Hi all, Bruno Lewin here for our 3rd installment of news from the TechNet Wiki international community.

Today, I’ll cover two related topics: an update on authoring non-English content and some tips on the “Translation Widget” that brings instant translations of wiki pages or even this blog post. I’ll also share a glimpse of the passionate discussion a few of us had yesterday about this...

Creating non-English articles – reloaded!

We published a few tips on publishing non-English articles two weeks ago and received a number of questions and suggestions. Luigi Bruno went a step further: he gathered existing information, took extra feedback, filled the missing part and turned all this in a new article: Non-English Language Content Guidelines. Check it out. Leave a comment. And of course, try this is out if you had been holding out on authoring in your language for lack of guidelines!

My friends or colleagues don’t speak English, what can I do?

The Translation Widget is the “Translate this page” box that appears on the right side of each wiki article, or of this blog post if you happen to be reading on the website. It provides translation into a growing number of languages. Try it out. And do post comments with your thoughts.
Below is a picture for those reading the RSS feed:

The “mail” icon will generate a link that you can share with non-English speakers and it will take them directly to the translated version in the language you have selected. Below is how this blog looks when I select a French translation:

The system uses “Machine Translation” – this is usually of lesser quality that work done by a knowledgeable person, but has the advantage of being instant. This article has more information on how to improve translation quality.

So are we leaving English speakers in the cold?

Some rightly pointed out that all these translation features work great for English articles but won’t translate articles originally written in any other language. At the time I write this, close to 20% of TechNet Wiki articles are in other languages  (to be more precise, close to 20% of articles are in Brazilian Portuguese!). These contain a lot of information, often not available in any other language, but the Widget will not translate them. We’re looking for a solution, but this could take some time.
In the meantime, you can get a translation with “one click” using the “translate” accelerators or plug-ins available for most recent web browser. Just right click on the page, select translate, et voila! Alternatively, if you’d rather not change your configuration, pasting the URL of the page in a standalone translation service (Bing Translator is one) will do the trick.


I hope this has been helpful, feedback  is always welcome.