Editing a translation is a different process than editing a new page created from scratch. In a translation you add paragraph to the translation, review the initial version of the translation and adjust the contents to make it read natural. Once you are done with one paragraph, you can go with another one. Despite the differences with the process of editing a wiki page, several tools are common to both cases. Below there are more details about the translation mindset and the tools available for editing.
The translation mindsetEdit
The translation process is focused on transferring the original article content into a different language, and reviewing it to make sure the result is a good translation. When publishing a translation you are creating the initial version of an article. Once it is published it will evolve independently with the contributions of the editor community.
You don't need to translate all sections of the original article. You can decide how much or how little to translate. When making such consideration it is preferred to have a short but high quality translation than a longer one that does not read natural.
Comparing source and translated contentEdit
A translation is edited next to the original article. The side-by-side editor keeps original and translated paragraphs visually next to each other even when their lengths differ. This visual alignment facilitates the process of comparing the translation with the original content and helps to provide a quick overview of which parts of the original document have been translated and which have not.
In addition, individual sentences inside a paragraph will be highlighted on both sides to facilitate users navigation. Note that highlighting corresponding sentences is not always perfect because of the limitations of the algorithms used to identify sentence boundaries and mapping them, as well as the effects of users heavily editing these.
Rich text editingEdit
The translation editor represents content as rich text instead of exposing the internal Wikitext markup. This allows users to focus on content over the format of such content. In the translation process format is often established by the original document and the process of adaptation and review focuses on adapting the content properly while keeping the format.
Once the article is published users can use their editor in visual or wikitext mode to edit the contents further, but the translation editor only supports the visual mode and does not provide a wikitext view. The metadata used to keep track of the corresponding paragraphs and sentences would add more noise to the wikitext view and would make it hard to keep it in place after contents are added or removed by the user.
Common editing tools available when neededEdit
Different tools are presented in the third column next to the translation. Most of these tools are aimed at controlling and helping review the translation, but you have also tools available to adjust the text format and add new elements such as links, templates or multimedia.
The translation editor is based on VisualEditor and most of the usual tools and shortcuts are also available when translating. Options to undo/redo changes, change text format, or adding new elements such as multimedia, templates, references and more.
Although most of the time you won't be changing the structure of the original article, common editing tools can be convenient in some cases. It is possible that some of the contents won't transfer correctly because of the limitations of machine translation or the differences in the templates used in each language. You can replace these missing elements with equivalent ones that are available in the target wiki.