WikiIslam:Instructions for Translators

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This page provides a step-by-step guide for new translators at WikiIslam; covering everything from creating an account to announcing a completed translation on the main page.


Choosing an Article

Once logged in, new translators should decide on what article to translate. Many articles are being improved and completed and it would be in the best interest of the translator's time to translate articles that are not subject to many changes. A list of revised and recommended articles to choose from will be available on the WikiIslam:Translations page. These select articles serve as a showcase for the general quality the site aims for.

Alternatively, an article from the topics listed on the site map may be chosen. However, before beginning translation work on an article not in the "recommended" list, it is advisable for new translators to leave a message on the Translation Project's Discussions page mentioning what they would like to translate. This allows administrators to make sure a project that is difficult to complete or is not optimal in some way is not started.

It is also recommended that new translators check that their article of choice has not already been translated into that particular language. All translations can be accessed via the sidebar to the left, under the "Translations" heading.

To avoid the site being left with multiple unfinished translations, each translator should only translate one article at a time. Once completed, translators are then free to move on to the next article of their choice, if they so wish.

Islamic Sources

Translations of the Qur'an

If the chosen article contains English-language Qur'an quotations or citations, these will obviously need to be replaced by a Qur'an translation native to the language the article is going to be translated into. The chosen translation must be a mainstream translation rendered by a Muslim and widely used by Muslims in that language, not a "progressive" or "orientalist" translation that most Muslims will not accept as representative of the original Classical Arabic Qur'an. If there are online sources for the translation available, the online source chosen for referencing in WikiIslam articles must be hosted on a scholarly or pro-Islamic, mainstream Muslim website. Under no circumstances should a Qur'an translation hosted on a critical or polemic website be used. It would also be of help if the site has URL's that change according to the Qur'an verse being displayed. This way, if the links become broken, they can be fixed site-wide by simply altering a few URLs in the template.

New translators should then provide administrators with the necessary details by leaving a message on the Translation Project's Discussions page. They will then (unless they already exist) create the needed scripture templates for use in the chosen article.

Hadith and Other Sources

Hadith collections and other Islamic text are different to the Qur'an. The numbering of hadith within there respective collections often differ from language to language. Even within the same language, the same hadith are often arranged differently depending on the site they are hosted on. Sometimes these sources may not even be available in the desired language. Because of this, it may be most appropriate to simply translate the quoted text and retain the English references, rather than attempt to find the corresponding hadiths in the desired language. However, as with the Qur'an, if a suitable collection and website are found, for hadith or any other Islamic text, this should be disclosed to the administrators by leaving a message on the Translation Project's Discussions page.

Translating Content

This section covers everything needed for the actual translation process.

Alterations in Translations

Translations should always remain faithful to the original English work, retaining their scholarly tone and information. If for localization purposes an editor thinks there should be some slight alterations made, they must first be discussed with others on the talk page.

Switching on WikEd

WikEd is a full-featured MediaWiki-integrated text editor. It adds enhanced text processing functions, such as highlighting the WikiIslam syntax, so editors are able to focus more easily on the text itself. To turn this feature on, translators should go to "Preferences", click on the "Gadgets" tab, then check mark "WikEd".

Retaining Wiki Formatting

When translating articles, all of the wiki formatting should be retained, for example <ref>, <br> or <BR> (translators may find WikEd useful in this regard).

Blue-colored links ([[Linked pages's name|Visible text]]) to English-language pages can also be retained unless translations for those same links are already available. Blue-colored links should never be replaced by red-colored links to pages that do not exist.

References and Footnotes

References and footnotes are found between <ref>, </ref> and <ref name=""> tags. English-language references to English-language books, websites, etc., may be left untranslated but any explanatory notes or quotes taken from these sources and provided as footnotes should be translated.

Steps for a Translation

  1. Go to Help:Contents. Type the translated title of the chosen article into the "Create Page" box. If any of these characters exist in the title, avoid using them: brackets, commas, colons, semi-colons etc. These can be added into the title later by using {{Page title|Desired page title}} at the bottom of the page.
  2. After clicking "Create page" you will see a blank page.
  3. Open another window. Then go to the chosen article and click the 'Edit' button. You will now see the text and all the wiki-formatting of the target article.
  4. Copy and paste the entire thing into the blank page you created. In Windows, Select all text and then CTRL-C; CTRL-V to paste.
  5. Now start the translation. Delete the English text as you go. You can also keep another window open which has the original article in a regular view (non-editable).
  6. After the translation is complete, you can preview and save the page.
  7. To find what you have been working on, click the 'My contributions' link at the top right.

Intermediately Saving Progress

The "Saving your Work" section on the Help page provides advice on how to make sure no work is accidentally lost. Translators can simply 'copy' all of the text once the translation is finished, or perform intermediate saves if their work is interrupted or to avoid possible browser crashes, power outages, etc.

