Help:Language translation

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Portal Wiki is capable of handling multilingual content and providing the reader a user interface in their preferred language. Multilingual editors are encouraged to translate and maintain articles in as many different languages as possible to reach the whole Portal global community. Maintaining up to date translated articles is very important and it should be noted that it is preferential to have an up to date English article, rather than an out of date translated one.

How to translate a page

Follow these guidelines to start translating an article.

  1. Check that your language is supported (see List of supported languages below). We support most languages that have official in-game translations.
  2. Go to the English version of the article's page and click "Edit this page". Select everything in the box and copy it.
  3. Navigate to the new language by adding "/LANGUAGE" to the end of the article where LANGUAGE is replaced with the ISO639-1 code of the language you wish to translate to, found here
  4. Paste the code of the English page to the new one.
    The French version of the article "Hats" would be Hats/fr, not Chapeaux, Hats/Chapeaux or Chapeaux/fr
  5. Use {{DISPLAYTITLE:abcxyz}} to translate the page's title.
    For example: {{DISPLAYTITLE:Handlung}} would show the title "Handlung" while keeping the real article title as "Storyline/de".
    The display title can also be set by the infobox (see below). Because of this, articles about cosmetic items and weapons should not use this template to allow dynamic name changes from the dictionary.
  6. Change the categories at the bottom of the page.
    For example: [[Category:Lists]] becomes [[Category:Lists/fr]]. Do this for all categories at the bottom of the page.
  7. You can now translate the rest of the article. Note that some text is stored in other pages (called "templates"). To translate these you will have to edit them individually.
    Whenever possible, make use of localization files in order to use correct names and descriptions.
    In case you need to save an unfinished translation to complete it later on, add {{trans}} to the top of the page. All such incomplete translations will be in the appropriate category.
    You do not need to add {{trans|French}} (for example), only {{trans}} or {{translate}} is required.

Translation community

Each language has its own main discussion page at Portal Wiki:Translation progress. You can also find statistics about your language's translation effort here.

Please also watch the translators' noticeboard (click the 'watch' tab at the top). This will ensure you stay on top of any changes or announcements.

It's worth keeping in mind that translators are also part of editors, thus translation community is a part of the whole editor community. In addition to translation, participation in the creation and improvement of the original English pages is also encouraged.

Multilingual guidelines

  • English is the main reference language, and all root pages should be named and written in English.
  • Other languages should be placed in an appropriately named sub-page of the English version.
  • Language subpages should use the appropriate ISO 639 code (as listed below)
  • With few exceptions, pages in the Help, Portal Wiki, MediaWiki namespaces should not be translated. These pages are primarily aimed to be read by Wiki editors, and all Wiki editors should all be capable of reading English. As such, it is not very useful to translate these pages and can cause out-of-date guidelines when compared to the authoritative (English) version. Exceptions include language-specific translation guidelines and problematic guidelines repeatedly ignored by non-English-reading editors.
    • Disambiguation pages do not need to be translated unless they refer to common words, e.g. Button.
  • If a translated version of a page exists but an English version does not, then please create a stub article for the English version as this aids navigation.
  • The use of {{Languages}} at the bottom of articles is now discouraged, as language links appear in the sidebar.
  • While in the process of translating articles, using {{Trans}} is encouraged to display to other editors that the article is a work in progress.
  • Pages that are out of date or need updating should be tagged with {{update trans}}. Pages with this tag appear in Category:Translations needing updating, sorted by language.
  • Please do not sign articles using the 4 tildes (~~~~). The list of people who contributed to the article is always available in the history tab, and it would otherwise clutter the page.

Automated translation tools

Pictogram comment.png Note: please report any pages that consist of entirely machine-translated text (or any users that appear to repeatedly use these tools) to the translators' noticeboard.

On-wiki communication

  • Talk pages
    • It is vital that all discussion based on specific users and articles is in English. This is especially important when discussing the quality or accuracy of any article or translator.
  • Edit summaries
    • All edit summaries should be written in English where practical.

These requirements allow staff and fellow editors to keep up to date with every aspect of translation.


