Requesting a translation


Requesting a translation from a foreign-language Wikipedia into English is easy.

  • If the English article already exists (but a translation would be useful because the article in the foreign language is of higher quality):
  • If the English article does not yet exist:
    • you can:
      • create the article on English Wikipedia as a stub article, explaining or defining the subject of the article in a sentence or two;
      • then immediately tag your stub article with a translation template, as above.
    • or
      • add a page request red link in the Requested articles Project section with the proposed title of the article which will contain the translation adding an interwiki link to the foreign-language Wikipedia page(s). Note that fewer people will likely see a request created using this method.

Note that this page is not for requesting translations of copyrighted sources outside Wikipedia. It is also not for pages currently in English Wikipedia that are not in English. For that, please see Wikipedia:Pages needing translation into English.

Articles needing translation


Wikipedia is a multilingual project. Articles on the same subject in different languages can be edited independently; they do not have to be translations of one another or correspond closely in form, style or content. Still, translation is often useful to spread information between articles in different languages.

Translation takes work. Machine translation often produces very low quality results. Wikipedia consensus is that an unedited machine translation, left as a Wikipedia article, is worse than nothing. This is mainly because translation templates have links to machine translations built in automatically, so all readers should be able to access machine translations easily.

Translation between Wikipedias need not transfer all content from any given article. If certain portions of an article appear to be low-quality or unverifiable, use your judgment and do not translate this content. Once you have finished translating, you may ask a proofreader to check the translation.

Because Wikipedia licensing requires attribution, the translation source must be credited to avoid copyright violation. Attribution in the edit summary and placing the template {{Translated page}} on the article talk page are the recommended ways to credit the source of the translation. You are not required to import the revision history, but if you wish to do so, ask at Wikipedia:Requests for page importation for the page to either be imported into your userspace or over your translated version of the article. (See also Wikipedia:Copying within Wikipedia.)

With the exception of quotations, use normal English encyclopedic style, as appropriate for the topic. Avoid being overly influenced by the style of the original.

The English text should be understandable to a wide audience, so – other things being equal – use shorter rather than longer words and consider using everyday English expressions rather than jargon or foreign expressions. Avoid verbiage.

Make appropriate use of the active and passive voice. Different languages have different constraints on word order, so when translating it may be appropriate to use the passive voice in English where the original uses the active (or the other way around). For instance, a German sentence can start with the object, so a German article on the topic of oysters might have Austern findet man . . . (word for word: Oysters finds one . . .), which could be translated as Oysters are found . . ..

A useful translation may require more than just a faithful rendering of the original. Thus it may be necessary to explain the meaning of terms not commonly known throughout the English-speaking world. For example, a typical reader of English needs no explanation of The Wizard of Oz, but has no idea who Zwarte Piet might be. By contrast, for a typical reader of Dutch, it might be the other way around.

Classroom collaborations


Wikipedia welcomes the involvement of students in article editing. Article translation is particularly well-suited to student involvement. Such efforts provide useful, real-world translation experience for students, who will be motivated by the fact that their work will be seen by thousands of Wikipedia readers. They also benefit Wikipedia readers, who gain access to information about other cultures and peoples. For assistance setting up a classroom translation project, please see Wikipedia:WikiProject Classroom coordination and Wikipedia:School and university projects.

{{User Translator}} may be used to indicate your willingness to translate/proofread and your participation in this project:

{{User Translator|es}} produces:
 This user is a translator from Spanish to English on Wikipedia:Translation.
{{User Translator|hi|proofreader=yes}} produces:
 This user is a translator and proofreader from Hindi to English on Wikipedia:Translation.
{{User Translator|ar|project=no}} produces:
 This user likes to translate articles from Arabic to English.
{{User Translator|de|proofreader=yes|project=no}} produces:
 This user likes to translate and proofread articles from German to English.

After putting this template on a userpage, the page will be added to the appropriate subcategory of ವರ್ಗ:Available translators in Wikipedia. When the proofreader attribute is set to 'yes', the page will also be added to a subcategory of ವರ್ಗ:Available proofreaders in Wikipedia.

{{User Translator 2}} works in the same way in the other direction (from English to another language).