WikiBhasha: Translate And Edit Wikipedia Articles in Your Own Language

Wikipedia is one of the largest source of trusted web content, added by millions of users from the community. If you want to dig into any topic and research more information, Wikipedia is one of your best friends.

However, one of the problems with Wikipedia articles is that most of them are available only in English. Users who can’t read or write English may miss some of the wonderful articles from the Wikipedia website.

As an example, here is a Wikipedia page discussing Kathak – an ancient dance pattern from India. The same article is also available in Hindi, but unfortunately the Hindi version contains too little content.

Agree there are translation tools like Google Translate, Yahoo Babelfish but these machine translations are sometimes very inaccurate to read (example). The sentence structure and the meaning of the article is nowhere close. As a result, the person reading the translated Wikipedia article is not able to understand the information altogether.

The only solution for translating Wikipedia content to your own language is to use the power of community. When human eyes edit a Wikipedia article in their own language and publish it back, other users who can read the same language will highly benefit from it.

WikiBhasha: Create Multilingual Content For Wikipedia Articles

In collaboration with Wikipedia, Microsoft Research India has recently released WikiBhasha – a multilingual content creation tool for Wikipedia. Users around the world, can use WikiBhasha to manually translate a Wikipedia article to their local language.

Apart from this, users can also contribute articles to the Wikipedia website in their local language. This is very useful in broadening the reach, audience, knowledge base and language adoption of Wikipedia’s article base.

How to Edit Wikipedia Articles in Your Own Language

1. First drop the WikiBhasha bookmarklet in your bookmarks toolbar – supports any javascript enabled browser.

WikiBhasha Bookmarklet – Drag and drop in the bookmarks toolbar

2. Open any Wikipedia page in your browser which you want to edit in your own language. Then hit the above bookmarklet and you will see the following pop-up box:

Edit And Translate Wikipedia Articles On Your own Language
3. Choose your target language from the dropdown menu and click on “Enhance existing article in target language”.

4. This will open the same Wikipedia article in your preferred language (if available). Hit the WikiBhasha bookmarklet again to load the WYSIWYG editor, as shown below:

5. Now you have two options to choose from –

  • You can select specific paragraphs from the English version of the article and read the corresponding machine translation in your own language. If the machine translation is inaccurate, you can also choose to use another translation submitted by other users of the community (if available).
  • If you are not happy with the translation, you can compose your own content from scratch and write the translated version yourself.

6. Hit the “Compose” button and start adding content in your own language. You can use a normal keyboard and the Microsoft translator service will map the closest meaning of the typed word in your own language.

7. When you are done editing the article, hit “Submit” and it will be queued for reviewing.

Once an article has been translated and edited, it becomes part of the Wikipedia corpus and can be amended by other users. A Kumaran, the man leading the developing team says

Some people will want to create a great deal of content, while most others may just want to work on a sentence or two.The key is to make the user experience simple and intuitive, to attract the casual users repeatedly, and, at the same time, not hamper the productivity of active contributors. If a user takes a sentence and corrects a mistake that the translator has made, it gets recorded in a cloud-based repository. The next time someone uses the service, the machine-translated version—and all the changes people have made to it—also will be available

To get an idea of how WikiBhasha works – watch the following demonstration by Aishwarya from Microsoft Research India team.

WikiBhasha supports all languages supported by the Microsoft Translator tool, which includes 30 + international languages excluding English. Please note that you cannot edit protected Wikipedia articles through WikiBhasha.

Related: Create a PDF Ebook from Wikipedia articles

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