In early December 2014, the Wikimedia Foundation’s Language Engineering team announced the release of the third version of our Content Translation tool, which aims to make it easier to translate Wikipedia articles. Since then, our focus has been to take the tool to the next step and make it more widely available. Encouraged by the feedback we have received in the last 6 months, we are now happy to announce that the tool will soon be available in 8 Wikipedias as a beta feature. Users of Catalan, Danish, Esperanto, Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmål), Portuguese, and Spanish Wikipedias will be able to use Content Translation from mid-January 2015. The tool will also be enabled on the Norwegian (Nynorsk) and Swedish Wikipedias, but only to facilitate their use as sources for Norwegian (Bokmål) and Danish respectively.
Users of Catalan, Spanish and Portuguese wikis have already previewed the tool on the Wikimedia beta servers and it was a natural choice to add these three languages in our first set for deployment. The remaining five languages were chosen based on user survey results and community requests. These languages are also available on the Wikimedia beta servers where Content Translation has been hosted since July 2014.
Currently, the Language Engineering team is completing the final phases for enabling Content Translation as a beta feature. After deployment, users will be able to translate Wikipedia articles into the language of their choice (restricted to the above mentioned eight languages) from appropriate source languages available for that language. For most of these languages, machine translation between the source and target language pairs will be made available through Apertium. English will be enabled as a source language for all languages, but without machine translation support except for English to Esperanto, where machine translations from English have been found to be satisfactory.
We will make further announcements as we close in on the deployment date. It’s possible that the beta feature may become available on the wikis for testing, before the announcements are out. Prior to that, the Language Engineering team will also host an IRC ‘office hours’ discussion on January 14th at 1600 UTC on #wikimedia-office.
Meanwhile, we welcome users to try out Content Translation and to bring to our attention any issues or suggestions. You can also help us prepare Content Translation to support more languages by filling in the language evaluation survey.
Runa Bhattacharjee, Language Engineering, Wikimedia Foundation