User talk:Stephen G. Brown/2007

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Hey, I've been adding a bit to the Mycenaean section. I thought I'd let you know and request you take a look at it and see what you think. I got rid of the category you created, Linear B syllabary, because it seemed redundant to the Mycenaean language category. Please feel free to make any changes or reverts you think to be beneficial. I'd love to hear any input that you have. By the way, working with Mycenaean isn't in any way conflicting with the current vote on PIE stuff, is it? Don't want to step on anyone's toes. Thanks. Cerealkiller13 03:11, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

No, Mycenaean is an attested language with attested words and forms, completely different from PIE and other reconstructed protolanguages. —Stephen 10:38, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
As far as Category:Linear B syllabary goes, we need entries for each Linear B glyph, tagged with that category, in the same way that we have done for letters and syllables in other scripts, such as Cyrillic щ and Hiragana . In the Linear B syllabary, for example, the syllable a is represented by 𐀀 (U+10000). When creating these pages, it would be a good idea to include a graphic image, since most people will not have a suitable font. —Stephen 12:52, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


We strongly discourage punctuation in entry titles, don't we? --Connel MacKenzie 20:29, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

In most cases, yes, but this is one that people are like to search for. The actual entry is at здорово, and здорово! redirects to it. —Stephen 20:36, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

faccia di bronzo‎[edit]

You say this is a noun, but give an adjective as translation. SemperBlotto 22:28, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

It’s a noun, literally, face of bronze. It would have to be used as a predicate of a verb or with a preposition to act as an adjective. —Stephen 22:30, 27 January 2007 (UTC)


Apart from modern chess, is (was?) this used for its ancient ancestor w:Shatranj? They are quite different games.. Cynewulf 15:49, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it was once shatranj, but now it is chess. I suppose it still means shatranj, but people don’t know that game anymore, but play modern chess instead. —Stephen 15:54, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

About Ancient Greek[edit]

As an editor who apparently has some knowledge of Ancient Greek, I'm just making sure you're aware of the Wiktionary:About Ancient Greek page, and that any contributions you'd like to make would be most welcome. If you've already looked and have nothing to add (or simply don't feel like looking), please accept my apologies for this nuisance. By the way, I recently started a discussion on the aforementioned page's talk page concerning linear scripts which I thought you might find interesting. Thanks. Atelaes 00:17, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, I’ll have a look as soon as I get time. —Stephen 00:19, 15 February 2007 (UTC)

Transliteration (of Russian and other cyrillic)[edit]

Hi Stephen,

Above, in Transliterating Ukrainian, you mentioned that there is consensus about the hacek on c and s but none about e. I recently asked about this in the BP, not knowing about this. This ‘convention’ is mentioned nowhere. Could you maybe update Wiktionary:About Russian to reflect this, and probably also for the other cyrillic-written languages? Please comment on the above BP section. Also have a look a bit lower: WT:BP#Romanisation - wikified?. Cheers, henne (talk) 14:58, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I also recently stumbled over {{romanization of Hebrew}}, maybe something similar for Russian/cyrillic would be appropriate? H. (talk) 15:00, 19 February 2007 (UTC)

I don’t understand what you mean about e. Are you talking about the use of the acute accent (áéíóúý) to mark stress, or the use of devices such as ê and 'e to indicate palatalization?
You mention above that there is no consensus about how to transliterate Russian е, that is, as e, je or ye or even ê or ʹe. I am perfectly happy with the marking of stress, which I think indeed is very important, I also struggle with it all the time. However, the ISO 9 standard suggests ʹ, which is not the same as '. I would propose we use the former. But the discussion is about: when to use it? To transliterate я as ʹa? Before е? I would only use it where there is an explicit ь.
Yes, the directed ’ is the one I use. As shown in Appendix:Russian transliteration, it is used for the soft sign (ь). The hard vowels are: a e y o u; the soft vowels are: ja e/je i jo ju. The Russian letter е is transliterated je word-initially and after a vowel, й, ъ, or ь; otherwise, just e. The letter ё is usually transliterated as jo, but after ж, ч, ш, and щ, it is o: чёрт = čort.
Some time ago I made a page with a transliteration table for Russian, Appendix:Russian transliteration. Is that what you mean? I have added this as a link at the bottom of Wiktionary:About Russian. (I also did one for Ukrainian, Appendix:Ukrainian transliteration.)
This does not help. What I am asking for is a policy, such that I can go to new contributors’ talk pages and tell them: hey, you know, there is this policy, do not use χ as a transliteration for х, but rather kh, x or whatever. See Wiktionary:About Greek to see what I mean: a table which says: this is our system. Since you are the longest-time contributor on Russian, I thought I’d ask you. If you don’t want or don’t care, I’ll edit Wiktionary:About Russian myself and make such a table. In that case, I’d probably just take ISO 9, which would mean almost all entries should be edited. That is probably not what you want, so I suppose you’ll want to have something to say there too, as do others.
Although I have to admit that I am not perfectly happy with ISO 9, especially with the transcription of e, since non-knowable people will probably read it as ‘ee’, where they should read it as ‘je’. And I don’t know whether we need to prefer ŝ over šč.
We’ve had several discussions about this over the past couple of years, and a vote on what to use. Not many people took part in the discussions or voting, but Appendix:Russian transliteration shows in the first column the system that we are using, but that column can easily be inserted into Wiktionary:About Russian. It would probably be more convenient that way.
Indeed, very nice, what you did. Thank you very much! H. (talk) 15:24, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
I don’t know what you wanted me to see in WT:BP#Romanisation - wikified?. Did you mean whether Russian transliterations should be wikified? If so, the answer is no. If we wikify the transliterations, then we would have to use a different transliteration scheme (probably BGN/PCGN), which does not mark the accented syllable. Since Russian stress is extremely unpredictable, yet extremely important, not marking the stressed syllable would be a tremendous loss. The Russian transliterations that we use here are only for approximate pronunciation and to show the stress, and are not the transliterations that one would use in a magazine article for instance.
I mainly wanted you to see WT:BP#Romanization of Russian (and others), since that is where I started this discussion. The other section contains some related things, especially Saltmarsh’ proposal to make Wiktionary:Transliteration official policy.
As for {{romanization of Hebrew}}, that’s only useful for someone who would like a transliteration of a certain word but who does not know how to do it himself (as far as I can see). We could make that template for Russian, and I would be happy to check it and add any missing transliterations that anyone marked, but I wonder whether anyone would actually use it. —Stephen 07:31, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Hm, ok, but it offers the solution to eventually wrap this in CSS such that people can hide the transliterations at all (as I would, since I can read cyrillic), or even more exotic things as choose which transliteration system one prefers etc. H. (talk) 17:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
That’s a software issue and I’m not up to speed with that sort of thing. If there is going to be a need to hide the transliterations, then we can certainly put something there, but I think it would be better to find something simpler and shorter than {{romanization of Hebrew}} ... perhaps {{rru}}. But if the transliterations are hidden, it will also hide the information about which syllable to stress. If that also allows one to select a particular transliteration scheme, that would be great, but I cannot imagine how it could work. —Stephen 18:16, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
No prob, I suppose I’ll bring it into WT:BP, to see what other people think of the use, and then we can see whether we want it for Russian as well. H. (talk) 15:24, 28 February 2007 (UTC)


The literature I've seen has some debate as to whether Algonquin is a distinct language from Ojibwe. My question is whether we should distinguish them on Wiktionary. In particular, should we list separate translations and have a Category:Algonquin language in addition to Category:Ojibwe language? --EncycloPetey 03:06, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Algonquin can be considered to be a dialect of Ojibwe, but as a dialect it is divergent. Algonquin is also frequently spelt using a different system than the Ojibwe Fiero double-vowel; e.g., Ojibwe giizhig = Algonquin kìjig (day). Whether Algonquin is considered a separate language or merely a divergent dialect, it is different enough, and its speakers have a unique enought history, that it merits separate translations and categories. I would add Category:Algonquin language to the Category:Ojibwe language and vice versa.
It might be a good idea to group Ojibwe, Algonquin, Mississauga, and Odawa translations all together under Ojibwe the same way we put the nine or so Chinese languages/dialects under Chinese, and the Apache languages/dialects under Apache. —Stephen 06:47, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. --EncycloPetey 05:01, 21 February 2007 (UTC)


I was looking at the etymology of talisman, and I noticed that it has an Arabic ţilsam in the etymology. The OED seems to think this is a mistake. Do you know anything about this? Thanks. Atelaes 07:08, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

As I understand it, the French, having knowledge of both the Arabic word and the Byzantine Greek word, adopted it on that basis. So it seems to come from both. However, the Arabic word itself was borrowed from Greek. I changed the etymology to reflect my take on it. —Stephen 15:31, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
That etymology seems to jive with what little I've found out. Excellent. One minor thing: I switched τελείν to τελέω since we're using 1st person PAI as the lemma instead of the infinitive in Greek. I sort of wish I had a medieval reference on Greek, as my LSJ makes no mention of τέλεσμα having anything to do with religious rites, although it's derived from τελέω which clearly does. Oddly, the cognate τελεσμός has "consecration ceremony" as its only definition. Strange. Well, thanks very much for everything. Also, I put in a request at Wiktionary:Requested articles:Persian, and I figured I'd mention that while I'm here (I figure putting a request there basically amounts to putting in a direct request with you personally :-)). Thanks again. Atelaes 19:06, 22 February 2007 (UTC)


You must mean detente bala. —Stephen 02:24, 1 March 2007 (UTC)
oops my mistake! corrected!!!


