[OSM-talk] Wiki translate extension

John Packer john.packer7 at gmail.com
Thu Jul 24 22:16:32 UTC 2014

As a somewhat regular translator, I would like to say something.
My gut feeling is that we shouldn't separate the wiki into different ones,
but I can say there are some considerable issues on the model we have right

Often when I am going to translate an article, I try to improve it, but
because the english article is considered the "main" one, I end up having
to improve the english article as well. This can be a big productivity
At the very least, when the page is about a key specific to my country, I
can just stick a {{Translate from Portuguese}} template on the english page.

I also take issue with the namespacing as it is.
The page for the key highway=* is "Key:highway" in english, but it is
"Pt:Key:highway" in portuguese.
Just imagine what a portuguese speaker thinks when he sees something like
that and doesn't know what it means.
By reading the page's content, he can understand what "highway" means,
because the generous translators explained, but what about "Pt:Key" ?
I know what it means, that's just an example.
Things like "Talk:" and "User:" prefix can be uncomfortable to some users

I have to say that it wasn't intuitive to understand that, linking to other
wiki page from a page in portuguese will link to an english page unless I
stick a "Pt:" prefix before it.

These are some of the issues I can remember right now.

2014-07-24 18:50 GMT-03:00 Frederik Ramm <frederik at remote.org>:

> Hi,
> On 07/24/2014 11:05 PM, François Lacombe wrote:
> > According to you, we'd better split OSM in several projects, one for
> > each country and data consumers will do the rest.
> This would be interesting but it is not what I said. I said, let's have
> different Wikis for different languages.
> It is simply a more holistic approach to the concept of "translation". I
> don't believe in the kind of page-by-page, sentence-by-sentence, even
> word-by-word translation that some people seem to advocate. If we're
> after that, just dump all non-English content and use Google translate.
> If we want high-quality documentation for users of different languages,
> which will also often be people with wildly different cultural
> backgrounds, then that has to be written from scratch - perhaps
> "informed" by material in other languages but likely not "translated".
> Using the same Wiki with language namespacing implements the concept of
> very close translations - the structure is the same for everyone, and
> the translator is just expected to fill in the blanks. I don't believe
> that this will lead to high-quality documentation; I believe this will
> be at best a little better than automatic translation.
> I think that the evolution of the project is replayed in different
> countries at different times. Speaking simplistically, the community in
> a country where OSM is just taking off might be better off with the kind
> of documentation available to OSM in France when the project was at the
> same state, rather than the sophisticated detail that is available today.
> If I am in a country where we have barely mapped the major road network,
> am I really interested in translations of turn lane relations and TMC
> information, or will such detail perhaps discourage me?
> You seem to be mainly equating the Wiki with a catalogue of tags but I
> think it is much more, and its relevance as a tag catalogue is shrinking
> with editor presets becoming ever more complex.
> Of course editor presets would also have to be localised (and not only
> translated)... ;)
> Bye
> Frederik
> --
> Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"
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