not immediately reflected in the translations; the administrator must go to the page, set it for translation again, and then the changes become available for translation. This also means that if an English editor makes big changes to one page, when the administrator sets it for translation, the translations in other languages must be written again. This may be annoying for translators who already invested many hours translating the previous version of the page, so maybe some coordination is necessary here, or the translation must be activated only when the English page is not subject to change a lot.

    See Translate the FreeCAD wiki.

    An older system that was used before the MediaWiki extension, was to create the translated page independently of the English page. This resulted in divergent information, and often pages in French and Italian had more complete information than the English language page.

  • What works more and more (and i'd like to do in freecad at some point) is pass through a translation engine such as transifex or crowdin. but i havent looked much which of these systems can be tied to mediawiki, if any..

  • Almost all the Wikis are designed as the English version. If @Moult would like to develop the Chinese version in near future, I like to do this.

  • edited September 2020

    @yorik said:
    What works more and more (and i'd like to do in freecad at some point) is pass through a translation engine such as transifex or crowdin. but i havent looked much which of these systems can be tied to mediawiki, if any..

    Maybe DeepL Translator ?

  • @stephen_l said:
    Maybe DeepL Translator ?

    DeepL is dope!

  • edited December 2020

    Thanks for the support./ Gracias por el apoyo.
    What about: multilingual community

  • edited December 2020

    Renamed the thread

    @bitacovir what would be an appropriate Spanish equivalent of "Discussion" for the link above? I don't think the link itself should be written in English.

  • My 2 cents on this: I'm not particularly fond of multilingual forums. It's like a part of the forum is locked away. Knowledge is not shared by all.

    Having the forum in english is imposing on people that can't read it, but otherwise it's like splitting the community. Also, as the main resources will always be in english, people from another language will always have to make an effort to read it in order to be involved and content produced in the secondary language will tend to stay hidden away/ignored by everyone else. I've seen that happening in other forums on the past.

    Translations these days work very well.

    Let me state that I'm portuguese.

  • @duncan Discussion = Discusión :D Also "Debate".

  • @JQL respectively I fundamentally disagree. There is surely great stuff happening in many countries where English is not an option, and there are surely skilled people with very poor English skills. They deserve a place to collaborate just like anyone else. There is already content in Spanish so I think it would be insane to ignore it and say they just need to work in English. At the same time I totally understand your concerns about a split community and seperated information, but that is the reality now. Bringing a multilingual community under one banner brings communities that already existing closer together. The current reality is that we have almost no idea what is happening in Korea or France and no way to support them. Such a multilingual community of course needs people willing to coordinate between the languages, and that's not a small task.

  • I agree with you.

    Integrating people that otherwise would have no possiblity to be integrated is a greater goal.

    As long as OSArch has those coordinators or "binders" that can make the bridge between what's happening in both communities and can point or translate stuff that people should be aware of, things can work. However, that work is a huge undertaking and tends to spread resources (people and time mostly) thin.

    I hope this works.

  • edited December 2020

    @JQL sounds like we agree then - that's always nice. :-) One day when we have some kind of central coordinating committee we can make sure that each language community has an opportunity to be heard on equal terms. Translating important content to our main languages is also important, maybe that's only English, maybe it's a handful of languages. I have no idea.

    For now we are a lot of talkers and watchers, we need more people doing things. If we keep getting the word out then just three times as many active contributors would make a huge difference. Just like your work on the wiki it just takes people time to find the place they are motivated to contribute and then find time to do it.

    I hope you find the new wiki category for Visualization and Documentation useful and maybe you can get some others with relevant knowledge to write related articles and collect good links - don't underestimate how much good content is already out there just needing a librarian/curator. I'd be happy to start a playlist on YouTube if you start finding more than a small handful of relevant videos. It's very easy for a YouTube manager to add videos to a playlist, just like adding them to a personal playlist. I'm finding the playlists useful personally so I can go back and finish watching things I've found on youtube... oh dear I can really feel I'm avoiding doing paid work today. That's going to cost me holiday time.

  • Hello team,
    I would be glad to contribute with translate the wiki to Spanish and maybe to portuguese. How can I do it? I find the "translate" section in how to contribute page, but there is no button for translations. Did I miss something?


  • @denissoto that would be great! I think one thing we might want to do is mark which pages it makes sense to translate. Lots of content is very new and fluid and often edited. I'm not really sure about the best way to tackle this, there's also no special reason why English should be the dominant language but it must be best to have pages that are well linked together - right? Do you have a suggestion?

    @Moult is there anything special we can do to activate some features for translation? I know nothing about this but I'm sure there will be some specific functions.

  • I unfortunately haven't had the time to look into the best way to setup translations in the Wiki. @denissoto do you have some experience with web applications and would like to do some research on this? If not, I'll try to find some time in the next week or so.

  • @denissoto but I think you should just go for it for some of the main pages - for example just make a until we find a better solution. We can work out the best solution later.

  • @Moult I have experience with web applications, I can make the research. I'll let you know if I find out something.
    @duncan of course, I can do that. Thanks guys!

  • @duncan I've created this:
    First column is translated, I will continue later.

  • Hello @Moult , I see that we are using MediaWiki as wiki engine. In their documentation you can find this article that explains how to enable multilingual wiki articles. I think this should be configured by the Wiki or server admin:

  • I've already translated 3 articles, 1 of them still in WIP.

    I've created this spreadsheet with all the articles of the wiki to see what is still pending. There should be a better solution to organize this task than a google spreadsheet, but this was the fastest way I found to record my progress.

    Any idea to manage this project is welcome

  • @denissoto manage it on the talk page of the front page translation? That's where casual editors are most likely to find it.

  • Just getting back to this topic. I've merged two threads that were basically about the same thing. @denissoto how did you get on? It looks like you got those 3 pages translated?

    @denissoto would you consider changing your link on the supporters page to point to your wiki user page? Then you can add whatever you want there:

  • I’ve run some php-forums.. Seems like installing the MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle would be the way to go. I’m game unless @fbpyr has more experience.

  • Any progress in translating wiki pages? I'd be glad to help with German.

  • @jchkoch I've merged the thread you replied to with this larger thread. @tetov any progress since this last was discussed? If we're unsure of using a multi-language translation ( @yorik has expressed doubts here ) then we could just make a short list of the most important pages and link them together somehow. Just a simple box "Translations en | es | de " would be a start

  • @duncan wasn't completely sure which thread to post in but this thread makes more sense then. I think something similar to the KDE UserBase Wiki ( would be probably the easiest to enable from an admin perspective. And some more examples of multilingual Wikis can be found here:

  • edited May 2

    KDE UserBase Wiki uses Extension:Translate which the extension authors instructs to install as part of MediaWiki Language Extension Bundle.
    I'm reading some posts in this thread for the first time, probably because of a thread merge. I'm not quite sure what would be best in terms of machine translation, flagging pages as in need of update etc.

    @duncan: [...] we could just make a short list of the most important pages and link them together somehow. Just a simple box "Translations en | es | de " would be a start


Sign In or Register to comment.