User talk:Stephen G. Brown/2008

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Happy New Year! When you have a moment, could you please add Russian, Arabic, etc. translations to the entry for hinder? Do watch out for edit conflicts, though, since I'm asking several folks for help with this. I would like this to be a model page. --EncycloPetey 20:05, 1 January 2008 (UTC)


Could you have a quick look at the Russian contributions of User: please. The address is a campus in Vermont - so they may be bogus. SemperBlotto 15:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

It’s Russian, all right, but the vocabulary is unusual. Golf is an American and English game and I’m not aware of many Russian golf terms in use. It is conceivable that somebody, rightly or wrongly, translated bogey as пугало (bogeyman, bugbear), but I can’t find any evidence that it has become accepted usage. The few Russian golf words that I know are along the lines of гольф (golf), бункер (bunker), патт (putt), паттер (putter), грин (green), and ти (tee). If I had to provide a translation of bogey, I would probably say боги. I removed the golf reference from пугало until someone can vouch for it with authority. —Stephen 16:15, 3 January 2008 (UTC)

Information on "neuter" for Waltter[edit]

Hi, Stephen. Thank you for your information on "neuter". I really thought the template "n" meant "noun". Changing the subject, you know many languages, including "português": Parabéns! Waltter Manoel da Silva wten 19:43, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


Hi, do you know if there exist a template for Dutch adjectives just like there is a {{nl-noun}} template? If so, could you give the correct code to put into the template? Thanks Mallerd 13:46, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

There is one {{nl-adj}}. I might try to make a better one if I can. —Stephen 14:04, 6 January 2008 (UTC)
You might try this new one: {{nl-adjcomp}}. —Stephen 14:27, 6 January 2008 (UTC)


Thanks very much, Stephen. Mallerd 14:44, 6 January 2008 (UTC)

Telencephalon a synonym of cerebrum[edit]

Could you perhaps help me with my question at Talk:cerebrum#Czech_translation? Thanks. --Daniel Polansky 14:08, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

Deleted category[edit]

Thanks for deleting Category:Hungarian cardinal numbers. The deleted category is still listed in Category:Hungarian numerals. How can that entry be deleted? --Panda10 19:10, 10 January 2008 (UTC)

I've just looked. It's no longer there. Thanks. --Panda10 19:12, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


On the page for الانجيل you translate it as "Bible (lit. gospel)", and on the Bible page this is also the word given as Arabic translation. Are you sure this refers to the entire Bible, though? To the best of my knowledge, الكتاب المقدس is the name of the Bible in its entirety. Arabic Wikipedia confirms this. So I figured I'd ask, it's of course quite possible that both terms are used for the Bible as a whole. Also, I've added an Arabic word (from Wehr's dictionary) that could potentially fit the "tcharkhatchi" entry in Wiktionary:Requested articles:Unknown language (Latin script), could you see if you think it's plausible? Thanks. Paul Willocx 20:00, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Although it is often used as a figure of speech for the entire book, actually, it is only the New Testament. There are several words for the entire Bible, including التوراة والإنجيل (at-taurāh w-al-’injīl), or "the Torah and the Gospel".
I doubt that جركسي (járkasi) is what he was referring to with "tcharkhatchi", although it is possible that there could be a connection in some way, perhaps with a Kurdish intermediary. There really is no way to know what he’s talking about unless he can supply the word with the correct Arabic spelling. It is simply too difficult to reconstruct many Arabic words from an English transliteration. You wind up doing an hour’s work and can only suggest a list of the various possibilities. —Stephen 20:24, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
Alright. I'll just add al-kitab al-muqaddas as second translation on Bible, then. Paul Willocx 20:34, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

"Don't need ال for the lemma form"[edit]

Makes sense, I guess, although not as much for Arabic as for English - for one thing, it's hardly obvious to a foreigner that when adding the article to the term, it has to be placed in front of both words. And it's not like the term ever appears without the article. But I guess it's a general rule. Anyway, in that case you'll also have to move the separate entry I made, as you probably saw. Sorry for the extra work I'm causing, I'll keep this in mind for future proper nouns. Paul Willocx 22:15, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I don’t think there is any need to move it. One of the many big problems with Arabic is that someone searching for the word won’t know to remove the articles. I just wish there was some way to tweek the search engine so that it would ignore vowel points, initial hamza, and initial prefixes such as the article and some conjunctions and prepositions. As it is, we just have to anticiplate what someone might put it. —Stephen 22:36, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Arabic diphthongs[edit]

Hi! I noticed you are using au for the diphthong in يوم and ei for the diphthong in اثنين. Most printed sources I've seen use either au/ai or aw/ay for MSA, or if they're describing one of the colloquials something in the line of ō/ē ~ ōw/ēy ~ ow/ey ~ ou/ei (the last one for Persian, too). In Arabic script they're both marked as fatha+consonant, too, and fatha is otherwise transcribed consistently as a.

Then, if I think of the pronunciation, my Syrian teacher pronounced يوم and بيت [jæu̯m] and [bæi̯t] in MSA, and [joːm] and [beːt] in his own dialect. In Mauritania where I have lived for quite a while, people made a distinction between Classical [jæu̯m] and local [joːu̯m] as well as Classical [bæi̯t] and local [beːi̯t]. Therefore I would prefer either au/ai or aw/ay. Do you have good reasons for doing it differently? Malhonen 15:23, 19 January 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I know that "aw" is commonly used for fatha+waw, but people not familiar with the language tend to think that represents a simple vowel (as in paw) rather than a diphthong, so I have felt that "au" is less ambiguous. And yes, fatha+yaa’ is frequently transcribed as "ai" or "ay", but it isn’t pronounced "āj" (by anyone I have ever met), but as "ej" or "æj" (e.g., shæj’, bejt). English "ai", like "aw", is an ambiguous digraph that could conceivably be pronounced like "ej", but usually people not very familiar with Arabic think it’s "āj". All of my Arabic experience comes from Palestinian, Egyptian, Saudi, and Iraqi Arabic, nothing from the Maghreb. All of the translators that I have worked with over the decades have come from those countries and they pronounce it consistently "ej" or "æj" (depending upon surrounding elements), but in the vast majority of cases, "ej". Those are the reasons that I like to write "au/ei" (except in certain words such as šæy’). Also, I know that many sources transcribe ʕeyn and glottal stop either as ‘ and ’, or as ʕ and ʔ. I feel that both of these choices are confusing, so I transcribe ʕeyn with ʕ, but glottal stop with ’. —Stephen 16:31, 20 January 2008 (UTC)
Hmm... So you are using a non-IPA, non-traditional orientalist phonetic transcription of your own. Why not have it phonemic, like everywhere else, or IPA phonetic, for the least? To my ear, [bei̯t] sounds dialectally colored if not dialectal altogether, while بيت [bæi̯t], شيء [ʃæi̯ʔ], عين [ʕai̯n] and ضيف [dˁɒi̯f] are what I would expect hearing in public speeches, Qur'an recitation etc. And of course, this level of detail varies slightly from one region to another, which is why a phonemic approach would be less problematic, since everywhere in the Arab-speaking world the standard language has /bajt/, /ʃajʔ/, /ʕajn/ and /dˁajf/ (or in Orientalist transcription bayt, šay’, ‘ayn and ḍayf). BTW, if you want to make it phonetic, you should do it consistently and write [kætæbæ] and the like instead of kataba I find in كتب. As you probably know, all Arabic vowels vary tremendously in different consonant surroundings (just think of صاحب <> كاتب ,صوم <> لون ,صدق <> بكر etc.) Malhonen 19:54, 21 January 2008 (UTC)
Phonemic/IPA transcription is a lot more complex, and then you have to worry about various kinds of pronunciation, especially the differences between men’s and women’s. Also, unless they have recently learnt it (during the past ten years), most Arabs cannot make sense of IPA transcriptions. They can understand "beit" or "bayt", but not [bæi̯t]. Similarly, most Americans who are not linguists cannot figure out IPA. I’m sure you know the difficulty with using digraphs such as "sh" and "th" for Arabic, so I use characters that most people who would have any interest in how to pronounce a word would understand, š and θ. I also use ʕ, ğ, ʈ, ɖ, ʂ, ʐ, and ħ invalid IPA characters (ğ), since they seem to show up well for virtually everybody, and they are easy to interprete by both linguists and nonlinguists. It is nice to have IPA added to each page as well, but I will leave that job for someone else. Even after the IPA is added, it still needs the simpler transciption that I use, since so many people can’t decipher IPA. And yes, I know that the vowels vary tremendously in different environments, as well as when spoken by different sexes in different locations under varying circumstances. That’s one of the main reasons why, as I explained above, I don’t care for the precision of IPA. The transcription that I use can be read by native Arabs as well as by the average American, linguist or not. However, if you have the patience to add IPA pronunciations (under a Pronunciation header), that would be great. I don’t have the patience to do it.
Just looking through some of my old books that show Arabic pronunciation, I find one that uses a transciption similar to mine, except it has "bayt"; one that uses a modified IPA, but with "béet"; and one that uses a transcription more like mine, but with "bēt". No written system is going to teach anyone on his own how to pronounce Arabic words well, but writing "beit" produces better results than writing "bayt". —Stephen 12:22, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I don't quite follow you. Why would a phonemic transcription be more complex than an inconsistently applied phonetic one? I've never met anyone who'd pronounce كتب [kɑtɑbɑ] or كاتب [kɑːtib]. In my experience, they're always [kætæbæ] and [kæːtib], which is what you should have if you want to do sub-phonemic distinctions like the alleged distinction in šæy’ and beit. How would you transcribe صيف, by the way? That can't be with ei or æy because the initial consonant makes the first element a back vowel: [sˁɒi̯f]. OTOH, if the transcription were phonemic (=phonological), all of these would be written according to the same pattern – šai’, bait, ʂaif or šay’, bayt, ʂayf. Phonemic transcription does not need to be IPA, it can be traditional orientalist, your own system or whatever.
About the consonant marks you're using, ʕ and ħ are OK since they're IPA, and ğ is otherwise widely used. On the contrary, the marks for the emphatic consonants ʈ ɖ ʂ ʐ are not, since they're not used in this way in any system I'm aware of. In IPA, they mean retroflex consonants, not pharyngealized or velarized alveolars, which is what they are in Arabic. A linguist reading these would get a very misguided impression, and a non-linguist would not have any idea on how they differ from t, d, s and z. If the non-linguist wanted to find it out, all he could find is references to retroflexes, which just aren't there in any form of Arabic. Malhonen 14:28, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
I agree that for the sound of [sˁɒi̯f], it should be written [ʂaif]. You mean you don’t find IPA transcription tedious and difficult? I certain do. As far as phonological transcription goes, I disagree with what you wrote. [ʂayf] is fine, but šai’ and bait results in a sound that is very far from what people say. Perhaps there is a difference between the way Americans and Brits will pronounce šai’ and bait...for Americans, šæy’ and beit comes closer to the pronunciation Arabs use. I do see that one of my books was written in England, it it describes the sound of fatha+yaa’ as being like "i" in South English "fight". I don’t remember how South English sounds, but clearly Americans don’t pronounce it that way.
One of my old books indicates ʈ with t, one writes it with a dot underneath (I can’t see it on my screen when somebody uses this one), but the other two both use ʈ ɖ ʂ ʐ. The book I originally began learning Arabic some 30 years ago is by T. F. Mitchell, and he uses ʈ ɖ ʂ ʐ ("Writing Arabic, a Practical Introduction to Ruq‘ah Script", Oxford University Press, 1976). —Stephen 14:58, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Well, personally I don't find IPA tedious, but I understand that many people might. The main reason why I'm using IPA in this discussion, is that it's unambiguous and precise, unlike most other traditional or ad-hoc systems developed for a single language. If you think your system is more easily accessible to non-linguists, then it serves its purpose and could well be maintained alongside of other possible systems. (BTW, thanks for the reference, I didn't know about Mitchell's use of these symbols.) So I'm not advocating IPA only, but trying to say something completely different. Let my try to rephrase:

