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Submissions/Designing Content Translation: how to improve the translation process from a user-centered perspective

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2015.

Submission no.
Title of the submission

Designing Content Translation: how to improve the translation process from a user-centered perspective

Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)


Author of the submission

Pau Giner

E-mail address




Country of origin


Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)

Wikimedia Foundation

Personal homepage or blog


Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Multi-lingual editors have been translating articles as a way to contribute to Wikipedia for a long time. The translation process helps knowledge to spread across languages by reusing the work done by the community. However, not much specific support has been provided for this process until recently.

Content Translation was created to facilitate the process of translation. The tool was launched as a beta feature in January. In just a few weeks, hundreds of articles were created and users reported that the tool help them to make better and faster translations.

This talk provides the design details on how Content Translation supports the translation process in the Wikipedia context.

The user-centered process for the design of Content Translation started with the research on the existing ways in which different users created translations, the tools they used (e.g., dictionaries and translation services) and those they didn't (e.g., other artice translation tool attempts without major adoption).

Based on this feedback, the basic design principles were defined: simplicity (focus on creating the initial version of an article that can be later expanded), avoid repetitions (automate steps like finding the right categories and equivalent links), provide freedom (don't follow a strict workflow, allow to translate as much as the user wants and reorganise sentences in a paragraph easily), provide information at hand (connect source and translated content and provide access to translation services when needed) and encourage quality (control how much machine translation is used). Several solutions were explored, prototyped and tested with users in different langages.

In addition to the design process, the talk will cover also other aspects on how the community has been involved during the project in order to beter communicate the design goals of the tool and get useful feedback about them in different formats (e.g., round tables and social media).

Finally, the designs for Content Translation next steps will be presented and discussed. Having a functonal translation editor, the upcoming features will be focused on making it easy to get started and keep using the tool to translate interesting content.


Technology, Interface & Infrastructure

Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?

Depends on WMF decision.

Slides or further information (optional)
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  1. Jaredzimmerman (WMF) (talk) 08:52, 23 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Sage (Wiki Ed) (talk) 00:29, 25 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  3. KHammerstein (WMF) (talk) 00:22, 27 February 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  4. CT Cooper · talk 17:47, 1 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Ocaasi (talk) 16:58, 2 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Of course :) Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 14:39, 6 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  7. KartikMistry (talk) 05:17, 8 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Quiddity (WMF) (talk) 06:19, 23 March 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Santhosh.thottingal (talk) 07:14, 19 April 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  10. --Roxyuru (talk) 22:46, 20 May 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  11. eranroz (talk) 08:13, 4 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Poco a poco (talk) 08:53, 12 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Ale201093 (talk) 03:53, 18 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  14. MRG90 (talk) 19:09, 18 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]
  15. --Psubhashish (talk)
  16. Sebastian Sooth (WMDE) (talk) 19:24, 18 July 2015 (UTC)[reply]