Making WikiMedia resources more useful for translators

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TypeArticle
ConferenceProceedings of Wikimania 2007, The International Wikimedia Conference, August 3-5, 2007., Taipei, Taiwan
AbstractIn this paper, we explore the concept of a wiki translation resource, that is, a free, open, massively collaborative wiki based resource that translators could use to find translations of problematic words, terms or expressions. Using field data collected through contextual observation and interviews of translators in their workplace, we specifically investigate three research questions. First, what might be the advantages of a wiki resource, compared to more conventional closed resources currently used by translators? Second, to what extent do existing wiki resources like Wikipedia, Wiktionary and OmegaWiki already constitute a satisfactory translation resource? Third, if existing wiki resources are not useful to translators in their current state, how might they be improved and transformed into a satisfactory translation resource? Regarding the first question, we show how a wiki resource might improve on the myriad of online resources currently used by translators (bilingual dictionaries, generic or domain specific terminology databases) by providing a single free tool with a wider coverage of all types of translation problems and topic domains. Also, it could achieve economies of scale for freelance translators, by allowing them to share expertise and data within a worldwide community of practice. Regarding the second question, we show that in their current state, existing wiki resources are not very useful to translators because they lack sufficient coverage of typical translation problems. Also, their user interfaces do not make it easy to carry out key translation related tasks such as: finding an appropriate translation for a problem, adding a new translation for a problem, and assessing the trustworthiness of a particular translation for a problem. Regarding the third question, we describe what research and development would have to be done to turn each of those existing wiki resources into a satisfactory translation resource. Based on this, we conclude that OmegaWiki is the most promising platform, and that it can indeed be evolved into a resource that translators could use in their daily work.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Information Technology; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number50383
NPARC number8914191
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Record identifier18e82f47-be13-420f-9110-527e4b64b9bf
Record created2009-04-22
Record modified2016-05-09
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