1. As it is, your system is a bit inconsistent, since it seems to be mixing the phonetic and the phonological levels. In the minds of native Arabic speakers, i.e. phonologically, ʂaif, ʕeyn and šæy’ all have the same vowel sound, which is represented by fatha+yaa' in the Arabic script in all the cases. In the minds of non-native speakers, linguists and phoneticians, i.e. phonetically, the words have different vowel sounds, since that's how these people interpret the audio signal through the phonological paradigm they're used to. Now, in this particular case your transcription system is phonetic, since it tries to differentiate between all the phonetic variants of fatha+yaa'. The book you mentioned describes fatha+yaa' as the vowel sound occurring in "fight". This is true, too, regardless of whether you pronounce the word in RP or General American: The sound of "fight" is a pretty close approximation of the sound you can actually hear in ʂaif, which is written with fatha+yaa'. This book is just not mentioning the fact that in other consonant surroundings, English speakers tend to hear the vowel differently, i.e. its description is phonological (from the point of view of native Arabic speakers).
So, you're doing phonetic transcription of fatha+yaa'. However, you're not doing phonetic, but phonological transcription in all the other cases: you transcribe صابون as ʂābūn, and خارج as xārij, even though phonetically the first vowel sounds of the words are equally distant from each other as ʂaif is from šæy’ (ʂābūn is pronounced with a vowel sound resembling that of General American father, and xārij that of General American sad). Phonologically, i.e. in the minds of native Arabic speakers, the first vowel sounds of ʂābūn and xārij are the same, exactly like in the case of ʂaif and šæy’. Similarly, the vowels in the verb ظهر are pronounced with a back vowel sound (maybe the closest in American English would be the vowel of but), and those of كتب with a front vowel sound (close to American hat). Still, you transcribe both of them according to the native speakers' perception, with "a" as a mark of Arabic fatha: ʐáhara, kátaba. All the other Arabic vowels have similar examples, too. So I'm asking you, please, make a choice between phonological and phonetic transcription! If you want to differentiate ʂaif, ʕeyn and šæy’, in the name of consistency you should do the same for ʂābūn and xārij, ʐáhara and kátaba, الطب aʈ-ʈíbb and بنت bínt etc. Or, you can choose to do phonological transcription, and write ʂayf, ʕayn, šay’, ʂābūn, xārij, ʐáhara, kátaba, aʈ-ʈíbb and bínt.
2. I don't fully understand why you should devise a transcription system of your own, since there's already a plethora of them for Arabic in widespread use. One of them is IPA, which is unambiguous, precise and easily adaptable to all kinds of situations. Besides, if you know your IPA well, you can decipher pronunciation guidelines in just about any language, without needing to delve deep into the phonology and traditions of transcription of that language. You can use IPA for phonetic as well as phonological transcriptions, so it's possible to write /sˁajf/, /ʕajn/ invalid IPA characters (//) and /ʃajʔ/ or [sˁɒi̯f], [ʕai̯n] invalid IPA characters (][) and [ʃæi̯ʔ]. Then there's a loosely defined one traditionally used in the academic field of Orientalism: ṣayf ~ ṣai̯f, ʿayn ~ ʿai̯n ~ ‘ayn invalid IPA characters (ṣṣʿʿ‘) and šayʾ ~ šai̯ʾ ~ šay’ obsolete or nonstandard characters (ššš), invalid IPA characters (šʾšʾš’). This one is usually phonological. Then there's the romanization scheme of the Library of Congress: ṣayf, ʿayn invalid IPA characters (ṣʿ) and shayʾ invalid IPA characters (ʾ). This is phonological, too. And there are lots of other systems, too, some of which have been made official in the ISO, the UN etc. (see this table). In addition to these, all textbooks of Arabic meant for general public (and usually made by non-orientalists) seem to be using their own systems. Personally, I would prefer some agreed-upon form of the traditional Orientalist transcription, and IPA for those who don't know much Arabic. If you still want to use your own system, you should at least have links to a pronunciation key explaining the symbols, since the details can't be found anywhere else.
3. I still insist that ei is a sub-standard pronunciation of fatha+yaa' in the Arabic literary language. I know it's common, since many of the colloquials have it like that, but it's not part of Fusha. I suppose the reason why you have been hearing ei in beit but not in šæy’, is that the former is a common word in both Fusha and lots of colloquials, while the latter is often very different in the colloquials, e.g. šī or ši. Then, when people are speaking freely, they pronounce the Fusha diphthong as in their own dialect, if the word exists there, too. Šay’ doesn't, which is why they take care in pronouncing the diphthong the way it's supposed to be in Fusha. Besides, in Arabic phonology, the consonant environment of šay’ does not differ in any significant way from that of bayt. This is what I've learned from my Syrian Arabic teacher, university lecturers in Semitic languages, grammars of Fusha made by Orientalists and from practical life in an Arabic-speaking country, where eloquence is very much appreciated. I just listened to BBC's Arabic news service and al-Jazeera, and all I could hear is [æi̯] in neutral consonant environments. Surrounded by pharyngeal consonants, it becomes [ai̯], and surrounded by emphatic consonants [ɑi̯] or [ɒi̯]. If some of your books are transcribing the diphthong as béet or bēt (assuming this is supposed to represent IPA [eː]), they're clearly not describing Fusha, but some of the colloquials, since a long e as a sound just doesn't exist in the literary language. If you're not believing me, you can check just about any serious grammar of Classical Arabic, and they'll all tell the same. (Sorry if I keep on insisting, but I just want to make sure you didn't misunderstand my point. Nothing personal :) Malhonen 23:18, 22 January 2008 (UTC)
Arabs may hear the same vowel in ʂaif, ʕeyn and šæy’, but I find ʂaif and ʕeyn to be unremarkable, while šæy’ is an extraordinary sound that is quite difficult for most Americans to get their tongues around. It appears that you are describing the careful pronunciation of grammarians, while I am talking about the ordinary pronunciation of average educated people. All of the translators that I have worked with have degrees from Arab and American universities, but none of them are grammarians by any measure. (Mostly they are engineers.) A word like xārij is very easy for an American to pronounce, and even if someone pronounces it a bit too far back in the mouth, he will still be easily understood.
I don’t consider the transcription that I use to be "one of my own," it differs only insignificantly from others that I have seen: i.e., ei instead of ee or ē (although there are times that I will use ē as well). As for IPA, it might be easy for somebody who uses it all the time, but for me it’s the most difficult script I know (and I know a lot of scripts). I consider the transcription system that I use to be the easiest to read for the most people, and it is vague enough to allow for differing accents and styles. I can’t think of any way to convince you of its utility, and IPA is simply beyond me, so the only other thing I can offer is to refrain from adding any Arabic transcriptions. —Stephen 00:00, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Aha! Now we seem to be getting what the other one is trying to say. So, your transcription is not even supposed to be the purest Fusha but a sort of semiformal pronunciation, right? May I bring this topic up in the Beer parlour, so that other people might comment on it, too? Right now it seems to me that everybody here is using a little different systems (some mark long "a" with ā, others with â etc.), so it could be wise to make an explicit guideline, similar to what the English Wikipedia already has. With "your own system" I just meant that the exact details of the system have been settled by you, even if each one of the individual symbols are in use somewhere else, too. Sorry, if my choice of words offended you. Malhonen 12:56, 23 January 2008 (UTC)
Yes, you can try the Beer Parlour, but I’ve tried that before, with both Arabic and Russian. I never got much of a response in either case. I used to always put "" invalid IPA characters (""), but others kept changing that to ā. Persian has (recently) a tradition of marking long vowels as â, which has the advantage of being accessible from several different keyboards, while ā has to be pasted or otherwise inserted. I eventually gave up on , and now I write it ā.
I wasn’t offended by the choice of words, I just wanted to point out that it wasn’t created out of the blue. There is a page named Wiktionary:About Arabic that needs a lot more work; there also needs to be Appendix:Arabic transliteration (similar to Appendix:Persian transliteration and Appendix:Russian transliteration). Also, there is Appendix:Arabic script and Index:Arabic, both of which need much work. —Stephen 17:07, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


