Talk:Category Translation

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As you may know we intend to make some important changes to UserBase over the next few months. Language translation is one of the areas that we want to make much easier, so we have been running tests on a sandbox wiki and talking to some of our more prolific translators about problems and solutions.

One aspect that has been brought to our attention is the fact that currently, page names and categories will only appear in English. With regard to page names, Yurchor has done some work on this, and we'll follow that up shortly. First, though, I want to tackle the problem of categories, because I see them as the easy way to guide users into finding other pages of similar interest.

The current system, such as it is, means that you get pages such as Applications, Applications_(de), Applications_(uk), Applications_(zh). This is unsatisfactory on at least two counts - first that we end up with a very cluttered list of categories, making it difficult to find things, and second, even more important, it still depends on the reader recognising the English category name. Even worse, some readers will not be familiar with Latin script. I propose that we use translations of category names. However, we feel that this needs to be controlled, so that consistency is easy.

One way we could do that is to create a table of categories and translations, on this page, for reference by all translators. It would have to be built up over a period, but it means that once one translation of a term has been used, all future category translations will use exactly the same term. If this is felt to be the answer, I'll create a skeleton table for translators to fill as necessary.

I'm willing, too, to listen to any other suggestions. The only criteria is that it should be easy to follow when created, and easy to use while being created. Please post your thoughts here.--annew 17:04, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

It can be useful, surely more useful than English category names, even if, in general in wiki software, I think the bottom position for categories doesn't allow them to express their usefulness totally.--Caig 19:36, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
This is a mediawiki issue - which doesn't necessarily mean we can't do anything about it, but does mean that it may take a little longer. I'll make sure that this, and any other similar comments, are logged on our to-do document. --annew 13:05, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
This should be fine. From a translators point of view it would be straightforward to deal with. It is going to be a large table, though, with all the languages we have. Have You considered making a template table with just one translation - translators could then fill out a copy of that on a separate page for each language. Alternatively there could be a way to show only one translated language at a time - selecting the language from a drop down list or something like this.
One problem we might as well face from the start: Some categories are going to have identical strings in many languages. "Internet" is a good example - it is the same in Danish as in English and probably several other languages using the latin alphabet. I suggest, that we use the same method as with the translated pages, i.e. appending the language code.
The question is: should this be done consistently or only when necessary? The latter might seem best, as the category pages are going to look better without all the appended codes, but I actually favor the former for two reasons. First, not having obligatory language codes will make creating and maintaining the table much more difficult as it is not always obvious which other languages should be checked. Secondly, if two translators choose the same string for their translation of a category, they may not notice the problem straight away. And when the problem is noticed, the category in question may appear on many pages, which means a lot of pages needs to be edited to solve the problem. --Claus chr 08:46, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
These are the sort of issues that need resolving as soon as possible. Does anyone see any flaw in Claus' assessment? If not, we'll go for it. --annew 13:12, 3 January 2010 (UTC)
:-) --Qiii2006 05:10, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

Following up on this - I've compromised a little on the question of translation tables, setting English + four languages to a page. You can see them listed at - I don't know why the Arabic to Česky page is listed last. At the moment, the tables look odd, but that should resolve itself as content gets added. The alternative was for me to paste something like 'content' into every cell, but that would just have created work for translators, having to remove it before putting the real content in, so I decided against it.

I have written a short header to the pages - I think it would be useful to have this translated when you fill your section of the table, although of course translators will necessarily be able to read the English. What do you think about that? Is it worth doing, or not?

While making your entries, please remember Claus' comment about adding language codes.

As soon as we have columns filled I'll help with changing the Category entry on all the relevant pages. Should I contact the i18n mailing list and ask for help with this? Maybe one of you could do that for me, since I'm not subscribed.

Anything I've overlooked? --annew 16:57, 24 January 2010 (UTC)

Well, I hit the first snag. I forgot to make it clear that I wanted the country code to be attached to every category. I was going to edit the categories myself, to correct, this, but then I realised that I know nothing about right-to-left languages. Does anyone know whether it is still correct to put the language code to the right of the category name? --annew 20:14, 30 January 2010 (UTC)

Now that category translations are well under way, the Category page is becomming extremely long and difficult to navigate. I feel that in its present form this page is loosing its usefulness. It would be better to have something like a separate category page for each language. I have experimented a little to try to achieve something like that.

I'm not certain that I understand what you are trying for, so apologies if I go off on the wrong track.

First I made a new category - Sider på dansk_(da), then I added this category to all the Danish category pages. I then tried to make the new category into a subcategory of the main category page, but I couldn't make that work. Is it possible to have subcategories on the main category page - it seems to be treated differently from other category pages.

If I'm right in thinking that you want this to be a sort of top-level index, I'd suggest that "Sider på dansk_(da)" should contain a list of sub-categories. If that's your idea, then take a look at [[Category:Games]] and the resulting entry in [[Category:Home_and_Hobby]]. I think that would work for you.

If it is possible, I would suggest, that a similar category - fx Pages in English - is created for each language; that way users can quickly find the pages of interest to them. If it is not possible, it might still be a good idea to make such categories, but we would then need to link to them from the Home page or some other prominent place. --Claus chr 08:11, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

We need to do some considerable re-writing of the pages that people find first, IMO, and this could be brought in at the same time. I've been very busy this last few weeks, but hopefully can get back to such things very soon.

You got me right: I do indeed want a top level category for each language. I did this for the Danish pages to see, if this could be achieved easily. I simply placed [[Category:Sider på dansk_(da)]] in each Danish category page. That works OK

Yes, it's looking good

- the only problem is, that my new "meta category" appears among all the other categories making it quite difficult to find for those who don't know that it is there.

I had hoped, that it would be possible to make my Danish meta category appear in the beginning of the main Category page, treating it as a subcategory of that page, but I couldn't make that work. A link on the entry page would be even better, though. --Claus chr 06:28, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

If I'm understanding you aright, I think we can have both a Welcome link and links from every page. Certainly it would be a good idea to have links in the welcome page, and yes, I think you are right that it would be a good idea to have a 'Pages in English' - which would, of course, prompt other translators to do something similar. So, if it would be good to have a link on every page, you can add multiple categories. For instance the page 'UserBase_(da)' would have
[[Category:Sider på dansk_(da)]] [[Category:Kom i gang (da)]] which would display as [[Category:Sider på dansk_(da)|Kom i gang (da)]] with both being active links.
I think that would do what you want. --annew 13:27, 27 February 2010 (UTC)

You are right! I think it would be valuable to have the link on each page. I'll get started right away. --Claus chr 07:17, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

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