Last modified: 2011-03-13 18:05:17 UTC
For the link titles of the items displayed in the interwiki links box, I'd like a user
preferences setting that would allow the names of the "foreign" languages to be displayed
according to the preference selected as the user's "native" language.
For example, a native English speaker should have the option of seeing
["German", "Spanish", "Albanian", "Japanese"]
and a French user should see:
["Allemand", "Espagnol", "Albanais", "Japonais"]
instead of the default:
["Deutch", "Español", "Shqip", "日本語"]
We stopped doing that some time ago, unlikely to return it.
Because anyone who can speak the language well enough to make use of the link
will be able to recognize the language's name, and there's no point in risking
people accidentally setting their option on a foreign wiki to something that
makes their desired language's name gibberish. Plus it would add to the
localization workload substantially (probably even someone with near-native
proficiency in English would have a hard time translating obscure proper names
like "Old Church Slavonic" and would have to look most of them up in a
dictionary) for similarly no reason. Is there a reason to institute this that
outweighs those two?
Actually, I believe most people who use a "foreign" wiki (meaning one that's written
an a language other than their "native" one), will have selected their own "native"
language in lieu of the "local" language, which affects the other elements of the
sidebar: ["What links here", "Related changes", "User contributions", "Upload file",
"Special pages", "Printable version", "Permanent link"] for example are each
localized according to the user's preference, regardless of what language is
generally used at a particular site.
Thus, what I'm proposing is a checkbox option next to the Language selection menu,
"[x] Display interwiki language names in '''this''' language"
The default (unchecked) setting would correspond to the status quo (where the
average user might be able to identify four or five of the languages by local name),
but checking the box would enable the user to identify all of them.
A simple, practical example that does not assume any level of fluency:
If I am reading the [[Apple]] article and I want to know the Welsh word for "Apple",
but I don't even know the Welsh word for "Welsh" (to identify which of the fifty-odd
links I'd need to click on), I'd be fairly lost...
...especially if I was an inexperienced user and did not know to search for "Welsh",
then follow the disambiguation page to [[Welsh language]], then copy the Welsh word
for Welsh, ("Cymraeg" as it turns out, but I wouldn't have guessed), then copy that
text and go back to the [[Apple]] article and do a ctrl-F search for "Cymraeg", then
click on the link... That's a lot of work.
Especially since maybe the Welsh word for "apple" happens to also mean something
else, and the Welsh equivalent of [[Apple]] is thus actually located at
something meaning "Apple fruit" or who knows what, which will screw up your
translation. Or maybe the Welsh Wikipedia is small and they only have one
article on all fruit, with a paragraph for each, and a lot of articles linking
in to it. So you just went to a lot of work for a bad translation.
There's an interwiki link at the bottom of the page to [[wikt:apple]]. I
suggest you use that in the future.
That may be useful for "apple" but not for the thousands of other topics which will
not be listed in wiktionary.
such as multi-word phrases, translated titles of published works, proper
geographical names, and other things which are referred to differently in each
language, but not unlikely to be listed in a dictionary of any kind.