A discussion is afoot at Wiktionary talk:About Ancient Greek#Mycenaean.......Greek? Redux. You have been invited because you participated in a previous discussion, I thought you might have a particular insight or interest in the discussion, or simply because I wanted to spam your page and irritate you. Check it out. Atelaes 09:05, 20 January 2008 (UTC)

v wants to say f[edit]

True, but what does it mean when it says v. (m.). I see I had put Template:v in the entry, my mistake. Mallerd 21:05, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

I assume that that means {{m|f}} (i.e., m, f).

Gothic spell-checks[edit]

A quick question concerning the Gothic spell checks: Do you actually have a Gothic reference against which you are checking these entries, or are you simply making sure the de-romanization is accurate? If the latter I can just stop wasting your time, as Gothic has a fairly convenient correspondence to Latin characters (the one you fixed was simply an oversight on my part). If the former, however, I would feel safer getting them checked, if nothing else just to make sure I'm working off of accurate romanizations. Atelaes 10:27, 24 January 2008 (UTC)

I wish I did. Unfortunately, all I can do is try a web search with the spelling. Usually I get a few hits, which I take as confirmation. If there are no hits, then I look to see if there are other reasonable ways to spell it and try them. Sometimes nothing gets a hit. —Stephen 16:42, 26 January 2008 (UTC)
Ok, then I'll simply employ your method and stop hassling you about it. Thanks. Atelaes 20:04, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Editing - Spanish nouns without inflection templates[edit]

I saw you editting Wiktionary:Project - Spanish/Spanish nouns without inflection templates. Just to let you know I was going to re-run the code on the January dump. Are there any changes that you'd like me to merge with the new list? --Bequw¢τ 17:48, 29 January 2008 (UTC)

No, I just noticed some other errors there when I went in to delete the bad Wheel-of-Fortune Spanish entry. —Stephen 00:31, 31 January 2008 (UTC)


Hey Stephen, I read somewhere that spas in Slavic means something like the Dutch "Verlosser", or "Saviour" in English. Do you know if that can have a relation to spasibo? Mallerd 22:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

Almost right. It’s спаси (the imperative of "to save", from the infinitive спасти) + бог (nominative case) = ‘God save’. —Stephen 22:14, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see now. That's cool :D do you know where the etymology from the Hebrew entry is from? Some say it is the Euphrates river and others say it is the Jordan river. Do you know also what people called the Ibri people the way they are called. Understand my poor English? Mallerd 19:36, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
Hebrew is from עברי (‘ivri), meaning "to cross over". It refers to the Ibri people who were so-called because they came from the other side of the Jordan river. —Stephen 20:13, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
I assume Ibri is an exonym if you look at the meaning of the word? Do you know which people called the people that crossed the Jordan Ibri? Mallerd 17:55, 4 February 2008 (UTC)
I’m not sure, but I suspect that a few of the people who would would eventually become the Ibri crossed over the Jordan to settled there, and then began to speak of the original population as "those on the other side" of the river. Or perhaps when people began crossing the river, the Phoenicians asked them who they were and they answered that they are the ones across the river. After that, the Phoenicians told the Greeks and others that they are the Ibri. —Stephen 13:14, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

TTN imposter[edit]

I left you a reply at TTN's talk page. After looking through's contributions on Wikipedia, I noticed that this anon has been picking on the user for a while now. The TTN on wiktionary is definitely a fake, I suggest blocking this account for good (don't know what to say about the ip). Can you fully protect my user page to prevent this nonsense from occuring further? Sesshomaru 18:05, 5 February 2008 (UTC)

Done and done. —Stephen 18:48, 5 February 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, I was wondering whether you know the etymology of hypocritical or not. Can you tell me what it is? Mallerd 19:35, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

It is formed by adding the adjectival ending -ic(al) to the noun hypocrisy. Then Modern English hypocrisy < Middle English ipocrisie < Old French ypocrisie < Late Latin hypocrisis < Greek ὑπόκρισις (answer, stage acting, pretense) < ὑποκρίνεσθαι (to play a role, pretend) < ὑπό (under) + the middle voice of κρίνω (to separate, judge, decide) < Proto-Indo-European base *krei- (to sieve, to discriminate, to distinguish). The Greek word evolved from ὑποκρίνομαι (to separate gradually) to ὑπόκρισις (answer) to ὑποκριτής (actor, pretender, hypocrite). —Stephen 12:19, 18 February 2008 (UTC)

Appendix:List of Proto-Slavic nouns[edit]

Hi! I left a comment on the talk page about splitting the list due to technical difficulties. Since the suggested copy/paste method would ruin edit history, and you are one of the significant contributors to it, I'd like to ask you for feedback on the suggestion. --Ivan Štambuk 11:54, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, I don’t have strong feelings of authorship, so it should not present a problem. You could just split the page, or else I can remove the Russian entries temporarily and then reinsert them after the page is split. Either way is okay with me. —Stephen 09:11, 22 February 2008 (UTC)


I was working on this entry and none of my sources noted the "living being" sense of the word. I was wondering if you'd be willing to double-check that (I'm also curious as to what reference noted this). Many thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:49, 25 February 2008 (UTC)

That’s how it’s defined (living being) in my rather small Ancient Greek dictionary, "Handy Dictionary of the Greek and English Languages", Prof. Karl Feyerabend, Ph.D., copyright 1918 by David McKay Company. —Stephen 11:00, 25 February 2008 (UTC)


my wiki i thought you would like to check it out here is the link i would love to have you.

--Yukongold 03:27, 2 March 2008 (UTC)


Whenever an anon undoes one of your edits, I revert as a matter of course, but if you could make a comment on the talk page, I'd appreciate it (so I look like less of an ass). Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:14, 7 March 2008 (UTC)


I'd like to apologize for my tone in some of the discussions. I realize I was writing out of frustration, and wasn't fairly discussing the issues with you. If you're willing, I'd rather try to smarten up and still have your input, while doing a better of expressing my concerns. If not, I understand. I'll still try to make headway and I hope you'll look in on the discussions.

Sincerely, Michael Z. —Mzajac 21:01, 10 March 2008 (UTC)

re lazy[edit]

Hello Stephen, I see that you reverted the etymology of "lazy" ... I was surprised to see that someone thought it that its origin was unknown ... if you'd like to see how well-known is the origin, go out to and search for "lazzi" ... you'll find a huge number of references, including several law dictionaries (primarily English and US), tracing it to the Saxon institution of slavery, and that this is the origin of the English word "lazy". Regards, Notuncurious 01:50, 11 March 2008 (UTC)

I don’t find anything that connects lazy to anything in Saxon. The most reliable etymological studies that I am aware of say that its origin is unknown. Until recently, it was considered to have been formed from lay + -sy (like tip + -sy). The prevailing view is that it is related genetically to slack, but the precise connection (i.e., the etymons in earlier languages) is not known. —Stephen 01:59, 11 March 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Every respectable source that I've got says it's about as mysterious as they come. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:02, 11 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, I was wondering if you could create this Dutch word in wiktionary, it means the same as the Dutch "weiland". But I don't know what weiland in English is. Thank you. Mallerd 17:07, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Okay, how’s this: zwaag? —Stephen 10:17, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Oh it's pasture! Thanks very much :) Mallerd 19:23, 14 March 2008 (UTC)


You've changed some botanical author abbreviations from translingual to English. Aren't they translingual? Best regards Rhanyeia 18:09, 13 March 2008 (UTC)

Can you give me the links to the words you are talking about? I don’t remember the situation until I look at them. —Stephen 09:59, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
For example Boenn. or Boed. Best regards Rhanyeia 15:45, 15 March 2008 (UTC)
Neither of those pages had the translingual header or any language header at all. When I saw them, they were only this and this. —Stephen 16:18, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
You are right, my mistake, sorry. :) Best regards Rhanyeia 17:36, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

Spanish conjugation template consolidation[edit]