Hi, please use the term Slovenian instead of Slovene in your translations as it was found more appropriate in Wikipedia:Wikipedia:Naming conventions (Slovenian vs Slovene). Besides, changing solely the term Slovenian where it already exists to Slovene is against wiki policies. Thank you. --Greg-si 03:11, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

This isn't Wikipedia. The same rules do not apply here. Atelaes 04:12, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
That’s right. Both names are correct, but over the years I have noted that most Slovene contributors use the term Slovene in the Translations sections, and, since links that are styled [[čas#Language|čas]] are directly affected by this, we prefer that Slovene be used here. —Stephen 12:16, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

Semitic templates[edit]

A few of us are trying to come up with an inflection template to use for Hebrew prepositions. Since you have some knowledge of Arabic, I figured you might be able to assist in this. The relevent discussion is at Wiktionary talk:About Hebrew#Inflected forms (1). What I was hoping to create is a template in which the user could enter in the tri-root, and have the template spit out all the inflected forms, with the proper vowel markings. My question is, is there a way which we can program the template to attach vowel markings? For example, if the first letter of the preposition is א and the first syllable is supposed to be an /i/, can we program the template to spit out a אִ? (I don't know how far your knowledge of Hebrew extends, but the little dot under the aleph is a chirek, which signifies the /i/ vowel. If you already knew that, I apologize for being didactic). Certainly we can make a large series of switches, with if parameter one is א, output is אִ, if parameter 1 is ב, output is בִ, etc. But that's a whole lot of tedious programming. Is there a simpler way, where the computer can recognize which letter is the input and then simply be told to attach a certain vowel to it? Thanks. Atelaes 05:26, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

I understand what you mean, but I’m not sure it can be done in a way that makes it easy to apply. Arabic works the same way, but there are too many variations with different words. I have given it a try with Template:he-prep, shown below, but my knowledge of HTML markup language is weak:
Actually, the template expert is User:Robert Ullmann. You might discuss this with him to see if he as a suggestion. —Stephen 14:31, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Российская Федерация[edit]

Why is the image caption in Russian?

I might think it reasonable if the caption were the same as the article title, but the article title clearly means "Russian Federation", and the flag caption clearly means "Flag of Russia".

RuakhTALK 17:28, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Because these pages are mainly for people interested in Russian language, and Russian-language students appreciate simple little captions in Russian that they can easily understand. I’ve made a number of these pages and I always put the caption in Russian and make sure the components also have entries. If you like, you could add the Russian flag to the English page Russian Federation and put the caption "Flag of Russia" under that. But I’m doing almost all of the examples and translations for the Russian pages, as well as the grammatical notes, and I want the Russian captions to stay as I put them. It makes the pages more interesting to the people who use them. —Stephen 17:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
Well then, you should say something at Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Captions of Pictures. Even if the Russian captions are a good idea (and I'm not convinced they are), it seems that they should either (1) be accompanied by English translations, or (2) be links to the Wiktionary entries for those phrases. —RuakhTALK 18:12, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
No, the article Russian Federation is for those who don’t know or are not interested in the Russian language, and an English caption is appropriate there. The Russian pages are linguistically more complex, and most of the materical there will not be useful to anyone with no interest in the language. These captions are extremely simple, and a first-year, first-semester student can understand them. Put translations on the English page for those who don’t care about the language. —Stephen 18:21, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Historical Numbers[edit]

Entries related to "bad named" category: fixed. Now you can delete old Category:Historical Numbers. Thanks. - Eric Utgerd 01:09, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, concerning [1], shouldn’t the Adjective come before the verb? I thought we ranked POS headers alphabetically. I’d have some more to say about your markup, but I’ll leave it at that, since it is already great enough you put you knowledge about all those scripts and languages in here ;-) H. (talk) 09:19, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

No, I don’t think so. In Arabic, the basic linguistic units are verbs, and nouns and adjectives are mostly (almost entirely, except for foreign loans) derivations of the verb. In Arabic-Arabic and Arabic-English dictionaries, you first look up the verb, and under it will be listed all the derived verbs, nouns and adjectives. Very few native Arabic words do not have a verb as its basis. And even when Arabic adopts a foreign noun (such as telephone) and then makes a verb from that (to telephone), Arabic grammar assumes that the verb came first, and in dictionaries the noun for telephone is found only under the verb to "to telephone". —Stephen 11:39, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Interesting, thanks. I am following an introductory course Arabic soon, it is promising to get interesting... H. (talk) 18:27, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

Russian transliteration[edit]

Hi Stephen,

As I mentioned on the talk page for Russian, I’d prefer c as transcription for ц. I seem not to be alone in that. What is your ground to prefer ts? Similarly, I’d use x for х. H. (talk) 19:36, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

The thing that bothers me about c is the way it looks when followed by the vowels a or o or by a consonant. For example, nemcy looks reasonable enough, but with po-nemecki I think it is likely that many people will think it’s just a k sound (like German ck). With a following a or o, you get, for instance, cap. If you use ts instead, then there is no confusion: po-nemetski, tsap. —Stephen 07:05, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
As for Cyrillic х, I think English x is a common enough transliteration (not just Russian, but for a wide variety of languages, including Persian and Arabic) that it should be okay. Writing it as kh is clearer for the casual user, but x has become fairly common. —Stephen 07:22, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

Old Persian[edit]

So, I finally found the etymology for Μάγος, and I've started the Old Persian language section. If you have anything to add to any of these entries it would be much appreciated. If not, I figured you might find it interesting anyway. Atelaes 03:17, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. Yes, that’s interesting. From the cuneiform, it appears that the u in 𐎶𐎦𐎢𐏁 is long: (magūš). —Stephen 03:44, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, that's one thing that I found a bit confusing. A long vowel was my first assumption as well, but both of the sources that I used did not cite it as a long vowel (as is also the case with 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁). I guess I just don't know enough about the orthography (or anything else, for that matter) of Old Persian to feel confident doing anything but simply following what others have done. Atelaes 03:53, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Although, now that I look at it, neither of my sources ([2] & [3]) use macrons at all. The first uses circumflexes and carons, and the second uses only circumflexes, but I'm not completely sure what they're indicating by those. Any thoughts? Atelaes 03:57, 27 March 2007 (UTC)
Well, in Modern Persian transliterations, it is common to use the circumflex in place of the macron, so they are equivalent. However, I looked through some Old Persian cuneiform texts and it is clear that the practice at that time was almost always to write the independent vowel even though the preceding consonant already indicated the nature of the vowel. Therefore, O.P. 𐎦𐎢 is nothing more than "gu". It could be long or short. —Stephen 04:14, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

Copy of my message to Dijan[edit]

I am feeling a kind of contempt for Wikipedia in your post. I do not trust Wikipedia, ‎‎especially on controversial topics such as Hindustani etc. Such topics are in control of ‎‎powerful political groups; hence, the material is extremely biased and questionable. I ‎‎stress on the usage of Urdu and Hindi because, when Jungle was introduced in English, ‎‎Hindustani did not exist but Urdu and Hindi did. The usage of Hindustani is a ‎‎provocative reference to pre-1947 India which is wrong in every way.‎ We should not create our ‎own rules and should follow the established rules of established dictionaries. I do not ‎think should be rejected with such force. It always cites highly credible ‎sources and combines them on one page.‎

By the way, I find your analysis of Urdu and its script a little bit flawed. I can read ‎‎Arabic very well, although I do not understand all of it. In Arabic, nasal n never occurs at ‎‎the end of a word; however, it often occurs inside words where a "jazam" (diacritic) is ‎‎used (not necessary to write, although its existence is always understood). Urdu script ‎follows the same tradition.‎ Muqaabil 09:14, 31 March 2007 (UTC)‎

The usage of Hindustani in Indian and Pakistani English may be different from American English. In American English, Hindustani is not a controversial term and does not refer to some historic period. Hindustani is the lingua franca that includes Hindi and Urdu. There isn’t a note of politics connected to the word, it is simply an ordinary language name.
I’m not sure of the Urdu word "jazam" will be something else in Arabic. There is an old word "jazma", usually called sukun, which is a little circle: Template:ARchar. If this is the diacritic you mean, it does not indicate nasalization in Arabic, it means that the consonant is cut short (i.e., it has no vowel). —Stephen 17:07, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Question about translation[edit]

Is it necessary or optional to add transliterations for translations in non-roman scripts. e.g. Arabic or Urdu scripts? Muqaabil 17:57, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, especially for the Asian languages, since knowing the alphabet is usually not enough to get the correct pronunciation. This is the English Wiktionary, which means its users are Americans, Britons, Canadians, New Zealanders, and Australians, and these people usually need to have transliterations. —Stephen 16:43, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Much ado about Graphemes[edit]

I know you have some unorthodox views on this subject, and so wanted to make sure you were aware of this discussion. Atelaes 12:41, 2 April 2007 (UTC)


Since you seem to be in a proper noun sort of mood, could you check (or add) the Arabic translation of Abraham? Considering his importance in Middle Eastern religious beliefs, I was shocked to see that the Arabic translation was a red-link "to be checked". --EncycloPetey 22:02, 10 April 2007 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, since you are also an important contributor concerning graphemes, and the discussion on the BP seems to have stalled, I invite you to join Atelaes and me to settle this amongst us on his talk page. H. (talk) 10:40, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Wiktionary:About Persian[edit]

Hello, I am new to Wiktionary and I would like to add more entries for Persian words. Having noticed that there are sometimes different systems of transliteration used for Persian in Wiktionary, I was unsure as to which system to use, so I started a draft proposal at Wiktionary:About Persian. I noticed that you are quite experienced in the area, so if you might have time do you think you could look at it at some point and offer your opinion on the matter. It's a bare draft at the moment, and hopefully it will be expanded to cover other issues apart from transliteration. Thanks very much :-D Pistachio 23:51, 12 April 2007 (UTC)

Need some help[edit]

Hey Stephen. Sorry to bug you, but I need consultation. Recently we've welcomed an Urdu speaker (Muqaabil) to Wiktionary. However, he has been removing any/all Sanskrit derived terms in the Urdu language. I'm sure that you already know this, but while Urdu has Sanskrit terms, it also has Persian/Arabic derived equivalents to most of the Sanskrit terms. Muqaabil has been removing all Sanskrit terms and leaving only the Persian/Arabic ones while claiming that Sanskrit-derived terms are not Urdu. This is not true. Most dictionaries, even ones printed in Pakistan, retain the Sanskrit terms. Please help me on this. I have been reverting his edits and citing my references to him, while he has been removing them over and over citing that they're simply not Urdu. I'm on the brink of blocking him, however, I do not want to do that. What do you suggest? --Dijan 04:57, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

No, I had not noticed. You are correct, Urdu also uses many words derived from Sanskrit. There is a continuum of varieties of Urdu and Hindi that goes from the common Hindustani adopted by Mahatma Gandhi to extremes that are respectively hightly Persianized or highly Sanskritized. Apparently Muqaabil is a separatist or a kind of purist who wants to use Wiktionary to promote his Persianized variety. This is not a proper goal for Wiktionary ... we should describe language, but NOT affect it. I am not an expert on the Hindi-Urdu languages, which is why I did not notice what was happening. But I can state that you are ccrrect and Muqaabil is doing the wrong thing. If he wants to add only Persian-based words, that is his prerogative, but he must cease removing Sanskrit terms. Block him if he will not be reasonable. —Stephen 22:52, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Quick Russian Question[edit]

I hope you are able to answer my little question. I cannot find the answer I am looking for, but, in Russian do nouns change their endings to indicate the gender of the subject. An example is like in spanish, perro means male dog and perra means female dog. Do russian nouns do the same thing? or do they only have gender?

