SharePoint 2010: Community Request - Please Embrace a Multilingual TechNet Wiki

SharePoint 2010: Community Request - Please Embrace a Multilingual TechNet Wiki

Update - Feb 25th, 2012

I wanted to update this post, as my initiative has been generating some differing opinions - which is exactly what I was hoping for. We're all on the same team and want the best solution possible for language support in the TechNet Wiki. There has been a positive chat in the TechNet Wiki Discussion Forum to discuss Why is (en-us) being placed in the wiki. I encourage everyone to take a look.

The contentious point is whether (en-US), or broadly the language for any article regardless of language, should be included in the title of an article. Positive opinions were offered supporting both sides (to include or not to include en-US in an article title).

This issue has been forwarded to the Wiki Council for discussion which I firmly believe is a positive development. Up for consideration is whether to include or not include the language in an article title and the potential to include ''system' based support for selecting and displaying the language in which the article was written. I believe 'system' based support would be great for all in the Wiki Community. As this has been forwarded to the Wiki Council for consideration, I'll refrain from adding en-US to the titles of an article until guidance is offered by the Council. I am happy this topic will receive further attention and discussion.

A consensus was made that including en-US in the tags of an article is ok. I am satisfied that one of the two points in this initiative reached a favorable consensus as the core utility and value of my objectives (i.e. being able to filter articles based on language) has community support. Please keep in mind that I am targeting only SharePoint and PowerShell related articles as I truly don't have the bandwidth to monitor all Wiki article topics.

What do you think? Include or not include the language in an article title?

Original Article - Feb 19th, 2012
Adding the language to your wiki articles assists others within the community to easily identify the written language, search and filter for articles of interest based on a language of preference. The wiki now has many authors who are posting articles in many different languages - which is fantastic and we need more of them!

I have modified the tags and titles of all English SharePoint and PowerShell related articles to indicate the article language: en-US. The purpose again is to easily locate and filter articles written in your language preference as the vast majority on non-English articles already have a language included in the article title and in the tags. I believe I speak for everyone in that we wish to have a truly multilingual wiki, and indicating the language in the article title and tags, we can all make the Wiki better and easier to use for everyone.

Due to the changes I made, it is now possible create tag based links by language and technology (specifically for SharePoint and PowerShell related articles). I only had time to modify the title and tags of SharePoint and PowerShell articles - if others can help in other areas that would be great.

Did you know you can filter articles based on multiple tags? Here are some examples of targeted tag links:

The above examples were not previously possible prior to my title and tagging changes. The inclusion of en-US in the article tags for SharePoint and PowerShell related articles written in English made this possible.

Effectively, the URL convention for filtering by multiple tags is as follows:[tag1]/[tag2]/[tag3]/default.aspx where you replace [tag1], etc, with the URL encoded value for the tag.

Of course you can also use this method to filter for non-English articles, for example:
(Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of languages)

I hope you will join me in tagging your articles with the appropriate language both in the article title and tags moving forward. To writers of all languages, keep the articles coming!
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  • Here are a few notes...

    (1) The non-English language title guidelines have existed since March 2010 (, and they didn't extend to the English language... Because the Wiki is for the English language.

    There are many reasons to have the Wiki title codes for non-English languages...

    (2) First, the URL output make it so that some non-alphabet languages "stole" the titles from English (and other) languages. For example, an article with "Hyper-V" and Japanese characters took the "Hyper-V" title so that we couldn't make an English article with the "Hyper-V" title.

    (3) Second, people who don't speak a specific language didn't even know what language they were looking at. Since it was all in one Wiki world (sharing tags and search results), we wanted to make it a little more obvious what language we were looking at.

    (4) The non-English codes in the title make it easy to search for that language (and the tags give you an instant list). So the title language codes were used to search for specific languages. You can exclude languages from your search, include multiple languages, and include a specific language(s) along with specific technologies.

    (5) I think the "system" based approach you refer to might be the concept of Wiki instances that are divided by language. We've definitely been looking at this solution since early 2010.

    (6) I can think of one good reason to include the "en-US" tag: if you're sick of seeing non-English articles in your tag list, then this is a way to exclude them (assuming every English article has the en-US tag).

    (7) We made the "Multi Language Wiki Articles" tag for any articles that have been translated into a second language.

    (8) I love your multiple-tag solution! I suggest you create an article that's focused on the message of "how to find SharePoint 2010 articles in different languages". It's almost like a sub-section to this article (so you can just copy and paste it), but really it's a different topic and worthy of its own article.

  • This is very good article. Please also see my today's (06/052013) suggestion about adding ability to specify languages and applying automatic filter for the content based on the languages. When I am browsing latest articles I would love to only see articles in the languages I am familiar with, not every article.

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