Translating:MediaWiki/Basic glossary: Tips for maintainers


The Basic MediaWiki Glossary document is living, not frozen. It's maintained by the community and for its benefit. Be bold when editing it, but please be mindful of the following guidelines when editing it:

  1. The primary purpose of this glossary is to help the people who localize MediaWiki, especially beginners.
  2. It's not supposed to be too long. It's not a comprehensive glossary of all the terms in computing, MediaWiki, Wikimedia communities, wiki editing, or library science. It must remain focused on what is necessary for easy, consistent, and complete translation of the Most important messages (also known as "Most used"), and for understanding the glossary itself.
  3. If messages with new terms are added to the Most important messages list, these terms should be added. If messages are removed, consider also removing the terms or moving them to another glossary.
  4. In definitions, add links to other terms in the glossary, but only as far as it is useful. Don't link the same term more than once in the same definition.
  5. Use the links template to add links to English Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and, but do test that every link leads to a page that is relevant in context. By default, links are not added, and links to Wikipedia and Wiktionary articles with the same title as the term are added, and this is not always correct. If there are no appropriate pages, use the nowikipedia and nowiktionary parameters.
  6. This glossary is supposed to be general for MediaWiki and Wikimedia sites in all languages. Avoid giving examples that are unique to one particular language or wiki or linking to policy or help pages in particular wikis.
  7. The glossary's most important readers are people for whom English is not the native language, and who are often not very experienced with editing wikis. Listen to the episode 38. What Is a Learner's Dictionary? of the Merriam-Webster Word Matters podcast (22 minutes), or read that episode's transcript for good examples of the differences between defining terms for native speakers and for learners of the language. This glossary is supposed to be more like a learner's dictionary.
  8. The terms and the definitions in this glossary are supposed to be easy to translate. The wikitext of the glossary is optimized for that: It is somewhat complex for the maintainers of the original English text, with links, translate tags, and templates, but the intention is to make it easy for the translators.