is a web-based translation platform,[1] powered by the Translate extension for MediaWiki, which makes MediaWiki a powerful tool for translating all kinds of text.
Original author(s)Niklas Laxström
Developer(s)Niklas Laxström, Siebrand Mazeland
Initial releaseJuly 2006 (alpha: 2005)
Stable release
Continuous development / Monthly MLEB release
  • MediaWiki
Operating systemCross-platform
Available in300 languages
TypeComputer-assisted translation
LicenseGPL; free service; documentation

It has about 11,000 translators[2] and for over 5,800,000 pages from over 60 projects[3] including MediaWiki, OpenStreetMap, Mifos, Encyclopedia of Life and MantisBT.


The main characteristic of and its engine, the Translate extension, is it being a wiki, so contribution is made easy to any web user, with a low or no barrier to entry.[4] Quality is pursued by letting translators focus on what they're best at translation freeing them from all the other burdens.

Translations are immediately available to the translator and is smoothly synchronised between a revision control system and translatable wiki pages[5] without translator intervention. In the best case, MediaWiki on Wikimedia Foundation projects, new localisations reach live sites within a day (sometimes called "continuous translation"[6] or "continuous localization").

The translation editor provides various features for machine-assisted translation, such as

  • message documentation, also known as "context",
  • suggestions from a text corpus and machine translation,
  • checking translations for common syntax mistakes,
  • translation status of messages.[7] is also a Semantic MediaWiki, part of the semantic web.[8][8][9]

History was made available by Niklas Laxström[10] as localisation platform for all languages of MediaWiki around June 2006, when it was named Betawiki.[11]

Besides translation, it was developed with the characteristics of an integrated development environment for MediaWiki (Nukawiki in 2005[4]), with a focus on improvement of internationalisation features.[12]

At the end of 2007 Siebrand Mazeland joined the management of the website, which was moved to the current domain

In April 2008, it already supported over 100 languages for MediaWiki and 200 of its extensions, "making it one of the most translated software projects ever", as well as FreeCol. Since then, while being an independent volunteer project,[13][14] it has been recognised as a major player in the global success of MediaWiki and the Wikimedia projects powered by it, like Wikipedia, in over 280 languages.[15]

In 2009 it was improved by a Google Summer of Code project by Niklas Laxström.[16] In 2011 proofreading features were introduced.[17] In 2012, its translation memory engine expanded to all Wikimedia projects using Translate.[18]

In 2013, the Translate platform underwent a major revamp through the "Translate User eXperience" project, or "TUX", including "changes in navigation, editor look and feel, translation area, filters, search, and color & style".[7]

Supported formats

Some of the natively supported formats follow. More can be added with some customisation.[19]

Notable uses


  1. Reina, Laura Arjona; Robles, Gregorio; González-Barahona, Jesús M. (n.d.). A Preliminary Analysis of Localization in Free Software: How Translations Are Performed - Spreadsheet. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 153–167. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-38928-3_11. ISBN 978-3-642-38927-6. Retrieved 27 January 2015.
  2. Statistics, 20 March 2019
  3. "Live localisation statistics, example language Finnish". Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  4. Laxström, Niklas (22 April 2011). " celebrates – so do I". Retrieved 2 August 2014., post for 6th birthday.
  5. " Community". 27 April 2011. Retrieved 1 November 2014. The switch to provides us with a stable and actively maintained translation infrastructure smoothly syncing with our Git repository
  6. Whittaker, James A.; Arbon, Jason; Carollo, Jeff (21 March 2012). How Google Tests Software. Addison-Wesley. p. 212. ISBN 9780132851558. Retrieved 22 January 2015.
  7. "Redesigning the Translation experience: An overview". Wikimedia Foundation blog. 25 March 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  8. Stadler, Claus; Lehmann, Jens; Höffner, Konrad; Auer, Sören (2012). "LinkedGeoData: A core for a web of spatial open data". Semantic Web. IOS Press. 3 (4). doi:10.3233/SW-2011-0052. ISSN 1570-0844.
  9. Bry, Francois; Schaffert, Sebastian; Vrandecic, Denny; Weiand, Klara (2012). "Semantic Wikis: Approaches, Applications, and Perspectives". Lecture Notes in Computer Science. 7487: 329–369. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-33158-9_9. ISBN 978-3-642-33157-2. ISSN 0302-9743. Semantic wikis could be used to contribute to the semi-automatisation of the translation process by making explicit the multi-lingual correspondences between texts.
  10. "Niklas Laxström, language engineer and Wikimedian". 23 April 2012. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  11. Laxström, Niklas (12 June 2006). "Etusivu — Betawiki". Archived from the original on 16 June 2006. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  12. " – BetaWiki to Translate WikiMedia". 11 March 2008. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  13. Gómez Fontanills, David; Mörth, Karlheinz (2012). "Panorama of the wikimediasphere". Digithum. University of Cataluna (14). Archived from the original on 30 March 2014. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  14. Siam, Omar (2013). Ein digitales Wörterbuch der 200 häufigsten Wörter der Wikipedia in ägyptischer Umgangssprache: corpusbasierte Methoden zur lexikalischen Analyse nicht-standardisierter Sprache [A digital dictionary of the 200 most frequent words in Wikipedia in Egyptian colloquial language: corpus-based methods for lexical analysis of non-standard language] (in German). Faculty of Cultural Philosophy, University of Vienna. Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  15. Moeller, Erik (18 April 2008). "Free Culture Spotlight: Interview with BetaWiki founder Niklas Laxström". Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  16. Laxström, Niklas (1 September 2009). "GSoC wrap-up – Translate extension". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  17. Laxström, Niklas (29 December 2011). "Putting that another pair of eyes into good us". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  18. Laxström, Niklas (7 September 2012). "Efficient translation: Translation memory enabled on all Wikimedia wikis". Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  19. "File format support". Retrieved 1 November 2014.
  20. "Wiki: Updated stats, translations, project pages". 9 June 2013. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  21. "2013 Gentoo Foundation Inc. Secretary's Report". 18 August 2013. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  22. "KDE UserBase proudly presents another cool feature of the Translate extension developed by the fantastic Niklas Nikerabbit Laxström". Pipesmoker's Blog. 13 June 2011. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  23. Malchow, Ingo (30 December 2012). "4 years in 6 minutes". Retrieved 3 August 2014. The explosion in around mid 2010 happened when we introduced the awesome translate extension for mediawiki.
  24. Localising Joomla! Documentation, by Tom Hutchison, 24 February 2014.
  25. Translation Portal,
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