Bearingbreaker92 16:40, 14 April 2007 (UTC)

Yes, though not usually as simply as Spanish. Examples: учитель, учительница (teacher); англичанин, англичанка (Englishman). Often one word can be used for both genders: врач (doctor). In some cases, a different word must be used ... the generic word for "dog" is собака, which is feminine, but if it is necessary to specify the male gender, then you have to use пёс. Most of the time, feminine собака is used for a dog of either gender. —Stephen 21:45, 14 April 2007 (UTC)
Actually they are not endings. They are suffixes. In fact, Russian language do not use changing of endings for indicating gender of nouns. --Jaroslavleff 12:54, 22 April 2007 (UTC)


Please see the SIL, Ethnologue, and Wikipedia articles on the Yup'ik continuous of languages. There is both a w:Central Alaskan Yup'ik language as well as a Central Siberian Yup'ik language. --EncycloPetey 16:04, 22 April 2007 (UTC)

I have studied Yup'ik and I am the one who enters Yup'ik words and grammar as I find time. Yup'ik is not the same as Yupik. Yup'ik is not Central Siberian Yupik. Yup'ik is a single language with a few closely related dialects as my article correctly pointed out. —Stephen 16:09, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
Then I recommend adding a Usage notes section explaining the difference carried by the apostrophe, particularly since our usage differs from that on our sister project Wikipedia. --EncycloPetey 16:13, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
There is a See also for Yupik. Also, I wrote most of the Wikipedia article two years ago to make the matter clear. —Stephen 16:18, 22 April 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the help on Al Alamein.

I know absolutly no arabic, my Egyptian friend just told me what it meant.

Thanks again

Bearingbreaker92 12:48, 29 April 2007 (UTC)


User:JoeyDeep is adding Montenegrin words (Special:Contributions/JoeyDeep), but isn’t that simply Serbian? —Stephen 18:56, 26 May 2007 (UTC)

See w:Montenegrin language. This is a tricky issue given the recent independence of Montenegro. My own sources (limited) call Montenegrin an ijekavian dialect of the Serbo-Croat group, while Serbian is ekavian. If correct, that would mean that there are more similarities to standard Croatian and Bosnian than to Serbian. --EncycloPetey 19:09, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
You're right Stephen. Montenegrin is actually Serbian. EncycloPetey, Ijekavian is not a dialect, but rather a sub-dialect of the Shtokavian dialect of the Serbo-Croatian language. Montenegrin uses the Ijekavian form, the same that Bosnian uses, with minor differences. While Bosnian is recognized by the Bosnian constitution as a language in its own right and by some foreign states, Montenegrin is not. It is rather recognized as Serbian. EncycloPetey, Serbian itself is not strictly Ekavian. Ekavian only refers to Serbian as spoken and taught in Serbia proper, not Serbian in Bosnia or in Montenegro. No, being Ijekavian does not make Montenegrin necessarily closer to "Bosnian" or "Croatian" than to Serbian. The so-called new languages (Bosnian and Croatian) are considered as separate languages on the basis, albeit a political one - but that's a different story -, that they use different vocabulary. Montenegrin speech, on the other hand, uses most of the vocabulary the Ekavian Serbian does. True, some terms are different due to region or area and some very minor differences in speech. --Dijan 22:02, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. He put Montenegrin odit on the "to go" page and I changed it to Serbian, but then I thought I should ask about this. To my ear, the differences in ekavian and ijekavian are very superficial, and hardly even warrant being called subdialects. —Stephen 22:16, 26 May 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, odit is not a standard verb in Serbian. The standard form is otići, which means to go or more correctly to go away. --Dijan 16:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Would it be useful to create a category sr:Montenegrin and place it in sr:Regionalisms? --Dijan 16:42, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
It looks like it would be a good idea, since there seem to be some regional differences. odit and otići must be equivalent to Russian отойти, отходить, but the meaning of отойти is rather different (to recover, to be all right again). —Stephen 18:37, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

It's just like Serbian and Croatian. Since Montenegro got its independence last summer, a lot of people there see no reason why their language shouldn't be called Montenegrin (I was there a few months ago, and a lot of people are talking about it). At the moment the official language is still Serbian, but this may change. Sigh. If only it had all just stayed Serbo-Croat... Widsith 14:23, 6 June 2007 (UTC)

Greek nouns lacking gender[edit]

Thanks for sorting out/removing those Greek nouns most of which were in an inappropriate category - I had intended adding them to Greek nouns lacking inflection and went though quite a few pasting the wrong text - I still had a few more to correct :) —Saltmarsh 05:46, 3 June 2007 (UTC)


Stephen. Please look at одам, ҳаёт. Uzbek section is OK, but he inserted Russian translations in same entry. He is acting in good faith, but misguided. Could you please explain him our format (he speak Russian). Thanks. Eric Utgerd 03:09, 7 June 2007 (UTC)


Please visit and refresh the page (e.g. CTRL-F5 or Ctrl-R or whatnot.)

--Connel MacKenzie 05:08, 11 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I had not seen that page before. Now it seems to be working properly again. —Stephen 14:19, 12 June 2007 (UTC)

Arabic verbal nouns[edit]

Hi Stephen. How do we deal with Arabic verbal nouns (Template:ARchar)? What is the heading supposed to be for these terms? I'm asking because many Urdu, Persian and Turkish terms are derived from the Arabic verbal nouns rather than through the verb or the noun itself. --Dijan 00:04, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

I’ve just been discussing this problem. Currently some of the admins are insisting that all languages need to be described and formatted according to the rules for the English language, and English only recogizes nine parts of speech: noun, verb, pronoun, adjective, adverb, conjunction, interjection, preposition, and particle. This does not work very well for some languages, including Arabic and Russian. Arabic verbal nouns are an important part of speech in the Arabic language. Some authorities call them infinitives, but verbal noun is the usual name. So for the moment, I suppose it would be best to have a page for Template:ARchar with ===Etymology=== From the primitive root Template:ARchar, ====Noun==== Template:ARchar (plural: Template:ARchar), followed by Verbal noun, then the definition. In addition, on the base verb page Template:ARchar, the ===Noun=== header and Verbal noun definition should be repeated for Template:ARchar (plural: Template:ARchar). We should also make a category tag for verbal nouns, to go on the Template:ARchar page. —Stephen 14:19, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

mad as a hatter[edit]

Is there a Russian equivalent for this? There must be, surely, in a language so idiomatic as Russian --EncycloPetey 19:48, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

I don’t think there is anything that matches both the meaning and the irony. Approximate Russian equivalents would be Template:RUchar. —Stephen 20:50, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

Supreme Leader[edit]

Hey Stephen,

I set about citing Supreme Leader using b.g.c., and came across a complication: most of the hits seem not to capitalize the term, writing supreme leader instead. The main exception is when the term is used with the person's name (e.g. "Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei"), though there are a few cases where even then it's not capitalized, and there are many cases where it's capitalized without a name attached.

I don't suppose you could take a look at this, figuring out whether maybe the article should be moved to supreme leader or split into two articles (one focusing on its use as a noun and one focusing on its use as a name prefix), or whether usage notes are needed, or whathaveyou?

Thanks in advance.
RuakhTALK 19:56, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

As I understand it, this is like the title of president, which usually is not capitalized (president of Ford Motor Company)...however, for the office of President of the United States, it is capitalized: President Carter. Supreme leader is like any other title...duke, king, earl, count, captain, sergeant, etc....and when attached to a name or used for certain high offices, it should be capitalized: Supreme Leader Khomeini, Supreme Leader of Iran.
I have not looked to see how we do with president vs. President...I suppose it could be moved to the lower case with the comment that it is sometimes capitalized, and giving "Supreme Leader of Iran" as an example. —Stephen 14:07, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Three things[edit]

First, let me say that whatever disagreement we have about what constitutes a proper noun, I find your comments and discussion on the subject to be thought-provoking and useful. You are clearly putting considerable thought into the matter, and it helps me to adjust the way I think about the matter. When I do draft an Appendix:English proper nouns I hope that you will provide insightful comments there are well. Your comments are appreciated.

Second, could you help to fill in some of the missing entries for Appendix:Chess pieces? I filled in what I could, using information gleaned from the Wikipedia articles on chess in various languages, but only when I could comfortably feel I was getting singular nominative forms without extraneous suffixes. I expect you can help with at least Arabic and Ukrainian, and probably with severla other languages written in similar scripts.

Third, an anonymous contributor has started an Appendix:Thai script. You might be able to help flesh that out, as I seem to recall you are familiar with that script. --EncycloPetey 02:49, 27 June 2007 (UTC)


We (I and Hippietrail) already started to discuss this word. You've guessed right, it means "yatlessness". Will you give your opinion about its worthiness for inclusion? Join the talk at Hippietrail's. Dart evader 19:43, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Well, it’s perfectly harmless to have it. This is a popular way of forming "-lessness" or "absense of" words in Russian and I thinks it’s useful to have a good collection of them: безбожие, безбрачие, безверие, безвкусие, безвластие, безводье, безволье, безвременье, бездействие, безделье, безденежье, бездождье, бездорожье, бездушие, беззаконие, безземелье, беззлобие, безлесье, безличие, безлюдье, безмолвие, безначалие, безобразие, безптичье, безразличие, безрыбье, безумие, безучастие. You can make up these words almost at will. —Stephen 20:04, 28 June 2007 (UTC)


Hi. I'm a newcomer. Thank you for your corrections of my rōmaji mistakes.Oda Mari 19:05, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy contributing entries here. —Stephen 19:18, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

Arabic translations of religious terms[edit]

Hello Stephen. I am completely out of the water on the Arabic translations for deism, pandeism, pantheism, panentheism, and panendeism. An article in Arabic Wikipedia (here) had listed deism as ربوبية, pandeism as كلية إلهية عقلية, pantheism as وحدة الوجود, panentheism as وحدة الشهود, and panendeism as الكل في الإله. At some point, the translation given for pandeism was changed to the current ربوبية كلية, while the translation given for pantheism links to the Wikipedia page for "Wahdat-ul-Wujood", the Sufi philosophy of "Unity of Being".