Longer Projects

If a translation will take more than a day to complete, it should be moved into a sandbox page with the prefix, "WikiIslam:Sandbox/" (e.g. a translation in progress titled "Islam", would be moved to "WikiIslam:Sandbox/Islam". Furthermore, translators should then add the {{incompletetranslations|Title of Source Article|Language}} template to the top of that page.

Leaving a Message

If translators find any of the steps for creating a new page with its title difficult to follow, they can leave a message on the Translation Project's Discussions page with the name of the English article and its new translated title. An administrator will then create a page using the new title (including the "Page title" template), and fill it with the existing English text so that it is ready to be translated.


This section covers everything needed once the translation process itself is complete.

Templates for Other Languages

The translation of the actual article may be finished by this stage, but there are several steps left before the page is ready to be viewed by the public. If this is the first article in a specific language, then the biggest task left is the creation of the various language templates that are used within all translations. A look at the lower sections of the English article, "72 Virgins", and its Italian translation, "Le 72 vergini", may be of use in order to better understand the following sections.

Hub Pages for Specific Languages

Each language has its very own hub page, e.g., French has "Les articles en français (Articles in French)," and Turkish has "Türkçe Makaleler (Articles in Turkish)". This hub page is linked from the side-bar on the left (when there are two or more completed articles) and is the first link to be found under the "See Also" section of translated articles. So a hub page that translates the text within these other hub pages (minus the linked articles) and retains their formatting must be created by the translator in the language of the new translation.

Original Article's "See Also" Section

Next, underneath the new hub page link (press "Enter" twice on the keyboard to leave a single empty space), there should be created the bolded text reading, "English". Obviously this must be rendered in the translation's language i.e. if it is an Azerbaijani translation, it should read, "İngilis" ("İngilis" being the Azerbaijani translation for the English word, "English"). Underneath this title should be all of the original links found under the English article's "See Also" section. Again, pressing "Enter" twice on the keyboard to leave a single empty space, this is where the main "Translation-links" template is found.

Creating the "Translation Links" Template

Every translation, and English-language article that has its own translation, should also have a "Translation-links" template in its "See Also" section, beneath all other "See Also" links. Therefore, all of the text within the English "Translation-links" template must be translated into the language of the new translation, and, retaining all of the original formatting, a new "Translation-links" template must be created.

For example, if an English article is being translated into the Bulgarian language, its corresponding "Translation-links" template would be titled, "Template:Translation-links-bulgarian" (note the English spelling used only for the titles of these templates). Of course, the English article would have to be given the already existing English version of the "Translation-links" template, not the new Bulgarian version.

Replacing Categories

Categories, for example [[Category:Muhammad]] or [[Category:Qur'an]], can be found at the bottom of pages. All of the English categories should be deleted and replaced by a sole category for the translated language, for example [[Category:العربية (Arabic)]] or [[Category:Türkçe (Turkish)]].

Alternatively, the English categories on the page may also be translated, but if this is done, any red-colored category links must not be left behind i.e. the translator must also translate the English-language category pages and recreate them with all of their formatting intact for the translated language.

Linking All the Translations

All that should be left by this stage, is to create the necessary links to and from the new translation. To do this, translators first need to go back to the original English article's "Translation-links" template. For example, in the "72 Virgins" article's "Translation-links" template, they will find,

"{{Translation-links-english|[[72_Huri_-_Bakirə|Azerbaijani]], [[72_Pannen|Czech]], [[72 Jungfrauen|German]], [[72 Huri - Bakire|Turkish]], [[Le 72 vergini|Italian]]}}"

They must add (while retaining the alphabetical order) a link from this template to the new translation (e.g. ", [[Link to new translation|New language's name in English]]"). This process must then be repeated on each translation's page (e.g. for the 72 Virgins article, that would mean going to the Azerbaijani, Czech, German, Turkish and Italian translations and adding a link in their individual "Translation-links" templates to the new translation, all while remembering to use the new language's name in each of their native languages).

Once this is done, the new article's own "Translation-links" templates needs to be filled in with links to all of the other translation (these links should obviously be named using the new language's native titles).

Announcing the Finished Translation

As a final step, the new translator should contact an administrator and let them know that a new translation has been fully completed and is ready to be viewed by visitors to the site. The administrator will then check the new translation and provide them with appropriate feedback. If all of the steps on this page have been correctly followed, they will then announce the new translation on the main page by adding a link to the "Miscellaneous" section of "WikiIslam:Latest Translations."

Activities Beyond the Initial Translation

Once the initial translation is completed, further translation efforts should become a lot easier to complete and be accomplished in a much shorter timespan. Therefore, translators may feel like translating more articles. Or they may like to recruit other translators to do the same. Once there are about a front page's worth of translations (about 25-35 articles) it will be possible to consider launching a new sub-domain in that particular language, and there is always the possibility of translators becoming the administrators for these sub-domains.

See Also