Guidelines for Translating the NeoWiki

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So you want to help translate the NeoWiki into your native language? Great! We're eager to have the wiki's content translated into as many languages as possible. Currently, we have six translations either under way or mostly complete, and we're always looking for the next language to add.

Here's a brief guide to translating the NeoWiki into your language.

Contents

[edit] Preparation

  1. Check to see if someone has already started translating into your language or has expressed interest in doing the translation. If there's a team in place, contact them and find out how you can help.
  2. If there's not an existing translation into your language, please start a new topic about the translation in the "NeoWiki Development" forum on trinity. The wiki admins will use this topic to help coordinate the beginning of your translation.
  3. If you don't already have a user account on the NeoWiki, apply for one.
  4. Set up your preferences and your user page.
  5. Familiarize yourself with the NeoWiki Style Guide and the MediaWiki syntax.

[edit] Getting Started: The Main Page

  1. The first page to translate is the Main Page. Create a new wiki page with a title consisting of the ISO code for your language followed by a colon (:) and the translation of "Main Page", e.g. fr:Accueil for French.
    • We use lower-case ISO codes here, e.g. fr, but MediaWiki always capitalizes the first letter of a page title.
    • Eventually we hope to get some rewrite foo going on so the page titles appear without the ISO prefix and colon, but the ISO code plus colon is how MediaWiki determines if a page is an alternate-language version of a page exists.
  2. Translate the content of the Main Page. Copy the source of the English page into your new page, e.g. fr:Accueil, and then start translating the English text into your language.
    • This allows you to bring over all the links, formatting, etc., and keep them in sync with the English version.
    • Note that beginning in winter 2005, the Main Page moved to a template-based format; much of the actual content is handled in the templates Template:MainPageNewsEN, Template:NeoOfficeWords, Template:OOoWords and Template:RetroWords.
    • Simply create the appropriate versions of these templates for your language, e.g. Template:fr:NeoOfficeWords for the French version of the Template:NeoOfficeWords template, and translate the content of the template as you would the content of the rest of the Main Page. N.B. Templates should be named Template:ISOcode:TemplateName; though other template-naming schemes are used elsewhere in the wiki (see below), they are deprecated.*
  3. Until you've translated a subpage, keep the actual wiki link (i.e., the "NeoOffice and Aqua" part of [[NeoOffice and Aqua|NeoOffice et Aqua]]) pointing to the English page; if someone is interested in that content, a link to the English version is better than a link to an empty page.
    • You might also add [en] after the end of such links to indicate that a page is actually pointing to the English version.
  4. Translate the Template:OtherLangs template into your language and add an infix with the appropriate ISO code when you name the new template, e.g. Template:Fr:OtherLangs.
    • This is the template for content of the bar that appears on the top of the Main Page and each translated version of the Main Page. The introductory text is in your language, while the links to the various versions of the Main Page are in those languages. The formatting template is Template:Toplangbar, which does not change or get translated.
    • Note that this template should include links to all of the other active translations of the wiki, but not your translation. I.e., if you copy the (English) Template:OtherLangs template to begin your translation, you should add [[:Main Page|in English]] to the text you copied and then only translate the introductory sentence.
  5. Add the appropriate [[Category:NeoWikiNN]] tag to the bottom of your version of the Main Page; this category helps us keep track of all the pages that exist in each language.

[edit] Translating Other Pages

  1. The following pages are the first few pages we'd like translated into other languages:
  2. As with the Main Page, name your translated page with the ISO prefix and the translation of the English page title (note that the link text is not always the page title), e.g. Fr:Comment rapporter des problèmes rencontrés avec NeoOffice for How to Report Problems with NeoOffice.
  3. Translate the content of the page (see step 2 above)
  4. Translate the Template:botlangbarEN template into your language and name it as you did the Template:OtherLangsEN translation in the previous section, e.g. Template:botlangbarFR.*
    • You will only have to translate this template one time, but it is used on multiple pages. The {{{1}}} is MediaWiki syntax for "replace me with something". On each newly-translated page, construct the bottom language bar as follows (in this example, the English page being translated is NeoOffice and the translation is into French, and a German version also exists): {{botlangbarFR|[[:NeoOffice|English]] [[de:NeoOffice|Deutsch]]}}
      • The English version of the page is referenced by just a colon and the page name.
      • Be sure to put a space between the reference to each language's page so the links do not run together
  5. Add the link to your new translation to the {{botlangbar}} on other versions of the page, e.g. if you translated a page that exists in English and French into German, you would add [[de:pagename|Deutsch]] to the {{botlangbar}} on both the French and English pages, so that all three pages link to the other two versions of the page.**
  6. If you've translated a page that has not already been translated into another language, add the {{botlangbar}} to the English page,** e.g. {{botlangbarEN|[[de:pagetitle|Deutsch]]}}
  7. Add the appropriate language [[Category:NeoWikiNN]] tag to the bottom of your newly-translated page.
  8. If the page you are translating contains links to the Wikipeda (usually in the format [[Wikipedia:ZIP_(file_format)|ZIP]]), point the link to the corresponding article in your language's Wikipedia, if such a page exists. The format of the new link is [[Wikipedia:fr:Zip)|ZIP]] (in this case, the page names are different between the English and French Wikipedias).
    • Note the name of the corresponding article will usually be very different, but you can follow the English link and look in the "In other languages" box in the Wikipedia sidebar to find the appropriate article name in your language.
  9. Repeat these steps for each additional page you translate.
  10. Special note for translating NeoOffice Support:
  11. Once you have translated the pages listed in step 1 above (excluding NeoOffice Support and the sub-pages (individual tips) linked from NeoOffice Tips and Hints), we consider your wiki translation to have a solid core of articles and it is time to "make your translation 'live'" by linking to it from the Main Pages of each other language.

