Wikipedia translation tool
My dream is to see sustainable Wikipedias in each language of the world. Living in South Africa, I'm particularly interested in seeing the Southern African languages coming to fruition.I don't believe in translation, as ideally each language will develop its own system, and won't just copy the cultural and linguistic biases from a more dominant language. However, realistically, the small languages need all the help they can get, and that's where translation, and more importantly machine translation, can play a role.
Not automated translation of entire articles - that's a recipe for linguistic disaster! Rather, templates, such as the country templates, which provide a quick and easy way to translate things quickly and accurately, and provide a core body of articles for the language to grow from.
I whipped up the translation tool in 2005 to help me in translating articles from the English to the Afrikaans versions of Wikipedia. It was used almost entirely by me, and by one or two other users on the Afrikaans wikipedia.
The main aim was to help in translating country templates from English to Afrikaans, quickly providing a core set of articles to work on. The consistent set of phrases used in a template makes the tool ideal for this purpose, and I found it greatly sped up my translation efforts. It was not intended to translate actual article text.
In January 2007, facing anther minor deadline, I decided to procrastinate and do some more work on the tool. I neatened it, made the URL public, and tweaked things behind the scenes so that it could potentially translate between any languages, not just from English to Afrikaans.
I plan to import various online databases to populate other languages. Currently it only contains a tiny database of 300+ strings, which was enough to substantially help me in translating Afrikaans articles.
You can discuss on my Wikipedia meta talk page, or email me via the Wikipedia email user feature.
I would love to see people using to translate other languages too. Please contact me if you're at all interested in helping, no matter what languages you're using. Helping would usually involve translating key templates, cutting and pasting, and using these as a basis for growing the article body of the language you're working with.