Thought I'd kick around two ideas. 1) As we added the correction to {{es-conj-ar (i-í)}} and {{es-conj-eír}} to accommodate mono-syllabic infinitives I was wondering if you think there'd be merit in merging {{es-conj-er (ver)}} into {{es-conj-er (prever)}} with the same monosyllabic optional? 2) As Ian Burnet merged {es-conj-iar} into {{es-conj-ar (i-í)}} we could consider merging {{es-conj-uar}} into {{es-conj-ar (u-ú)}}. Any merit to these? Is there a linguistic reason why we should keep them seperate? --Bequw¢τ 21:04, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Yes, {{es-conj-er (ver)}} is only used by a single verb, so it’s a wasted template. It should be as easy to merge it as it was the other monosyllable verbs. If it isn’t too difficult, it would also be good to merge {{es-conj-uar}}. I can’t think of any reason why they should be kept separate. —Stephen 21:13, 14 March 2008 (UTC)
Great, did it. --Bequw¢τ 19:32, 16 March 2008 (UTC)


I've made an attempt at putting this into a more standard format. Please take a look and see if it's acceptable to you, and if you can think of any ways it could be improved. While I realize you've had some reasonable concerns about squashing these into bad formats (such as putting them under translingual, etc.) I hope we might be able to come up with something which is more in line with standard conventions and still does the letters justice (and c'mon, you've gotta admit it'd be nice to get CM and RU off your back about these :-)), both for the Arabic and Cyrillic alphabets. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:47, 16 March 2008 (UTC)

I like that a lot better than anything with the translingual. There will still be a few kinks...there are numerous glyphs that are not officially letters of an alphabet, but which are still required in the orthography. For instance, Arabic also has the letters ء, ئ, ؤ, and إ, which don’t have a place in the alphabet. Besides those, there are diacritics like ـَ (fatha), ـُ (damma), ـِ (kasra), ـْ (sukun), and others. The languages that use Indic scripts are actually syllabaries, and most of them also have several or many special ligatures used for compound consonants. Are we going to label all the different cases with Letter, or what? Khmer has two different series of letters, series I and series II. One series has an inherant a vowel, the other an inherent o. Both series also has subscript forms for each letter that are used for making compound consonants. I think it would be convenient if we just call everything a letter, including syllabaries and diacritics. It would sometimes be a stretch to do that. For example, the Arabic tashdid ـ, which is used modify the appearance of words for an aesthetic effect: خمسة versus خمســـــة. I would prefer to call everything a letter. —Stephen 23:21, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I think it would probably be best to pick a term and stick with it, even for characters which....don't fit the conventional qualities. I suppose we could pick something more vague, like character or glyph, but I think most users would find that confusing. So, yes, I think "Letter" is the way to go. I don't think that the formatting would need to be greatly altered for letters which aren't included in an alphabet. They would simply lack the "preceded by X, followed by Z" comment. If we want to be really persnickety, we could perhaps include a note "not part of X alphabet." Ultimately, every alphabet should really, eventually, get its own appendix, so that one can see all the letters, which are included, which aren't, and how they related to each other. This would work nicely for the Khmer, where you could have two lines, one for series 1, and one for series 2. This could be modeled upon w:Linear B#The script, as I think they do a nice job of showing the relations between the characters. So, do I have your green light to go ahead with the rest of the Arabic characters? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:36, 16 March 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I had thought about glyph. I like it but it isn’t widely understood. I had been thinking that some languages such as Khmer would require graphic images, but I have heard that the new Vista OS can show Khmer correctly. Older OS's don’t display Khmer properly unless a special Uniscribe shaping engine is installed. But if Vista can handle it, that means eventually everybody will be able to see it, so I suppose graphic images may not be necessary. —Stephen 13:24, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
Well, I can see Khmer script, but I can't verify that I'm seeing it correctly. Also, could you look at ص, and make sure what I've done is reasonable. Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 04:31, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
I think ص looks fine. For Khmer, if you see ក្ក as two identical letters, the first having a plus-sign below it, then you are not seeing it correctly. Only the first letter should be normal, the plus-sign should be invisible, and the second letter should be a small n-shaped subscript directly underneath the first letter. —Stephen 04:42, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
Sweet, I'll go ahead and do the rest of them then. For the Khmer, I'm seeing two upside-down "u"s, one on top of the other. The top one has some squiggly shit at its top apex. So, perhaps I'm not seeing it correctly. Btw, did you see Ivan's new graphics tool? It's in use at 𐤀𐤋𐤌𐤕, among other places. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:23, 19 March 2008 (UTC)
That means you’re seeing it the way it’s supposed to be read. It is actually two identical characters, but your shaping engine removes the squiggle from the second one and positions it below the first. I had seen some of the texts such as 𐤀𐤋𐤌𐤕, but I didn’t understand how it was being displayed. —Stephen 08:50, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

I don't fully understand how it works either, but as far as I can tell, Ivan has simply created an image file for each character, with the naming scheme such that the template can pull them up in the proper order. You may want to take a look at what I've done to ڧ. Again, my understanding of Arabic is basically nil (except for the few parallels I can draw from my rudimentary understanding of Hebrew). I didn't know whether we were treating Moroccan Arabic as a separate language or not (especially as it seems to be primarily a spoken language, not a written one). SIL seems to recognize about 30 or so different Arabic langauges, but most of them seem to be spoken and not written languages. In any case, if you think the given L2 is inappropriate, please feel free to change it. Whatever you decide, you may want to note it on WT:AAR. Also, Arabic could really use an Apendix:Arabic alphabet, comparing the various orthographies of the different languages which use it. Clearly, I am not the man for the task. Also, if you could check ت it would be appreciated. I didn't know quite what to do with the pronunciation, so I have simply left it. If the same pronunciation applies to all languages, it might not be a bad idea to start the entry off with a Translingual section and put it there. Otherwise, it should be copied to all languages it applies to. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:12, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Ok, both the Arabic and Cyrillic alphabet entries have been standardized. Please take a look and let me know if there's anything which needs to be done differently. Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 23:33, 19 March 2008 (UTC)


Atelaes split the (one!) translation table a few hours ago into its parts. Obviously then, there are many translations to sort now. Could you (as one of our polylinguists) sort out the translations for languages you know? Thanks, --EncycloPetey 03:08, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Chinese: Mandarin[edit]

You already know that we do not group language headers by family, using ===Old English=== under "O" instead of ===English, Old=== under "E". Per this edit, it makes sense to use the same name of the language header as the name of the language/dialect listed in the translations section. In fact it seemed to have some support to not indent (though that was not widely discussed. Personally I think indentation could be used for regional variations, but that's another argument.) The alphabetization under "M" instead of "C" is a problem that was raised with the language headers but not the listing of translations. Do you think it wise to use "Mandarin" or "Mandarin Chinese" (I'm not sure which, if either, ever won out) consistently, or do you prefer to indent under "Chinese" as you did? In the latter case I would like to open it up to debate in the Beer Parlour. DAVilla 12:09, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Hardly anyone other than linguists would think of looking for Mandarin. In the U.S., at least, we call the standard national language of China Chinese. Due to the fact that we do also list words in Wu, Cantonese, Min Nan, Hakka, and so on, it makes sense to specify Mandarin. However, people don’t look for Mandarin under Mandarin, but under Chinese. That’s why the Chinese languages/dialects should be named and indented under the heading of Chinese. Similarly, the Apachean languages/dialects are listed and indented under Apache. The only exception is Navajo, which is the specific name that people look for in spite of it being an Apachean language. We don’t do that with Old English because we don’t include a line for Modern English for it to be placed under. With Ancient and Modern Greek, both go under Greek. We don’t have many entries for Old German, Old Russian, or Old Dutch, but when we do, they should go under German, Russian, and Dutch respectively.
Since Mandarin, Min Nan, etc., are placed under Chinese, there is no need to write Mandarin Chinese or Min Nan Chinese. —Stephen 18:39, 20 March 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, what does спасская mean? I see it mostly in combination with "tower". thanks Mallerd 20:02, 19 March 2008 (UTC)

Спасская башня is one of towers of the Moscow Kremlin. Спас means Спаситель - the Savior, i.e. Jesus Christ. See also w:Kremlin_towers#Spasskaya --Jaroslavleff 08:06, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I wasn't sure whether it was connected to spasibo and the Lord. But the tower is also named at the kremlin of Kazan, does it mean "Tower of the Saviour"? Mallerd 15:38, 20 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it means "Savior Tower". The word спасский is an adjective that corresponds to the nouns Спас or Спаситель (Savior). —Stephen 18:54, 20 March 2008 (UTC)

family affairs[edit]

Hi Stephen, could you tell me please how to translate "family affairs" into Italian? Thanks if you know. Mallerd 20:10, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Literally, "affari di famiglia", but in some cases it is different. For example: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs = Direzione Generale per la Famiglia. —Stephen 20:46, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so, if someone wants to know where I was going on a weekend I should say: affari di famiglia? Thanks Mallerd 20:48, 24 March 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that makes sense. —Stephen 20:56, 24 March 2008 (UTC)

Russian edits[edit]

Hi, I want to know if you are bothered by the incomplete (and, if I have made any, incorrect) entries of Russian words that I have created recently. I'm not sure how frowned upon it is to create entries as a non-native speaker (hardly, a "speaker," honestly). I'm just filling in entries from the frequency list (Wiktionary:Frequency lists/Russian) and other red words I come across.