I am somewhat surprised to see Arabic translations for panentheism and pandeism (which are fairly obscure and less than a few hundred years old) and extremely surprised to see an Arabic translation for panendeism, which to my knowledge has only been in use since the mid-1990s. Are the Arabic Wikipedia writers coming up with these translations themselves, or is there another source for them? Are they generated following some kind of rule? Also, can you confirm my translation of كلية? Cheers! bd2412 T 19:01, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

I don’t know how much I can help. Our definitions are not written in such a way that I can understand the English terms, so I’m can’t say if the Arabic is accurate. Template:ARchar means divine power, divine nature, godhood, Godhead, divinity, deity, deism; Template:ARchar means something like "pan-rational-divineness" or "the rational divineness of the universe"; Template:ARchar is "pan-deism"; Template:ARchar is the "oneness of existence"; Template:ARchar is the "oneness of witnesses" or "oneness of evidence"; and Template:ARchar is "everything in God". These are just literal translations and I don’t know whether they are actually in Arabic philosophy. —Stephen 19:13, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Ok, thanks for the information. I will give the Arabic Wikipedians the benefit of the doubt, then. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:17, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Frosted Flakes[edit]

Also, since you voted in the RfD for Frosted Flakes, that discussion may be resolved on the basis of the ongoing vote at Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2007-07/Brand names of products. Cheers! bd2412 T 16:22, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

Some Arabic help[edit]

A new user has added the Arabic translations for listen into its various Translations sections. When you have the time, could you (1) verify the translations, (2) add the Roman transcription, and (3) possibly create one or more of the entries? This word is one of my pet projects. Thanks. --EncycloPetey 20:02, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Help please[edit]

Hey Stephen, I copied a table from another page but I don't understand it, can you help me please?умирать

Mallerd 14:03, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

Actually, you need to be a native speaker to fill out this template...or at least have near-native fluency. I hope you know that the forms ебёт, ебут, еби, and ебущий do not belong there? Anyway, here is what you should have in the table:
Infinitive: умира́ть
Imperfective: умира́ть, умира́ться
Perfective: умере́ть, умере́ться
1st person: бу́ду умира́ть, бу́дем умира́ть
2nd person: бу́дешь умира́ть, бу́дете умира́ть
3rd person: бу́дет умира́ть, бу́дут умира́ть
1st person: умира́ю, умира́ем
2nd person: умира́ешь, умира́ете
3rd person: умира́ет, умира́ют
Imperative: умира́й, умира́йте
Present participle active: умира́ющий
Present participle passive: умира́емый
Present adverbial participle: умира́я
Masculine: умира́л, умира́ли
Feminine: умира́ла
Neuter: умира́ло
Past participle active: умира́вший
Past participle passive: —
Past adverbial participle: —
Verbal nouns: умира́ние
As far as I know, this verb does not have the past passive or past adverbial participles. —Stephen 11:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes I do know those forms don't belong there. But thanks! Mallerd 18:56, 26 July 2007 (UTC)


Re: hagnos cleanup

Thank you Stephen! You are a blessing! —Scott Smith 21:31, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

Only one detail, αγνός is a good (modern) Greek word, so it shouldn't redirect to ἁγνός. I put the defn instead. I expect we will see a lot of these cases in the future. ArielGlenn 22:44, 26 July 2007 (UTC)

Slavic grad etc[edit]

Hi Stephen. Since I'm going to Croatia soon I've borrowed a self-teaching book from the library. It tells me the language has a 4-tone system which in "traditional textbooks" are indicated with the symbols à (short rising) ȁ (short falling) á (long rising) â (long falling). One example it gives is grâd (town) vs grȁd (hail). What I wanted to ask you was whether you think these two words have different etymologies. For now I have separated the words by pronunciation. The interesting part is that our article also includes a third sense (degree) and I have no idea whether it shares either pronunciation let alone etymolgies. Can you enlighten me? — Hippietrail 09:00, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

Yes, they have three separate etymologies. Grad (town) is cognate with English yard and garden, Russian город, ultimately from PIE *gharto- from *gher- (to enclose); grad (hail) OTOH is cognate with French grêle, Spanish/Portuguese granizo, Italian grandine, Romansh granella, Latin grando, and Late PIE *hrādúniṣ (hail). Grad (degree, step) is cognate with English grade, Latin gredi (to walk, to take steps), and PIE *ghredh- (to go, to wander). —Stephen 10:05, 4 August 2007 (UTC)

major and minor[edit]

Do you know why A major has a space, but A-minor has a hyphen? Which is correct? SemperBlotto 11:49, 17 August 2007 (UTC)

Has been discussed across several user pages, the form sans space seems to be what the majority of reference works use, but the form with the hyphen is always an alternate. The interesting bit is the German use of E-Dur and e-Moll. Robert Ullmann 11:54, 17 August 2007 (UTC)
I think the preferred spelling is A major, A minor, and that the hyphen might be properly used only when another noun is being modified: concerto in A minor, but A-minor key. I note that there is also a convention in English for writing A major vs. a minor, similar to the German. —Stephen 12:00, 17 August 2007 (UTC)


Hi Stephen. Could you license the two images you have uploaded, Image:Sumerian-namdubsa.PNG and Image:Sumerian-namguli.PNG? You can (preferably) specify any of the acceptable licenses listed at commons:Commons:Licensing#Acceptable_licenses, and just edit the image description page with the one you choose. Dmcdevit·t 22:20, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

I understand very little of commons:Commons:Licensing#Acceptable_licenses and nothing about licenses. I looked at the page but it is Greek to me. —Stephen 12:53, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
If you made the images yourself, you can license them however you like. However, you have to license them freely (as in, allow other people to use and modify them without permission) in order for Wikimedia to accept them, just like you do for your text every time you click "save" with that note above the button ("Please note that all contributions to Wiktionary are considered to be released under the GNU Free Documentation License"). Perhaps commons:Commons:First steps/License selection will help you select which one to choose. Dmcdevit·t 13:50, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
The Sumerian material is "made freely available", but the only thing on commons:Commons:First steps/License selection that I vaguely understand is “I don't know what the license is”. I have no idea what else there might apply. —Stephen 14:16, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
Don't worry, it's not about which one applies, but about which one you prefer. You are choosing a license for your work. "All rights released" is the freest, or most permissible, license because you are allowing people to use the work without attributing you, and without using a particular license for their derivative work specified by you. GFDL and "Share-alike" are both copyleft, which means all derivative works have to be licensed under the same license (so that the free content becomes viral); as well, the user must attribute you. And Attribution 2.5 is in between; it is not copyleft, but the users must give attribution. If you can't decide or don't care, it is preferred if you just multilicense, and say that you release your work under both licenses, for maximum compatibility with other works. Dmcdevit·t 14:39, 19 August 2007 (UTC)
That’s all over my head, Copyleft, GFDL, Share-alike, Viral, Derivative, Multilicense, and so on. I added "All rights released" to the files because it seems not to refer to so many strange things. —Stephen 14:51, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Babel boxes[edit]

DAVilla mentioned your "language ability" at a recent discussion, but your user page does not seem to have any Babel boxes. Could you indicate your language ability with those, and at WT:A as well? That seems to have become standard for all admins nowadays. :-) Dmcdevit·t 02:10, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

The categories are too broad and don’t take into consideration even the main aspects of languages. For example, my spoken German is excellent, but reading and writing is less fluent. My Russian is strongest aurally because that’s what I was trained for. I speak good Spanish, but my strength in it is reading and translating. My Arabic is strongest in writing because that’s how I’ve always used it; and so on. The Babel boxes are simplistic and overly broad and it’s hard to decide which level to put for my main languages and whether to list any of the other languages at all. However, I’ve been asked to do this several times already, so I will go ahead and add a few. —Stephen 13:21, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Hullo there, I wanted to let you know that I went over to w:Wikipedia:Babel, and have created the babel user templates that you listed that were currently redlinked. You speak a heck of a lot of languages, sheesh! --Neskaya talk 18:01, 30 August 2007 (UTC)


Something odd here ... the iwiki link in the wikitext doesn't seem to match the pagename? I don't have the font; so it is a little hard to see what is going on. But page.title isn't the same string as the one in [[km:...]]. Any idea? Cheers, Robert Ullmann 18:29, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

I’m not sure what you mean by iwiki link. Is that the link to the page on the Khmer Wiktionary? If so, the page name says "Khmer language", but the link only says Khmer. The Khmer Wiktionary and Wikipedia are still in their infancy and they have very few entries. —Stephen 18:49, 27 August 2007 (UTC)
Yes, the link to km.wikt. The standard is to always link to the same page name, so that link would only appear at ខ្មែរ, which it does. It isn't a problem, but AF doesn't see it as an iwiki, and sorts it into the language section instead of the end. Just an oddity ;-)Robert Ullmann 19:09, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

стебушыйся стебушийся стебушися[edit]

Hello Stephen, I heard a what I believe was a Russian guy talking just now but he said something like стебушыйся, стебушийся or стебушися. I don't know the word so I don't know exactly how to write it, but it was in the context wheter he had visited the Netherlands, maybe that's any good. Thanks :) Mallerd 13:58, 9 September 2007 (UTC)

It's стебущийся, which is participle from the verb стебаться (to mock, to jeer). --Jaroslavleff 05:12, 10 September 2007 (UTC)
ohh that was one cheeky russian then :P Mallerd 14:59, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Russian slang[edit]

Look, I know you think it should be category "Russian slang" and not "ru:Slang". And you are right, I agree with you.

But crap like this edit is not the way to do it; it just makes a mess to be cleaned up one at a time. What were you thinking?

