I think we should have multilingual versions of Wikitravel, just like we have Wikipedia in many languages. For example, there could be Romanian version, as there are many Romanian contributors who would make a very worthwhile travel guide.
I can actually set this up fairly easily, if there's enough interest in doing it. -- Evan 09:57, 3 Oct 2003 (PDT)
It would be great to have a Romanian version - I spoke with the Wikipedians at the Romanian Wikipedia (by far the fastest growing Wikipedia) and they would of course set up the Wikitravel in Romania and contribute to get it starting - as you can see, the has already been good contribution to the Romania-related articles (Romania and Oradea), and we are planning to create both a full Romania travel guide in Wikitravel, and a world travel guide in Romanian. -- Ronline 12:08, 9 Oct 2003 (AEST)
It'd be our first foreign-language version of Wikitravel, so we're starting from scratch. I think we can host it on the www.wikitravel.org server as ro.wikitravel.org, if that sounds OK. I think the big thing is setting up the language prompts. Give me a couple of days to get back to MTL, and then I can see about setting this up, OK? -- Evan 03:18, 23 Oct 2003 (PDT)
Yeah, time isn't such a big deal here as long as we get the version done. Also, ro.wikitravel.org would be great. Of course, we'd have enough content to put on it after it gets set up. Ronline, 24 Oct 2003
Concerning the Romanian version, what do you mean by setting up the language prompts (is this translating the interface in RO, or integrating the RO version by setting up automatic inter-language links like in Wikipedia)? Other than that, I'm ready for any translation/article creation necessary! - Ronline, 1 Nov 2003
Yes, the "language prompts" is translating the interface -- all the little bits of text like "Save page" and "My watchlist" and things like that. I've copied the English version of the language prompts page here: http://ro.wikitravel.org/Language.php.txt You might want to download that, and look it over.
Mostly it consists of lines like:
"whatlinkshere" => "What links here",
What you need to do is change these to:
"whatlinkshere" => "However you say 'what links here' in Romanian",
Try to only change the stuff that's inside the quotation marks on the right hand side. Also, don't worry about the long list of language names at the beginning, or the default settings, at the beginning, or any of the hoohaw at the end after "class Language".
I still need to figure out how to set up a different database, and how to point ro.wikitravel.org at that instead of the English one. So that's gonna take me a couple of days. In other words, no hurry on the translation -- it doesn't have to be done yesterday. -- Evan 09:21, 1 Nov 2003 (PST)
I have translated most of the perl script (most of it was just copy-paste from the Romanian Wikipedia translation).
I have automatically changed all the /private*/ lines from En to Ro, like this:
/* private */ $wgLanguageNamesRo = array(
Before it was:
/* private */ $wgLanguageNamesEn = array(
Is this right? Also, in the code below the classLanguage text, should I change all the 'En' extensions to 'Ro':
For example, the text above, where it says $wgSysopSpecialPagesEn;, should that be SpecialPagesRo?
How do we distinguish a link to the Romanian Wikitravel from one to the Romanian Wikipedia? -phma 14:49, 10 Dec 2003 (PST)
I'm racking my brains for a good reason to have a link from English Wikitravel to Romanian Wikipedia, or vice versa. On the Romanian Wikitravel, we'll have syntax for a link to Romanian Wikipedia (probably similar to the one from English Wikitravel to English Wikipedia). The Romanian version is languishing right now -- I need to get on it soon. --Evan 16:43, 10 Dec 2003 (PST)
I don't know either, but there's one at Bucharest. -phma 19:04, 10 Dec 2003 (PST)
OK, translation finished. How do I send it to you? Ronline, 9 Nov 2003
Just email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, here's the scoop on the Romanian Wikitravel: Wikitravel is hosted on my and Maj's private server, which strangely sits on a shelf next to a friend's refridgerator in San Francisco/Bernal Heights. We are going to start bumping into some bandwidth limitations any day now. The server is strong, spacious, and mighty, but the uplink isn't.
The upshot being that we're looking into moving the site to a Web-hosting service, where serious folks can make sure everything gets backed up regularly and that the requests come through. This is probably going to take about a week for us to do. I don't think I want to start ro.wikitravel.org until we're moved to the new host.