As for the declined forms, I gathered from some policy page that inflected forms should have their own page (after all, what is Category:Russian noun forms for?), and I'm filling in for the ones I know. I was wondering (here, I pose the question) if there is are standards I can look at for format, including the examples and explaining its case, but I suppose I can consider your corrections to моего the standard. I don't mean to make trouble, and I also don't want you to be annoyed by running around after me and cleaning up my incomplete entries, but I'm fine with it only if you are. ALTON .ıl 09:07, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

No, incomplete articles are useful as long as the information provided is basically correct. And yes, inflected forms should have their own page, but languages like Russian have such an extreme number of forms that nobody has made an effort to make many. When somebody wants to know about a certain noun form or verb form, that’s usually when I go to the trouble of making it. But if you make them, they are welcome. I think they are really a candidate for a bot.
Category:Russian noun forms is for oblique noun forms (genitives, instrumentals, etc.). I don’t think it is very important to use this category and I don’t often add categories to noun- and verb-form pages. But the categories are there if you like to use them. Yes, I believe моего is in a standard format now.
I’m not annoyed with your entries, I can use the help. Some words (such as верх) pose special problems which might be handled in varying ways. There isn’t any policy that guides such irregularities, so I just try to do it in a logical way. However, the article still does not deal with all of the problems associated with that word, so the page is still incomplete and eventually someone else may do additional work on it. —Stephen 09:32, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Portuguese question[edit]

Since you list yourself as pt-3.... Do you know whether the plural-forming folheação → folheações is correct? Or, at least, whether it is sensical?—msh210 18:54, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

Yes, folheações is the correct plural. —Stephen 10:59, 9 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. I was also wondering whether the singular makes sense. Sir Lestaty de Lioncourt informed me that it is, and I've acted on that, but if you can confirm without effort, that'd be great.—msh210 16:34, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, do you know if the Greek nesos and the Javanese nusa are connected in some way? Since Bali, the hindu island, is evidence of Indian influence. Thanks Mallerd 14:40, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

I have not seen any evidence that Greek νήσος is related to Javanese nusa (Indonesian nusa, Balinese nusa, Sundanese nusa, Tetun nusa, Malagasy nosy). The Hindi word for island is द्वीप (dvīpa), which probably accounts for the -dive in Maldives. I believe that νήσος is related to Indic words meaning to bathe or to wash, and also to Latin nare and natare (to swim), but as far as I know, the Malayo-Polynesian words are a coincidence. —Stephen 15:37, 11 April 2008 (UTC)
Ok thanks for that, I was wondering since I saw the following:

from PIE *sna- "to swim, to flow" (cf. Arm. nay "wet, liquid;" Gk. notios "damp, moist," nao "I flow;" Skt. snati "bathes;" M.Ir. snaim "I swim;" and probably also Gk. nesos "island," from *na-sos, lit. "that which swims").

Mallerd 20:12, 11 April 2008 (UTC)


Thank you for helping with the backlinks. Conrad.Irwin 12:36, 16 April 2008 (UTC)

You’re welcome. —Stephen 16:03, 17 April 2008 (UTC)

mace as verb[edit]

Sorry I wasn't clearer. I know mace is a verb in the US, my question is: is it a verb ONLY in the US? I don't know if it needs a US tag or if it is used the same way elsewhere. It is derived from a brand name, but I don't know if that name is used only in the US. Thank you. RJFJR 03:28, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

I don’t know about non-U.S. English. You should ask User:Hippietrail (Australia) and User:SemperBlotto (UK). —Stephen 03:32, 18 April 2008 (UTC)


thanks stephen for telling how to say WHERE TO in japanese. you are a true lengend.


Many thank[edit]

Hello Stephen G. Brown, I am Cambodian. I just come here. Many thank for your help on Khmer entries and interesting in Khmer language. They look very good. Just forgive me if I make any mistakes here and I hope you help correct it. Thank, --Kiensvay 03:30, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi Kiensvay. We appreciate anything you can do on Khmer entries. You should check here from time to time. That is where people make requests for certain words in Khmer. When you make a Khmer entry, it is always a good idea to also write it in English letters, because not many people can read Khmer. —Stephen 03:46, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

A question regarding Uzbek script.[edit]

Hello. I just looked at the so'm file. The current script is Latin, but Cyrillic was used for a while. Should everything be dual indexed, with the Cyrillic article redirecting to the Latin one? Also, in the case of the Cyrillic file having many different languages in it (eg. when Russian and Uzbek use the same words) should I use the "see" function to redirect? I would like some advise as to how to proceed here. Should I be placing Cyrillic within the files as well? Thanks in advance Winged eel 05:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Well, I think Uzbek only switched to the Roman alphabet over the past seven years, so there is a large body of Uzbek literature that is written in Cyrillic. I think we should keep any Uzbek words that happen to be entered in Cyrillic (рубль and ruble include links to it, since it was one of the languages used on the Soviet-era currency). But since Uzbek is going to Roman now, maybe it will be enough in most cases to only make the Roman word and include the Cyrillic under the heading of alternative spellings. —Stephen 06:01, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
It might be worth noting the formatting that Dijan is using for Serbian, such as in аеродинамика. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:17, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, for your help. I will stick to what has been said here, and put alternate spellings in Cyrillic for all of the articles so far, while there are still relatively few and keep things indexed until Roman. (Did I say Latin up there? Man, I've been out for too long.) Winged eel 09:51, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
What's the difference between Roman and Latin? Mallerd 19:36, 26 April 2008 (UTC)

Khmer transcription[edit]

Hello, I can't help but notice the way you transcript Khmer. How is it done? For the word កក្តដា, I notice you transliterate it as gukgădā. But the sound of "g" doesn't really exist in the Khmer language to my knowledge, it sounds like a g, but academically, the letter g is never used for transcription in Khmer (except in ng). And there is no "u" in that word either. --Dara 13:22, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

I haven’t seen any standard systems for transcribing Khmer. To me, gukgădā is the closest I can get to the sound of កក្តដា using Roman letters. If you know of a transcription standard for Khmer, you are welcome to make changes to my efforts. However, from experience I know that there are many transcription systems that are etymologically based, and their sounds for languages that use Indic scripts (such as Thai and Khmer) seem better suited to Brahmi and Sanskrit. —Stephen 13:24, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


A new Russian contribution that could use a little more cleanup than I can provide. --EncycloPetey 01:29, 27 April 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen, I have created this entry. The table is incorrect, if you press edit you can see the correct froms behind nl-verb. They are in this order: present singular first, second, third - present plural first, second, third - past singular, plural. Then: present participle - imperative auxiliary - past participle.

I hope you understand. Mallerd 11:37, 28 April 2008 (UTC)

Hi, Mallerd, I’ve fixed it. For separable verbs such as this, you have to use {{nl-verb-sep}}. —Stephen 11:48, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Arabic dialects[edit]

Hi, Atelaes told me that you have been handling Arabic for quite a while now. I am a native speaker of Arabic (and Libyan Arabic). I would like, with your help, to come up with a standard to catalogue Arabic dialects so that words special to certain dialects are listed in wiktionary. I have created the following entries: بيباص and زب the first of which is exclusively Libyan and does not have a counterpart in MSA the second is almost pan-Arabic (it exists in most Dialects -perhaps all), but does not seem to exist in MSA nor Classical Arabic. Please take a look at them. One problem that needs to be addressed is that words that are not MSA cannot have the usual ==Arabic== header. Another issue is that some MSA words have different meanings in the dialects. For example the MSA دار, which means house in MSA, means room in Libyan Arabic. The differences of pronunciation between dialects constitute an issue too, because the same word is usually be pronounced differently form one dialect to another. For example, the MSA word قابلة qɑːbila is pronounced Lebanese:ʔeːbla/Syrian:ʔaːble/Egyptian:ʔabla/Libyan:gaːbla invalid IPA characters (g), replace g with ɡ/Tunisian:qæːblæ. Thanks. --Hakeem.gadi 09:55, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Just to chip in. I have encountered this a lot too with Moroccan Arabic words. Personally I think the best way is to have an =Arabic= heading, and then a country/ies tag on the definition line (a bit like what we do with Spanish). {{context|Libya|lang=ar}} for example could add the word to Category:Libyan Arabic but still retain a broader =Arabic= heading, in case the word is used differently in otehr dialects. In terms as pronnunciation, adding many lines for different pronunciations has always been supported here. Widsith 10:13, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Ok this context thing is cool. It solves a lot of problems. But what about non-standard Arabic words (words that, though Arabic, do not exist in MSA -Modern standard Arabic) I suggest that we add a header along the lines of ==Arabic (nonstandard)==. Thoughts?. Hakeem.gadi 11:42, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I agree with most of that, although I would consider زب to be MSA. I think it’s good to use the language headers such as Egyptian Arabic and the other principal dialects mentioned on Ethnologue here when a word belongs to that dialect but not to MSA. I don’t think it is a good idea to have Arabic (nonstandard) as a language header. If a word is used in many dialects, but not MSA or Classical, then I think I would mark it as Arabic and then put the header ====Usage notes==== to explain the situation with that word.
Here is another template that you may find useful: {{ar-prep-inflection}} (e.g., at ل). —Stephen 12:22, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
Please take a look at بيباص I have added a usage note template. Waiting for comments. P.S I am still conserned about pronunciation transcription. It is still heterogenious (I am more inclined to IPA, but open to suggestions).--Hakeem.gadi 19:55, 1 May 2008 (UTC)
I made a minor change in the template, but otherwise I think it’s good. As for transcriptions, I like IPA, but I find IPA difficult to do and most Americans cannot make any sense of it. Whenever you can, please add IPA under the ===Pronunciation=== header, but in parentheses after an Arabic word or phrase, we just put an informal approximation that is simple and easy for nonlinguists to use. —Stephen 20:06, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

