Last modified: 2014-05-03 14:14:00 UTC
Now we can choose our preferred language from [[Special:Preferences]] for user interface. In the same way if we can select Language of Namespaces also it will be more useful.
For example someone from en.wikipedia.org (or any wiki) make an account with ml.wikipedia.org (for references, for bot, etc.) he/she can set [[Special:Preferences]] for his/her preferred language like en,ar,fr,de, etc. then all the system messages and user interface will be displayed in his language.
But still the namespaces will be displayed in Malayalam!. There are equal main namespaces available in MessagesXX.php. eg: NS_IMAGE is equal to 'Image' (en), 'ചിത്രം' (ml), 'صورة' (ar), etc. If they can see the main namespaces in their preferred language then it will be more easy for them to select their search without confusion.
1) People who see different namespaces will be inclined to cut-and-paste those exact namespaces into articles, so one person will give the Malayam page name and another will give the Hebrew or German or whatever page name and everyone will be confused anyway, since they'll see these foreign namespaces in article text no matter what you do.
2) We don't currently recognize all namespaces names for any given wiki. We recognize only the English name and the local name. It's conceivable that we'd eventually get conflicts if we had wikis in each language recognize namespace names in every other language.
3) Custom namespaces won't be translated regardless.
Overall, I have to say that if you're using a foreign-language wiki, your only resort is to actually know that language if you want to be able to navigate effectively. That's true whatever we try to do, since the content and non-special page names are inevitably localized. I don't understand why you would want to do anything other than navigate to a few select special pages (say to set preferences for a bot) if you can't understand anything written on the wiki in any case.
*** Bug 10624 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 20798 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 41845 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
*** Bug 34439 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***