User:Dygituljunky:Cross-language organization

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Alternate language words[edit]

There is a severely modified version of this proposal near the bottom of this page; read there for more information... (Bill 07:25, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC))

I would like to suggest that we go through and clean up the various words in other lanuages (like the plethora of Asian words: , , , etc.). Most alternate language word pages on the English server (ex.: hajar) are short and only useful for translating the word to English (which can be done in the translations section of the other wiktionary server.) --Bill 01:58, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Modified Interwiki Links/Native language definitions[edit]

We should provide alternate language translations on the server representing the language that the word is from, such as:

  • world:it - on the English server, a detailed explanation of the term world and it's uses for an Italian speaker.
  • it:mondo - on the Italian server, the definition of mondo using Italian words.
  • it:mondo:en - on the Italian server, a detailed explanation of the Italian term mondo and it's uses for an English speaker.
  • eo:mondo - on the Esperanto server, the definition of mondo using Esperanto words.
  • eo:mondo:en - on the Esperanto server, a detailed explanation of the Esperanto term mondo and it's uses for an English speaker.

The negative side is that there would be a slew of pages on each server for each word. The positive side is that a user would be able to get an explanation of a word-concept for which their native language does not have a single word. This would still entail removing articles such as mondo, hajar, or from the English server and adding it:mondo:en, eo:mondo:en, sv:hajar:en, zh:呻:en and ja:呻:en. --Bill 01:58, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

NOTE: I am not suggesting that terms which have common usage in English, for example, be remove from the English server. Ex. the French term c'est la vie is commonly used by English speakers instead of the native translation such is life. --Bill 19:45, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The reason that I suggest this particular structure is that, currently, when I press the Random page link on the English, I usually get a non-english word (something like 7 of 10). By removing the plethora of non-native words, a feature such as an automated word of the moment could be implemented. Furthermore, this suggestion would create a more inter-linked wiktionary. --Bill 18:56, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I just had an idea that I've already discounted, but I wanted to put it out there anyway: use redirect pages for terms that we would be removing. The reason that I've discounted this idea is that the redirect for a word that appears in more than one language, like mondo, would throw off the whole redirect scheme because it would need a disambiguation page and it would show up in the random page link yet would still redirect to the other server. --Bill 05:39, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)
(argument regarding a Tranlation Section Example from a previous, and not quite complete, incarnation of this proposal) No. The definitions of words in other wiktionaries are in their respective languages. If an English monoglot wants to find out what a foreign word means, it's not much help. --Vladisdead 02:41, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
See the section called Modified Interwiki Links/Native language definitions, below. There I talk about defining, for example, an Italian word for an English speaker (but on the Italian server). --Bill 18:15, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Based on your response to the previous incarnation of this proposal, I have reorganized the section. Your concern about an English (or whatever) monoglot is a concern that I share and that I am ultimately trying to address (in conjunction with better organization) with this suggestion. I value your input and because of your last input, I spent about 2 hours revising and tweaking my proposal. :-) --Bill 20:12, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I feel that this wiktionary reorganization proposal, if implemented, would also make it easier for someone who is trying to learn a new language, as I am trying to learn Esperanto, to navigate terms in that language and get information about the terms in their own language. --Bill

Translation Section Examples[edit]

World translates to mondo in Esperanto and Italian. Rather than create an entry on the English server for the Italian/Esperanto word, we should link the two definitions to the English description page mondo on the appropriate language wiktionary. --Bill

Translations (current)[edit]
Translations (proposed)[edit]

--Bill 01:58, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Alternative Page-Based Structure[edit]

A simpler (in terms of server structure) alternative is to create a section on each page for translations, similar to the current tranlations section:

Translations[edit]

and create a section for definitions in alternate languages:

Other languages[edit]
=Esperanto=[edit]

(description of world in Esperanto)

=Français=[edit]

(description of world in French)

=עברית=[edit]

(description of world in Hebrew)

but this creates a problem of the section titles for Noun, Related Terms, etc., getting smaller and smaller; the page structure would be made much more complex and the legibility would be negatively affected. Having a description page for each language would allow for a full description of world in Italian at world:it. --Bill 18:56, 16 Oct 2004 (UTC)


