FamilySearch Wiki:Non-English versions of the wiki

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Plone and MediaWiki, FamilySearch Wiki's past and current software platforms, allow users to post content in many languages. They also provide a multilingual user interface, which means the site's menus and prompts are already translated. However, our current platform (Plone) and future platform (MediaWiki) deal with multilingual issues a little differently. An explanation of these differences may help users understand how we plan to proceed in the deployment of languages.

In Plone, several languages can work well on a single site. By contrast, in MediaWiki, Webmasters are instructed to build a separate site for each language.

While we were using Plone, we had a small author group which was mostly comprised of LDS Headquarters staff and called family history consultants. Since we were not concerned about the propriety of content these folks would write, we didn't monitor foreign-language content. However, our migration to MediaWiki is all about scaling the site to millions of users and tens of thousands of authors. Therefore, each language site in our MediaWiki deployment will require oversight to assure that users post content which is appropriate for our audience.

Several levels of administrators are available in MediaWiki sites. We are in the process of deciding which roles we want to deploy. A small team is ramping up to administer the English site, but we will need to augment and diversify this team with volunteers as the site grows. When we migrate to Mediawiki, then, we will begin with an English site, and deploy other language sites one by one when we have enough administrators to moderate the site in each language. We will leave all non-English content in the Plone site until each language site is created in MediaWiki.

If you want a non-English site deployed, then, we recommend that you begin networking with others who might like to help administer the site. Then contact our Product Manager, Ben Bennett, at for instructions on how to proceed.

non-English language versions of the wiki