Does that sound reasonable? -- Evan 16:44, 10 Nov 2003 (PST)
Sure it's reasonable. Just tell me when the server is updated. Until then, I'll send you the translation anyway just to have there, but a delay of 1 week or so is, of course, OK. -- Ronline, 11 Nov 2003
OK - I've sent you the translation of the script. When the server is updated (the hosting is changed), tell me and then the Romanian Wikitravel can be launched. I've got quite a few articles prepared already ;-) Ronline, 16 Nov 2003
Did you get the interface translation script I sent you via e-mail? By the way, my e-mail doesn't work in the meantime (I seem to not receive any messages due to a problem with the Junk Mail Filter), so when you receive the script, it is best to comment on it here. -- Ronline, 22 Nov 2003
What's happening with the launch of the Romanian Wikipedia - I sent you the localization script - now what's happening? There will soon be Romanian versions of Wikibooks, Wikiquote and Wiktionary, so we need the RO-Wikitravel!! -- Ronline, 16 Dec 2003
Yes, I realize that this is moving the goalposts, and it's probably not fair. --Evan 12:45, 19 Dec 2003 (PST)
Yes, you've really moved the goalposts this time! I don't know why you're afraid of the multilingual Wikitravels (in terms of the projects straying away and not having good content), but anyway, I like the idea of a Romanian Wikitravel Expedition. In fact, I've made a page on it, with rationale, goals, etc. We'll try to get 5 willing users as soon as possible. Concerning the translated interface, could you post that on Wikitravel on an address such as LanguageRo.php, similar to the Wikipedia locales. Thanks, Ronline 04:24, 20 Dec 2003 (PST)
I'm very excited about how things are going here. --Evan 00:24, 23 Dec 2003 (PST)
So am I! The reaction to ro wikitravel has been excellent and we're nearly ready to go Ronline 01:34, 23 Dec 2003 (PST)
A couple more things I need
First, I wanted to point out that we're not going to have fr.wikitravel.org, ro.wikitravel.org, etc., at least to begin with. The different language versions are going to be at www.wikitravel.org/language/ instead. This is mostly a technical issue to keep me from going insane.
Second, I want to know a couple more things for the technical side:
Is UTF-8 OK for Romanian? We're going to be moving up to UTF-8 for English, and I figure it'd be easier to use it across the board. Sound good?
Yes, UTF-8 is excellent for Romanian, and it would be good to use it for English as well. Concerning the address of Romanian Wikitravel, the www.wikitravel.org/ro/article address is what Wikipedia itself is planning to use now, so it's an OK move, it's just that it will be harder to go to the Romanian Wikitravel directly (www.wikitravel.org/ro is harder than ro.wikitravel.org). Concerning the word for article, in Romanian it is articol. I think the whole idea of replacing the default wiki with article is good, and even better when it's localized for every language! Other than that, we're really ready to go - we just need to clarify the go-between. And one more question - I'm planning on having a two-day period for correcting and looking over the LanguageRo.php file, so that it is the best it can be, with input from all five users. Is this worth it - can the language file be corrected afterwards and updated after the Wikitravel Romanian is launched? By the way, the default skin for Romanian should also be Cologne Blue -- Ronline 14:53, 23 Dec 2003 (PST)
w/r/t the URL: yes, I realize that. It's just going to be easier for me to maintain the sites in one dir than separate dirs, and it means we don't have to pay each month for another site with the hosting service we're getting.
I'm going to be setting up the ro and new en stuff tonight... hopefully it works out right. Thanks for the great work on the translation and everything. And, yes, we can make changes to the language file as need be. --Evan 22:09, 25 Dec 2003 (PST)
Thanks a lot Evan for all the quick responses - it will be great if you can set up ro: tonight! Concerning the directory, of course I understand with the hosting and the directories /ro. It's been a pleasure doing the translation and article writing for Wikitravel! Ronline
Well, I spoke too soon. I'm having problems with the installation, and I have to get moving. I'll get to it first thing in the morning! --Evan 23:30, 25 Dec 2003 (PST)
That's all right also. Just to know the actual time, are you in PST time zone - meaning that tomorrow morning will be PST tomorrow morning, or a different time zone? Just so I know when it will be launched! -- Ronline
Time to close this expedition?
