Wikipedia:Translation

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Requesting a translation from a foreign language to English

Requesting a translation from a foreign-language Wikipedia into English is easy.

  • If the English article already exists (but a translation would be useful because the article in the foreign language is of higher quality):
  • If the English article does not yet exist:
    • you can:
      • create the article on English Wikipedia as a stub article, explaining or defining the subject of the article in a sentence or two;
      • then immediately tag your stub article with a translation template, as above.
    • or
      • add a page request red link in the Requested articles Project section with the proposed title of the article which will contain the translation adding an interwiki link to the foreign-language Wikipedia page(s). Note that fewer people will likely see a request created using this method.

Note that this page is not for requesting translations of copyrighted sources outside Wikipedia. It is also not for pages currently in English Wikipedia that are not in English. For that, please see Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English.

Articles needing translation

How to translate

Wikipedia is a multilingual project. Articles on the same subject in different languages can be edited independently; they do not have to be translations of one another or correspond closely in form, style or content. Still, translation is often useful to spread information between articles in different languages.

Translation takes work. Machine translation often produces very low quality results. Wikipedia consensus is that an unedited machine translation, left as a Wikipedia article, is worse than nothing. This is mainly because translation templates have links to machine translations built in automatically, so all readers should be able to access machine translations easily.

Translation between Wikipedias need not transfer all content from any given article. If certain portions of an article appear to be low-quality or unverifiable, use your judgment and do not translate this content. Once you have finished translating, you may ask a proofreader to check the translation.

Because Wikipedia licensing requires attribution, the translation source must be credited to avoid copyright violation. Attribution in the edit summary and placing the template {{Translated page}} on the article talk page are the recommended ways to credit the source of the translation. You are not required to import the revision history, but if you wish to do so, ask at Wikipedia:Requests for page importation for the page to either be imported into your userspace or over your translated version of the article. (See also Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia.)

Translators should consult the original sources, and then rephrase in their own words, avoiding direct translation without quotation marks and too close paraphrasing. When translating, the contributor may be under the mistaken belief that the act of translation is a sufficient revision to eliminate concerns of plagiarism. On the contrary, whether or not the work is free, the obligation remains to give credit to authors of foreign language texts for their creative expression, information and ideas, and, if the work is unfree, direct translation is likely to be a copyright violation as well.12 (See also Wikipedia:NONENGPLAG.)

With the exception of quotations, use normal English encyclopedic style, as appropriate for the topic. Avoid being overly influenced by the style of the original.

The English text should be understandable to a wide audience, so – other things being equal – use shorter rather than longer words and consider using everyday English expressions rather than jargon or foreign expressions. Avoid verbiage.

Make appropriate use of the active and passive voice. Different languages have different constraints on word order, so when translating it may be appropriate to use the passive voice in English where the original uses the active (or the other way around). For instance, a German sentence can start with the object, so a German article on the topic of oysters might have Austern findet man . . . (word for word: Oysters finds one . . .), which could be translated as Oysters are found . . ..

A useful translation may require more than just a faithful rendering of the original. Thus it may be necessary to explain the meaning of terms not commonly known throughout the English-speaking world. For example, a typical reader of English needs no explanation of The Wizard of Oz, but has no idea who Zwarte Piet might be. By contrast, for a typical reader of Dutch, it might be the other way around.

Translation from English into a foreign language

English Wikipedia is more developed than other language Wikipedias, and for various reasons, people may translate English language Wikipedia articles into other languages for insertion into other language Wikipedias. When this happens, the translated text should be put into the other language Wikipedia according to the local rules of that Wikipedia, which may differ from English language Wikipedia. However, despite variation in rules, it is acceptable to translate an English language article into another language Wikipedia - especially if that Wikipedia has a small community of editors and especially if the article does not exist or is not well developed in that language - if the person copying is sensitive and open to getting feedback from that Wikipedia community.

It seems that the groups most commonly needing this kind of assistance are people who speak only English, and who are copying and pasting a translation on behalf of a translator who is unable to contribute to Wikipedia, or new Wikipedians who do a translation but otherwise have limited knowledge of English or any other Wikipedia. In WikiProject Medicine, the Translation Task Force sets a precedent for this having arranged for translation of hundreds of articles and having helped people who only speak English to share them with other Wikipedias.

Here are some steps which could be followed to manage this.

