[Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

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[Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Juergen Fenn
Hallo Tilman,

Am 13.04.2012 um 13:01 schrieb [hidden email]:
>
> please find below the WMF report for March 2012, in plain text.

Thanks for publishing the new report.

> Since a few months, we have been publishing a separate "Highlights"
> summary. Please consider helping non-English-language communities to
> stay updated, by providing a translation:
> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_March_2012
> Many thanks to those who translated last month's "Highlights" into
> Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and
> (partially) Arabic.

We have discussed this on the German Chapter's list recently. Most of those taking part in the discussion opined the Wikimedia Foundation provide translations of its documents into the most important languages. We touched upon the subject as WCA announced it will publish its reports in several languages. Translations should not be left to the community. It is not up to the community to get news from the Foundation, but it is rather up to the Foundation to get its message across to the community. Please note that only a minority of Wikipedians are able to understand your documents published in English. I would be quite grateful if we please could change this.

Regards,
Jürgen.


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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Виктория-6
I second this on behalf of Russian-speaking users.

Victoria

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM, Juergen Fenn <[hidden email]> wrote:

> Hallo Tilman,
>
> Am 13.04.2012 um 13:01 schrieb [hidden email]:
> >
> > please find below the WMF report for March 2012, in plain text.
>
> Thanks for publishing the new report.
>
> > Since a few months, we have been publishing a separate "Highlights"
> > summary. Please consider helping non-English-language communities to
> > stay updated, by providing a translation:
> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_March_2012
> > Many thanks to those who translated last month's "Highlights" into
> > Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and
> > (partially) Arabic.
>
> We have discussed this on the German Chapter's list recently. Most of
> those taking part in the discussion opined the Wikimedia Foundation provide
> translations of its documents into the most important languages. We touched
> upon the subject as WCA announced it will publish its reports in several
> languages. Translations should not be left to the community. It is not up
> to the community to get news from the Foundation, but it is rather up to
> the Foundation to get its message across to the community. Please note that
> only a minority of Wikipedians are able to understand your documents
> published in English. I would be quite grateful if we please could change
> this.
>
> Regards,
> Jürgen.
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Martijn Hoekstra
As a matter of principle, I wholeheartedly agree. But principles only
take you so far, and cost a great deal. I don't see much wrong with
the communities translating reports, rather than have the WMF spend my
donated money on translators.

On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 2:03 PM, Виктория <[hidden email]> wrote:

> I second this on behalf of Russian-speaking users.
>
> Victoria
>
> On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 12:29 PM, Juergen Fenn <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
>> Hallo Tilman,
>>
>> Am 13.04.2012 um 13:01 schrieb [hidden email]:
>> >
>> > please find below the WMF report for March 2012, in plain text.
>>
>> Thanks for publishing the new report.
>>
>> > Since a few months, we have been publishing a separate "Highlights"
>> > summary. Please consider helping non-English-language communities to
>> > stay updated, by providing a translation:
>> > https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_March_2012
>> > Many thanks to those who translated last month's "Highlights" into
>> > Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and
>> > (partially) Arabic.
>>
>> We have discussed this on the German Chapter's list recently. Most of
>> those taking part in the discussion opined the Wikimedia Foundation provide
>> translations of its documents into the most important languages. We touched
>> upon the subject as WCA announced it will publish its reports in several
>> languages. Translations should not be left to the community. It is not up
>> to the community to get news from the Foundation, but it is rather up to
>> the Foundation to get its message across to the community. Please note that
>> only a minority of Wikipedians are able to understand your documents
>> published in English. I would be quite grateful if we please could change
>> this.
>>
>> Regards,
>> Jürgen.
>>
>>
>> _______________________________________________
>> Wikimedia-l mailing list
>> [hidden email]
>> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>>
> _______________________________________________
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> [hidden email]
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Juergen Fenn-3
Am 14. April 2012 14:03 schrieb Martijn Hoekstra <[hidden email]>:
> As a matter of principle, I wholeheartedly agree. But principles only
> take you so far, and cost a great deal. I don't see much wrong with
> the communities translating reports, rather than have the WMF spend my
> donated money on translators.

May I remind you that in German Wikipedia so many contributors are
concerned by exclusion from discussions and annoucements in English
that the German chapter had to start a newsletter last autumn that is
compiled weekly as a joint effort by chapter staff and volunteers in
order to inform about recent events. However, this does not replace
translations. In publishing its announcements in English only, the
Wikimedia Foundation does exclude the majority of Wikipedians from
direct participation which is an unfair and undemocratic way. Any
money spent on improving participation is well spent, if it costs
anything more at all.

Regards,
Jürgen.

