Wiktionary:Frequent Problems

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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is a draft proposal. It is unofficial, and it is unknown whether it is widely accepted by Wiktionary editors.
Policies: CFI - ELE - BLOCK - REDIR - BOTS - QUOTE - DELETE - NPOV - AXX

This page is intended to serve both as a tutorial for newcomers and a reference for more experienced editors. It describes common errors and other problems encountered on the English Wiktionary. Some of these problems are simple and easy to correct, while others are more difficult to manage, but all are encountered with some regularity. Along with each problem are included suggestions for experienced editors in how to approach newcomers who have made such errors (often unknowingly).

Omissions[edit]

Some desirable and required items are frequently omitted from new entries or edits.

Language headers
A language header is required for all entries on Wiktionary.
Part of speech header
A part of speech header is required for all entries on Wiktionary.
Disambiguation glosses
All Wiktionary translation sections should be broken into a series of tables, one for each sense that has translations, each table being headed by a disambiguation gloss (using {{trans-top}}).
Similarly, lists of synonyms, antonyms, and so on should be headed with a short gloss (using {{sense}}).

Inappropriate content[edit]

Some users add context that does not qualify for inclusion under our guidelines (see WT:CFI).

Experimental editing
Some new users create or edit content experimentally, often with unintended results. New users may be unaware of how to correct such problems they have created.
For mistaken pages, the {{delete}} tag can be used to mark mistaken pages for speedy deletion.
For experimental editing, the {{test}} template may be subst'd on a new user's talk page, but please sign in case the user has questions.
Personal pages
Spam and promotional material
Encyclopedic entries
Protologisms
Prescriptivism/purism/stickler-ism
Wiktionary definitions reflect how words are used, not how they should be used.

Language-related problems[edit]

Confusion of transcription and pronunciation
Wrong script


Links and redirects[edit]

Wikilink ommision
Pages containing no wikilinks are not counted as "good entries" by the software that tallies our page total.
Interwiki links to wrong page
Some new users, perhaps accustomed to dealing with interwiki links of Wikipedia, will add an interwiki link to the translated form of a word. This is incorrect for Wiktionary. On Wiktionary, all interwiki links should be to pages with the same spelling. This links pages for the same word in the same lanuage, rather than the same meaning across words in different languages.
For example, a user might add [[fr:exemple]] to the example entry, since that if the French equivalent. However, the correct interwiki link to the French Wiktionary is [[fr:example]], since that is the spelling of the entry in which the interwiki link appears. All interwiki links on the page example should link to pages about the English word example on other Wiktionaries, not to other words that share the same meaning.
Users can be instructed simply to not bother adding such interwiki links, as they are bot-added.
Redirects

Other common problems[edit]

Capitalization
Singular form of standard headers
Some users will add Synonym instead of Synonyms or Usage note instead of Usage notes. The plural forms are standard and should always be used, even if only one item is listed.
This problem can be ignored unless a user does it as a matter of course, since a bot will fix the header. If a user does commit this error as a matter of course, a polite note on his user talk page can instruct him otherwise.
Adding duplicate content