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Proposal talk:Multilingual Wiktionary

From Strategic Planning
Latest comment: 14 years ago by Philippe in topic Impact?


(Heading inserted by Rursus 09:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC))Reply

I would agree with this proposal and I think Wiktionary should rather be something like the Commons are today. There is too much redundancy because you have an article about a word in the native language Wiktionary and then in any other language Wiktionary (mostly of worse quality). The idea behind Wikipedia (and its sister projects) was to collaborate and share the knowledge. Now I find that with the (often belittled) Wiktionary project, every language version is trying to make a complete dictionary of all languages. It would be a lot easier and less time consuming just to merge all Wiktionarys and only the user interface is different (as said, just like Commons). It is futile to have an article “Emergenz” in the German Wiktionary and below a link to the translated (Italian) word “emergenza” in the German Wiktionary (which is odd enough) and then behind that, the link to the word “emergenza” in the Italian Wiktionary. There should be some kind of template which is translated automatically depending on the ?uselang= function and only the parametres are added such as “word type” “plural forms” “conjugation” etc. which is present already in many Wiktionarys --Brian Ammon 13:50, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Agree me too for the said reasons. Rursus 09:48, 18 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Excelent idea

By now, only scientific terms get diverse language versions. But it would be great if there is a real multilingual dictionary: millions of users could do it in a short time. --Fev 17:00, 14 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

A multilingual wiki is impossible

This proposal forgets something very important: to be able to discuss on contents, editors have to share a common language. The reason why it's always forgotten is that discussion on these new projects are in English, usually. What people not speaking English think is often forgotten. There would be two categories of contributors: an English-speaking elite, and second-grade editors, not really able to fully participate to decisions. This is why wiktionaries have much (really much) more success than OmegaWiki: have a look at OmegaWiki recent changes, you'll see that there are only a few contributors, all of them being able to speak English. Could you imagine discussions in a multilingual merged Wikipedia? It's the same problem for Wiktionary.

The situation on Commons is similar: discussions are in English. But it's less of a problem, because there is much less to be discussed (no articles).

The current Wiktionary situation allows to try different policies, the most effective solutions being likely to be also adopted by other wiktionaries. Some of the information can be copied from one wiktionary to another one by using bots (but only some information, not all information, of course...).

The fact that a multilingual wiki is impossible does not mean that a shared database is impossible: some information might be shared and accessible from all wiktionaries without having to share a common language. An example is the list of anagrams of a word (for a given language). But even this limited common database would cause problems: what if an editor from the Albanian wiktionary adds an anagram for a word, but an Albanian-speaking editor from the English Wiktionary removes it, because, according to the English wiktionary policy, this added word should not be considered as a word? The only way to solve the issue is to define a common policy. But discussing a common policy means sharing a common language.

Whatever the way you look at it, it's a lost cause, very interesting at first view, but very difficult to implement technically if you want to make contributions easy, and impossible anyway because of language and psychological reasons. Why replacing successful projects and trying to copy an experimental project, OmegaWiki, which is a failure? Lmaltier 17:12, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

Apart from that we've also noticed that to list the multilingual informations which are destined to be exported toward all wiktionaries wasn't a success: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Wiktionary:Embassy. JackPotte 23:00, 21 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

A few figures:

  • Alexa rank for wiktionary.org : 1068 (much better in some countries: 375 in Finland, 437 in Austria, 447 in Switzerland, 481 in Greece, 552 in Germany, 607 in Sweden, 613 in Philippines, 643 in Poland, 835 in France, etc.
  • Alexa rank for omegawiki.org: "Not in top 100,000". This is not at all what they expected when they created the "Ultimate Wiktionary" project, but I find this "rank" normal. The proposal is based on exactly the same principles, the results would be similar. Lmaltier 07:07, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

I do agree with your point that the language barrier for discussion is a major obstacle. Nevertheless, this discussion, of course, is also conducted in English and if you check the proposals handed in, you see that they are mostly in English as well. Even with the option to hand in a proposal in any other language, you do not have a lot. And even though my native language is German, I would post a proposal in English so more people can understand (and discuss) it. But coming back to your Problem, I would definitely agree and actually I cannot think of a solution to it so far. Brian Ammon 15:26, 22 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
The solution is simple: don't try to merge Wikipedias, don't try to merge Wiktionaries... I mention Wikipedia on purpose: on Wikipedia, too, there is much information that could be shared, e.g. birthdates and birthplaces, population figures, etc. Fortunately, nobody proposed to merge all Wikipedias in order to share this information, it would be a complete failure. It's exactly the same for Wiktionaries. Lmaltier 09:05, 23 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
As the original proposer (of course, from a dynamic IP), I would like to comment that it was exactly this language barrier which made me suggest the creation of just a central database for multilingual information. Single-language projects would continue to exist, but they could have access to language-independent content (well, tied to one language, but usable by all languages). 10:52, 26 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
As I explained, this is a serious problem: editors knowing English would be able to decide about the contents of this database, other editors would only be able to use it. Every Wiktionary must be able to discuss and to define its own policies. Anyway, the information the database would contain is already readily available from other wiktionaries. Lmaltier 20:26, 26 August 2009 (UTC)Reply
However, if someone tries to realize a multilingual wiki, he should propose some dedicated search engines, Special:RecentChanges (as the wiki diversity proposes), and several multilingual hyperlinks toward the same language by article: at least toward the current article translation and the current article title in the other language, and eventually toward a complex multilingual drop down navigation tree, eg: User:JackPotte

JackPotte 06:42, 29 August 2009 (UTC)Reply

I agree with Lmaltier, I'm strongly opposed for au Multilingual Wiktionary.Bertrand GRONDIN 00:32, 1 September 2009 (UTC)Reply

Excellent idea but not new

The OmegaWiki project provides a multi lingual Wiktionary functionality. At the time the WMF was not interested in it and it had to be renamed from "WiktionaryZ" to OmegaWiki. The project is there and there is room for talks to integrate functionality and content. Thanks, 12:47, 2 September 2009 (UTC)Reply


Some proposals will have massive impact on end-users, including non-editors. Some will have minimal impact. What will be the impact of this proposal on our end-users? -- Philippe 00:14, 3 September 2009 (UTC)Reply