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Proposal:Extended use of interwiki

From Strategic Planning
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Every proposal should be tied to one of the strategic priorities below.

Edit this page to help identify the priorities related to this proposal!

  1. Achieve continued growth in readership
  2. Focus on quality content
  3. Increase Participation
  4. Stabilize and improve the infrastructure
  5. Encourage Innovation


Use the fact that articles exist in many languages to improve their scope and quality.


Make it possible to show articles or parts of articles from other languages, either in original or machine-translated form, with a Wikipedia article. This could have several forms, one can think of:

  • Enabling interwiki links from non-existing pages, perhaps also showing the page in one of the languages, or a machine translation of it
    Maybe with A central wiki for interlanguage links? See also Proposal:Content translated automatically.
  • Showing articles in other languages in original or translation when the page is more extensive on that language, or when certain aspects of a subject are treated more extensively in some languages, less extensive or not at all in others
    Try and click ⇔ in the "In other languages" of Wikisource.
  • Using a tool like the previous one for editors, to find aspects of the subject that have been given relatively little attention, and possible sources for translation
  • Enable one text to be used and edited on different wikis, so that one can use the material from wikipedia on wikibooks or vice versa in such a way that changes on one wiki are automatically also corrected on the other one.
    See mw:Manual:$wgEnableScaryTranscluding, mw:Extension:Labeled Section Transclusion.
  • Just show with the interwiki which languages seem to have significant extra information on the subject, and which pages are just stubs or partial translations.


Wikipedia articles often exist in many languages. Not rarely the coverage in the various languages differ. Interwikis enable one to surf between the various languages, but for an article with many links it is not always easy to see which language can best be used to get a more extensive coverage of the subject.

Key Questions

  • Which of the abovementioned methods, or several similar ones, would be useful to spend developer time for, and which ones would better be left untouched?
  • Are free machine translations of sufficient quality available or likely to become available within a few years?
  • How are the responsibilities as to which information to show to be divided between the reader, the volunteer Wikimedians and automation?

Potential Costs

  • Developer time


Proposer: Andre Engels 19:49, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

Community Discussion

Do you have a thought about this proposal? A suggestion? Discuss this proposal by going to Proposal talk:Extended use of interwiki.

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