We can change the category class in {{slang}}, it is easy to do. Takes a bit of discussion, but it is the right thing; and that will fix all of the languages, and we can fix "vulgarities" as well. But all the entries you've mangled one way or another will have to be fixed. Robert Ullmann 13:16, 11 September 2007 (UTC)

It was saved that way in a Word template that I used to use. I can’t easily find the categories that I look for and it’s difficult to guess their names so I have given up on using them. I still add three or four of the basic categories such as Nouns or Verbs and about an equal number of glossed comments such as medical or military, but other than that I don’t try to do the more focused ones anymore. —Stephen 09:48, 12 September 2007 (UTC)


Can you look at the etymology please? Mallerd 20:47, 14 September 2007 (UTC)

I did what I could with it. I didn’t bother with trying to pin down the dates. —Stephen 21:14, 14 September 2007 (UTC)


Hey Stephen! Should Arabic منى be moved to مني? I've noticed you made the redirect from مني to منى last year. Shouldn't it be the other way around? --Dijan 04:09, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Yes, it would be better to move it to مني. The other spelling is very common and that page existed first, which is why I made the redirect from مني. I’m sure you know that final Arabic ي (y) can always be spelt without the dots. It’s the same thing with final ة. But it is better to put the dots when they belong, so I have switched the pages. —Stephen 11:26, 20 September 2007 (UTC)

Mass deletion[edit]

I saw you plowing your way through all those Greek tempaltes, and it looked like you were doing it manually. Not that mass deletion is commonly needed, but just in case it comes up again, [4] is a great tool. I finished all the rest for you in a few minutes. :-) Dmcdevit·t 05:37, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I thought there should be a simpler way of doing it but couldn’t think of one. —Stephen 06:24, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Slavic words for year[edit]

Hi Stephen. I collect the book Cien años de soledad in translation to all the languages I can find. On my recent trip to Europe I picked up a few Slavic translations and noticed there are several words for year such as rok, lat or let, and godina. Now I've become quite interested in the etymology of these words and why there is such diversity. I've also noticed just now through playing with these words on Wiktionary that the words for year and summer have intermingled with the result that various languages will use one term as the normal word for one and another as a poetic synonym. But it also seems that some languages use one for the singular and another for the plural. Then there is Slovenian which uses one of the terms for name day! This is all very fascinating so I've added translation requests for the missing languages and etymology requests all over the place. If this interests you at all I'd be delighted to read what you know about the histories of these words. — Hippietrail 09:33, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I added a few and put etymologies at год and лето. Besides these, another common word found in several Slavic languages is рік (Ukrainian), рок, or rok. Russian doesn’t use this, but рок in Russian means fate. The word рок is cognate with Russian срок, срочно (where the prefix с- is a bit like Latin con-). —Stephen 18:47, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks very much! — Hippietrail 09:03, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Style names changing for Template:italbrac[edit]

Hi, Stephen. In WT:GP#Template:term and Template:italbrac, I suggested renaming {{italbrac}} and {{italbrac-colon}} and the styles they use. I noticed that you have some custom styles for formatting their output. To ensure that there is no visible effect when I rename the styles, I'd like to add the following to User:Stephen G. Brown/monobook.css:

.qualifier-brac, .qualifier-content, .qualifier-comma, .sense-qualifier-colon { font-style: italic }

Let me know if you have any objections or if you'd prefer to add that line yourself. Rod (A. Smith) 22:02, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

No, I’ll let you do it. I don’t understand much about that page and would just mess it up if I tried to change it. —Stephen 00:27, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Done. You shouldn't notice any changes at all, but please let me know if you do. Rod (A. Smith) 01:29, 23 September 2007 (UTC)


Hello, Stephen, do you happen to know what (Dutch) stijlfout is in English? I can't find it anywhere in my dictionary. Thanks Mallerd 06:57, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

Dutch stijlfout means "style error". —Stephen 15:02, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
Thanks :) Mallerd 17:08, 26 September 2007 (UTC)


Hi, I noticed my edit to this page was reverted earlier today. Could you please explain to me if there is anything wrong with the line I added? Regards, Pacent 15:44, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

Mainly because the definition wasn’t well written. You put "Tell the other people to calm down or slow down". whoa does not mean tell anyone or anything, and certainly not "the other people", which implies that there is a primary person or group of people. The second reason is that the definition that you are attempting to describe is, I believe, already covered by the first definition, i.e., stop. You can say either whoa or stop to achieve the effect that you are thinking of. —Stephen 15:51, 30 September 2007 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

Your 4 November 2006 edits to supercede (diff) introduced an inconsistency: now the "etymology" section gives an Old French form with -c-, but the "usage notes" section says that the use of -c- originated in Middle French.

I don't suppose you could fix this somehow?

RuakhTALK 06:19, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I fixed it except for the supposed Middle English import superceden. I don’t think it is correct, but should probably just be supercede. I believe the -en ending for verbs had already been lost well before the 15th century when this word was borrowed. —Stephen 06:34, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
In fact, I’m just going to change the Middle English word. —Stephen 06:36, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. :-) —RuakhTALK 06:59, 7 October 2007 (UTC)
On second thought, I think the verb ending should be kept. I find ME texts with infinitives that do not have the -en, but others that do have it. —Stephen 07:12, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

section blanking[edit]

Removing content because you can't use non-standard format without being edited is simply vandalism. Please stop. Robert Ullmann 10:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

It’s not a verb. There is no way that I can see to format it correctly. This is only one of a number of words that I cannot put because I can’t format them. I left the part that is correct and I have made a note to fill it out at a future date if it ever becomes feasible. —Stephen 10:17, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
An "Impersonal verb" is not a verb?
If you want to propose needed headers DO THAT. Removing content is vandalism no matter which way you look at it. Add the header to the AF table, add it to "other headers in use" in WT:POS, add a section to the BP, and then create a vote to make it standard. Demanding that you simply be allowed to do as you damn please and "taking your ball home" if the other kids won't submit to your rules is intolerable.
You will have to explain the utterly impossible idea that an "Impersonal verb" isn't a verb. If it is something else, it should be called something else. In English "X verb" means some kind of verb, eh? And the literature re Russian "impersonal verbs" goes on to refer to "these verbs" and "this class of verbs" etc. They are a kind of verb. You might want to call them "predicatives" or something, but that is just an evasion. Doesn't matter how much you don't like the fact that they are a class of verbs.
There are lots of headers that are in the "other headers in use" in WT:POS. And if Connel tries to "fix" them, then you can just put it back. Robert Ullmann 10:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I DID do that, and got nowhere with it. I even added it to the About Russian page (which is completely ignored). The information that you have put into the page is incorrect. Adding information that you know is incorrect is vandalism, and I think it’s vandalism to leave information that you know to be incorrect. "Impersonal verb" is a technical term that describes this word, but it is not a verb. I think if you get a native Russian who doesn’t know that much about grammar, you might be able to elicit a different word such as adverb or particle. But is not a verb.
Another thing you could do is copy the page, then delete it, then create it again and copy the clipboard into it. This will remove my name from the history and then I won’t have to worry about being associated with the misinformation in the file. But don’t call it a verb and leave my name on it anywhere. —Stephen 10:56, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I've looked this up in 4 different linguistics refs, and they all say that Russian "impersonal verbs" are a class (sub-class), or type of verb. They all say it is a verb. (So I don't understand where you are coming from?) And that's what we do: we describe the entire category of verbs, transitive verbs, intransitive verbs, reflexive, personal, impersonal, verb forms, etc) as Verb, with the types and classes as labels.
I fail to comprehend the "I did do that": The header "Impersonal verb" is not in WT:POS, not in the AF table, not in the present BP; "About Russian" is not tagged as a draft policy, and hasn't been proposed for a vote (which would standardize specific headers for Russian). As far as I can see, you just insist on doing things your way without any process to change or improve community standards. Robert Ullmann 11:09, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
See if you can get any Russians to agree that нет is a verb. It’s all right to say that an impersonal verb is a type or subclass of verb, but this is so only in a very technical sense. People do not consider this word a verb. A thousand years ago, it was a full-fledged verb, but now it is not. It is an impersonal verb, but it cannot simply be called a verb.
I don’t know anything about tagging as draft policy. I brought this matter up several times in the BP as well as in RFV and/or RFD, suggesting various solutions to avoid the problem of someone who does not know anything about this or another language making incorrect edits in it, but got nowhere. Someone at that time said he thought it should be handled in the About Russian and About Arabic pages, and I gave that a try. It did not work.
As I said before, if you want to keep this incorrect page, delete it to remove the history and then recreate it so that I am not associated with it. I will remove my note to correct it and will not look at it again. —Stephen 11:21, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Okay, so we'll accept the premise: нет is not a verb. Then by definition it cannot possibly be an "impersonal verb", or any other kind of verb. So what is it? Since is not a verb, then the header Impersonal verb is wrong. (Besides which, other languages do have impersonal verbs that are, of course, verbs.) What is the proper part of speech, since it is not a verb? Robert Ullmann 11:37, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

