Wiki: Non-English Language Content Guidelines

Wiki: Non-English Language Content Guidelines

 


Introduction

As Monica Rush wrote in the "About: Wiki Localization" article, a plan for non-English versions of the Wiki and/or non-English version of individual wiki articles is being created: every Wiki contributor is encouraged to provide translations for his/her articles in his/her mother tongue or to write in article into any language he/she is able to speak and write in.

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How To

This document (that will be improved and updated every time a new rule will be established or a new suggestion will be accepted) is just a collection of simple guidelines that the contributors are encouraged to follow to make the Wiki Community most useful even for non-English readers and authors and to give a common format to the articles in such a way that writing and searching a localized article will always be easy.

Performing Translations

If you decide to translate an existing article into a different language, the first action (that can speed up your translation work) you can perform is running a Bing translation of the article's text or using the Microsoft Translator Widget (well documented in Bruno Lewin's article "Microsoft Translator Widget and Wiki"): this widget (illustrated in Figure 1) appears as a small control, on the right of each Wiki page, that allows you to translate the page on the fly into your preferred language; of course, this is only a first draft (something like a "beta" version of the final translation), that have to be read again, verified and edited when necessary before posting into the Wiki. Software are gettin' smarter and smarter, but a final human revision is still indispensable!


Microsoft Translator Widget

Figure 1: The Microsoft Translator Widget.

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Getting the right Terminology

Finding the right term in your language is not always easy, but there is help. You can access Microsoft terminology in many languages from the Microsoft Language Portal, including a quick lookup of specific terms (http://www.microsoft.com/Language/en-US/Search.aspx)

Microsoft Language Portal

Figure 2: The Microsoft Language Portal.

Other companies also make their technical terminology available
SAP: http://www.sapterm.com

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Title and Tags List

The title of the article and the list of tags should reflect the language the article is written in: this will be accomplished by adding the string representing the language code both at the end of the article's title (enclosed in round brackets) and in the tags list. For example, an article written in Italian will be titled "Article title (it-IT)" and the tags list will include the "it-IT" string. This is done for two reasons. (1) This will help the users of the Community to quickly find articles by performing a search based on the language the article could be written in (or click the tag to see all the article on TechNet Wiki in that particular language). (2) When we create an instance/version of TechNet Wiki devoted to that language, we'll want to migrate all the articles in that language. This tagging system makes that possible. 
You can find the codes for all the languages (as well as links to all the articles in each language) at the "Non-English Language Title Guidelines" page.
It is also recommended adding the “Multi Language Wiki Articles” tag to identify articles written and/or translated in multiple languages; each translated article should also include the "Translated into (language)" tag, where "(language)" must be replaced with the language the article is translated into (e.g.: "Translated into Italian" will be added to the tags list to indicate that the article is the Italian translation of another article): you can find a list of the currently used translation tags in the "Wiki: Translation Tags" page.

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Publishing

After that, you have to make the Wiki know that a new localized article exists and has been published. At this moment, this can be accomplished in one (or both) of the two following ways:

  1. add a "Other Languages" section at the end of the article (as you can see in the "Wiki: Development Portal (en-US)" page), listing all the hyperlinks pointing to the available translations for the article (the "Other Languages" section title too must be translated in the language the article is written in, of course).
    This option works best when various contributors will add languages over time. Contributors will be able to more easily see what languages are missing and decide to add one or more. A drawback is that the list exists in each language version of the article so multiple copies may need maintenance!
  2. create a "Language Options" page: this page will have a title composed of the concatenation of the original article's title and the "Language Options" text, a common header and a list of hyperlinks each pointing to one of the available translations for the article; a good example of such a page is the "Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP2 Release Notes Language Options" page created by Ed Price.
    This option avoids having maintain multiple copies of the list of links to other languages in every article, but it's critical to put a link to this list in the article, so it can be found. We have mostly used it as part of planned efforts to publish an article in many languages.
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Conclusion

As mentioned before, this is only the first release of the "translation rules" for non-English content articles: comment this page to provide your feedbacks and suggestions.
Have a good translation!

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See Also

 

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Comments
  • Thanks for this great contribution Luigi!

  • Thanks Bruno. Everyone is encouraged to provide comments and feedback, of course.

  • I was thinking about a problem in the translation system: the TOC will not be translated automatically, but it will always be displayed in English language. What should we do? Leave it in English or not inserting it in non-English language articles?

  • Hi Luigi. Thanks for bringing up the Table of Content issues. I replied to you rblog comment but I'm also pasting here since this more relevant to your article...

    I think this falls into the larger issue of the interface of the wiki being English-only. Getting it into more languages is on the roadmap, but I'll drop a note to our dev friends asking if the TOC would be covered as well.

    For now, I use a somewhat odd trick when I want to send a link to a wiki page and have it appear nealy 100% in a given language including menus, Table of content and all: I append "#mstto=fr" (using fr=French as an example) to the URL. This will invoke translation into that language.

    E.g. below will translate into French a page that is already in French: the result is that menu, TOC, etc that were in English are now also in French:

    social.technet.microsoft.com/.../5096.aspx

  • OK Bruno, thanks for your feedback.

  • I didn't know the Microsoft Language Portal: useful edit, Bruno!

  • Nie article. Good to know.

  • I meant, "nice".

  • Why are we told not to add the pt-BR tag to articles in Portuguese? Is this the only language that is an exception? Should I refrain from editing articles in Portuguese?

  • Steven, it was recently decided that (en-US) should not be used for English language articles, and we are moving this where it exists in the title. We still use the tag en-US. See this article:

    social.technet.microsoft.com/.../9362.wiki-governance-whether-or-not-en-us-should-be-added-to-the-title-of-english-articles.aspx