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Some time ago I fell down Alice's Rabbit Hole when I discovered the same incorrect technical definition turning up in very many places such as blogs and Stack Overflow answers.

I think these all trace back to a bad version of a Wikipedia page: last bad version ⚠️, and diff from the edit that fixed it. It seems the incorrect Wikipedia article has adversely influenced some major software.

I cleared it up, being careful to cite sources and avoid the edit being contentious by moving the original wording under a heading to qualify it.

What concerns me now is that, months later, the old version appears to be still there in four other languages. I speak none of these languages so am unable to correct the article myself.

Does Wikipedia have any process for flagging non-English versions as incorrect or otherwise in need of translation from English?

Otherwise, what options exist for flagging common myths on other language pages where I am unable to correct the page in the given language?

Just to be clear, I don't assume non-English pages are necessarily translations from English, just these pages all appear to have a common origin, and I would like the misinformation to be corrected in the similar pages in other languages.

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    I’m voting to close this question because it's about the process for updates to a specific set of websites, and not about open source software and processes. Commented May 11, 2023 at 14:15
  • @PhilipKendall Hmm that didn't come across as a definitive rule when I asked on meta a while ago. Not wishing to argue with the community view, only it seemed unclear to me that this Q is definitively off topic. Commented May 11, 2023 at 14:33
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    The Wikipedias in each language are independent projects, with their own policies and standards. Sometimes someone creates new articles by translating from another language, but it's not like the English Wikipedia is authoritative. And since your sources are likely to be English, they might have limited value in other contexts. What you can do is to go to the other language's Talk page for that article, and note that their current version might have inaccuracies that you fixed in the edits to the English version.
    – amon
    Commented May 11, 2023 at 14:52
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    @amon it is additionally interesting to notice that a lot of German Wikipedia entries on engineering subjects have more detail than their corresponding English pages. Commented May 12, 2023 at 14:13
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    Definitely do not assume that any non-English wiki is translated from English. That will be received (rightfully) as arrogant and condescending - even when it may be true for some articles or parts of them Commented May 12, 2023 at 23:16

1 Answer 1

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To the best of my knowledge, there is no formal process here. Each Wikipedia is an independent project, so you cannot unilaterally demand that the other languages follow the English site's lead here.

I would suggest one of the following:

  • If you are confident in your knowledge of a given language, just fix it directly.
  • If you have some ability to communicate in that language, post a message to the article's talk page, identifying the problem and asking for assistance.
  • If you don't have any ability to communicate, try asking for help on the (English) village pump. They may be willing to give you advice or help you with translation, but please bear in mind that they cannot tell other projects what to do. I would suggest wording your post as a request for advice rather than as a request for action, because the latter may be seen as overstepping the English Wikipedia's bounds.
  • You might also take a look at Babylon on Meta, but I'm not sure if it applies to a situation like this. I would suggest asking on the talk page.
  • As mentioned in the comments, the site's local embassy may also be willing to help.
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    Is it not OK to post English on a Wikipedia talk page? Most people on the internet around the world speak basic English, even more so when they edit computer science articles. Commented May 12, 2023 at 7:56
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    I’d say it would be OK on projects I know, especially when prefixed with something like “sorry for writing in English, I don’t speak xyz”. Every attempt to help should be welcome, if not formulated in a derogatory way. Also, many projects have “embassies” designed for requests from foreigners; see wikidata.org/wiki/Q1197883 for the list of links.
    – Mormegil
    Commented May 12, 2023 at 8:43
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    It's probably better to speak in English unless you're very confident in the other language... Most of the internet speaks English better than Anglophones tend to speak foreign languages Commented May 12, 2023 at 18:31
  • @ScottishTapWater Would it be better to use both languages if you can, or just stick to English? Commented May 12, 2023 at 19:03
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    @SolomonUcko - If you can use both, then yeah, do. I think everyone would be grateful to see "Je suis une pomme de terre (My first language isn't French, but I'll make my best effort to write my message, in-case my meaning isn't clear, I'll also provide it in English below for any bilinguals) I am a potato" Commented May 12, 2023 at 19:08

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