It’s possible, and that’s one of the main concerns to have with translations. The tooling should allow properly conveying to end-users that the translations are not up-to-date in that case.
I think this point of view is unfair. It is a different kind of work, and requires a different skill set.
Additionally, I don’t know that the issues in the migration from docbook to markdown is strictly a people-hour issue. I believe there are other foundational issues causing some paralysis in moving forward, in addition to technological decisions not made yet.
These issues and the authoring format of the manuals does not matter as much as the contents does with translation. Sure, whenever the authoring format migration finishes, the authoring effort will need to apply the format changes. But the hard part with translating is not the authoring format, it’s translating. I would even assume that migrating to the new authoring format should be relatively straightforward with verification by native speakers, even without being experienced in translating the content.
I say we should start looking at the tooling right now, this is the exact right moment, when the tooling for the documentation authoring needs to be reviewed anyway. If deficiencies are found with the new authoring tooling with regards to translation, it will be easier to figure out early on rather than when it’s all done and finished.
Furthermore, there’s already one project in the Nix ecosystem where the documentation authoring is migrated in its final form: Nix itself! I think it’s at the right point, maybe even past the right point, to look into.
If I knew what technical tools to use for this, I would actually start looking into it right now with the Nix documentation. Setting up the framework, and using it by providing translations.
If we stamp down efforts because of only tangentially unfinished work and issues elsewhere, at best we’re only delaying efforts, but really I fear it’s extinguishing efforts for much later.