Once you have selected a page to start translating, you will reach the translation editor. The translation editor shows the original page next to the new translation you will create, initially empty. In addition, a third column will expose different translation tools to facilitate editing the translation.
The translation process starts by adding a paragraph to the translation. Tap on the translation area where you want to add the corresponding content. Adding content on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis lets you decide how much you need or want to translate.
Translation contents are edited visually. Different translation-specific tools will automate some of the boring steps of the process for you to focus on creating good quality content. Warnings, and error messages will help you deal with specific circumstances. All this is covered in more detail in the sections below and the specific pages linked from them.
Initial machine translation
When available, a machine translated version of the original paragraph will be added as the initial content to the translation. Automatic translation is useful as a starting point but you need to edit it to make sure that the final content reads naturally. Content translation integrates several translation services, but the language coverage and quality is different from language to language.
Editing a translation
The tool keeps the paragraphs visually aligned regardless of the difference in length of their content. This makes it easy to navigate and have an overview of what has been translated and what not. In addition, corresponding sentences in the original and the translation will be highlighted to facilitate user review of the content.
Translations benefit from the work that other editors did on the original article such as adding images, references, and reviewing the content over time. This makes articles that are created as translations more complete and less likely to be deleted compared to an initial version of the article created from scratch. However, translations also have a risk of content to be written in a less natural way (e.g., by mimicking the sentence structure of the original language), or include unreviewed content that escaped users attention.
Reviewing and editing thoroughly each paragraph is essential before publishing the contents. Content translation incorporates different mechanisms to encourage users to review the content, flag published translations that are potentially unreviewed to the community and even prevent publishing in some cases.
When editing a translation you may have to deal with different kinds of contents. Some of these are covered in more detail on the pages linked below:
- Links to connect existing pages (or mark missing ones).
- References for readers to verify the origin of the information.
- Templates like infoboxes, unit conversions, and more.
- Media such as images, videos, etc.
Help making automatic mappings better
Content in wikis is not always designed to be easy to transfer across languages. Finding the equivalent element in a different languages and filling the details is not always trivial for links, references and templates. Content translation relies on tools such as Wikidata, Citoid and TemplateData to figure out how to transfer these elements across languages. When the metadata information is available this works like magic, but such metadata is not always available. You can help completing such metadata and help Content translation.