Localisation via Wiki?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/01/28 13:50 -05:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/01/28/518746.aspx

(UK spelling of localization in the title a nod to our friends on the other side of the puddle!)

It was as long as six months ago and as recently as yesterday that people have asked me how I would feel about specific posts or perhaps even the whole blog here localized into one or more other target languages. I have usually been a bit nervous about anything beyond small attempts since my informal style is not the best target for a localizer.

But Joel Spolsky is trying out a bold experiment, described in his post entitled Translations. He is trying a Wiki to support what would amount to a community translation project. Quite similar to what Wikipedia is doing with its content (though the latter is much scarier from a synchronization standpoint since the original source text could theoretically be any language!).

I have some experience in managing large volunteer translation projects, and I agree completely with Joel about the problems with maintaining them over time (I would add to his list the quality issues and the variability of methods people were wanting to use to provide the text!).

Now the Wiki idea here is undeniably is a very cool thing to keep an eye on, and I think it is a lot more likely to "succeed" (where success is defined as reasonable synchronization of content and consistent quality levels) than Wikipedia's model due to the impossibility of synchronization with source and target in constant flux. It is much more comfortable and indeed possible to stay in sync if you treat one as the master original and then any clouded or faulty meaning in the translations as a bug in localization for another language speaker to correct.

It will also be an interesting place for people who are interested in language differences to keep an eye on changes that are made.

Kudos, Joel!

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referenced by

2008/08/15 E7 language stuff

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