While it is NOT a verb, it IS an impersonal verb. The "impossibiliy" problem that you are having is about verb versus impersonal verb. An impersonal verb is a class of verb, and usually it is clear that the impersonal verb IS a verb: e.g., there is. Some words in some languages, however, are NOT considered verbs, but nevertheless they are impersonal verbs. нет is an impersonal verb but not a verb. If it were a verb, I would have put it at the very start. —Stephen 11:45, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
That is not possible. X verb is a verb, for any qualifier X; and "Impersonal verb"s are verbs. Again, by definition. Pretending they they aren't verbs is arrant nonsense. In Здесь нет доро́г, you are trying to say there is no verb? (Just two adverbs? or an adverb and a what?)
You might try to keep in mind that this is the English description of the grammar; all words describable as "impersonal verbs" in English are verbs. "snowed" is an impersonal verb: it snowed (go see w:Impersonal verb). If нет is an "impersonal verb then it is a verb. If it is not a verb, it cannot be an impersonal verb. What does it take to get this to sink in? A sail boat is a boat. A water craft is a craft. A Russian word is a word. An impersonal verb is a verb. Period.
What part of speech is нет in Здесь нет доро́г? Robert Ullmann 12:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
No, it IS possible and it is the case. нет is not a verb. There is no pretending, it is simply not a verb. In Здесь нет доро́г, most people will tell you that there is no verb in the sentence. After all, verbs are not required in a Russian sentence. In Russian, you say "I here", not "I am here"; "that interesting", not "that is interesting". People who don’t know grammar very will will indeed say that it is two adverbs or an adverb and a particle.
I know this is the English description, and English-speaking students of the Russian language learn (if they are good students in a good school) that it is an impersonal verb. But no one would ever consider it a verb. It is NOT a verb. It is an impersonal verb. The word has an adverbial sense and sometimes it’s an adverb, but it is also an impersonal verb. But it is not a verb. If we can’t say it’s an impersonal verb, then we can’t say it’s anything. Either that or delete the page, recreate it, and find someone who doesn’t know so much about Russian grammar to agree to your idea. —Stephen 12:15, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
An "impersonal verb" is a "verb". Full stop. That's the way adjectives like "impersonal" in English work, ya know? Ptetending "impersonal verb" means some other thing is nonsense.
What part of speech is нет in Здесь нет доро́г? Robert Ullmann 12:01, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
If an adverb, with no explicit verb, then those senses and examples should be under Adverb. I take it this is what you mean; the verb doesn't appear in the sentence.
If a contraction/combination of negating-adverb+verb, (aren't; here aren't roads), then it is a (negative) (impersonal) Verb.
Whinging that Russian is in some different universe where verbs aren't verbs is pathetic. Robert Ullmann 12:38, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
I have patiently tried to explain that while an impersonal verb is a subclass of verbs, a specific word may be considered an impersonal verb but not a verb. нет is not a verb. Throwing around all of your "pretendings" and "impossibles" and "full stops" does not change the fact that it is NOT a verb. In that sentence, it is an impersonal verb, not an adverb, not a verb.
"Whinging" is the last straw. I have explained it as well as I can. Not just Russian but many languages have words that do not fit well into the eight English parts of speech. I am not going to keep arguing about this. (1) Leave the page correct as I originally made it; (2) delete the impersonal verb sense altogether; or (3) delete the page and re-create it as you wish to remove my name from the history, and I will not look at it again.
I have already said that I will not be adding any words in the future from Russian or any other language that don’t fit nicely with the simplest English terms, and this includes a lot of the most common words. The problem is what to do with pages that I have already created. Leave them correct or delete and recreate them to remove my name and I will not set eyes on them again. —Stephen 12:52, 8 October 2007 (UTC)
Fine, take your ball and go home. No, you don't get to take your name off of anything; like everything else, it is under GDFL, it is permanent record. Along with the history of you being whatever. "Impersonal verb" means something in English: "A verb used only in the infinitive or in third-person singular. In third person, the subject is either implied or a dummy." (our def). It is always a verb. If the Russian word is something else that's fine! But if it is an "impersonal verb", it's a verb. It is not about the grammar of the English language, or trying to fit things into the grammar of the English language. It is about using English language terms that describe grammar (for varying languages) correctly. Robert Ullmann 12:59, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Stephen, I understand where Robert is coming from — the idea that a word can be an impersonal verb and yet not a verb sounds very strange to me. However, I don’t imagine that you’re simply making it up — could you provide a reference which backs up your assertions please?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:03, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

It is easy enough to find references that it is an impersonal verb. You won’t find one (except here) that says it’s a verb. A thousand years ago it was a verb, as I described on this page: бъіти. Today, Russian no longer uses the words for am, is or are, and therefore most people believe that нет is an adverb associated with an implied but unwritten (and unspoken) is or are. It is a technical thing to label it an impersonal verb, but nobody considers it a verb. No matter, I will get out of the Russian business and turn my attention to other languages. —Stephen 13:13, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Taking your talk page out of Category:Hebrew prepositions[edit]

Hi. You might have noticed that I just made three revisions to #Semitic templates in order to take your page out of Category:Hebrew prepositions. What is displayed is still the same, so I hope that you don’t mind.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 11:27, 8 October 2007 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic[edit]

Hello Stephen!

Since you've been up until recently the sole contributor of OCS entries, I thought it would be a good idea to let you know that I've been activate in that domain in the last few days.

Anyway, a few issues I think need to be discussed.

I think that creating entries in both Glagolitic (like this one: ⰒⰓⰑⰃⰎⰀⰔⰟ - my browser can't render it so it appears to me as a bunch of question marks) and Early Cyrillic script would be redundant (ie. waste of time and space if they were to contain precisely the same content). As you probably know, Glagolitic alphabet was used for a few centuries when Cyrillic was invented and spread itself rapidly, so Glagolitic remained mostly marginalized on nowadays Croatian lands. Since there's no "official" OCS script, everyone can basically claim that they have every right to add OCS entries in alphabet that was historically used in their country, as a part of their "recension". What you probably don't know is that Glagolitic alphabet is (with the rise of nationalism caused by post-Yugoslavia wars) here in Croatian considered a part of "national heritage", as opposed to Cyrillic script which is used by our "eastern brethren" Serbs. So one can anticipate sooner or later the arrival of someone transliterating entries into Glagolitic, regardless of how pointless activity it may seem to be.

Current en.wikt practice of having Serbian entries in both Cyrillic and Latin script in the main namespace with same content (in 99.99% cases there is 1-1 correspondence between the two) seems to tolerate such activity. They're basically the same lexemes written in two different ways, with the same meanings list, same etymologies..

The second thing that I think I might be doing wrong is adding as the descendants words in Slavic languages that appear to be outside the historical OCS's influence continuum. Some of them have equivalent as OCS hypothetical PS forms (like жито and мѫжь), and since hypothetical forms don't get wiktionary articles, it would be a shame to miss the correlation with OCS. Although unwritten in documents, they were probably pronounced and underwent same/similar set of inflections as those in in OCS.

Anyway, if you see me adding a descendant or etymology that doesn't belong there - feel free to remove it without notice, or add anything you think is appropriate. I'll focus my attention on the most basic words and those appearing on Swadesh list. Maybe some day there will be enough entries to add OCS there :)

Cheers --Ivan Štambuk 08:27, 20 October 2007 (UTC)

I agree with most of what you said. I have always felt that Serbian should be entered only in Cyrillic, and Croatian in Roman letters, but some Serbian contributors insist that some Serbs have a strong preference for the Roman alphabet, and that they might be offended if Serbian were not also written in latinica.
I don’t fully understand what you mean about hypothetical forms, descendants and etymologies, but I’m sure it will become clear as you do it. —Stephen 13:14, 21 October 2007 (UTC)


At least explain why you revert. That would be splendid Mallerd 20:25, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Because you should go to Thailand to find the Wikipedia link to w:Thailand. In เมืองไทย, the Wikipedia link goes to th:w:เมืองไทย. We use the same logic for Russian, Persian, Arabic, and other non-English pages. The English page (e.g., Thailand) links to the English Wikipedia, and the non-English page links to the Wikipedia page in that language, if one exists. Sometimes it is useful to link to both the English and the non-English Wikipedia page (for example, when the corresponding English Wiktionary page does not exist and may never exist), but usually it just links to the one. —Stephen 07:36, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Okay, ik begrijp t ;) Mallerd 10:47, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

stadium Dutch diminutive[edit]

Hi Stephen. I used {{nl-noun}} in the Dutch section of the page for stadium. The entry did not previously specify a diminutive, but the template automatically added “stadiumje” as the diminutive. Could you check to see if this is correct please?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 23:48, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

No, that’s incorrect. In the first place, stadium is not the normal Dutch word for this. The Dutch word is stadion. I think stadium can be considered Dutch only in the same way that autobahn is considered English. The word stadium is recognized and used for foreign stadiums such as Yankee Stadium, and there is no corresponding diminutive form that I know of. The word stadion has a diminutive, which is stadionnetje. —Stephen 07:33, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Fixed. Could you write a usage note thereat, explaining the situation?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 09:43, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I’ll try, but I’m not sure how to put it. —Stephen 09:46, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Stadium as a noun can also mean, stage or phase. Diminutive would be stadiumpje, plural stadiums. Mallerd 10:49, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Is stadia a valid (read: standard and used) plural thereof?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿
Thanks, updated. —Stephen 10:58, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
I was about to mention that. Both stadiums and stadia is plural. Just as museums and musea. Both standard and used. Mallerd 18:08, 22 October 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I’ve corrected the entry.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 22:57, 22 October 2007 (UTC)


now that I see you are active at wiktionary, can you improve this article please? Perhaps you know the etymology better for example :) Mallerd 18:26, 22 October 2007 (UTC)

now in arabic colloquial[edit]

I see you changed دلواقتي and removed the ي. I've only ever seen it with the ya, though. Is it possible we're referring to two different dialects? I'm most familiar with Egyptian colloquial. Wrad 00:43, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

I’ve seen it without and I think the "i" is the genitive, which is only written with kasra, but a google search indicates that it is more common to write it with ي. I will change it back. —Stephen 00:49, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

amico, amica & amici[edit]

Hello, could you please add pronunciation to these "friend" articles? I don't know when it is k and ch in Italian. Mallerd 20:39, 31 October 2007 (UTC)

I added the pronunciations. It is "k" before a-o-u, and "ch" before e-i. In order to get the "k" sound before e-i, you have to write it with an "h": che (ke), chi (ki). To get a "ch" sound before a-o-u, you have to write it with an "i": cia (cha), cio (cho), ciu (chu). —Stephen 20:56, 31 October 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much :D Mallerd 21:00, 31 October 2007 (UTC)


I don't know much Russian, but I at least thought I knew the Cyrillic alphabet pretty well. I always thought ё was pronounced like jo. Yet in Anna Karenina, Levin is spelled Лёвин although I'm assured it's still pronounced "Levin". What's going on? Widsith 12:49, 1 November 2007 (UTC)

Hmm, forget it...I must have picked up a dodgy copy or something. Seems like it's Лeвин after all. Widsith 13:10, 1 November 2007 (UTC)
You are right, ё is pronounced jo. The name Левин is from лев + the possessive suffix -ин, and it is possible to pronounced it (and write it) Левин or Лёвин. In Anna Karenina, it is traditionally considered to be "Konstantin Levin", but there is a school of thought that believes Tolstoy intended for it to be "Konstantin Lyovin". So you may see it either way, but "Levin" is the most widely accepted. —Stephen 13:07, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
Fascinating. Thank you very much. Widsith 10:51, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Levin is Лёвин. He was Russian, and his last name is from "лев" which results in "Лёвин" in Russian language, which actually is possessive of "лев". Levin (Левин with е, not ё) is not Russian lastname, but Jewish. --Jaroslavleff 16:30, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
It is also sometimes that the dots on the ё are left out, for example: Gorbachov becomes Gorbechev. Mallerd 11:36, 3 November 2007 (UTC)
It’s not just sometimes that the dots are left out, it’s usual. The dots are seldom used except in children’s books and dictionaries. When I was at university, they made us write with the dots to make sure we knew the pronunciation, but after school is over, the dots are abandoned. —Stephen 12:25, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
You know best :) but I have a few Russian friends that I talk to these days via MSN messenger, they use ё. Perhaps because I did not study it :) Mallerd 14:06, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
Things may be changing during the last seven years or so. Prior to the computer age, Russian men did not type, and not many women knew how either. Many of the old manual typewriters did not even have this letter available, but now everybody can type it very easily. Possibly it will now become standard and widespread. —Stephen 14:13, 4 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't know much about the last 7 years since 7 years is 7/17 part of my life. That's what I like about wiktionary :) anyone can contribute. Could you take a look at Talk:duellum? I have found an etymology, but I feel it is not complete. Mallerd 14:28, 4 November 2007 (UTC)

