When machine translation is on, link adaptation correctly adapts the target title, but the machine translation is used to the displayed text (in terms of wiki syntax, it's [[target title|displayed text]]).
It is impossible to guess precisely in each case what is the desirable outcome. Sometimes machine translation gets the displayed text correctly. Sometimes the target title is preferable. In quite a lot of languages neither option is perfect, because the language's grammar may require changing the word's morphology (case ending, plural form, etc.)
The machine-translated display text is often completely different from the target title. Occasionally this is actually correct, but often the user has to manually retype the all of the link's display text. Fixing this is needed frequently, and this is further complicated by the fact that many users have a hard time typing text in the links and near them in WYSIWYG editing (for an example see T121619; even though it's for CX1, the user-level issue in CX2 is largely the same).
Here's an example from an article that I'm translating from French to Hebrew:
The article that is called "lycée Louis-le-Grand" has a Hebrew version, and I can see in the link card in the sidebar that its title is good. The initial display text, however, is a bad machine translation that must be completely changed. I need to manually type the correct title (I cannot even highlight text in the link card in order to copy it to the clipboard...)
This problem remains one of the most frequently mentioned ones in user feedback, in various forms, and it affects all the languages for which machine translation is available.
Even though this process cannot be fully automated, I have a few simple suggestions that will make this process easier and save the users most of the extra typing:
- Show one button that simply replaces the current displayed text with the target title. (This button should probably be integrated into the link card/inspector.)
- Show a drop-down that lets the user select between the machine translation and the target title.
- Let the user select machine translation or target title as the default behavior for links, similarly to how machine translation options can be made default.
In all cases, the result may still have to be further edited manually, but the amount of typing will be significantly smaller.
- T105448: when a corresponding article does not exist, but a label exists in Wikidata, suggest the label as the target link title
- T106428: Use article title when adapting links for languages without MT
- T121619: Make it easy to change the text of a whole linked word in the CX tool, without losing the link
- T106603: Use Wikidata information to determine the best strategy to adapt a link