The following is a draft of a proposed Betawiki:FAQs page with proposed links from the support page and the Translating:Intro pages. Please add comments below the draft.
How is the work done on Betawiki connected to other wikis?
When translations, new or updated, are 'committed' by a developer (at present Nike or Siebrand) what happens is that the master copy of wiki software kept at MediaWiki.org is updated. This process is explained on Translating:Process#_Getting_things_into_Wikimedia _and_other_MediaWikis. This master copy on MediaWiki.org is used:
- as the sourcecode for each new wiki set up by Wikimedia or any other person
- for updating the default mediawiki messages for all Wikimedia projects including all the Wikipedias, Commons, all Wiktionaries, etc.
This updating process should happen within a few days of the updated code being committed to Wikimedia.
Updates to partly-translated wikis
If a particular message has already been translated (customised) on a wiki then an update from Betawiki will update the default message but not the actual customised message used by the wiki. If you look at the list of all messages on the wiki, you will see the new default from Betawiki above the message which was customised on the wiki itself. The wiki will use the customised message in its interface - to use the new default message the message has to be manually edited.
I have changed a message but the old one is still appearing on Betawiki
How is each language translation managed on Betawiki?
A control page is set up by the developers when work starts on any language eg Betawiki:LanguageIt.php and MessagesIt.php, for Italian (It). This page contains a lot of information about the language and the current version (if any) of the interface translation held on mediawiki. This page is also used to record events to do with the progress of the language translation.
The list of languages being maintained is on Translating:Languages (as explained on Translating:How to start). The name of your languge on this list should be in blue because it should have a wiki link to the 'Betawiki:LanguageXX.php and MessagesXX.php' page (for language code XX). If it is not on the list then go to the category of language and message pages on Category:Languages or go to the list on all pages Special:prefixindex/project:Language.
If there is more than 1 maintainer of a language then you could use the talk page of the Betawiki:LanguageXX.php and MessagesXX.php to discuss the translation amongst that language translation group, eg. Icelandic talk page.
How do I find information on the system messages?
Betawiki is slowly putting together pages of information on the system messages which should be useful to the translator - information on context, etc.
- To read information on a particular message click on the 'edit' tab on the message. This edit page contains a box headed 'Information about this message'. Information pages carry the extension /qqq for example MediaWiki:Lockbtn/qqq
- Translation hints on groups of messages appears to be scrapped for now.
- Categorisation of messages by type appears to be scrapped for now.
If you are using the messages from another wiki, eg Wikipedia, to update messages on Betawiki then you will notice that some messages have been deleted. They have a warning message 'Warning: You are recreating a page that was previously deleted', eg [:en:Mediawiki:Exif-aperturevalue]. If you come across any of those then you can skip over them in Betawiki too. These messages are old messaes that are no longer used. If the message has –old in the title then that also means that the message i s old and there is no need to translate it or edit the translation.
How do I find out about the magic word PLURAL?
If the grammar for plural in your language is different from the grammar for plural in the language that your translation is based upon then you are going to need to have a special Plural function designed for your language. For example, if your translation is based on English, but the grammar for plural in your language is not [word/grammar for 1][word/grammar for all numbers except 1] then your LanguageXx.php file will need to include a definition for plural in your language. If you don't know computer code then all you need do is describe how plural works in your language, with an example for each number, or group of numbers, which has a different plural, and ask a developer to code this for you.
As at February 2008 the sourcecode can cope with a language having any number of different groups of numbers (see Translating:Interface_translation/guidelines).