Etymology for names[edit]

Hello again, I was wondering whether you know a good internet source concerning etymologies of names. Given names in particular. I wanted to know/create an article about Romy. Thanks Mallerd 20:04, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean given names, such as Michael, or names of states and countries, such as Peru? There are online sources for many state and country names, but I don’t know of any for personal names. There are books available that contain information such as that...for example, "A Dictionary of First Names" by Patrick Hanks, Oxford University Press...but not online as far as I know. —Stephen 20:09, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes I meant given names. Thanks for the info again ;) Mallerd 21:02, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

tchotchke needs the cyrillic for Russian tsatska[edit]

The word is in the etymology section. Could you add it for me please?  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 13:17, 7 November 2007 (UTC)


Hello. You have reverted ([5]) my changes to the entry my. I'm curious to learn why. Cheers. Artur 23:46, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

That was because we only need the masculine singular form, with no usage notes, in the translation sections. I moved the information you entered to the meu page, which is where it belongs. When someone is interested in the Portuguese for my, he just needs to click on meu and there he will find the various forms, usage notes and examples of usage. —Stephen 20:10, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! I imagined that would be it, but there are usage notes for other languages as well, which should probably be removed too. Artur 20:34, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Yes, all of the usage notes need to be moved to the corresponding pages. —Stephen 20:36, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Hello, do you know what пожит means? Mallerd 18:44, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

That would be the masculine singular short form of пожитый, which is the past passive participle of пожить (to live, to stay). So, пожит would mean something like lived, or that was lived. —Stephen 20:25, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
Okay thanks, and now, perhaps you know, perhaps you don't: is this used as slang in the sense of: it's over [with him/her]? Mallerd 22:28, 10 November 2007 (UTC)
I suppose it’s possible to add the right words to get such a meaning. пожить means to live, to have seen life, to have experienced life, to live for a while. I guess that "he has seen life" could be understood as meaning that his life is now past, or is over with. —Stephen 22:38, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi. Bafo isn't necessarily bad breath. Artur 22:48, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


Figured I'd go straight to you and ask if you can add an entry on this somewhat complicated concept. It has a Wikipedia entry at Taqiyya. Cheers! bd2412 T 02:38, 13 November 2007 (UTC)

Done. —Stephen 04:24, 13 November 2007 (UTC)


Hi, Stephen. Could you please check ویستا for accuracy? I don't know Persian, but created the entry from a misplaced contribution to our entry for vista. Thanks in advance. Rod (A. Smith) 19:42, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

To my knowledge, it is not Modern Standard Persian for anything but Windows Vista. The etymology seems to make some sense, but I have never seen anything like this word in Persian except as a transliteration of the English word. Perhaps it’s a word from a dead language, or from some other related language. Unless the contributor can come up with an explanation, I would delete the article. —Stephen 22:09, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
As far as I know, the word is only used in liturgical Zoroastrian circle and as a female proper name. I've changed the etymology from "Zoroastrian" as it is not a language, to "Avestan" where it actually comes from. There aren't many other concrete sources for this word, other than "etymology of Persian names"-type sources. Like Stephen said, in MSP it only refers to Windows Vista (as a transliteration). --Dijan 23:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
That makes more sense. Thanks. —Stephen 23:10, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


How did you decide that חינם is masculine, please?—msh210 17:30, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I’m going by how it works in Arabic and that’s how it feels to me. How come you only show the spelling חנם when the name of the page is חינם? Shouldn’t the form match the page name? —Stephen 16:37, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
Hm. I was just discussing this with hippietrail in another forum. Really, we should have two entries for the two spellings, each with an ===Alternative spellings=== header leading to the other. But I'm not working on adding all those duplicate entries (although I have done a few), so instead, as a compromise, I'm adding entries under the "full" spelling but with "defective" headwords. The logic behind this is that the extra letters in the "full" spelling take the place of vowels; writing the word with the vowels or with the extra letters is "really" the same spelling just (something like) a different font. See also Wiktionary talk:About Hebrew#Ktiv_khaser_and_ktiv_maleh.—msh210 17:58, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
To put it differently: Someone who looks up the word with the extra letters will want to know how it's pronounced, so we have to include the vowels in the headword. If we're including the vowels, we can't include the extra letters, as no one spells the word with both.—msh210 20:31, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
I see what you're saying, and I think I might even agree, but then we have another problem: what happens when a noun's singular and plural forms both have different "normal" and "grammatical" spellings? I think it's clear that the singular-normal spelling should actually show the plural-normal spelling in the inflection line, not just link to it while displaying the plural-grammatical spelling. —RuakhTALK 22:18, 29 November 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, ideally, the inflection line should show both the spellings: the full sspelling with no vowels, and the other with. And, for words inflected on the inflection line (or in an inflections section), should show both spellings of each inflection. But that's just an ideal: in practice, that'd be too wordy.—msh210 22:23, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Why you deleting things with no discussion?[edit]

You deleted excusion, it is clearly a valid word based on

҄ (kamora)[edit]

For OCS, should it generally be written or not? So far I've been evading lemmas with palatalized nasals and liquids from Proto Slavic (l, r, n). I've added ѹчитєль (učitelĭ), which can be seen in Codex Marianus, but Codex Suprasliensis in various places also has ѹчитєл҄ь. Almost all dictionaries I've seen (one in paper form and a few of them online) don't use Cyrillic script and define their own local convention of writing palatalized consonants, tense jers etc., not so rarely different from attested ones.

Старославянский словарь, which uses Cyrillic script, and which i found illegaly scanned on the Internet, lists učitelь with something that resembles kamora on top of 'l'. OCS online tutorial of University of Texas at Austin also explicitely uses kamora.. So, should I be adding избавитєль or избавитєл҄ь or..?--Ivan Štambuk 06:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

I think that the kamora (e.g., л҄) should not be used in the page name, because most people don’t know how to type it, but it would be good to include it within the page. So I would add избавитєль, then put ===Noun===избавитєл҄ь. This has the further advantage that, if someone executes a search for the word using either spelling, it will still find the page. —Stephen 20:22, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Old Church Slavonic and American Sign Language[edit]

I thought you might be interested in Wiktionary:Requests for deletion/Others#category:American_Sign_Language.—msh210 06:36, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

DOA & Soto[edit]

Hi, I just found out that there is a problem with these two entries. The Indonesian words doa and soto are written without any capital letter, but when I search for doa or soto, it automatically becomes capitalized without a redirect. What can I do? Thanks Mallerd 20:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

These have now been fixed so that you can click on them. —Stephen 12:01, 28 November 2007 (UTC)


Greetings, friend. Could you do me the favor of translating charakteriologische? Cheers! bd2412 T 16:30, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

That would be German for characteriological. —Stephen 14:46, 30 November 2007 (UTC)
Fascinating - obscure word, obscure translation. Cheers again! bd2412 T 16:41, 30 November 2007 (UTC)


You probably get this a lot, but I want to say I'm amazed at your Babel languages. I have a hard time with English, Spanish and the various Filipino languages - and they share a ton of content. I can't imagine trying to keep that many languages (and character sets) straight. Globish 23:48, 30 November 2007 (UTC)

It can get tricky sometimes. I read a lot of languages and know a lot about them, but when I try to speak them, my Portuguese comes out in Spanish, my Dutch becomes German, and my Bulgarian turns into Russian. But if you learn a language and then lose some of it, you quickly get it back again when you visit that country for a few days. As far as typing them, if you do a lot of it for a number of years, it becomes automatic. I can switch between different keyboards without even thinking about it.
We have a need for entries in the Filipino languages. We don’t have very many words entered yet. Besides Filipino, Tausug is an important language as a matter of national security. It would be nice to get a lot of Tausug terms. —Stephen 00:04, 1 December 2007 (UTC)[edit]

Hi. What to do about the recent entries by this contrib? Not exactly vandalism, but... Do we have to go through all the numbers and remove the edits? - Algrif 22:04, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

I saw that. It looks pretty odd. If this were intended for extraterrestrials, then it might make sense, but I don’t think it belongs here. We will revert them. —Stephen 22:07, 2 December 2007 (UTC)

Category:Dutch nouns with incomplete gender[edit]

Hi, Stephen is it correct that there were only 2 entries in that category or am I missing something here? Mallerd 14:14, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

