Talk:Old Zürich War

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from VfD:

Does Pumpie actually know what he's trying to translate? I doubt it. Delete or clean up. --Voyager ch 19:43, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  • Delete. Why encourage? I do like "In 1436, the count Friedrich VII of Toggenburg starved." --jpgordon {gab} 19:51, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. Content is worth keeping. The article does need work to turn the transation into something properly understandable. It needs attention rather than deleting. Have looked at User_talk:Pumpie and he has promised to stop just using Babelfish and to avoid grammatical errors in any future translations. MarkS 20:27, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. Horrifically difficult to understand but currently the best that Wikipedia can do on the subject, which clearly deserves an article.--Tomheaton 22:05, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep if someone translates the translation; I doubt it will happen. Delete if no one does. Send to Clean Up with a note about what's needed and an indication to VfD it again if still in Babelfishian in a month. Geogre 22:17, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete. Currently the article is unintelligible. MarkS is right that Pumpie has promised to avoid grammatical errors in future translations, but I don't believe he can stick to that promise. Reading his own user page comments, it is clear that he has a limited grasp of English grammar. jguk 23:21, 11 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's not just grammatical inaccuracies, it's factual accuracy as well. Translating from other languages means understanding that just because a word looks somewhat like an English word doesn't mean that it has the same meaning. "Starb" means "died", not "starved". And a knowledge of both languages' idioms is also necessary; "lösen" certainly means "solve" in some contexts, but not this one. (Babelfish is quite biased toward technological terminology, obviously.) I'd think that to translate any language into English, one should know at least enough English to recognize that what was posted was gibberish. --jpgordon {gab} 00:32, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Agree with Jpgordon: Delete. It needed translation before, and it still needs translation. A machine cannot translate an article. It can translate a menu or a taxi guide, but that's about it. Geogre 04:56, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • I cleaned it up a bit.. Will try to see if I can fix it to acceptability before deletion.....[[User:Rhymeless|Rhymeless | (Methyl Remiss)]] 06:01, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Keep. Notable topic, Encyclopedic. Fix, don't delete. If you voted delete here, please review the vfd guidelines.Kim Bruning 14:52, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep, but. Keep an article at this location, but translate from scratch. Kim Bruning 22:20, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Kim, I would have voted for delete in its original translation. In fact, I would have supported a speedy. The original translation IS patent nonsense, they are intelligible words that together do not give any recognizable meaning. This is what happens when people translate using Bablefish, and should be intensely discouraged. As Geogre said, a machine can not translate an article. It is much easier, and faster, to list it on the Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English and let the good folks there take care of it. Having done translations for a while now (in Real Life and on Wiki) it is MHO that a bad translation is worse than no translation. -Vina 20:51, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Vina: if I understand correctly, Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English is for en.wikipedia articles containing non-English text, whereas Category:Translation requests is for requests for translation from another Wikipedia. Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English would be appropriate if User:Pumpie were just pasting in the German article text -- but I think that even that would be easier to deal with than the current situation. Pnot 21:03, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I can agree with that. Kim Bruning 22:20, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Delete [Edit: vote changed after User:Gdr's rewrite] Was wavering, but now convinced by jpgordons's argument: if it's just a decent article in an abysmally ugly translation, then maybe it counts as better than nothing, but the danger of factual errors in machine-translated articles seems too great. If it's just ugly English, then an English-speaker could perhaps clean it up. If a bilingual German/English speaker has to go through fact-checking it against the original article, then what the heck is the point? As has been pointed out several times, it would be easier to translate the original article from scratch. So wouldn't it be easier all round for Pumpie to create a substub and put it on Category:Translation requests? Pnot 20:59, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep Just because it was a bad translation does not alter the fact that this was a significant event that we had no article on. Names, dates and locations (who, when, where) are all accurate. It would not be easier for me to create an article from scratch, and even if it were, deleting would still be the wrong thing to do. Far better to create a sparse stub than delete it. The Steve 02:47, Oct 13, 2004 (UTC)
  • OK, I'm finished blowing off steam. I really hate bad translations -- it's a particular bug up my particular ass. The article is improving significantly. We've got two different issues here. User:Pumpie should knock off just dumping Babelfish translations into Wikipedia. They cause more harm than good. But some of the articles he's put in this way are pretty interesting (Swiss history is fascinating), including this one. I do believe he's been shown the error of his ways, at any rate. Perhaps automatic translations like this should be handled like non-English articles: properly translate within two weeks or *whoosh*. Change to Keep.--jpgordon {gab} 03:30, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I'm not sure that it is improving. Certainly the grammar is improving, but it's really a demonstration of why machine translation + human cleanup without looking at original is not sufficient for a reasonable translation. For example, look at this revision by User:Rhymeless. He's changed "the inhabitants of Zurich continued to persist with their free alliance right" to "... continued to persist with their aims of freedom". Reads much better, and no disrespect intended to Rhymeless, but it's wrong. The German article reads "freien Bündnisrecht", which is their "right to free alliance", that is, to ally with whomever they choose -- significantly different from an "aim of freedom". My worry is that, while it's easy for people to clean up the English, checking all the facts against the original article is very labour-intensive. User:Thesteve, I didn't say it would be easier to create the article from scratch, I said it would be easier to translate it from scratch, and I stand by this -- multiplying the time it took me to fact-check "aims of freedom" by the size of the article gives a much longer time than a from-scratch translation would take, even with my level of German.
I admit I'm torn by the whole Pumpie saga. Maybe it is better to have a somewhat incorrect, thoroughly ungrammatical article than none at all. But the thought of the effort required to clean these things up boggles the mind: even after admirable efforts by Rhymeless and others, the article is still patent nonsense in places. I would far, far rather translate an article from German at Pumpie's request than deal with these monstrosities on a frequent basis. Perhaps a few of us could approach Pumpie with an offer to translate German articles for him if he'll consent to put them on Category:Translation requests rather than Babelfishing them? It takes time for me to translate accurately from German, but not nearly as much time as it takes to debate machine translated articles on VfD.
I consider it rude for Pumpie to continue this behaviour when he's stated on his talk page that he'll stop, but I assure you that I'm voting on the merits of the article itself rather than in an attempt to curb his behaviour. If the patent nonsense goes, I'll change my vote, but I'm really starting to think we need a policy for dealing with this kind of thing. Not sure about jpgordon's idea: certainly an improvement on the current situation, but I still think that human translation from source is the simplest and best way to go.
(Apologies for the long rant.) Pnot 06:43, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Edit: after a look through Pumpie's recent edits, it seems to me that I was being unfair and he has cleaned up his act since User:Voyager ch's request on 11 October: he seems to be copying across (mainly) the numerical parts of geographical articles from other wikipedias, which aren't so subject to translation error. Far more productive than the previous babelfest, and I hope he continues in this vein -- he's certainly industrious :-). Pnot 08:07, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Apologies for my mistake there. My German is fair, not great. I mostly tried to stay away from concepts I might not be able to translate properly (thus why I don't translate articles from other wikipedias). I didn't just try to clean it up from the English version blindly, however, and would appreciate your input on any other improper changes I may have made, if only for a sense of where I might have been lacking. [[User:Rhymeless|Rhymeless | (Methyl Remiss)]] 08:47, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Sorry if I caused any offence: I was just illustrating how hard it is to clean up a machine translation while retaining accuracy, and I don't think I could have done better without spending a great deal of time on it. Anyway, it seems it's all moot now :-). Pnot 21:19, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I rewrote the article, using material from Old Swiss Confederacy, History of Switzerland, Zürich and the web. Not all of the original detail has been replaced, but it's much better now. I also renamed the article to match our article on the city, which is at Zürich. I hope the rename doesn't cause too much trouble. I don't think there can be any remaining question about whether or not to keep it: should I just remove the VfD header from the article? Gdr 16:49, 2004 Oct 14 (UTC)