[edit] Maintaining the Translations

[edit] Translating Changes to the English Pages

Most pages in the NeoWiki do not change frequently (with the exception of the NeoOffice Release Notes during Alpha and Beta cycles, and certain other pages around the time of a full release), so once you've translated a page, you won't have to touch it again for a while.

You should, however, monitor or check on, from time to time, pages you've translated, as we do add or edit items. You can use the Recent changes link in the Navigation sidebar to follow changes, or add English versions of pages you've translated to your watchlist and set the NeoWiki to email you when those pages change.

[edit] Adding and Editing Content on Localised Pages

At the moment, all addition and editing of content is happening in the English versions of pages, in part because English is the de facto lingua franca of the NeoOffice project and in part because we have had only limited success in getting the wiki translated into other languages so far. We do forsee a time in the future when people who are more confortable writing in their native language wish to add content to the wiki, and we welcome such contributions.

If any new localised content is applicable to all users, some sort of notification that there is content on a page that should be translated and added to the English and other versions of the page would be helpful (we'll work out a solid system once it happens). If there is content that is only applicable to one linguistic community, e.g. tips on how to use NeoOffice with French government forms or something, please feel free to add that content to your language's "Tips and Hints" page only. (When you add pages, be sure to add the appropriate [[Category:]] tag(s) to the bottom of the pages.)

[edit] Spam and General Wiki Management

As of October 2005, we believe we have the spam issue under control (unfortunately through restricting access to wiki accounts to those who email the admins for an account). However, there are still a large number of old accounts which were never active but which might have been registered by spammers, and there's always a chance that a spammer could trick us during manual registration. If you notice stange changes to your language's pages, let us know in the "NeoWiki Development" forum on trinity and feel free to remove the spam. (Be careful when removing spam from pages that existed before October 2005, since a spam-bot that attacked the wiki then caused some database corruption and some pages may lose content when you try to fix them.)

Also, from time to time the wiki goes down for maintenance or other reasons, so monitor the wiki-related topics in the "NeoWiki Development" forum on trinity to keep informed of the changes. If you have any problems, questions, or other concerns about the wiki, that's the best place to discuss them, too.


[edit] Notes

* Beginning with the templatization of the Main Page in late 2005, the NeoWiki adopted a new, more sensible scheme for naming translated templates: Template:ISOcode:TemplateName (where ISO code is a two-letter, lower-case code, as used in the prefix to normal pages, e.g. Template:fr:NeoOfficeDescp like fr:Accueil. All templates being introduced following this date (including the "Main Page templates") should use the above naming sequence.

There is another, older template-naming scheme in use (with an all-caps ISO code at the end of the template name); this scheme is deprecated, and all templates using it will be migrated to the new scheme at some point. Newly-translated versions of these templates however, should continue to use the deprecated scheme; this allows us to keep track of all the "Botlangbar" templates and migrate them together, all at one time. E.g., if you are beginning a German translation of the wiki in 2006, the German versions "Main Page templates" would be named Template:de:NeoOfficeDescp and so forth, but the German version of the "bottom of the page language bar templates" would be named Template:BotlangbarDE and so forth—using the deprecated scheme.

** In 2005 we locked or "protected" some pages because of spam problems and random editing, among them the Main Page and NeoOffice. Some key pages remain protected in order to ensure that changes to them are carefully considered and vetted. You will be able to view the source of these pages but not edit them to add the various "langbar" links, so post a note in your language's topic on trinity if one of the protected pages hasn't had its "langbar" updated by a wiki admin within 24 hours of you completing a translation of the page.


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