So, now that Romanian Wikitravel is launched, is it time to end this expedition? It seems to have reached its goals. --Evan 09:38, 27 Dec 2003 (PST)
I hopped over to the Romanian Wikitravel to link the English phrasebook there with the one in French, and found:
No one had written anything in the English phrasebook in a month, though the pronunciations are only half done. A note in the middle says that a native Romanian speaker should do the pronunciations, which is false; it takes only a few minutes to learn Romanian spelling, but years to master English spelling.
The activity consisted entirely of Ronline writing stubs and one IP editing. Ronline is the go-between, but hasn't written anything in en:WT in two weeks.
By contrast, in fr:WT, many people are active, articles are being translated as well as created anew, and I've seen Seb, Yann, and Evan on both en: and fr:. -phma 07:18, 4 Mar 2004 (EST)
The Romanian Wikitravel is currently fairly stagnant due to lack of contributors - Danutz and I are the only ones who really keep it active. Other than that, I don't feel there is a problem with it. Considering the go-between activities, this is the second time this has come up. What I would like to say is that a go-between can only make comments if there are actually comments to make. Therefore, when Romanian Wikitravel reaches 300 articles, comments will be made on en:WT. When, for example, ro:WT is mentioned in the media, comments will be made. However, I find it to be no use just to make useless comments like: we are now on 245 articles, in the last 3 days we grew by 37 articles.
The reason for the slower growth of the Romanian Wikitravel is due to more time on the Romanian Wikipedia, which is currently being developed very actively and due to relative lack of time. Nothing has happened to the Romanian Wikitravel - it's on 245 articles, it has around 15% article share and is the second-largest Wikitravel.
Considering the French Wikitravel, I don't think it's particularly useful to make comparisons like these (I don't know what you meant), but remember that French is an international language and is bound to have more contributors. Romanian, on the other hand, is a language spoken by 30,000,000 people and yet its version of Wikitravel is the second-largest after English. However, it is unreasonable to expect that we would see the same amount of activity.
As a final note, don't worry, the Romanian Wikitravel will never go into "disrepair" and nothing will happen to it. What I wouldn't like is for the Wikitravel community to alientate the Romanian Wikitravel based on this temporary slower growth - it recently seems very much to be a French-English Wikitravel axis, but you forget that Romanian not only has more articles than the French but was founded before it as well (again, not saying that French might not catch up, but after all, it is bound to). Ronline 17:52, 5 Mar 2004 (EST)
I'd like to say that as long as the Romanian Wikitravel stays active, it will get the support it needs from these quarters. It's our first multilingual Wikitravel, the second largest, and an important part of the Wikitravel family. I'm very proud that we have such a great site going, and I think with such a great and dedicated core team working on it, it can't help but flourish.
I definitely don't want to cut out any language on Wikitravel, regardless of the number of speakers in the world. I think that community-built reference information like Wikitravel is even more important for languages that have fewer speakers. If French has been catching some of the limelight lately, that's probably just due to the novelty.
French also has an advantage in that there's automatic translation tools available on the Web. Quite a few of the community pages in the Wikitravel: namespace were quickly translated from English to French using automatic tools. I'm wondering if there are similar tools for Romanian? If so, would they be helpful? I think the core team on ro: has done a great job, but I also think that having a site ready for contributors who "drift in" off the Web might be the best way to ensure continued growth. --Evan 18:06, 5 Mar 2004 (EST)
There's more to being the go-between than just letting the other Wikis know how big each is getting. There are policy discussions on one which the other has to know about, such as whether we should have pages for international airports.
As to automatic tools, someone thought my translation sounded like Babelfish, which it isn't. In Tokyo, Babelfish turned a sentence of English baraguin into worse French baraguin. I correct other people's spelling, others correct my style and vocabulary, and we make good French together. -phma 20:03, 5 Mar 2004 (EST)