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Osmar Valdebenito
If increasing global reach and participation is part of our strategy, then
it is important to communicate in the principal languages and engage with
new people.
Certainly, communities can help to translate. But the Foundation can leave
that work only to the communities.
What if nobody in the Chinese, Spanish or Arabic communities of speakers is
able to do a decent work translating? Well, we leave billions of people
outside and our expansion in developing countries will be affected.
Also, it is important to have a coherent message across the world, without
misspellings or uncomplete translations that can hurt it. Volunteers do a
great job, but not the professional one we expect from the WMF.
Every respected international organization publishes in different
languages... when will the Wikimedia Foundation start doing it?


Osmar Valdebenito Gaete

Presidente de Wikimedia Chile

http://www.wikimediachile.cl

2012/4/16 Juergen Fenn <[hidden email]>

> Am 14. April 2012 14:03 schrieb Martijn Hoekstra <
> [hidden email]>:
> > As a matter of principle, I wholeheartedly agree. But principles only
> > take you so far, and cost a great deal. I don't see much wrong with
> > the communities translating reports, rather than have the WMF spend my
> > donated money on translators.
>
> May I remind you that in German Wikipedia so many contributors are
> concerned by exclusion from discussions and annoucements in English
> that the German chapter had to start a newsletter last autumn that is
> compiled weekly as a joint effort by chapter staff and volunteers in
> order to inform about recent events. However, this does not replace
> translations. In publishing its announcements in English only, the
> Wikimedia Foundation does exclude the majority of Wikipedians from
> direct participation which is an unfair and undemocratic way. Any
> money spent on improving participation is well spent, if it costs
> anything more at all.
>
> Regards,
> Jürgen.
>
> _______________________________________________
> Wikimedia-l mailing list
> [hidden email]
> Unsubscribe: https://lists.wikimedia.org/mailman/listinfo/wikimedia-l
>
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Tilman Bayer
In reply to this post by Juergen Fenn
Hallo Juergen,
On Fri, Apr 13, 2012 at 1:29 PM, Juergen Fenn <[hidden email]> wrote:
> Hallo Tilman,
>
> Am 13.04.2012 um 13:01 schrieb [hidden email]:
>>
>> please find below the WMF report for March 2012, in plain text.
>
> Thanks for publishing the new report.
Glad you found it useful, and feedback is always appreciated.
>
>> Since a few months, we have been publishing a separate "Highlights"
>> summary. Please consider helping non-English-language communities to
>> stay updated, by providing a translation:
>> https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_March_2012
And translations continue to be welcome for the new issue as well:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_April_2012

>> Many thanks to those who translated last month's "Highlights" into
>> Danish, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and
>> (partially) Arabic.
>
> We have discussed this on the German Chapter's list recently. Most of those taking part in the discussion opined the Wikimedia Foundation provide translations of its documents into the most important languages.

I absolutely support the goal of making it easier for Wikimedians who
cannot read English to inform themselves about important news in the
movement.  The Foundation is certainly moving in the direction of
providing more translations.  For example, the last WMF annual report
saw professional translations into six languages for the first time
(https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Annual_Report#Translations - by
the way, if anyone needs printed copies of these for outreach or other
purposes, feel free to contact us) and recently we started to
experiment with translations of blog postings
(https://blog.wikimedia.org/tag/multilingual-post/ ). And during the
terms of use update process, the WMF legal and community advocacy team
has procured professional translations as well.

I happen to be subscribed to the German chapter's mailing list and had
read the thread you mentioned. I noticed that it didn't really result
in an answer to the central, most tricky question of how to designate
those "most important languages". (An ad hoc suggestion for six
priority languages for the Highlights on the Translators-l list last
fall wasn't very well received.)

> We touched upon the subject as WCA announced it will publish its reports in several languages.
I wasn't aware of such a concrete commitment by the WCA (besides the
interim steering committee's announcement that it "will publish its
resolutions in Esperanto to aid in translating into other languages."
- https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Chapters_Association/Establishment_of_the_Chapter_Council_Steering_Committee
).  But perhaps the WMF will indeed be able to learn from the WCA in
this respect. Do you happen to know which core languages (besides
Esperanto) it is committing to translate to, and could you tell me
(perhaps offlist) which translation companies the WCA is contracting?
Right now it seems that for the translation of the WCA founding
documents, the exact same volunteer-based system on Meta is used to
which you objected in case of the Wikimedia Highlights:
https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3AMessageGroupStats&x=D&group=agg-Wikimedia_Chapters_Association&suppressempty=1

> Translations should not be left to the community. It is not up to the community to get news from the Foundation, but it is rather up to the Foundation to get its message across to the community.

Although I agree with your emphasis on making such information
accessible, I struggle to understand the logic behind this statement.

