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Wikipedia:Content translation tool

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The English Wikipedia community has restricted article creation by the WMF's semi-automatic content translation tool to extended confirmed users.[1] This access is automatically applied to editors who have been registered for at least 30 days and have made at least 500 edits to the English Wikipedia. In addition, integration with machine translation has been disabled for all users.[1]

English Wikipedia restrictionsEdit

Due to a configuration error,[2] between at least 2015-12-11[3] and 2016-07-26,[4] this tool was using machine translation from the source language to English. The user was then expected to check and fix the translation before publication. Unfortunately, a high proportion of these articles were considered unacceptable by English Wikipedia's standards. Estimates are that, before machine translation was turned off, 95% of articles created with this tool were unacceptable without significant additional work.[5] Additionally, other issues with the tool, such as poor markup and mangled references, were common. A list of affected pages can be seen at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/CXT/Draftification list July 2017.

In 2016, the community talked about developing a process whereby trusted editors would be able to gain access to this tool.[6][1] The community also intended to develop a venue where less experienced editors could submit translations for evaluation before being published in the main namespace.[citation needed]

Use of the content translation tool to translate from the English Wikipedia into different languages remains unaffected.

Why machine translation is disabled in content translationEdit

Raw or lightly edited machine translations have long been considered by the English Wikipedia community to be worse than nothing.[7] See the translation policy for more information. Articles translated without adaptations often are unsourced or badly sourced, which violates our verifiability policy. Unedited machine translations are also often so poor as to distort the intended meaning, for example by missing a negation in a sentence; to clean up the output into acceptable prose, a human sufficiently fluent in English is needed who understands the source language well enough to be sure that the meaning has not been scrambled or distorted. Other policies on the English Wikipedia, such as notability, cannot be checked automatically either, and need a human familiar with English Wikipedia's version of the applicable policies to know if the translated article is acceptable.

Pages created prior to 27 July 2016 may be evaluated for speedy deletion under temporary criterion WP:X2.


The following logs are related to the CXT extension: