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Advice needed: the mechanics of Wikipedia translation
Thread poster: KSL Berlin

KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 25, 2008

Recently I decided that I wanted to translate a few small Wikipedia pages about a few individuals who had a great influence on my professional and intellectual development many years ago. However, although I appear to have succeeded in establishing a user account on Wikipedia, I am frankly bewildered by the working environment in which user pages appear to disappear after creation and the lines between the language environments seem confused at times.

Can anyone with experience suggest a sensible, step-by-step approach to getting started in that environment? I am a bit overwhelmed by what I see there at the moment. The mechanics of markup don't concern me particularly - it is the workflows I find confusing.


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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A few very brief comments Oct 25, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:
I am frankly bewildered by the working environment in which user pages appear to disappear after creation and the lines between the language environments seem confused at times.


It is important to remember that the different language Wikipedias are independent of each other in many senses. Policies are more or less the same, but some things go that don't go on other language's versions. Also, the managing of these versions are handled by real people who are volunteers, and it follows then that different traditions will emerge in the different versions.

Although one can create a page without permission, there may be times when this is not a good idea. If you create a page and it gets deleted, there is usually a reason, and it may be necessary to lay some more groundwork.

Personally, I would say that if a page exists in one of the other language versions, then it should be safe to create a version in your language without permission.

Can anyone with experience suggest a sensible, step-by-step approach to getting started in that environment?


I'm no expert, but IMO you can translate a page and simply create it. If it gets removed, do follow-up and calmly convince those in power that the page is useful. Then submit your translation again.

Can you tell us examples of pages that you have created so far?


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Pages Oct 25, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
Can you tell us examples of pages that you have created so far?


Actually, the problem I am having so far is my user page apparently disappearing in the German instance. I haven't even gotten around to translating real content pages yet, as I am still getting oriented.

One page that I have in mind is really very small:
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Mangold

I remember him as a great linguist and superb teacher, and I would simply like to make information about him available to English speakers.

It's good to know in any case that the various languages are handled independently. So if you are translating something from Afrikaans to English, with whom do you have to register what to ensure a minimum of problems? Do you have to deal more with the English crowd or the others?


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 00:47
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
More to Kevin Oct 25, 2008

Kevin Lossner wrote:
Actually, the problem I am having so far is my user page apparently disappearing in the German instance.


If you're going to create content in the English Wikipedia, a username in the German Wikipedia will help you nothing. You need a username / password on the English one. Once you're logged in, click your username at the top, or type it in the following syntax:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Leuce (my username is Leuce)

and you'll see your user page. As you'll see if you check that URL, I have nothing on my user page. Some people have stuff there, but I don't, even though I have created pages myself. On the English one you need to be logged in to create a page. But I just created a page on the Afrikaans one without logging in:

http://af.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Mangold

Do I understand your problem correctly? So all you need is a user name, then you log in, then you visit the non-existing page, and you create it. So you'll visit this page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Mangold

and click on the link "Start the Max Mangold article". And there you go.

Keep in mind that the syntax used in the German one may not be exactly the same as in the English one, so I suggest you find an existing page about a similar person and then use it as a basis for your translation. For example this one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bjrn_Wiik

Once you've created the page, also edit the "discussion" page and say why you created the page and what your source of information is/was. Don't forget to link to the German page by adding

[[de: Max Mangold]]

to the bottom of the public page.

So if you are translating something from Afrikaans to English, with whom do you have to register what to ensure a minimum of problems?


For all languages it is good to have a user name and it may be nice to put a little information about yourself on your own user profile page (but I didn't).

Have you read this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Contributing_to_Wikipedia
and this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Pages_needing_translation_into_English
and this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Translation

But if you ask me, you can just create a page and paste your translation in it.

==

Rant: Normally that second link has a colon, but ProZ.com's stupid forum software interprets a colon and the letter "p" as a smiley, always, even in a URL, even in a BBCoded URL, and so I changed the colon to %3a, which is the URL encoding method for a colon. Normally you'd use the colon.


[Edited at 2008-10-25 15:47]


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 23:47
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Oct 25, 2008

I think that's pretty clear; it'll get me started anyway. So if I understood you correctly, it would really only make sense for me to have a German profile if I plan to do something in German (which I don't).

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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:47
Swedish to English
+ ...
Thank you Samuel Oct 25, 2008

You've helped me as well.

My father is mentioned on a Swedish wikipedia page (see U137), but not linked to anything. It's been my intention to build an entry for him for some time, but I've never got around to it. Your explanation will hopefully be the spur I needed to get me going.


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Yaotl Altan  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 17:47
Member (2006)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Wiki-proz :) Oct 25, 2008

Madeleine MacRae Klintebo wrote:

You've helped me as well.

My father is mentioned on a Swedish wikipedia page (see U137), but not linked to anything. It's been my intention to build an entry for him for some time, but I've never got around to it. Your explanation will hopefully be the spur I needed to get me going.


What did you father do to be there?

Best regards!


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:47
Swedish to English
+ ...
Just his job Oct 26, 2008

Yaotl Altan wrote:

What did you father do to be there?



U137 was a Soviet submarine which very innocently got itself stuck in a Swedish archipelago. My father's job was to escort it out to international waters and hand it over to a Soviet admiral


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George Hopkins
Local time: 00:47
Swedish to English
Soviet submarine Oct 27, 2008

Karlskrona
The name of the place where the Soviet submarine ran aground (in very shallow waters) is Gåsefjärden and was renamed Bolshevik by a local humorist.
Ie, Goose Bay to Bolshy Creek.


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 23:47
Swedish to English
+ ...
To digress a bit further Oct 27, 2008

George Hopkins wrote:

was renamed Bolshevik by a local humorist.
Ie, Goose Bay to Bolshy Creek.

For our non-Swedish speaking friends I think we might have to explain that "vik" is "bay" in Swedish.

Now, as you live in Karlskrona, any chance you could find a way of sending me a few fresh rågskorpor (rye rusks - sorry all, sounds better in Swedish)?


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George Hopkins
Local time: 00:47
Swedish to English
Rågskorpor Oct 30, 2008

Sending 'rågskorpor' (rusks) by post would be expensive (Sweden charges VAT on postage) and unreliable. They would not be fresh on arrival and probably crushed beyond recognition.
It would perhaps be best to look for a recipe on Google.
An interesting link:
www.gylles.se/ragskorpa.asp

The Swedish word 'vik' translates to both 'bay' and 'creek'. Creek is particularly suitable -- the submarine and its crew were really 'up the creek'.


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Christian Schneider  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 00:47
Member (2008)
English to German
+ ...
Unified login Oct 31, 2008

Samuel Murray wrote:
If you're going to create content in the English Wikipedia, a username in the German Wikipedia will help you nothing. You need a username / password on the English one.


Nowadays it's in fact possible to have one account for all languages. It's called "unified login"

http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Help:Unified_login


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