  • Good Work. Keep obviously--Tomheaton 18:57, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. And please, Voyager ch, do not list such articles on VfD, put them on Cleanup instead! Lupo 19:30, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Wonderful! The Gordian knot is cut. Thank you, Gdr, the new article looks great. Vote changed to Keep, of course. Pnot 21:19, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)
  • Keep. However, I would like to point out to all concerned that:
    1. People can request translation at Wikipedia:Translation into English, and the response is generally pretty good.
    2. Anyone who wants a Babelfish translation of an article in the German-language Wikipedia can get it by (duh) going to the German-language Wikipedia and using Babelfish, so the creation of these does not useful service.
    3. Insofar as this end up effectively fast-tracking certain translations that are probably no more deserving of the effort than others, it is more annoying than helpful.
    Jmabel|Talk 23:01, Oct 14, 2004 (UTC)
  • Provided that this is genuinely real history keep. This is an interesting little bit of European history that I'd never heard of before. And I had no idea that any of the now central cantons had ever left, let alon been expelled from Switzerland. --Quintucket 23:51, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

end moved discussion

WP:MilHist Assessment[edit]

This article has some details, and I'm happy to see that it exists and isn't a stub. But it definitely still needs work. An infobox would be wonderful, and some organization and different sections would begin to push this towards B-class range. Separate out Background, Aftermath, and the War itself, if there is enough content to do so. And, if possible, expand in general. Finally, I know it's somewhat nitpicky, and I apologize for that, but the conclusion sentence/paragraph sounds like something from a high school history paper, not a proper encyclopedia/academic text. The sentiment is valuable and interesting, but the way it is said needs to be reworked. LordAmeth 17:39, 5 August 2006 (UTC)

contradictory numbers reported[edit]

This article doesn't declare the same number of soldiers as the Battle of St. Jakob an der Birs. I'm tempted to say that the most modest estimate is the right one, but I'm no historian so I won't edit this article. Ruijoel 14:55, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

the German article has 40,000 and 1,500. That probably reflects the range of reasonable estimates, and the precise numbers will depend on the immediate source we are using. As long as we say "about" or "roughly" (20,000-40,000 / 1,500-1,600) , this isn't a big problem. Of course it would be nice to have a more detailed discussion of these estimates anyway. dab (𒁳) 16:32, 2 April 2007 (UTC)