Friday International Update – More Options

Hi all, Bruno Lewin here for our 3rd installment of news from the TechNet Wiki international community.

Today, I’ll cover two related topics: an update on authoring non-English content and some tips on the “Translation Widget” that brings instant translations of wiki pages or even this blog post. I’ll also share a glimpse of the passionate discussion a few of us had yesterday about this...

Creating non-English articles – reloaded!

We published a few tips on publishing non-English articles two weeks ago and received a number of questions and suggestions. Luigi Bruno went a step further: he gathered existing information, took extra feedback, filled the missing part and turned all this in a new article: Non-English Language Content Guidelines. Check it out. Leave a comment. And of course, try this is out if you had been holding out on authoring in your language for lack of guidelines!

My friends or colleagues don’t speak English, what can I do?

The Translation Widget is the “Translate this page” box that appears on the right side of each wiki article, or of this blog post if you happen to be reading on the website. It provides translation into a growing number of languages. Try it out. And do post comments with your thoughts.
Below is a picture for those reading the RSS feed:

The “mail” icon will generate a link that you can share with non-English speakers and it will take them directly to the translated version in the language you have selected. Below is how this blog looks when I select a French translation:

The system uses “Machine Translation” – this is usually of lesser quality that work done by a knowledgeable person, but has the advantage of being instant. This article has more information on how to improve translation quality.

So are we leaving English speakers in the cold?

Some rightly pointed out that all these translation features work great for English articles but won’t translate articles originally written in any other language. At the time I write this, close to 20% of TechNet Wiki articles are in other languages  (to be more precise, close to 20% of articles are in Brazilian Portuguese!). These contain a lot of information, often not available in any other language, but the Widget will not translate them. We’re looking for a solution, but this could take some time.
In the meantime, you can get a translation with “one click” using the “translate” accelerators or plug-ins available for most recent web browser. Just right click on the page, select translate, et voila! Alternatively, if you’d rather not change your configuration, pasting the URL of the page in a standalone translation service (Bing Translator is one) will do the trick.


I hope this has been helpful, feedback  is always welcome.

Comments (9)

  1. Luigi Bruno says:

    Thanks Bruno! 😉

    I'm going to start translating the articles I've written and contributed to in Italian (my mother tongue).

  2. Luigi,

    That would be great for you to help with Italian articles! I'm looking forward to it, and thank you for your contributions on the Non-English Content Guidelines!

  3. Luigi Bruno says:

    I was thinking about a small problem in the translation system: the "Table of Contents" header will not be translated automatically, but it will always be displayed in English language.

  4. Hi Luigi. Thanks for bringing up.

    I think this falls into the larger issue of the interface of the wiki being English-only. Getting it into more languages is on the roadmap, but I’ll drop a note to our dev friends asking if the TOC would be covered as well.

    For now, I use a somewhat odd trick when I want to send a link to a wiki page and have it appear nealy 100% in a given language including menus, Table of content and all: I append "#mstto=fr" (using fr=French as an example) to the URL. This will invoke translation
    into that language.

    E.g. below will translate into French a page that is already in French: the result is that menu, TOC, etc that were in English are now also in French:…/5096.aspx [there is  #mstto=fr at the end]

  5. Luigi Bruno says:

    OK Bruno, thanks for your feedback.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You can find the list of authors here:
    Wiki Ninjas Blog: The Contributors

    Anyone can join us

  7. Anonymous says:

    This blog is a follow up to our last list of Wiki Ninja Blog Authors: Council Spotlight: Who are the

  8. aw says:

    hai, I just want to tell you that I am just very new to blogs and seriously loved this website. More than likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post .
    You amazingly come with really good posts. Thanks a lot for sharing your blog Microsoft.

Skip to main content