Submissions/Reproducing a featured article into other languages by coordinated effort

From Wikimania 2013 • Hong Kong

This is an accepted submission for Wikimania 2013.

Presentation Media

Submission no.
Subject no.
Title of the submission

Reproducing a featured article into other languages by coordinated effort

Type of submission


Author of the submission

Marek Blahuš

Country of origin

Czech Republic


Esperanto and Free Knowledge, Education@Internet, Wikimedia Czech Republic, Wikimedia Poland scholarship

E-mail address



Personal homepage or blog

Minor Wikipedias may never develop a substantial number of featured articles on their own. We suggest a strategy of reusing a featured article in one language to produce high-quality articles in other languages. The roles of translators and Wikipedians are fully separated, and in the shared on-line translation environment, many translators may cooperate. The described procedure has been demonstrated in practice on the Czech article about "Esperanto", which has been translated with help of existing translation tools used by Education@Internet, an NGO active in on-line language education, by members of the international community of Esperanto speakers.

Detailed proposal

The quality of Wikipedia articles on the same topic usually deeply varies across the languages. In many cases, one language describes the topic in a featured article, while most other languages cover it only briefly and their communities do not possess the editing potential to lift their own article's quality any soon. In order to support such underpriviledged Wikipedias, save everyone's effort and not to be reinventing the wheel, this is where a coordinated translingual initiative might help: First, a model article in a single language (usually a featured article) is chosen, deeply reviewed and improved to the best of the community's knowledge. Afterwards, its text is split into chunks and some wiki syntax, such as internal links, is stripped of. The text chunks are then loaded into an on-line multilingual translation interface and voluntary translators are recruited to produce translations into as many languages as possible, profiting from each other's immediate results as necessary (e.g. a Czech translator seeking inspiration in the work that has just been done by a Slovak translator). Complete translations of chunks are glued back together and Wikipedians are let fix the wikicode (e.g. templates, links). After the result has been discussed with the local community and any possibly existing stub on the same topic has been merged into it, the new article may be installed in the destination Wikipedia. The described approach has the advantage of reusing as much already done work as possible, dividing the roles of translators (who may not be able to write Wikipedia code) and Wikipedians (who even do not need to master the source language at all) and enabling many people to translate at the same time. A case study of the featured Czech Wikipedia article on "Esperanto" will be presented: It has been translated (via an intermediate translation into Esperanto itself) into several other languages. The translation platform developed by Education@Internet and available at has been used to coordinate the translation process. Esperanto-speaking volunteers from all over the world, many of whom had previously used the same platform to translate various Education@Internet's websites, have participated in this joint effort, which has procuded a step change in the quality of articles about Esperanto in several language versions of Wikipedia. The same approach might be repeated with virtually any article topic.

  • WikiCulture and Community
Length of presentation/talk

25 Minutes

Language of presentation/talk


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  1. അമിർ എ. അഹരൊനി (talk) 20:36, 5 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]
  2. There needs to be a formal process for this which people can choose to use. Blue Rasberry (talk) 20:22, 1 April 2013 (UTC)[reply]