There are many things that can be done to make Wikimedia projects easy to understand and use. Among various factors, it is really important that the messages a user receives from the software is in their own language. It should be possible to use and contribute to all Wikimedia projects regardless of your English proficiency.
With this in mind, Wikimedia Sverige organized a translation sprint on the 24th of October. The sprint focused on the MediaWiki messages that were still waiting to be translated on Translatewiki.net. We decided to work specifically on the ones being used on Wikimedia projects that were left untranslated. These messages were the tricky ones, i.e. the ones that the regular translators for various reasons had struggled with and left untouched.
In total we were seven people that gathered in Wikimedia Sverige’s office in Stockholm. Working together we managed to solve the remaining messages while keeping spirits high with great company. Considering that a lot of the messages are very technical, we made sure to have at least one developer present who could explain technical terms and help with translations. We were lucky to have with us both langauge and technical experts because translating “Bread crumb separator” into correct Swedish would had been really difficult otherwise!
We had coffee, cake and sandwiches, which helped keep the blood sugar up as we worked for 4.5 hours (an hour more than planned!). During this time we pushed the number of untranslated texts down from 708 to 270, a 62 percent decrease. On top of that we also translated 105 messages from MediaWiki extensions that are not used by the Wikimedia Foundation projects but on other wikis. Our stated goal of 400 messages was therefore greatly exceeded and we strongly recommend other chapters to organize similar events!
Project Manager, Wikimedia Sverige