I have created a template for listing different pronuciations of Arabic dialects. Please comment.Hakeem.gadi 09:56, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I think it looks good except for one thing. I think it would look better with a space between each set of parentheses.
Instead of:
(Tunisian: IPA: qæːblæ)(Libyan: IPA: gaːbla)(Egyptian: IPA: ʔabla)(Syrian: IPA: ʔaːble)(Lebanese: IPA: ʔeːbla)
I would put:
(Tunisian: IPA: qæːblæ) (Libyan: IPA: gaːbla) (Egyptian: IPA: ʔabla) (Syrian: IPA: ʔaːble) (Lebanese: IPA: ʔeːbla)
—Stephen 12:37, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I tried to do the spaces, but the parser deosn't seem to understand it (or I don't seem to understand the parser ;-)). If any wiki mark-up guru can solve or suggest how to solve it. Please help us/yourself. Hakeem.gadi 16:58, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
I think I got it to work now. One other change that I think we should make is the header. Instead of the nonstandard header ===Regional pronunciation===, it would probably be better to put '''Regional pronunciation:'''<br/> —Stephen 18:07, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Romance language verb cleanup project[edit]

I'd like to invite you to participate in a community effort to improve the quality of common verbs in Romance languages. I've started a project page at User:EncycloPetey/Latin verbs. The plan to select (or have someone select) one or two new "verbs" each week for cleanup and expansion beyond the basic content. By "verb", I mean the corresponding entry across several Latin-descended languages, and not simply a single entry. Your help with Portuguese entries would be much appreciated, especially since we no longer seem to have regular, active contributors in that language. See the project page for more details and the current selection (listed near the top of the page, as well as highlighted in the tables). --EncycloPetey 07:34, 4 May 2008 (UTC)


This Russian entry is obviously in the wrong script. Can you help? --EncycloPetey 00:40, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

Likewise for "Arabic" samya. --EncycloPetey 00:46, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
Moved predsedatel to председатель, but can’t do much for samya. There are numerous ways samya might be spelt in Arabic, but there is no spelling that I can think of that means princess. Deleted the Arabic section. Arabic for princess is أمِيرَة (’amīra). —Stephen 12:58, 7 May 2008 (UTC)

moon letter[edit]

If I had looked at the history, I might have just mentioned it to you. It looks good now. DCDuring TALK 19:48, 9 May 2008 (UTC)

Category:Russian proper noun forms[edit]

I've been doing some of the categorizing work, and noticed this category had not yet been created. I was a bit surprised, since you've put so much work into Russian at this point, but I figured perhaps you hadn't created many proper noun forms (or hadn't categorized them). If you think Russian has no need for this cat, please feel free to delete it and recat the entries. If you think it a useful category, no action is necessary. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:54, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

It’s just that I never saw the need to categorize oblique or finite forms, whether in Russian or in other languages. I suppose it doesn’t hurt anything as long as it has no slowing effect on the site, but I don’t see any benefit in doing it. —Stephen 04:05, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
To be honest, I haven't found any way to make use of categorized non-lemmata myself. However, the indirect benefit is that it allows everything to be categorized (the current aim), which I believe to be of tremendous value. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:24, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Although it escapes me, I’ll take your word that it is valuable. —Stephen 05:27, 10 May 2008 (UTC)

Arabic cleanup[edit]

Thanks. Have you seen this list: Wiktionary:Categorizing#Arabic. It is a complete list of Arabic entries on Wiktionary lacking categories, and was generated by Mutante. Many of those entries need additional cleanup beyond just adding categories. If you look further down the same page, there is a similar section for Russian. --EncycloPetey 13:56, 11 May 2008 (UTC)


This Belarusian word appears to have been created by Hippietrail from the table that WF assembled. Could you verify and cleanup this entry? --EncycloPetey 03:25, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

Done. —Stephen 15:02, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

To moo[edit]


do you know if the Mirathi word for "moo" actually is "(hammaaaa)"? Thanks Mallerd 18:20, 13 May 2008 (UTC)

I don’t know. It is possible, but it is the wrong alphabet. Marathi is written like this: मराठी. —Stephen 18:28, 13 May 2008 (UTC)


While I'm guessing that you have zero desire to get involved in this conversation, I have to imagine that any comments you could share would be relevant and useful. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 19:22, 14 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi there. Could you have a look at this please. Don't the plurals need their own page? Russian etymology would be good. Cheers. SemperBlotto 16:22, 17 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

I think I did the Arabic script stuff correctly at Nakba, but if you could check, I'd appreciate it. :-)

(And, obviously, please be bold in other regards as well.)

RuakhTALK 12:56, 19 May 2008 (UTC)

Help with Portuguese[edit]

Hi! I see you have pt-3. I have written an article in Russian Wikipedia and I need IPA transcription. Could you please try to write here IPA transcription of word sepultura?. Thank you in advance.-- 17:27, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

I would be happy to, but I can’t seem to find it. There is no Portuguese article at sepultura. Here is the IPA for Portuguese: /se.puwˈtu.ra/. —Stephen 09:22, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Thank you, Stephen! You helped me much, now I use this transcription in my Russian Wikipedia article! :)-- 23:06, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
A bit late on this but that IPA transcription stands only for the Brazilian pronunciation. Malafaya 09:46, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
It’s never too late. You can find the article with the pronunciation given at ru:w:Sepultura. It’s about a musical group Sepultura, which was formed in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, in 1984. —Stephen 09:59, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
In this case, it's definitely the Brazilian pronunciation that's intended :). Cheers, Malafaya 10:09, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Just which script goes with this langauge?[edit]

So I saw these entries: شِيَوْ عَر دٍ, Хуэйзў, Хуэйзў йүян, and حُوِ ذَو. However, the 'pedia article says that Dungan is written in Cyrillic. So, maybe you won't know exactly how these entries should be formatted (or whether they should exist at all), but I saw Arabic and Cyrillic script and thought of you (that and you have always had answers for me before :-)). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:58, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Originally, Dungan was written in the Arabic script, but all Arabic scripts were outlawed in the Soviet Union in the 1920’s, at which time Dungan switched to Roman. When the Cold War began in the 1940’s, Dungan switched to Cyrillic. These appear to be legitimate entries. I don’t know the rules used for writing in Arabic script, but there are a few languages that use Arabic writing that require the vowel marks, unlike Arabic guess is that the vowels are required. —Stephen 08:18, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok. How about the fact that for the two Arabic entries, there's a Mandarin L2 in addition to the Dungan. That can't be legit, can it? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:20, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
I don’t think so. 小儿经 (xiǎo ér jīng) is the Mandarin term, and شِيَوْ عَر دٍ is the transliteration into Arabic script. I will remove the Mandarin section. —Stephen 08:29, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
Ok, everything seems right with the world. Thanks very much for your help. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 08:52, 21 May 2008 (UTC)
You’re welcome. And I see now that vowel marks indeed are required in Dungan Arabic script. —Stephen 08:55, 21 May 2008 (UTC)


I'm sorry to keep dragging you into this stuff, but there aren't that many folks on Wiktionary with backgrounds in Korean. Would you take a look at this entry. I noticed it in the condition which is the version before Visviva's, and asked them to take a look at it. KYPark made some changes afterwards, which I disagreed with and have reverted. Would you be willing to give the entry a third look, and feel quite free to revert any of my edits as you see fit. Many thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 06:53, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

You had it right. All of that extra information belongs on other pages. I think the template {{ko-noun}} should be modified though, so that the romanization (|rv=goindol) not show up in boldface type. —Stephen 07:19, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks very much. I'll ask Visviva about the bolding, as they seem to be the primary editor of the template. If they're ok with it, it shall be removed. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:32, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Etymology of Latin "bellum"[edit]

Hi Stephen, I was contributing a little to the Italian wiktionary. I was adding the etymology for the Latin bellum, which is supposed to be the older Latin duellum, right? Now is there a user who keeps reverting what I was editing. I've tried to leave him a message, but his Babel says his English is not that good. Could you, or someone you know that speaks good Italian, ask him why he reverts my edits? Thank you Mallerd 13:14, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

I believe our Italian expert is User:SemperBlotto. I can read Italian, but when I try to speak it, it comes out as Spanish. In your argument, you might mention the Latin page at la:bellum. —Stephen 13:28, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your help. Mallerd 13:34, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
I see that it:Discussioni utente:Giannib has realized the error of his ways and it:bellum now displays the correct etymology. —Stephen 13:41, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Yes he did, his English was much better than I thought. So, no need for an Italian godfather to translate at all. Mallerd 13:45, 23 May 2008 (UTC)


Hi again Stephen,

I am having some trouble in formulating the following into an entry: in Indonesian, if you put ku behind a word it means "my ...". First: should I create an -ku article for it or just ku? Second how do I explain this function in dictionarial terms? Thanks Mallerd 09:39, 24 May 2008 (UTC)

You will need to have separate entries for saya, aku, daku, ku-, and -ku. The suffix -ku is a cliticized object pronoun and possessive pronoun. The heading for -ku could be either Pronoun or Suffix. I think I would use the header Pronoun along with a suffix category. —Stephen 10:00, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I do not really understand what such an entry is supposed to look like. Mallerd 22:52, 24 May 2008 (UTC)
I think I understand what he means, and have set up the entry at -ku. --EncycloPetey 22:57, 24 May 2008 (UTC)


Can you take a look at Template:abl instead of Ablative it gives Abung.Hakeem.gadi 05:04, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

Fixed. —Stephen 05:08, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
I think that this should remain Abung. The entries which use the template and intend ablative should be changed to {{ablative}}. I'll start fixing them. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:10, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
Entries fixed. I rolled back your edits to {{abl}}. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:34, 27 May 2008 (UTC)


