Biotech Independent Media Centre is an issue based Indymedia site
dedicated to biotechnology and genetic engineering in agriculture,
food, medicine as well as its relevance to globalisation. It is about
struggles everywhere against the commodification of life, and about
Indymedia Biotech is set up by a group of volunteers from
different continents working on biotech issues, many of whom are also
Indymedia activists of local IMCs. They are committed to a multilingual
site to break through language barriers that keep local actions
restricted to local languages, or that exclude people that don't speak
and write the main language of a global website.
Here is how to help
www.biotechimc.org with translations.
- Adding a translation to an article or feature
The easiest way is to do this like any user would, i.e.
from the main site. Go to the article or to "read more" if it's a feature.
On top you'll see the languages in which the piece exists (original + translations),
it's good practice to check this so as not to translate twice into the same
language. Click on the "add a translation" link on top.
The form is quite easy to understand, and you'll have
the text before you (but only the original, which means it won't help if
what you are doing is translating a translation), divided into title/abstract/article.
Don't forget to select/add the right language (if it's not in the list, you
select "other" and then write it below).
In the case of features or articles posted directly from
the admin, you may find that all the text is under "abstract" and there's
nothing under "text of the article". In such cases you have to add at least
one character in the "article" field, or your translation will be rejected.
In some mir sites such as ftaaimc, html can be activated
from the outside. This is not the case with biotechimc, so if you need to
turn html on you'll have to go to the admin (which means an incredible amount
of time/money, so I'd say the ftaaimc development is an
improvement, and so far there's been no problem with it).
- Adding a translation from the admin interface
This process takes longer, but sometimes there is no
other option, for example for breaking news or html. This is how it works:
once you are in the admin, go to "new article", select "translation" as your
type of article, don't forget to click on "published", and it's there where
you can turn html on. Here you also have to select the language; if it's
not in the list, choose "other", then write the name of that language below.
Then you have to select the parent article: click on the button on the left
bottom corner, this will take you to the list of articles, select yours and
click on "select", and you'll be back with your original translation: save,
and save again ("activate changes") and then for good measure "generate all
new" in the start page. If the selection is wrong, instead of "de-selecting"
one has to select again and choose the right parent article.
For breaking news, you only include
text in the "abstract" field, and the "text" field remains empty. This is
a very long process for breaking news, i.e. when you are done it's old news
already, the pieces have been archived and there's a whole set of new items
on the front page. The ftaaimc found a more practical option for this, which
is simply editing each piece of breaking news by adding the translation below,
so this bilingual version will be featured on every page. This saves lots
of time and seems to be better for speakers of the second language.
- If there are two translations into the same language, the oldest
one wins if the article is promoted. So if you want a later version to be
promoted, hiding the other one works alright (but here you are hiding someone
else's work, so it may not be a good solution), you can also try editing
the first version: change the language from, say, "english" to "english1",
we are pretty sure this should work, but we haven't tried it.
- Any comment posted to the article appears also as a comment to the
translations, and the other way round, so the result is very Babel-like.
- If you edit an article by, for example, adding a picture, this won't
be shown in the translations.
- For the time being, there is no way of translating pictures' captions
- they will remain in their original language.
- The ftaaimc site has another category of article, the "feature waiting
for translation". This can be useful for the editorial team to agree on a
feature, and comment on it, and also to promote an article and its translation(s)
at the same time or at an agreed moment. But it's not very interesting for
the translators themselves, unless they are active part of the editorial team,
as it also implies extra time.