Wikipedia:University of Edinburgh/Events and Workshops/Translation workshop at the Celtic Knot 2018 Conference

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University of Edinburgh edit-a-thon

About the event[edit]

An introduction to Wikipedia

Have you ever wondered why the information in Wikipedia is extensive for some topics and scarce for others? Particularly in different language Wikipedias? Taking place on 5 July 2018, the University of Edinburgh's Wikimedian in Residence, Ewan McAndrew, team will run a Wikipedia translate-a-thon.

We will provide training on how to edit and participate in an open knowledge community. Participants will be supported to translate articles.

(Video) Introduction to the Content Translation tool (1 minute).

We Can Edit

How do I prepare?[edit]

Further reading[edit]

The main policies and guidelines can be found at the following pages:

Programme (approximate - timings will vary depending on participants)[edit]

  • 11.20am - Welcome.
  • 11.25am - Creating an account and enabling the Content Translation tool.
  • 11.30am - Selecting an article to work on.
  • 11.45am - Translating the article.
  • 12.15pm - Publishing the article.
  • 12.20pm - Tidying up and close.

Lunch is not until 12.45pm so I am happy to answer any questions you may have.


Ewan McAndrew, Wikimedian in Residence at the University of Edinburgh

Class List[edit]

Please put your Wikipedia username in the space below:

The assignment[edit]

15 steps to translation success[edit]

  1. The first step is to Create an account.
  2. If not already done so the Content Translation tool must be enabled. This can be done in the Beta menu (top right corner of your screen). Once in the Beta menu, make sure the Content Translation option is ticked and then click Save (bottom left corner of your screen).
  3. Now you need to select an article or articles to translate. The tools below (categories, portals, Gapfinder, Not in the other language) will help you decide. Importantly, it should be a high quality article (check the references being used) of suitable importance & subject matter.
  4. The article you select we normally ask to be approved by BOTH your course tutor AND Ewan McAndrew (email: before you begin. Once you have approval from both then email the approved article title along with the languages being translated from and to
  5. There is no word count limit for this workshop but normally we request that the assignment must be in excess of 2000 words this semester (& by that we include only the main prose text - not the notes, references & bibliography etc. at the end of the article). Copy the main prose text from the source article onto a new Microsoft Word document. Add the Word count at the end of the article (e.g. Word count = 2054 words). Save the Word document as YOUR NAME - Source Article - Source Article Title and make sure you have recorded the word count at the bottom of this new document.
  6. Go to the Content Translation tool in the Contributions menu.
  7. Click Start a new translation.
  8. Input the languages you are translating from and to.
  9. Input the source article title.
  10. Click Start translation.
  11. The article will then be translated by you paragraph by paragraph. Check and double-check the paragraphs being translated that they make sense in the target language and that the formatting copies across correctly. Important: Save your work as you go by copying completed paragraphs into a second Word document entitled: 'YOUR NAME - New translated article - New article title'.
  12. Consult the Content Translation Guide, FAQ and screencast to help you with any issues.
  13. Once you are satisfied with your translation then click Publish translation to complete your translation. Make sure the newly published article has enough categories and links to other pages (and that other pages link to it). If your article was not over 2000 words (this word count has to be recorded at the bottom of your 2nd Word document for the new translated article you have just created) then you will need to repeat this process with a second article.
  14. If your newly translated article(s) are now in excess of 2000 words, congratulations you have created your first page(s) and the assignment.

One final step[edit]

Finally, Wikipedia articles each have a sidebar listing its counterparts in other languages, so the last thing you should do is to make sure this includes links to and from the new translated material. A guide on this can be found at Help:Interlanguage links.

Choosing an article[edit]

  1. The word limit is normally 2000 words but please make sure the chosen article is sufficiently challenging. The article in question will need to be run past both your portfolio tutor and myself to avoid issues where the original source articles do not have enough citations or references so consequently the target article will not either.
  2. Please aim to select an article from the Featured Articles quality criteria (the highest quality standard on Wikipedia) or the Good Article quality criteria (the 2nd highest). There is a wider pool to choose from on English Wikipedia because it is the largest Wikipedia but you’ll notice that if you click on the Featured article link, there are links on the left hand side of pages to the ‘Featured Articles’ page in each of the other language Wikipedias. You will find the same if you click on the ‘Good Article’ links. There will be a lot less featured and good articles in other language Wikipedias but as long as the article has achieved good article status or featured article status, regardless of the language then it should be of the required standard to translate for our purposes. Therefore please take extra time to choose your source article(s) so that they are the right length, right level of linguistic challenge and have enough citations so that they will have no such problems in the target Wikipedia.
  3. You can view Pages needing translation into English and do category searches for articles in a subject you are interested in e.g. Category:Articles needing translation from foreign-language Wikipedias. You can also view the Portal directory to search portals in the same way.
  4. Tool: Gapfinder - This tool has been developed to help editors find missing content in any language for which there is a Wikipedia edition. GapFinder helps you discover articles that exist in one language but are missing in another. Start by selecting a source language and a target language. GapFinder will find trending articles in the source that are missing in the target. If you are interested in a particular topic area, provide a seed article in the source language, and GapFinder will find related articles missing in the target. Click on a card to take a closer look at a missing article to see if you would like to create it from scratch or translate it.
  5. Tool: "Not in the other language" - This tool looks for Wikidata items that have a page in one language but not in the other (using Wikipedia categories to filter the results).
  6. Check the word count of the source article. You can use this tool Search tool to look up the article & its word count but this includes references in its count so is not accurate enough for our purposes. Hence you should copy the article's main text (not including notes, references, bibliographies etc.) into a Word document so you can get a more accurate indication of the main body of the article's wordcount.

Assignment details[edit]

Class list
# Wiki Username Chosen article(s) Language translating from Language Translating to Newly translated article
1. Stinglehammer Barack Obama English Arabic باراك أوباما

Content Translation[edit]

Screencast video tutorial to using the Content Translation tool

Helpful links[edit]

Once you've learned the basics of editing using Wikipedia’s Visual Editor, I hope that you'll stay logged in and edit or create more articles. I've added some booklets and some links below that you may find useful. As a first step you may like to check out what What Wikipedia is not along with its 5 guiding principles: The 5 pillars.

  • Please sign your messages on talk pages with four tildes (~~~~). This will automatically insert your "signature" (your username and a date stamp). The Button sig.png or Insert-signature.png button, on the tool bar above Wikipedia's text editing window, also does this.
  • If you would like to play around with your new Wiki skills without changing the mainspace, the Sandbox is for you.


Suggested sources:[edit]

  • DiscoverEd to find books, ebooks, journals, ejournals and more.
News sources[edit]
Theses databases[edit]

Outcomes - New pages created[edit]

To be determined.


Join us for the event!

Video guides to editing Wikipedia[edit]

Tutorials on Wikipedia editing[edit]

One page handouts[edit]

External links[edit]

Participants - Sign Up Here![edit]

Prior to the event:

  1. RSVP:
  2. Do you have a Wikipedia User Name?
    No? Create a Wikipedia account
    Yes? Go to Step #2
  3. Sign up! Add your Wikipedia User Name to this section by clicking the blue button below (follow instructions). Your name will be added to the bottom of this page
Don't worry! If you haven't edited Wikipedia before and don't have a Wikipedia User Name yet, we will help you on the day of the event! And remember to have fun!