Ivan and I are having a small conversation about the merits of {{rfscript}} here, and I was wondering if you had any input, as you are someone who often fulfills these types of requests. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:01, 30 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually, I started a BP thread on the issue, so that would be the better place to comment. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:51, 30 May 2008 (UTC)


Hey Stephen,

"покоряй" means conquer, doesn't it? Thanks Mallerd 17:39, 31 May 2008 (UTC)

Yes, it’s the imperative singular of покорять and means conquer!, subdue!. —Stephen 17:43, 31 May 2008 (UTC)


Ahoj, do you know in what way this list of EN-CZ words should be classified? Does it mean that there are 3 meanings of thanks as an interjection, but also 2 (or 5 I don't know) thanks as nouns? Thanks Mallerd 12:18, 3 June 2008 (UTC)

  • thanks - dík (pl.)
  • Thanks - díky/pl./
  • thanks - díky (pl.)
  • thanks (pl) - dík (poděkování)
  • thanks (pl) - poděkování
  • thanks - docenění
  • thanks - povděk
  • thanks a lot - mockrát děkuji
  • thanks a lot for it - mockrát za to děkuji
  • thanks for - díky za
  • thanks go to you - dík patří vám
  • thanks to - díky (velkému úsilí)
Well, interjection is on a different level from noun, so that it is possible for a noun or verb to also be an interjection. The word interjection focuses on how a word or phrase is used rather then its part of speech. So, the ones that mean thanks, thank you, and thanks a lot may be classified as interjections. If something strays too far, then it may be better to call it a phrase, and this includes "thanks for", "thanks go to you" and "thanks a lot for it". Then thanks to operates as a preposition. —Stephen 08:52, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

Arabic Verb Forms Templates[edit]

I made these:

Please comment.Hakeem.gadi 11:47, 6 June 2008 (UTC)

So far I’ve only looked at {{ar-verb-fa3ala}}, but I think it looks very good. However, I think it should include more of the formating from {{ar-verb}}, so that it displays in a large, bold font (like فَعَلَ), along with a link to the proper form on the Appendix:Arabic verb forms page. Something else that would be great, if it can be done, would be if it could also put the correct transliteration in parentheses: (faʿala) or (faʕala). I suspect, however, that this would be too complex. —Stephen 12:02, 6 June 2008 (UTC)
I will try to work on the pronunciation part. As for formatting template I didn't want to hard-wire it into the templates to keep them more versatile. Hakeem.gadi 03:18, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

rfscript redux[edit]

Just thought I'd make you aware of this. Keep your eyes peeled for the new cats to start popping up.  :-) -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:45, 11 June 2008 (UTC)


The closest I could think of is هذر, which has very close variants in Moroccan and Algerian Arabic meaning to talk. I also found out that the word came in the context of droga in which case the root خ د ر could be pertinent. As of the form of the word, standard Arabic nouns don't take such a form, so it can be a playful form, a practice quite common in all variaties of Arabic, and occasionally words formed playfully do catch on. Hakeem.gadi 06:02, 12 June 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, that makes sense. It might be a possessed form such as هَذْرك. I don’t think it will be possible to say with certainty what the original Arabic was. —Stephen 06:28, 12 June 2008 (UTC)


Could you check the Arabic in the etymology of this word? I got it from wikipedia and I don't know if it's correct. Thanks. Nadando 05:00, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Done. —Stephen 11:07, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

Arabic verb lemma[edit]

The traditional and still used lemma of Arabic verbs is the past-singular-3rd person-masculine form for very good reasons. Wiktionary too, uses the same convention which is the expected. But all the definitions for the verbs (which appear in the PAST form in their entries) are in the infinitive (to go, to play ...). Don't you think it is misleading for people who don't know the language or the Arabic lexographical tradition? isn't it better to have the defintions in the past too?. Hakeem.gadi 13:55, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I don’t think so. I experimented with this a few years ago but soon gave the idea up. There are many other languages that have this same problem, including Hungarian, Greek and Latin. In general, we are representing a lemma by a lemma. If each word in each of the languages that do this only had one single definition, then it might be reasonable to put something like to do (literally, he did), but in actuality most words have many meanings, and this would make the Arabic pages look very confusing. Just as with Greek or Latin, I think that if someone is interested in Arabic to the point that they really need to know about verb forms and verbal nouns, then they really have to study the language a little bit.
I think a bigger problem is that some people consider the imperfective verb to be the more appropriate lemma in Arabic. For this, we could either make a page for the imperfective (e.g., يَكْتُبُ) with definitions that mirror the perfective, or we could just put something like {{imperfective of|كتب|lang=Arabic|sc=Arab}}. —Stephen 14:12, 15 June 2008 (UTC)


Hi does the "language" part in this entry have the same etymon as bahasa? Could you also tell me the page where I could request translations? Thanks Mallerd 16:33, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

Yes, they both come from Sanskrit भाषा (bhāṣā). See ภาษา. You can request Thai translations at Wiktionary:Requested articles:Thai. Also, you may request inline translations of individual words by inserting {{trreq|Thai}} in the Translations section. For miscellaneous translations, you can put a request at Wiktionary:Translation requests, but that page does not seem to be very effective at getting translations. —Stephen 12:26, 19 June 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes, now I remember thank you. I have another question, in Turkish you hardly pronounce the ğ letter, I don't know other languages that use this letter. Is it okay to just create an entry ğ and copy some lines from the wikipedia article I've just searched? Mallerd 18:07, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, an article for Turkish ğ would be good. Turkish ğ has two different pronunciations, depending on the dialect. In some dialects, it is pronounced like the Spanish g in agua (i.e., a voiced kh sound). In other dialects, it is not pronounced at all, but merely has the effect of lengthening the preceding vowel. So, ağa could be pronounced "agha" or "aaa". I have not read the Wikipedia article, but perhaps it explains this much better. —Stephen 12:05, 23 June 2008 (UTC)


Thanks for spotting that, I was not paying the greatest of attention to what was going on. Should probably be deleted though, doesn't seem to be very common? Conrad.Irwin 00:36, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. —Stephen 00:36, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
Why was it deleted? Did someone vandalize it or something? When i made it, everyone said it was fine. The2DeadlySinsPrideEnvy
It was misspelt. —Stephen 00:41, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Ukrainian copyright tag[edit]

Stephen, there is an image file uploaded on the Ukrainian WP [1], that would be lovely to have on the English WP. However, that may not be possible because of the copyright tag on the image there. Could you please translate the copyright notice for me, so that I can determine whether it would be legal to upload on the English WP? Thanks. --EncycloPetey 18:30, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

"This image (media file) was uploaded for use in the article uk:w:Археї (w:Archaea).
This work is not free — i.e., it does not meet a determination of Free Cultural Works. In conformity with the resolution of the Wikimedia Fund of 23 March 2007, it may be used in suitable articles of the Ukrainian Wikipedia only on condition of accordance with w:Wikipedia:Non-free content criteria. Any other use may constitute a violation of copyright.
See also uk:w:Вікіпедія:Ліцензування зображень/Короткий довідник (Wikipedia:Licensing of images)
Please add a detailed w:Wikipedia:Non-free use rationale guideline for each use of this image or its source with information about copyright."
—Stephen 13:26, 29 June 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. --EncycloPetey 15:42, 29 June 2008 (UTC)


Could you interpret the etymology given by the RAE for this word for me? 'Quizá del árabe hispánico pičmáṭ, y este del griego παξαμάδιον, bizcochito, influido por masa y pan'. I was wondering why this has such a different etymology than marzipan, since they seem to be cognates. Did the Greek come from Martaban? Also etymonline seems to give a different etymology than either one. Which one would you say is most likely for English? Nadando 04:43, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

It says: "Possibly from Hispano-Arabic pičmáṭ, from Greek παξαμάδιον (biscuit), influenced by masa and pan."
The DRAE still contains a lot of outdated and now abandoned etymological theories. The true etymology is probably the one from Italian marzapane, which came about as a corruption of the city of Martaban, under influence of pane.

Arabic transcription standard[edit]

Hey, Stephen. What is the transcription you use for Arabic pronunciation. I made this, it works with IPA, but I need to include yours as well. Cheers. Hakeem.gadi 09:16, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

Generally like this: ’ a u i ā ū ī b t θ j ħ x d ð r z s š ṣ ḍ ṭ ẓ ʕ ğ f q k l m n h w y. —Stephen 10:35, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Done. Hakeem.gadi 12:52, 4 July 2008 (UTC)
Um... you are using this on the inflection line. The Pronunciation always goes in the Pronunciation section, and not on the inflection line. Do you understand the difference between pronunciation and transcription? --EncycloPetey 17:57, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
This is not IPA, it’s transcription. Arabic has a number of consonants that are very unlike anything in English and cannot be represented by the 26 letters of the English alphabet. Just as Russian uses letters such as š to transcribe it, so Arabic requires a number of special letters. —Stephen 18:01, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, but Hakeem.gadi is using it for pronunciation generated by Template:ar-root-entry on the inflection line. I was asking him whether he was aware of the difference as part of this conversation. --EncycloPetey 23:21, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
It can’t produce pronunciations, but only tranliterations. Since abjads are composed entirely of consonants, any pronunciation would entail the insertion of all the vowels, but {{ar-root-entry}} only tranliterates the consonants. Arabic vowels require a human hand, and no algorithm exists that can do it reliably. —Stephen 00:25, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
I think the thing that is bothering you is the appearance of the word "Pronunciation". That needs to be changed, since it is not a pronunciation. It’s only a bare-bones transliteration. —Stephen 00:29, 8 July 2008 (UTC)
So, could someone change that then? I would, except that I don't know what it should be changed to. --EncycloPetey 03:28, 11 July 2008 (UTC)
I changed it three days ago. It no longer reads "pronunciation". —Stephen 14:52, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

ميس and لاطون[edit]

ميس is a kind of tree. While it is a very common word in poetry and some fossilized expressions, nobody really uses it referentially. لاطون on the other hand appears to be a kind of copper or copper alloy, and it is the first time I hear about it. The only mention of it in the traditional dictionaries I have access to (about 5 good ol'tomes) is an obscure reference in لسان العرب. So obscure I refrained from writing an entry for it. One thing worth mentioning is that it sounds like an Arabiciazed foreign word. Hakeem.gadi 10:30, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Wow, that’s great! I believe that لاطون was borrowed from Turkish altın (gold). —Stephen 12:53, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

Arabic font[edit]

I am sure that everybody feels uneasy about how the Arabic script looks when there are diacritic marks with it -everything is on top of everything- I've found this free font which was designed -it seems- with this problem in mind. It renders very neatly. Is there a way to make it the default font for Arabic?.