  • Displaying a different title
    • Displaying a title in a different language is possible with the use of the magic word {{DISPLAYTITLE:}}.
    • For example, using {{DISPLAYTITLE:Example}} will display the article name as Example.
  • Templates
    • Templates use parameters with values to display text. The style is | parameter = text. Translating the text is almost always required, but the parameter should never be translated.
    • {{Item infobox}} needs a few lines to stay in English for it to work properly. If a parameter is listed below, please do not translate the text associated with it:
type, game, slot, trade, gift, craft, paint, rename, quality
  • Links
    • You can link to translated articles and display different text for the links like this:
    • If using external links that are in English, you should also use the template {{lang icon}} directly after the link to indicate the language of the external link.
      • [ Google] on Chell/fr should look like [ Google] {{lang icon|en}}, which will generate:
      Google (English)
    • You can link to translated Wikipedia articles using [[w:nl:Wikipedia Article Page Title|Display Title]].
      • [[w:nl:Thompsonpistoolmitrailleur|Thompsonpistoolmitrailleur]] will produce Thompsonpistoolmitrailleur. Replace the nl: with the ISO639-1 code of the language you are translating to.
        • If no translated page exists, either omit entirely or link to the English article and add {{lang icon}}.
    • {{Main}} and {{See also}} – When using these templates you can display a different title using the parameter l1 (lowercase L1):
    {{Main|Gels/ru|l1=Гели}} generates
    Main article: Гели
    {{Main|Gels/ru|l1=Гели|Tubes/ru|l2=Трубы}} generates
    Main articles: Гели and Трубы
    Note: To change the "Main article:" text, see the individual template pages for {{main}} and {{see also}} as they use translation switching.
  • Categories
    • Language pages should be kept in separate categories.
    • For example on Laser Field/fi, if you find [[Category:Mechanics]] at the bottom of the page, change it to [[Category:Mechanics/fi]].
  • Redirects
    • You can create as many language redirects as are needed, as long as they are tagged properly with {{R lang}}. See example:
      Шапочка поджигателя redirecting to Pyro's Beanie/ru will have the following text on the page 'Шапочка поджигателя':
      #REDIRECT [[Pyro's Beanie/ru]] {{R lang|ru}}
    • Pictogram comment.png Note: always remember to add {{R lang|xx}} (this helps to find these redirects later, as there can be hundreds of them)
  • Disambiguation pages
    • Disambiguation pages (i.e. pages that list articles with similar names for convenience) that are specific to one language should not be created. Root pages should always be in English, and much of the wiki page structure relies on this. Language-specific disambiguation pages are too difficult to keep track of.
  • Quotations
    • The quotation text has to be translated.
    • If your language is one of the few having translated voice lines (German, Spanish, French and Russian), you can check if the sound is localized by adding your language code to the sound (e.g. Cave Johnson seventies intro15.wav becomes Cave Johnson seventies intro15 es.wav) and using "Show preview".
      • If the sound exists, listen to it and add the translated text.
      • If not, translate the quotation on your own, leave the English voice line and add the en-sound=yes parameter to the template.


The majority of templates should use translation switching, with the exception of some navigational boxes. Previously it was necessary to create a localized version of a template, e.g. Template:Hat infobox/ru. Now localized text is stored in one template, where text for all languages is stored. Please see Help:Translation switching for further information.


The English pages you translate from will be updated in any time, but the translated pages won't update themselves. As a result, a translated page which lacks updates will gradually become obsolete over time.

If you are willing to keep an eye on your works and keep them highly consistent with the corresponding English pages, you can add the original pages to your watchlist as well. In this way, you can easily learn which translation pages you created need to be updated.

List of supported languages

Portal Wiki supports language translation of articles into 21 languages, the majority of which have localization files for Portal and Portal 2.

Pictogram comment.png Note: there are no plans to add support for any further languages at this time. Support for the translation of articles into a specific language will now only be considered if there are localization files present in the game. The reasoning for this is that the workload for translators who do not have support from the Steam Translation Server (in the form of word lists, nouns, etc, and proper discussion channels) is significantly higher. The amount of active translators is also less, meaning pages can quickly become out of date.
Please do not make requests to moderators or on the talk page regarding requests, our stance at this time is not changing.
ISO639-1 code Name in English
ar Arabic (Deprecated)
cs Czech
da Danish
de German
es Spanish (Spain)
fi Finnish
fr French
hu Hungarian
it Italian
ja Japanese
ko Korean
nl Dutch
no Norwegian
pl Polish
pt Portuguese
pt-br Portuguese (Brazil)
ro Romanian
ru Russian
sv Swedish
zh-hans Chinese (Simplified)
zh-hant Chinese (Traditional)