Back in May, we told you a bit about international wikis that had some impressive growth in 2009, but now we want to tell you how we are able to offer wikis to such a range of languages.
The extensive language options on Wikia are mainly a result of our partnership with translatewiki.net, which is "a localisation platform for translation communities, language communities, and free and open source projects."
Wikia releases new features as open source extensions and synchronizes all of the included messages with the translatewiki.net community. The members there then help to translate the messages. In the last month alone, an average of 160 wikia messages were translated each day. At the time of the release of Wikia’s new look, a portion of the messages had already been translated to 20+ languages including Japanese, Spanish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, Norwegian, Russian, and even Afrikaans!
So why is it great to have Wikia translated to languages like Afrikaans? Even if we at Wikia currently are not able to work at promoting Afrikaans wiki communities, active users proficient in this language and interested in using Wikia can translate alI of the Wiki features by themselves. After that, everyone who wants to can create a wiki available in that language - even if he or she doesn’t know one word of English.
For those of you who notice that your native language is not fully translated yet and want to change this, please visit this page and start helping out with translations. It’s a great way to contribute to both Wikia and other great open source projects. We send a big Thank You to all of the translatewiki.net users who already help to translate Wikia! We wouldn’t be able to offer wikis to so many users without you.
PS: We’ve recently started a "Translation Statistics Project" as co-operation between translatewiki.net and Wikia, with the aim to expand the tools that let users and translators easily assess the progress of translating specific extensions and more. Stay tuned!
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