Translating:MediaWiki

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MediaWiki is open source wiki software on which this site runs, and which can be translated here. Support for translating hundreds of MediaWiki extensions is also available.

Translators may add MediaWiki to their babel box or include {{User MediaWiki}} to add themselves to Category:MediaWiki translators.

Translation flow

You made some changes here? This is what happens then and how long it takes to take effect.

Export threshold: Messages do not start to be exported to MediaWiki until at least 18% of the core MediaWiki messages in that language have been translated: under such amount, the export scripts automatically skip the language in question and developers won't add support for the language on MediaWiki. The threshold corresponds to the number of all most used messages in MediaWiki or more; see also Translatewiki.net languages.
Wikimedia
Interface message changes should be reflected in projects within 48 hours. Everything else (magic words, special pages...) may take from days to months.
Wikia
Wikia usually uses customised stable revisions of the MediaWiki software. Consequently, the localisation of the MediaWiki core product, and standard MediaWiki extension from the main repository have a stable localisation state. Wikia extensions are updated more often. Wikia makes a weekly release of its code, including recent localisation updates of extensions from its own repository.
Everything else
New translations are shipped with each new MediaWiki release (1.x) and usually with maintenance releases too (1.x.y). There are only a few releases per year, and many sites do not update often. Since version 1.16 onwards it is possible to install the LocalisationUpdate extension, which speeds up the process a lot.

Why translate on translatewiki.net

MediaWiki is one of the few softwares which allows its users to translate it from itself. Thanks to translatewiki.net, however, localising it is even easier; and more efficient. In addition to the general advantages of this wiki, compared to local translation:

  • Your translations are used on every MediaWiki wiki, this includes every Wikimedia wiki, see #Translation flow.
  • You can localise namespaces (Help, User, Talk, ...), special page names (Recentchanges, Allpages, ...), and magic words.
    The message groups above cannot be localised in a normal wiki, because they are buried deep down in the software. Here you can localise these message groups, and later on your changes can be used in every installation of MediaWiki again. See #Translation notes below.
  • You are able to translate new messages faster than on a local wiki.
    We always have the latest version of the software. This means new messages show up much faster than on any other wiki and you have more time to translate them before they arrive to your wiki. This can also mean translatewiki.net uses an unstable version, but problems are usually solved quickly.
  • Only drawback, your translations will not show up immediately on your local wiki, but after a few days to weeks; or, if you are using a release version, after the next update. However, for the previous point, there's no reason to be in a hurry: just check new messages regularly and translate them in time.
    See FAQ#How is the work done on translatewiki.net connected to other wikis?.

Extensions

All MediaWiki extensions are supported as long as they are in Wikimedia's Git repository (or svn.wikimedia.org for legacy extensions) and their developers are supportive enough of translators.

If you don't want your extension to be added to translation, because you're going to soon change many messages completely or to delete the extension altogether, please state it clearly somewhere so that we don't add it when it's still too soon.

MediaWiki extensions residing on other repositories (including GitHub) will not be supported. See here for the details.

Translation notes

Magic words and language features

If you need to refer to the name of the site, you can use magic variables like {{SITENAME}}. If your language uses inflection, you should talk to the developers about implementing some support for it. Once this is done you can use forms like {{GRAMMAR:genitive|{{SITENAME}}}} to refer to the sitename in genitive. Another magic word is {{PLURAL}}. Talk to the developers, or see the notes on meta if you are not sure how it works. Its syntax is {{PLURAL:$n|first form|second form|nth form}} up to any number of forms as required.

Translating namespace names

You can translate namespaces (User:, Category: etc.) via Special:AdvancedTranslate, see FAQ for more information.

If the namespace you are looking for is not listed (as of January 2013 only core namespaces are available), you can

In some rare cases where an extension doesn't support translation of namespaces, translation needs to be done with a local configuration setting for each wiki instead. See #Namespace name aliases. The developers will tell you if this is the case, answering your request.

Namespace name aliases

Since namespace name aliases cannot be localised via translatewiki.net's Special:AdvancedTranslate because of their highly technical nature, you must make a request at support. Please list pairs of alias names, and their corresponding English namespace names. As a rule of thumb, whenever you alter namespace names via Special:AdvancedTranslate, and there is a wiki using the affected language as its default language, do report it!

Sitename/project namespace on Wikimedia wikis

If the sitename at your project is not localized, you should contact the other contributors at your project and find consensus about translation, then open a request at Phabricator; see m:Requesting wiki configuration changes.

Other technical issues

On MediaWiki, much more can be localised: see mw:Localisation#What can be localised.

Translation guidelines

Links to special pages

Links to special pages in messages should always follow the syntax:

[[Special:'''canonic-english-name'''|translated-link-anchor]]

All bold parts should stay as they are. Do translate translated-link-anchor into your language. If there is no vertical bar (|) followed by a link anchor (a descriptive text shown to the reader) in the original message, add them, using the canonic-english-name as the source of your translation.

Some languages allow you to use either of:

[[Special:canonic-english-name|{{#special:canonic-english-name}}]]
[[Special:canonic-english-name|{{int:some-message-name}}]]

which is ok to do. You run the risk, however, that amending these other translations may require amending messages that use them.

Also, subpages to Special: pages are left untranslated. Take the following message as an example:

[[Special:canonic-english-name/subpage|translated-link-anchor]]

Here the text "canonic-english-name/subpage" are left untranslated. Do translate translated-link-anchor.

Statistics

Statistics for current development version

These are statistics for the current alpha development version, i.e. 1.26alpha. Committed translations will appear to these statistics.

Statistics for released versions

These statistics are only for viewing. Translations will not be committed to tags, but only to branches and the current trunk/alpha version of MediaWiki.

Other statistics and information

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