I strongly object to changing the way we store and link words. The English Wiktionary describes words and expressions in all languages in English. The translations of English words point to entries/pages on the English Wiktionary. On these pages it is possible to jump to other language wiktionaries to pages that describe that exact same term. You can argue that that is a lot of clicking, but it is the way that makes the most sense. You find a word, you get a description in English. You click on a translation, you get information about the translation in English. From there you can get a description of the term in an other language by clicking on the interwiki links. The fact that there are a lot of Asian words in the Wiktionary is a richess (does that word exist?). Anyway I mean it it's something good, not something bad. As more English language words are added the balance will return. If you have trouble with the random page button, do as I do: install Mozilla Firefox. It allows you to open pages in serparate tabs in the same main browser window. All the non-English pages can simply be closed again. Polyglot 19:27, 17 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Even when using Safari or Firefox, it is alot of clicking.... It just seems that the reorganization that I propose would make for simpler organization from at least four levels:
  • overall wiktionary project (all languages) organization: only English terms (and terms adopted into English usage i.e. c'est la vie) on the English server, etc, rather than every term in the world on every server.
  • organization of pages on the wiktionary servers: we wouldn't need categories such as eo:Kategorio:EN (a category for the English terms on the Esperanto server).
  • organization at the term level: each term would act somewhat like a category or a namespace in that descriptions of a term in another language would be a sub-page of that term.
  • organization at the presentation/article level: the pages themselves would be more concise, as in the case of mondo, which occurs in EO and IT, or in the case of any number of ZH derived characters which also appear in JA and KO, and etc. The reader (i.e., non-wikimedian user of this site, coming for information, not contribution) would be able to find information faster.
I guess what I'm really calling for is a branching structure for the greater wiktionary project involving all language-servers rather than a flat structure on x number of individual language servers. What I'm suggesting is that we tie the grand wiktionary project back together; the idea is that all Swedish terms reside in the sv directory (/sv/värld/), all English terms in the English directory (/en/world/), Esperanto in eo (/eo/mondo/), Italian in it (/it/mondo/), and etc. except the the servers are acting as the main directories. Within the term directories we would have descriptions in whatever language (/en/world/sv/, etc.). I think I'm pretty clear with my point. I guess I need an explanation why the suggested organization/reintegration of the wikipedia project is any less rich than it is currently. Furthermore, with additional development of the MediaWiki software, how is the hodgepodge approach going to take advantage of additional features like a potential term of the moment (showing a different term on each refresh) feature that could be integrated into the Main Page? --Bill 07:25, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)
One development that we would need to have rather quickly would be a revised search function that could work across all wikimedia servers. --Bill 07:25, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Use directories to divide terms from separate languages[edit]

I just thought of another negative to my idea, above, and to be fair, I gotta put it out there: under my proposal, when a user visits the English page for a Japanese term, they would be on the Japanese server; the navigation tools would be in Japanese. I'm not sure how to get around this within the structure of this suggestion so the revised suggestion is below. This is kind of a compromise of keeping English descriptions of all terms on the English server (as per Polyglot's objection to my proposal) and my call for a more clearly organized structure of some sort: Terms would be divided into directories based on their language:

  • On the English server (all pages in English, as current):
    • en/world : a description of the English term world
    • sv/värld : a description of the English term värld
    • fr/c'est la vie : a description of the French term c'est la vie as used by a French speaker
    • en/c'est la vie : a description of the French term c'est la vie as used by an English speaker
    • etc
  • On the Japanese server (all pages in Japanese, as current):
    • ja:en/world : a description of the English term world
    • ja:sv/värld : a description of the English term värld
    • ja:fr/c'est la vie : a description of the French term c'est la vie as used by a French speaker
    • ja:en/c'est la vie : a description of the French term c'est la vie as used by an English speaker
    • etc

You might ask, "How is this different from our current practice?" In this version of my proposal, all descriptions on the EN server would be in English, as current practice, but the terms for different languages would be split into directories; with further MediaWiki development, I could, for example, restrict my searches to English and Esperanto terms. (Or if a term of the moment feature were integrated into the Main Page, I could restrict that to show only Swedish words or words from any language.) This variation of the proposal offers clear organization (clearer than the current organization) in these ways:

  • terms are divided by langauage, allowing for the potential for searches or random terms to be restricted by source language.
  • since terms are divided by source language, terms that occur in more that one language will have their own page for each language variant.
  • this format would allow for a more concise structure in terms of article formatting.

and offers these benefits over the previous incarnation of my proposal:

  • as it is currently, all terms described in Navajo, for example, would be wrapped in the Navajo interface
  • advanced search restrictions would be easier to implement since they would be restricted to the same server and could restricted by directory (i.e. language of origin).

The negatives:

  • It will be difficult to guarantee that the same structure is used across all sites. (It seems to be traditional to define Esperanto words based on their root: mond- for mondo, monde, etc. but some servers may end up with eo/mond-, eo/monde, eo/mondo, eo/monda, rather than condensing all of the variants to eo/mond-.

--Bill 07:25, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)

An extension of this idea is to split translations off into another sublevel of the term (to make the actual definition more concise and to allow users to print the definitions, and not necessarily the translations, for reference):

Actually plurals should redirect to the singlular form for ease of maintenance:

--Bill 08:06, 18 Oct 2004 (UTC)