Help:Translation Guidelines

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You can provide translated content for your wiki by setting up a separate wiki for each language.

The very first step is to ensure that you are using the correct language code for the language. This is not the same as country code; for example, Japan's country code is jp and Japanese's language code is ja. The MediaWiki source code provides a full list of language codes.

Please note, uses the Translate extension, which creates several wiki features not present in "vanilla" MediaWiki, including a page called Special:LanguageStats. Pages on that wiki aren't representative of the typical translation experience. While we have some wikis using that extension, it is not our endorsed method due to its extremely high resource requirements.

Creating a separate wiki

Sadly, most efforts to start translating a wiki end in their early stages, because real life intervenes with editors' plans or for some other reason. In order to make sure we're not creating many wikis that never progress beyond 1-2 pages, we ask that translators begin translation efforts on the English wiki.

Once you have approximately 20 pages fully translated, we can create a new wiki for you. That wiki can use identical CSS to the English wiki, so no additional skinning is required. Files will also be shared, so there is no need to upload multiple versions of a file.

Beginning translation

In this example let's say you have an English (en) wiki that you are translating to Spanish (es). Here are some guidelines:

  • Create translated pages with suffixes of /es. For example, you would translate the page Kittens at Kittens/es. There is no need to link these pages together at this stage.
  • For templates, you have two choices:
    1. Continue to use English names in the source code. In this case you can use the same set of templates and plan to edit what they display later.
    2. Use Spanish names in the source code. In this case, you should create copies of each template you need, but with their names translated into Spanish. For example, if you have Template:Level you might create Template:Nivel. Don't make Template:Level/es as that will make your translated content use a template with the wrong name that will have to be fixed later.
  • You can categorize pages with the Spanish category names and wait until you are on your new wiki to create the category pages themselves.
  • You *must* categorize the pages with [[Category:ES translation]]
  • You can create file redirects from the Spanish-language name of a file to its English-language name.
    • If you have a group of files that are consistently named (e.g. every Item is named like File:Item itempagename.png then I would recommend making the Spanish redirects File:es-Item itempagename.png. Then in every template where you display an item image, you can add the string es- in the templates on the Spanish wiki. This way, if you have a case where the Spanish name of one item is the same as the English name of a different item, you won't get a conflict in file names.

Requesting a new wiki

Once your English wiki has approximately 20 content pages translated into your new language, you can ask staff to make you a new wiki.

Moving into your new wiki

You will want to start out by setting up your Special:Interwiki data. (Note, you must be an admin on your wiki to edit interwiki data.)

  • On the English wiki, write [[es:Gatitos]] at the end of the page Kittens. On the Spanish wiki, at the page Gatitos, you will write [[en:Kittens]].
  • If you are comfortable using PyWikiBot, you can try using the interwiki script to fill out these links after creating them in only one direction, but this script is a bit unreliable.

Please do not upload a different set of files to the new wiki, except for cases where your game has different assets for different languages, and then only upload a separate files for the specific assets that differ.

Once your new wiki is fully set up, you can delete all translated content from the English wiki (other than file redirects).

Why do we prohibit Extension:Translate on new wikis?

Extension:Translate has very poor performance for a number of reasons to do with how jobs are queued. Also, it's nearly impossible to migrate away from Extension:Translate once you start using it, so even if your wiki starts out relatively small and is not causing platform-wide issues due to its use of Extension:Translate, if your wiki grows significantly, you're stuck with Extension:Translate pretty much forever.

Combining languages into a single wiki is also bad for SEO; and Extesnion:Translate's handling of recent changes makes it very difficult to moderate content in other languages.

See also