wikiHow:Language Version Process

wikiHow's long term vision is to make a free how-to manual available to everyone on earth. To do this, we need to build wikiHow in multiple languages. This document lays out some of the structure of how we plan to do this.

EditMultilingual structure

The goal of this policy is to make wikiHow versions in multiple languages. To do so, we borrow some of the format from Wikimedia's projects, wikiTravel and some principles that are homegrown.

  • Language versions are international, welcoming speakers of the target language in all countries. For example, Portuguese wikiHow encourages contributions from readers in Portugal as well as Brazil
  • Articles need not be direct translations from English to another language. Articles on the same topic should be localized to best fit the culture of that language.
  • Different language versions will have different and unique communities.
  • All language versions are important to the success of wikiHow.

EditMultilingual collaboration

By pooling our information, time and resources, wikiHowians can make great how-to manuals together. This is true within language communities and across language barriers; the more people work on wikiHow in whatever language, the better all the how-to manuals become.

  • Ideas, information, problem reports and technical requests must flow across language barriers. Although many wikiHowians who speak multiple languages help moving information across language lines, special volunteers called go-betweens take responsibility for making sure this happens. There is one go-between per language version.

EditStarting a new language version

A wikiHow language version is more than just a MediaWiki wiki. It's a community, a platform for editors to collaborate, and an integral part of wikiHow as a whole. When launching a new version, we try to get the language version ready for all those roles. New language versions start as language projects on English wikiHow, so that participants can get organized before the new language version starts.

Gathering a team

Launching a new wikiHow requires a significant investment of wikiHow's limited engineering and project management resources. For this reason, the decision to launch a new language is based upon a number of factors, including the number of currently active community members interested in the new project, the number of potential readers who will be helped by the new project, and what other languages are currently in development. If you're interested in seeing a new wikiHow version in your language, the best thing to do is become involved in the English community (or that of another existing language), and find others who are fluent in your language to participate as well. For more information about how to get started with a new language, please contact Chris Hadley via an email to wikiHow support (support@wikihow.com) or via his wikiHow talk page: User_talk:Chris H.

Goal or policy changes

Different language versions will have different communities, and they will evolve different ideas about the goals and policies of that language version. The go-between should keep English-language wikiHow well-informed about any major changes to the goals or policies. If for some reason the goals and policies of the language version diverge so far from the English-language version's goals and policies that they're no longer compatible, it may make sense to separate. All communities maintain the right to fork and use the open source software and Creative Commons licensed content.

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Categories: Language Project Information