Assuming that a person is pasting a translation of an English article into a language which they cannot read -

  1. Determine if the article already exists in the other language
    1. Go to the English Wikipedia article for the article translated.
    2. Look on the left side of the screen for the "Languages" tab in the vertical menu.
    3. If the translated language is listed here, then click the language name to go to the article, because it already exists. If the other language is not there then the article does not exist and will need to be created.
  2. If the article already exists then then copy paste the translated text as best as one can at the end of the existing text, then proceed to notify local editors to double-check your copypaste
  3. If the article does not exist, then it will need to be created
    1. Visit List of Wikipedias to find the Wikipedia hosting the language of text one wishes to add
    2. From that list go to the appropriate Wikipedia
    3. Search in that Wikipedia for the name of the article you wish to create
    4. A message will appear saying that the article does not exist, but giving a red link with the name chosen and offering to create that article. Click the red link.
    5. A message will appear saying in the language, "create the article for x"
    6. Paste the translation into the text box and save
    7. Proceed to notify local editors of your copy paste
  4. Every Wikipedia has some different markup, and the code which works on English Wikipedia may not work on other Wikipedias. This can be managed and most Wikipedias are not strict about getting broken code, but they do want proper notification.
    1. To notify local people, go to the English Wikipedia Village pump, which is a general notification forum
    2. On the left side of the screen, find the language into which the translated text was pasted and follow the link
    3. You are now at the Village Pump (or local language equivalent) for that language. Write in either English or the local language, "Hello, I am user:Example. I translated the English Wikipedia article for X (which is at en:X) and pasted it to X here on this Wikipedia. Will someone please check it? Thank you. If anyone has questions about what I did, then there is a forum discussing this procedure at en:Wikipedia:Translation or you can contact other people at (link to class, translation project, or just leave it blank if you have no affiliation or anything to share). Thanks again.
    4. If you can follow up with comments then do so. If not, thanks for coming this far.
  5. If a new article was made (as opposed to adding content to an existing one) then please connect the English article to the translation
    1. Go to the English article which was translated
    2. On the left column, find the language tab as before, and go to the bottom and click "Edit links"
    3. The user is now at "Wikidata", a database back end which supports every language Wikipedia. There is a list of all the related articles for a given topic. At the bottom of this list is a tab which says "add". Click that
    4. There are two fields to indicate - the language of translation and the name of the article in that language
      1. Paste the name of the article there - it is in the foreign language
      2. The language has to be entered by the code as shown at List of Wikipedias
    5. Save
    6. On both English and the translation under languages, you should see that immediately the articles have links to each other
  6. Anyone who gets this far is awesome. If you liked, you could notify the relevant WikiProject in English of what you did. If you told a relevant popular WikiProject as shown at Wikipedia:Database_reports/WikiProjects_by_changes, you would be most likely to get review.

Classroom collaborations

Wikipedia welcomes the involvement of students in article editing. Article translation is particularly well-suited to student involvement. Such efforts provide useful, real-world translation experience for students, who will be motivated by the fact that their work will be seen by thousands of Wikipedia readers. They also benefit Wikipedia readers, who gain access to information about other cultures and peoples. For assistance setting up a classroom translation project, please see Wikipedia:Student assignments and Wikipedia:WikiProject Classroom coordination.

Userboxes

{{User Translator}} may be used to indicate your willingness to translate/proofread and your participation in this project:

{{User Translator|es}} produces:
Spanish
to
English
This user is a translator from Spanish to English on Wikipedia:Translation.
{{User Translator|hi|proofreader=yes}} produces:
Hindi
to
English
This user is a translator and proofreader from Hindi to English on Wikipedia:Translation.
{{User Translator|ar|project=no}} produces:
Arabic
to
English
This user likes to translate articles from Arabic to English.
{{User Translator|de|proofreader=yes|project=no}} produces:
German
to
English
This user likes to translate and proofread articles from German to English.

After putting this template on a userpage, the page will be added to the appropriate subcategory of Category:Available translators in Wikipedia. When the proofreader attribute is set to 'yes', the page will also be added to a subcategory of Category:Available proofreaders in Wikipedia.

{{User Translator 2}} works in the same way in the other direction (from English to another language).

See also

References

  1. ^ United States Copyright Office. "Copyright Law of the United States of America and Related Laws Contained in Title 17 of the United States Code, Circular 92". Retrieved 2009-04-09. "A "derivative work" is a work based upon one or more preexisting works, such as a translation, musical arrangement, dramatization, fictionalization, motion picture version, sound recording, art reproduction, abridgment, condensation, or any other form in which a work may be recast, transformed, or adapted.... Subject to sections 107 through 122, the owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:...(2) to prepare derivative works based upon the copyrighted work...." 
  2. ^ Buranen, Lise; Alice Myers Roy (1999). Perspectives on Plagiarism and Intellectual Property in a Postmodern World. SUNY Press. p. 76. ISBN 0791440796. "... large-scale cribbing of foreign-language texts might occur during the process of translation.... The practice persists even though the most flagrant violators are eventually accused and dismissed from their posts." 

External links