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Wikipedia:Content translation tool

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The content translation tool assists users in translating existing Wikipedia articles from one language to another. Users select an article in any language, then select another language, and the interface provides machine translation which the human user can then use as inspiration to make readable text in another language.

Users should be familiar with the target language. Also, they should not publish the machine translation as is, but should proofread the translation, which usually contains strange wording and errors.

English Wikipedia restrictions


The English Wikipedia community has restricted article creation by the WMF's semi-automatic content translation tool to extended confirmed users.[1] This access is automatically applied to extended confirmed users (editors who have been registered for at least 30 days and have made at least 500 edits to the English Wikipedia, or have been manually granted extended confirmed rights by an administrator after making a request). In addition, integration with machine translation has been disabled for all users.[1]

Due to a configuration error,[2] between at least 11 December 2015[3] and 26 July 2016,[4] this tool was using machine translation from the source language to English. The user was then expected to check and fix the translation before publication. Unfortunately, a high proportion of these articles were considered unacceptable by English Wikipedia's standards. Estimates are that, before machine translation was turned off, 95% of articles created with this tool were unacceptable without significant additional work.[5] Additionally, other issues with the tool, such as poor markup and mangled references, were common. A list of affected pages can be seen at User:ToThAc/CXT list.

In 2016, the community talked about developing a process whereby trusted editors would be able to gain access to this tool.[6][1] The community also intended to develop a venue where less experienced editors could submit translations for evaluation before being published in the main namespace.[citation needed] The community decided at an unknown date that all extended confirmed editors can automatically gain access to the tool. WP:AFC may be used as a venue for less experienced editors to submit translations for evaluation.

Use of the content translation tool for machine translations from the English Wikipedia into other projects is controlled by the destination projects.

Turning the tool on and off


Extended confirmed users can enable the content translation tool by clicking on the blue button at the top of this page in the nutshell description, labeled "Go to Special:ContentTranslation" and then choosing the link for "Try it now!". Doing so automatically invokes the tool's entry at the beta features of your preferences. In order to disable it, you must visit that section of your preferences and remove the checkmark for its entry.

Why machine translation is disabled in content translation


Raw or lightly edited machine translations have long been considered by the English Wikipedia community to be worse than nothing.[7] Articles translated without adaptations are often unsourced or badly sourced, which violates our verifiability policy. Unedited machine translations are also often so poor as to distort the intended meaning, for example by missing a negation in a sentence; to clean up the output into acceptable prose, a human sufficiently fluent in English is needed who understands the source language well enough to be sure that the meaning has not been scrambled or distorted. Other policies and guidelines on the English Wikipedia, such as notability, cannot be checked automatically either, and need a human familiar with English Wikipedia's version of the applicable policies to know if the translated article is acceptable.

Pages created prior to 27 July 2016 used to be evaluated for speedy deletion under now deprecated temporary criterion WP:X2. These pages may now be moved to draft space for review since most of the remaining articles did not need speedy deletion but rather a review.



The following logs are related to the CXT extension:

See also