Students from the University of Alcalá contribute to the translation of Wikipedia articles in Spanish

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Through the project “Translating the audiovisual memory of the Holocaust”, part of the iDEALE (Teaching Innovation in the Foreign Language Classroom) Teaching Innovation Group of the University of Alcalá, around 70 students translated a total of 28 articles for Spanish Wikipedia. Ten of the articles were taken from the German Wikipedia, eight from the English Wikipedia and ten from the French Wikipedia, all of them related to Holocaust cinema.

This project, which belongs to the 2023-24 academic year, consisted of organising working groups to translate a Wikipedia article related to the audiovisual memory of the Holocaust. To do this, they had the phases of 1) Documentation, with the aim of getting to know in depth the history of the Holocaust 2) Translation, the selection of the article and its translation, and finally 3) Revision and final delivery of the project on Wikipedia, under the supervision of the teaching team.

Translation of Wikipedia articles

In order to learn more about editing in Wikipedia, they counted on Florencia Claes, president of Wikimedia Spain and facilitator of the project. Florencia offered an “Editing Workshop” in which the students were able to learn first-hand about the pillars of Wikipedia, as well as how to use the interface, its structure, and how to edit and translate within the Wikipedia space.

Through this translation project, both the team of students and teachers seek to contribute to promoting the culture of free knowledge with a topic of great social relevance, such as the Holocaust.

The project enables students to develop a critical translatological spirit, as well as to work with the texts in a way that reaches a much wider audience. In this way, they internalise and deepen their knowledge of the Holocaust and become familiar with specialised language in at least two languages.

“It’s a very good idea to have chosen the topic of the Holocaust from the existing audiovisual representation… I think it’s a good way to approach Wikipedia for the first time”. says Florencia Claes.

In addition, a digital exhibition hosted on the YouTube channel of the iDEALE group was presented on 27 January in commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust. Each participating team presented each article and gave an explanation of its construction. Below, we share them with you:




Wikipedia and the University of Alcalá: Teaching team

This is not the first time that iDEALE has developed translation projects working on social issues hand in hand with Wikipedia. In the 2021-2022 academic year, they developed the topic of ‘Gender equality’, around German-speaking feminist women; while in the 2022-2023 academic year, they worked on the topic of ‘Pacifism’, in context with the war in Ukraine.

“For iDEALE, it is important for students to learn about and work on current issues; in this way, we help them develop a sense of social responsibility and historical memory, which is part of free knowledge”. Ingrid Cáceres Würsig, professor in the Department of Modern Philology at the University of Alcalá, and part of the project’s teaching team.

“I like the way the project has been growing over the years… The students come to class very prepared, very expectant, curious and eager to learn… I hope this project can continue to grow even more, it is very motivating for teachers”, added Florencia.

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