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Wikipedia Expands Auto-Translate Feature

The foreign language editions of Wikipedia have long proven to be a useful way for me to research background details for posts on this blog, and now more Wikipedia users are going to enjoy similar access.

Wiki Media announced over the weekend that they are expanding the (currently beta) auto-translate feature to include support for more languages:

Encouraged by the feedback we have received in the last 6 months, we are now happy to announce that the tool will soon be available in 8 Wikipedias as a beta feature. Users of Catalan, Danish, Esperanto,Indonesian, Malay, Norwegian (Bokmål), Portuguese, and Spanish Wikipedias will be able to use Content Translation from mid-January 2015. The tool will also be enabled on the Norwegian (Nynorsk) and Swedish Wikipedias, but only to facilitate their use as sources for Norwegian (Bokmål) and Danish respectively.

Wikipedia users who read one of those languages will be able to translate any article on a Wikipedia site to one of languages mentioned above. The translations will be handled by Apertium, a GPL-licensed machine-translation platform.

It should look like this:


This is great news, but to be honest I’ve never actually used this feature. I usually use Google Translate to convert from other languages to English. That translation feature is built into Chrome, and it is honestly the one thing keeping me coming back to an otherwise frustrating web browser. (If someone could get Bing translate working equally well in another web browser I wold consider switching.)

How do you translate text (asks the monolingual American)?


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Robert Nagle January 12, 2015 um 2:39 pm

It’s not the same thing, but when researching international musicians, it often helps to see if there are wikipedia pages in other languages about the same topic. Often the wiki page in the singer’s native language gives a lot more detail. We tend to assume that the English language wiki page of a topic tends to contain the most information, but for the arts, the information of the native language page trumps all (and in a pinch you can use a translation program to render it into your own language).

Nate Hoffelder January 12, 2015 um 2:49 pm

Actually, that is exactly why I browse non-English Wikipedias. The best way to find more detail about (for example) a German company is to look it up in the German language Wikipedia.

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