First, I would not see the Wikimedia Highlights as transporting "the
Foundation's message" - e.g. half of the non-data items concern not
activities of the Foundation, but of chapters and of the project
communities: https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Wikimedia_Highlights,_April_2012#Other_movement_highlights
. (That being said, I sympathize with the argument that if an
organization sends out a message whose main purpose it is to advance
what it sees as its particular interests in a movement-wide debate, it
might consider paying for those translations instead of asking
volunteers, and indeed I recall a similar case a few months ago.)

Secondly, while I am much encouraged (even flattered) by the fact that
you are regarding the Wikimedia Highlights as essential information
for community members, and translating them as a vital task, it is not
a given that all vital tasks must be left to paid workers. Work like
proactively removing copyright violations or processing OTRS emails is
also essential for the movement (or more narrowly, the Foundation's
operation), yet it is largely done by unpaid volunteers.

Third, even accepting that you want to see more donation money
directed towards paid translations of the Highlights, I hope that you
at least appreciate that the preparation of the Wikimedia Highlights
themselves already represents a significant amount of paid work
(mostly mine) toward that goal - facilitating translation was a main
goal when we introduced the shortened Highlights version, after the
full monthly report had seen virtually no translations for over a year
despite a conspicuous notice at the top inviting them.

> Please note that only a minority of Wikipedians are able to understand your documents published in English.
Just out of curiousity, could you point me to the research that this
statement was based on? It stands in contrast to the recent editor
survey among active Wikipedians in 17 languages, where 86 percent said
they (sometimes) read the English Wikipedia
(https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/04/27/nine-out-of-ten-wikipedians-continue-to-be-men/
). Again, this is not to deny the existence of a significant number of
Wikipedians who cannot read English at all, or that those who can read
English still might prefer to read a translation in their own
language, or that providing translations will help our strategic goal
of increasing global reach (as Osmar points out). But I think it is
important to conduct this debate based on facts rather than hearsay or
personal impressions, before spending large amounts of donation money.

> I would be quite grateful if we please could change this.

All that being said, we are certainly open to the idea of spending
some money on such translations of the Wikimedia Highlights and have
indeed considered that before. It's just that weighing the downsides
and advantages is a bit more complicated than you make it appear. In
the end, it is important to be aware that the translation work will be
powered by voluntary contributions either way - be it volunteer
translators donating their time, or volunteer donors contributing
their money.


--
Tilman Bayer
Movement Communications
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Translations of WMF documents [was: Re: Wikimedia Foundation Report, March 2012 [was: Re: Wikimedia-l Digest, Vol 97, Issue 43]]

Delphine Ménard
In reply to this post by Osmar Valdebenito
On Mon, Apr 16, 2012 at 3:20 PM, Osmar Valdebenito
<[hidden email]> wrote:

> If increasing global reach and participation is part of our strategy, then
> it is important to communicate in the principal languages and engage with
> new people.
> Certainly, communities can help to translate. But the Foundation can leave
> that work only to the communities.
> What if nobody in the Chinese, Spanish or Arabic communities of speakers is
> able to do a decent work translating? Well, we leave billions of people
> outside and our expansion in developing countries will be affected.
> Also, it is important to have a coherent message across the world, without
> misspellings or uncomplete translations that can hurt it. Volunteers do a
> great job, but not the professional one we expect from the WMF.
> Every respected international organization publishes in different
> languages... when will the Wikimedia Foundation start doing it?

For what it's worth, translating Wikimedia stuff is _not easy_,
especially for a professional translator who has (at least at the
beginning) no experience whatsoever with the Wikimedia world. My take
would be that a joint effort of volunteers and paid translators would
be an idea to explore, as my experience with both all volunteer and
all paid translation on things Wikimedia is pretty... well, let's say
interesting (and just for the record, I hate doing translations and I
am really bad at them, but proofreading something already translated
is, at least for me, much easier).

On another note, the same way that Wikimedia Deutschland has started
the Wikimedia Woche (a "Wikimedia international highlights" of sorts),
I think chapters should help with this, by trying to find good
resources (both paid and volunteers) to help translate the important
things.

On yet another note, I don't think that _everyone_ is looking for
_exactly_ the same information, and as a person involved in many
different parts of the movement across the world, I think it might
also be worth brainstorming about what exactly needs to be translated
and how. The Wikimedia Woche in that regard is interesting in that it
does not translate stuff from A to Z, but rather tries to give
pointers to things that might interest the German community.

Don't get me wrong, I would love to see more stuff translated (from
the foundation as well as from anyone else, chapters, community
reports, the Signpost, the Kurier, etc.), but I don't think it's all a
black and white thing, starting of course with the difficult answer to
the question "which are the major languages?" ;) (yeah, I know,
Spanish is top of the list :P).

Best,

Delphine
--
@notafish

NB. This gmail address is used for mailing lists. Personal emails will get lost.
Intercultural musings: Ceci n'est pas une endive - http://blog.notanendive.org
Photos with simple eyes: notaphoto - http://photo.notafish.org

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