No, that’s correct. I look at it from time to time and do the ones I can, but my language is German, and Dutch nouns often have gender that is different from German. And it isn’t easy to find genders in the Dutch Wiktionary, because there they frequently just mark the gender as "de". —Stephen 14:58, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Hi, i'm a dutch native speaker, and indeed, there are in fact three genders, but the male and female are almost everywhere the same. If the article is "de", mostly you can say the word is male or female (neutral is "het"). But even dutch native speakers don't know the difference between female word and a male word. If you want to know it, you'll have to consult a dictionary. Just another question Stephen: how is it possible that you can know so many languages? You know something about 20 different! I have much respect for you, and don't confuse these languages? Sorry, i'm new on wiktionary, but i really want to help build it up and make it perfect! I learn many things about languages when i'm improving wiktionary. Greetings, Vin 18:25, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, that’s true. In my grandfather’s day, the Dutch knew the genders of nouns just as the Germans do, but in my lifetime this has changed and people don’t know them anymore (much like Afrikaans). This is the reason why the Dutch Wiktionary doesn’t bother too much to put the exact gender, which is not important to native speakers. Here in the English Wiktionary, we would like to record the correct gender for every Dutch noun. The same thing has occurred in Danish and Swedish, too, and now they officially have only two genders...neuter and common.
I was a Russian linguist for the U.S. Government many years ago and since then I received my degrees in several foreign languages and have lived and worked in numerous countries. I built and operated three translating companies for 25 years and maintained a staff of around 200 professional translators who translated almost any subject between English and about 75 other languages. I’ve worked as a linguist/translator for over 40 years, so it was inevitable that some of it would stick. But yes, I do sometimes get confused. For example, I’m likely to use the word "Gradus" in German for degree, but actually it should be Grad (my "Gradus" is from Russian градус). Germans understand it though and they think I’m being erudite instead of confused. Reading is no problem, but speaking often is. I lived for a few months in Amsterdam and found Dutch to be quite easy...but whenever I attempt to speak it, it still comes out in German.
You have lots of experience in the world of languages I see. I am planning to study either Italian, Russian or Indonesian. They all interest me equally, so it doesn't really matter which one I am about to study, could you tell me what language, how do you say this, gives the most work? If you understand my question :) Or is it that there is always demand for translators for that matter? Thanks if you know, like my compatriot said: I admire your knowledge of languages. Mallerd 15:01, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh wait, he's from Belgium :P Mallerd 15:05, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
The need for translators varies from place to place, and to some extent from industry to industry. In Texas, Spanish accounts for about 40% of work, followed by Chinese (20%), French (15%), Japanese, Korean and German (5%), and then Dutch, Italian, Swedish, Indonesian, Russian (>5%), and then more exotic languages such as Burmese and Khmer (>1%). However, if a translator is very proficient in a more exotic language such as Japanese, Finnish or Indonesian, since there are only a small number of good translators worldwide for these languages, once his reputation is established he will have all the work he can do. The more exotic a language, the higher it pays. A document that costs €75 to translate from Spanish into English might be €400 for Burmese to English.
Before you can do professional work, you have to learn the language fluently, especially the written language, and you have to specialize in one or two fields, such as civil engineering, medicine, finance (finance is very difficult but pays great and there is a big need), etc. There is very little money to be made in literary translating, you have to learn a technical field. Then you have to acquire a library of specialized translators’ dictionaries for the languages and fields that you’ve chosen. After that, it’s just a matter of gaining experience, speed, and a reputation for reliability. —Stephen 22:44, 14 December 2007 (UTC)
I find this very useful, thank you very much! 1 question though, you talk of speed, what is the average time for translating an average document? Mallerd 16:28, 15 December 2007 (UTC)
The average page contains around 250–300 words, and you should be able to finish about ten pages a day without the help of w:translation memory. Of course, you sometimes get jobs that are so easy that you can translate as fast as you can type. OTOH, some translations are especially difficult and take much more time. In reality, most customers now require that you use a translation memory such as WordFast, WordAlign, or TRADOS. You will probably have to obtain and learn to use several of the popular TM programs, because different clients may insist on certain programs. When using TM, speed depends on how well you have developed your TM, and it also depends on the individual job. Some texts are more compatible with TM than other texts. There are some helpful online resources such as and (FLEFO, a dedicated forum for translators). —Stephen 09:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)
Again very useful. You have my thanks. Mallerd 17:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

proto language entries/redirects[edit]

Are strictly prohibited from NS:0 by policy vote. Wiktionary:Votes/pl-2006-12/Proto- languages in Appendicies

They MUST be in Appendix:Proto-(whatever) ("word").

If a reference is broken, it must be fixed, no redirects from NS:0 Robert Ullmann 23:07, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

I have no idea what you are trying to say. These were double redirects. I simply removed the middle step. —Stephen 23:14, 10 December 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, I'm saying they were better deleted if not referenced, or de-referenced and deleted. No sense fixing them ;-) Robert Ullmann 23:22, 10 December 2007 (UTC)


Should I add entries with slang names for brands? Like stoli/stoli's is the slang name for Stolichnaya vodka. Mallerd 17:35, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Yes, I think it is very useful to include words such as that. Sometimes it’s hard to decide on capitalization, however. In my opinion, "Stoli" should be capitalized (but I could be wrong). —Stephen 17:43, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

User:Athang1504 and etymologies[edit]

A very belated response to your rfv at WT:RFV#ωκύς: These issues have been going on for a while now with this user in spite of other people telling him thi material is inappropriate, so I left a message on his talk page that he will be blocked if he continues. I had a little chat with Versageek first about it (as a n00b admin, you know...) Anyways, just keeping you in the loop. ArielGlenn 21:59, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for letting me know. —Stephen 22:28, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


Hi Stepphen, I am starting to doubt my decision to put wodka as uncountable, since when you order a vodka you only have plural in diminutive, but sometimes when you are talking about varieties of vodka, you can say wodka's. But that's not always the case. Can you help me? Mallerd 18:24, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Well, in English, a part can stand for the whole, therefore vodka can mean either the mass noun that is the liquid or the count noun that means "shot of vodka". You can order two shots of vodka, or two vodkas, or even two shots. By the same token, you can order two waters (glasses of water), two milks (glasses of milk), two breads (slices or orders of bread), and so on. I’m not sure whether Dutch has the same flexibility. —Stephen 23:58, 18 December 2007 (UTC)
Yes that was what I meant, thank you. Mallerd 16:01, 20 December 2007 (UTC)


I am fully aware that century is not a proper noun and does not need to be capitalised. Why did you leave that massage on my talk page, so to speak? Black Velvet 07:57, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Because you keep capitalizing century in etymologies. —Stephen 07:59, 19 December 2007 (UTC)

Kurdish transliteration[edit]

Hi Stephen, thank you for the page Appendix: Kurdish transliteration. Could you please tell me where I can download the font you used to enter the Kurdish transliteration? I use Windows Vista operating system.
Also, I mainly enter English- Kurdish translations for the English wiktionary and I am currently working on starting the page Wiktionary: about Kurdish, which I'm afraid looks deficient at this time. I would appreciate your input and collaboration that page. Thanks! Gbeebani 01:58, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Do you mean the Roman transliteration or the IPA? The Roman transliteration is a simple font and almost any Roman font will work for it. I think the one I use is ordinary Arial. For the IPA, some good fonts are: Gentium, GentiumAlt, Arial Unicode MS, Code2000, DejaVu Sans, Segoe UI, Lucida Grande, Charis SIL, Doulos SIL, TITUS Cyberbit Basic, Lucida Sans Unicode. If you mean the Arabic-script font, I think any of these should be good: Microsoft Sans Serif, Arial Unicode MS, UT Cairo, UT Naskh. —Stephen 02:17, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually I meant to ask how to download the keyboard input language to be able to type the diacritical marks (for the Roman transliteration). Preferably some roman script language that uses the same US keyboard layout. I used the website to download the Kurdish input font where the general US keyboard layout of the pronunciation in preserved. For instance, I need only to type c to get ج in Kurdish, Shift+c for چ, or t to get ت in Kurdish. This makes my job much easier, so I was hoping there is something similar for the Roman transliteration. Gbeebani 03:43, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Oh, I see. For the most part, I use the "International English" keyboard that comes with Windows. Go to START > CONTROL PANEL > REGIONAL AND LANGUAGE OPTIONS, and select the "International English" keyboard. Then you type ^e to get ê, ^o to get ô, etc., and "o to get ö, "c to get ç. The only letter that presents a problem is ş, which you can type with Alt+ keypad code (I don’t remember the code for ş offhand). Another possibility is to download Tavultesoft Keyman. I use that for some difficult keyboards such as Khmer, but I think it also works for Kurdish. —Stephen 04:36, 21 December 2007 (UTC)
Got caught up in the holidays and couldn't respond in time... Thanks! it works perfectly. And happy holidays. Gbeebani 19:47, 25 December 2007 (UTC)


This is a dictionary. It should describe in plain english. Historical quotes are hardly unwelcome but they should not smother. A child should be able to look at the page and understand what an adjective is. That is just as important as history, pronunciation and translation. Just providing existence in truth regardless of excellence. If you are such a good contributor you will provide an education standard definition. No Stevie, high level education is not standard education it is cream of crop top two per cent. You may always forget that I think. You did say there were two schools of thought on the definition (of adjective) but description is equally important as school or else school would not function. Upper level stuff can be taught to elementary but they dont have the patience. It should still be available to them. Kids pick up vocabulary in single digits and to nurture that on a wiktionary without compromising excellent standards would cast a little respect. Abusing those principles will cast you. Munkey 07:52, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

The quotes are required as a matter of policy to prove the usage of the word. There are few quotes to select from that describe the adjectival use of this word. The definition that is to be found in the proper location under Noun is easy to understand. —Stephen 07:56, 21 December 2007 (UTC)

Some Arabic cleanup[edit]

Special:Contributions/ has been rapidly adding new entries (apparently in Arabic), and did not respond to a request to include language headers or minimal formatting. Please, could you take a look at these entries? --EncycloPetey 10:44, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Done. —Stephen 11:46, 23 December 2007 (UTC)

Dutch Swadesh list[edit]

I thought of extracting Dutch separately from Appendix:Afrikaans and Dutch Swadesh lists, to populate red links in {{Swadesh lists}}, but I notice that you deleted it some time ago. Why is that so? I thought that Swadesh lists are made both for 1) families 2) individual languages. --Ivan Štambuk 14:59, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

I think you mean Appendix:Dutch Swadesh list. It was deleted by mistake. Someone had replaced the content with nonsense and it should have been reverted, not deleted. —Stephen 11:56, 27 December 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for checking and fixing the Mongolian stuff I added yesterday. I found a modest online dictionary after bemoaning our lack of Mongolian but had to guess which encoding to use. Then again it could have contained its own errors. My transliterations also came from there. To me this is one of the major under represented languages here languages, especially since there aren't any (proven) related major languages here either. Of course I'd also love more Burmese, Khmer, Tibetan, and Sinhala - but those have exotic scripts that few can handle so far. — Hippietrail 11:13, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

You’re welcome. That online dictionary, for whatever reason, was not using the correct fonts, so they substituted Ukrainian Є and Ї for the correct Mongolian ones. I would enter more Khmer, but it requires a new Uniscribe shaping engine to see the writing correctly. Khmer has special subscript consonants (called legs) for each regular consonant, but the subscripts are handled by the shaping engine. When I type Khmer, all of the letters are full-sized and I have to work hard to be sure the spellings are done so that people with the correct shaping engine will see them the right way. Sinhala seems to depend a lot on the browser. When I used IE, I can see it, but with Firefox, I can’t. —Stephen 09:11, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


Thanks for the message about the chinese translation. I am sorry for the silly mistakes. I am still a beginner around here :) I will fix them asap! Chloejr 15:26, 29 December 2007 (UTC)


Thank you for changing the chinese translations! it is such a great help! Chloejr 15:37, 29 December 2007 (UTC)