Summarizing QNA so far

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I will here try to summarize the answers given to the QNA questions so far.

The open content movement is young even in countries where Wikipedias has succeeded, even more so in less developed countries. This toghether with the "expert knowledge cannot be produced by non-experts" view hinders developement of local language Wikipedias. Fostering a positive view toward this would help. The open content movement seems to agree with the philosophy of Islam (and probably most other religions too) which could help such fostering.

Translation of wiki content could help kick-start a Wikipedia. Concentrating such translation on educational/technological/computer related articles could help attract native users that are most likely to themself contribute. Word-by-word translation is however a painful process and concentrating on "retelling" the article content might be a more effective way of translation. There is a translation project for Arabic Wikipedia that uses googles translation toolkit to simplify translation, but almost every sentence has to be corrected.

Translation could be simplified by automating some steps of the translation process. Add a translation option where by choosing language you are taken directly from the article into the edit page of a new language. The original article source should be copied into the Edit box of the new language article with links automatically replaced with links to the corresponing articles of the new language Wikipedia. So that translators only have to concentrate on actuall translation. Not looking up the right links, knowing the markup language and so on. Some care has to be taken about how to handle cases where the links link to articles that doesn't exsit in the new language though, which is very probable to happen for small language Wikipedias.

What languages might be most important to translation is hard to tell. There has been proposals that the official languages of the United Nations (Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish) are important languages. A wider language scope of around 40 languages could include lingua francas because they in turn could be a base for further translation. How do we judge which languages are most probalbe to make most impact if translated into?

Successful Wikipedias could help smaler Wikipedias by providing templates, technical information, coordination of local language projects. Some positive experience from such cooperation has been found in the Russian language project ru:Википедия:Проект:Малые разделы Википедии на языках России.

Experienced Wikipedia editors could provide technical support to translators with knowledge in a small language that are willing to translate articles but finds it to difficult for technical reasons. Translation groups consisting of experienced Wikipedia editors, people with knowledge in a small language but from the same country as the Wikipedia editor and native speakers could provide a good ground for translation of articles. Such a group could for example consist of a Wikipedia editor, people he knows that has done voluntary work in a developing country and contacts the volunteers has in the actuall country. Such a collaboration could eventually lead to actuall knowledge production from within the area of the local language. Maybee organisations such as Engineers Without Borders ( would be willing to arange such groups as they are technology oriented and easily can learn to edit a Wikipedia, the aim of translation agrees with their knowledge spreading philosophy and they might have good contacts in developing countries.

A local chapter in MENA, most likely in Egypt because it has most Arabic contributors could help develop Arabic Wikipedia. Such a chapter could help organizing events and cooperation with universities as well as improving the press coverage of Wikipedia.

One problem that arises when articles from large Wikipedias are translated into smaller language Wikipedias is that errors get copied. In large language Wikipedias the errors are quickly corrected but on the smaller ones it stays for a long time, because there are less people able to correct it. More effort into indicating the quality of large language articles could help translators judge the value of the article they translate.

Contributors with specialist knowledge might be hindered from contributing to large language Wikipedias because the large language ain't his first language and he feels to insecure to use it. The contribution will then only benefit the small language Wikipedia and will remain in isolation because of the language barrier. Cooperation on global wikiprojects over the language borders, on a meta where experts in one subject but with many languages can join, could help pull such contributors out of isolation.

22:59, 19 November 2009