Language and Internationalization/Newsletters/3

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Welcome to the April 2024 edition of the Language and internationalization newsletter by the Wikimedia Foundation Language team!

This newsletter provides you with quarterly updates on new feature developments, improvements in various language-related technical projects and support work, community meetings, and ideas to get involved in contributing to the projects.

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Key highlights

Yoruba Wikipedia hits 25 millions views 

The Yoruba language version of Wikipedia is known as “Yoruba Wikipedia,” with its web address being “” Although established in October 2002, the majority of its content was authored by non-native Yoruba speakers until 2018. This was mainly due to the lack of native Yoruba-speaking editors. In 2023, Yoruba Wikipedia reached a significant milestone, garnering 25 million views, making it the most widely read Nigerian language Wikipedia and the most visited website in Yoruba [1]. This remarkable achievement is largely attributed to the substantial contributions of the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group and other volunteer members of the Yoruba Wikipedia community. As of February 15, 2024, Yoruba Wikipedia features a total of 33,745 articles and is supported by 110 active editors who regularly contribute to its growth. 

A participant at the Yoruba Storytelling event

Insights from MinT Research

Recently, the Wikimedia Foundation’s language team initiated a study to understand how MinT can support more people in reading and writing on Wikipedia, particularly in languages receiving machine translation support for the first time or with additional machine translation options. Working with Anagram Research, they tested ideas to assess people’s experiences with machine translation. The study aimed to: 1) find new ways to display more content and encourage contributions, and 2) understand how people use machine translation in languages with fewer resources, especially where translation options are improving. They also investigated how MinT can help break language barriers to knowledge. Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, and Awadhi speakers participated in the study. Detailed results can be found here.

Translation tools activated for 28 Wikipedias

As part of the Boost initiative to support content generation across different Wikipedia sites using translation tools, Content and Section Translation tools have been activated for 28 language Wikipedias. These Wikipedias were chosen because they have potential to grow with these tools. For 23 of these languages, MinT has been set as the default service in Content Translation. Before enabling this option, these Wikipedia communities were invited to test machine translation quality on their wikis. After consulting with them, this option was made the default. These translation tools are available on the wikis where corresponding languages are supported by the MADLAD-400 open source translation model from Google Research. MinT is designed to provide machine translation service from multiple models. As the Foundation’s Language Team is considering integrating the MADLAD model with MinT in the future, this will help maximize their impact when machine translation capabilities are enabled.

Tutorial for translation administrators 

User:RAdimer-WMF, an Associate in Movement Communications at the Wikimedia Foundation and a Wikimedia volunteer, has authored a blog post titled “Understanding translation administration” offering a conceptual overview of using the Translate extension for individuals new to or interested in becoming translation administrators. The post’s first section introduces key concepts, while the latter half delves into practical examples for preparing pages for translation. From the blog post:

The Translate extension allows us to create and manage translatable pages. A working understanding of its process and features is integral to an effective presentation of content on multilingual wikis, used for everything from large projects like the Foundation’s Annual Plan, to CentralNotice banners, to individual pages. Becoming comfortable with this tool opens up a range of options to improve the accessibility of wiki content, allowing users from diverse linguistic backgrounds to engage together with the page’s ideas

MinT integration in a KDE project

Subtitle Composer, an open-source text-based subtitle editor developed by the KDE Desktop project, recently integrated support for MinT [2], enabling users to translate subtitles seamlessly. The Subtitle Composer team independently undertook the integration of MinT into this project, without any direct involvement or support from the Foundation’s Language team. This represents a significant advancement, expanding MinT’s accessibility and usability beyond its original use within Wikimedia projects. Consequently, users can now translate subtitles more efficiently and accurately with this newly added MinT support. 

2 million translations since deployment of translation tools

The total number of translations published on Wikipedias since the deployment of Content and Section Translation tools has recently reached a significant milestone of 2 million. This includes various types of translations, such as creating or expanding articles or sections. Essentially, it showcases a vast range of translations on Wikipedia, highlighting the significant impact and widespread adoption of these translation tools across all the languages that use Wikipedia.

Kiwix’s translation efforts

Stephane Coillet-Matillon, co-founder of Kiwix, and Ruby D-Brown from Open West Africa Foundation discussed Kiwix’s ongoing translation efforts to make language interfaces in technical tools more inclusive during the February Language Community Meeting. Kiwix is a free and open-source software project that enables users to access a vast array of content offline, including Wikipedia. Their team’s participation in the Wikimedia Tech Safari Program has helped improve language inclusivity in technical interfaces, making them easier for everyone to use. They shared how, through technical events organized by the African group, translating for just 20 minutes became a part of the day’s activities, getting everyone excited to participate. Additionally, they emphasized the importance of staying in touch with potential translators to keep them involved. This collaboration shows Wikimedia’s commitment to making knowledge accessible to everyone, no matter where they are or what language they speak.

Community meetings and events

  • Let’s Connect community hosted their March Connect-a-thon focused on translation and Content Translation.
  • In case you missed the second language community meeting in February, you can catch up by watching the video recording and reading the notes. Stay tuned on the mailing lists for updates about the upcoming meeting in May.
  • The Celtic Knot Wikimedia Languages Conference encourages collaboration among individuals working with minority languages, facilitating information exchange. After years of online gatherings, the conference will take place in person in Waterford City, Ireland from September 25th to 27th, 2024. Stay tuned for updates on the event and how to participate, which will be available on the Celtic_Knot_Conference_2024 meta page soon.
  • Santhosh Thottingal from the Foundation’s Language team hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session on language computing and typeface design on the developersindia channel on Reddit.



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