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Your wiki, internationalized

Yatalu April 16, 2014 User blog:Yatalu

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Your wiki, internationalized

Hello, Wikians and other readers!

As you may or may not know, a lot of wikias on popular topics like games and shows, exist multiple times. And I'm not talking about duplicates here, I'm talking about the foreign version of your favorite wikia. As the interlanguage links requests page already shows, there are several wikias with more than a dozen foreign versions!

In this blog, I will tell you how to get in touch and improve the relations with the foreign versions of your own wikia. Hope it'll be of use and enjoy reading!

Find your wikia's family

Internationalization

The first step to improving your wikia's relation with its foreign brothers is to find and connect them with the English wikia.

If no one on your wikia knows any of the other-language versions of your wikia, one useful way I know of is just googling: type in the name of your wikia (e.g. Disney Wiki) in google with the native name of a language right after it: Disney Wiki français gives fr.waltdisney.wikia.com as one of the results, Disney Wiki 日本語 gives ja.disney.wikia.com as one of the results. If you don't know the native name of a language, you can easily look it up on Wikipedia on the page of that language, like Japanese language.

This method is pretty useful, but it isn't waterproof: for me, it gave no desired results for Disney Wiki svenska or Disney Wiki Nederlands, while both sv.disney.wikia.com and nl.disney.wikia.com definitely exist. Therefore an alternative is to just look up straight for URL (and I don't mean this URL) – just append the prefix of one of the most popular languages on Wikia before your wiki's URL and see if that brings you to a wikia.

To save you some time, here are some of the most common ones (you can hover over them to see the name of the language)

ca cs de es fi fr hi hu id it ja ko lt ms nl no pl pt ru sr tl tr vi zh

Get them connected

Chains

Once you have a list of the wikias in your wikia's family, you can get them connected in the technical way: making interlanguage links.

  1. List the wikias you need linked at Community Central:Interlanguage link requests
  2. While your request is pending (may take a day or two), you can read Help:Interlanguage links
  3. When the request is done: you can start adding links to your wiki pages.

The first two steps will take you only 15 minutes of effort, though the waiting time may be longer: if you want that to go faster, you can always bug the admins of this wiki to go do them :) not promosing anything here though; unlike Staff, they're doing this on their spare time.

Adding links to your invidual wiki pages will definitely take longer: you'll have to look up the other-language versions of every article and then edit that in. However, any of your contributors or of the foreign wikias' contributors can do this as well, just like you can add the English interlanguage link on their wikias too! This saves researching time at both sides.

For clarity and to avoid people accidentally deleting the interlanguage links, you can add the comment <!-- interlanguage links --> right above the interlanguage links: this will not show up in your article, but will make a visual separator between your actual article and the interlanguage links list, especially as the latter may get rather long on key articles of your wikia.

Relationship building

Handshake

None of the above will however be useful if you don't build a good relation with your other wikias: editors of your foreign versions may just remove your edits, not knowing their use, or even think you're vandalizing their pages because you can't respond to their talk page or message wall messages in their language.

One of the ways to avoid this is to find people on your community who are bi/multilingual, or on their community who are able to speak English. That way, you will have a person to address if there are any questions from one community to the other, or if you want to tell them guidelines in relation to interlanguage links that you have decided upon on your wikia.

An additional way to ease communication between wikias of the same family is to create a page Project:International (this pagename automatically redirects to {{SITENAME}}:International). You can list all foreign wikias you're linked to there, add any short list of rules about interlanguage linking on the English wikia in major languages like Spanish/German, and so on.

On wikias with a team of several admins, it may be a good idea to also assign one admin specifically to do communication with the other wikias: to keep an eye on them, add interlanguage links and share with the English wikia whenever something big happens. This admin could then also be the person for these other wikias to address: rather than just saying "ask an admin", your contributors will be able to point at one specific person, who will probably get to know the other-language wiki admins and users better overtime.

Finally, for really small foreign wikias, it especially helps if you still interlanguage link them anyway. Additionally, you could look within your own community if you have any editors who speak the wikia's language or know someone who does. Or if everything else fails, you could drop a translation request for a couple of your wikia's major articles on the translation request page of the Language Brigade Wiki (yes, this is advertising, kind of).

Anything else?

Thoughts or comments on this blog? Does your community have any special way to help their foreign versions out or to keep them on good terms? Are there any things I mentioned in this blog that you would different? Let me and the other people on this wikia know, in the comments below!

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