Here is the link (the font is called Scheherazade): Scheherazade. Hakeem.gadi 07:33, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

مَثلاً. My only concern is the size. Scheherazade may be too small to read. Arabic fonts are listed at {{Arabic fonts}}. —Stephen 08:11, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I have reordered the fonts in {{Arabic fonts}} to move Scheherazade out of first place. It’s just so tiny that I cannot read it. There is a way to fix the size problem, by changing {{Arabic font size}}, but we could do that only if we could get everybody to install Scheherazade on their computers. That isnn’t feasible, so we have to try to work with the fonts that most people already have in their standard package. If we make the Arabic big enough to read Scheherazade, then everybody who does not have it (that is, most people) would see the Arabic entries at a huge point size, which would be disturbing. —Stephen 10:46, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
I agree, too small. I'll try to think of somthing. THX. Hakeem.gadi 15:42, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


Why did you move na:k to nahk? That's an older orthography that is no longer used. na:k is the correct form. --Node ue 06:31, 11 July 2008 (UTC)

My contact in the Gila River community say they use nahk. If Salt River and other places are using na:k, then we can keep that orthography. —Stephen 15:00, 11 July 2008 (UTC)


Has the redirect at انوار not worked? The entry still has no hamza over the initial alif. 20:36, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

In most cases, initial alif-hamza should be redirected to plain alif, because that is the most common way to write. —Stephen 22:41, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

tamafʕala (verb form - Arabic)[edit]

Hi, Stephen. The edit you reverted in Appendix:Arabic verb forms was mine. The verb form really exists, for example in the word tamadhhaba تمذهب. I think you felt fishy about the anonymous edit, but if there are other reasons for the revert, please let me know so we can discuss them. thanks. Hakeem.gadi 01:55, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

I know they exist, but there was no template yet for {{ar-verb-maf3ala}} or {{ar-verb-tamaf3ala}}. There is another word that is a problem, soda. The etymology is supposedly from Arabic suwwad (saltwort), and suwwad is said to be related to the word for black. So it seems like it should be سود or سواد, but I cannot find any source for this. —Stephen 02:04, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
I've created the templates. About soda, I don't know if this is a correct etymology. But my grandmother, who didn't receive any form of education whatsoever, used to call Sodium carbonate soda soːda, which also means black f in Libya and most the Arab world. There is the possibility, however, of a borrowing form Italian (Libya was occupied by Italy in the first half of the 20th century). But, I also remeber her mentioning it when explaining the recipe for making traditional soap, an industry that predates the Italians by centuries I believe, and industries that had been in place before the Italians came didn't borrow words form Italian. This distinction is prominent in oilmills where the terminology faithfully tells the history of the mill in Libya with Arabic words for the parts that existed before the occupation and Italian words for the new parts and technologies the Italians brought with them. The Standard Arabic word for soda is صودا--Hakeem.gadi 08:42, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I suspect that صودا is a re-borrowing from Italian. The Italians borrowed it first, from something like سود, and then Arabic borrowed it back again as صودا. I’m told that saltwort was processed into soda by extracting a black liquid, which explains the connection between soda and black. But I can’t find a record of the original Arabic (the only Arabic I can find for saltwort is اشنان). Instead of سود, I think it might be سويداء. —Stephen 09:16, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
If so, the closest Standard Arabic word is سوداء which simply means black (fem). I can imagine people first using مية سودا (mmayya sōda)(Libya), مية سودا (mmayya sōda) (Egypt), مي سودا (may sōdē)(Levant), موية سودا (mōya sōda) (North Arabia Bedouins), then shortening to sōda. It is pertinent to note, in this juncture, that in all Arabic dialects -at least the ones I know- the word for water is (fem) as opposed to the standard variant ماء which is masculine, a fact that fits neatly into what you mention about the black water. About the reborrowing of soda, I don't think it specifically comes from Italian, because Italian have only influenced Libyan Arabic, and Libyan Arabic didn't effect Modern Standard Arabic as Egyptian and Levantine did. I am more inclined to think that it comes from French. As these two dialects had been influenced by French before the reform of Arabic. Hakeem.gadi 09:53, 18 July 2008 (UTC)
French would be soude, which means soda as well as "Salsola kali" (saltwort). But soude should have re-entered Arabic as صود, not صودا. I suppose صودا could have come from the English word soda. I’m afraid this is another case like droga where we can’t be certain of the real story. —Stephen 10:13, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

WWWWWWwwwwwait a second, about the grammatical gender of the word for water in dialects of Arabic, I've just rememebered that the rural version of it in Libyan Arabic is مي /me/ is masculine. I feel asshamed being Libyan ;-). I also believe that the Gulf variety ماي and the Moroccan variety ما are masc. I don't think this effects the above discussion, however.

Hakeem.gadi 01:36, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. Arabic gender has always been a bit of a problem because there are almost no resources for it. Unlike Spanish, French as German, Arabic dictionaries ignore it for the most part. Gender and plurals are two of my short-term goals for Arabic entries.


Could you move this to the correct script? Thanks. Nadando 03:43, 19 July 2008 (UTC)

Moved to مست. —Stephen 13:46, 19 July 2008 (UTC)


I can't find any hits for this form. If it does exist, it seems to be a variant spelling rather than a hard-redirect.—msh210 22:20, 21 July 2008 (UTC)

No, that’s a typo. It’s supposed to be שװאַרץ. —Stephen 22:23, 21 July 2008 (UTC)


I recently read an article on Wikipedia about Japanese kanji and the adoption of words and characters from Chinese. Particularly relevant to this is how when Japanese already had a word for a given thing that that word was made into a Kun'yomi for the adopted character of the same meaning. The "Moji" add-on for Firefox is saying 大麦(oomugi) is barley(Hordeum vulgare). However the phonetic guide in Microsoft Word is labeling 麰 as おおむぎ(oomugi) for furigana. Does this mean that they indeed have the same meaning and can I put oomugi as a Kun reading for 麰?--50 Xylophone Players 20:30, 22 July 2008 (UTC)

Oh, and just as a reminder since someone else said it already it really would be a good idea to archive your talk page. I mean this thing is even waaaaaaaaaaay longer than the translation request page!--50 Xylophone Players 16:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

I’m not sure I understand what you are asking. 大麦 is pronounced (おおむぎ, ōmugi), which is a kun'yomi since the kun’yomi for is "むぎ, mugi" (the on'yomi is "baku").
is a technical character, not part of the characters for daily use, and its on'yomi are "bō" and "mu". It might be said to have a kun'yomi as おおむぎ, ōmugi, but I’m not sure that it’s official. It may be more of a definition than a reading. You probably should ask a native Japanese speaker, but they don’t seem to be active on the English Wiktionary at the moment. One is User:Tohru, another is User:Eveningmist, and another is User:Izumi5. It may be easier to find them on Wikipedia (for example, w:User:Izumi5).
Yes, I know this page needs to be archived. It has gotten way out of hand. —Stephen 19:08, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

not all vulgar is slang[edit]

Why does this template

{{topic cat|lang=ar|current=Vulgarities}}

lists slang as a parent directory for vulgarities (see Category:ayl:Vulgarities)? Hakeem.gadi 03:40, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

That I don’t know. There are a lot of problems with the categories, and they are so embedded in one another, and so intricate and convoluted, that it is impossible to control them or fix them (as far as I can see). I can’t even find many of the categories that affect the languages that I am interested in, and can’t fix the problems in those that I can find. That’s why I just add the most basic categories when I write an article, and why I no longer use categories to locate terms of interest. Other editors claim that the categories will eventually prove useful, but at the moment they are not. —Stephen 18:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)

between sixes and sevens[edit]

Hello Stephen -- Thanks for fixing this redirect that I botched today. I'm getting awfully sloppy in my old age. -- WikiPedant 02:13, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Russian italics[edit]

Hi Stephen,

On the nl.wikti I have been adding Russian lemmas including some of the example sentences from the ru.wikti. I had taken over their convention of putting the Russian in italic and added the translation in «». This usage has now been reversed with the argument that it produces 'strange characters'. And yes of course cursive т becomes т etc. I do not think there is anything strange about that, it is just part of the Cyrillic alphabet... Anyway, my question is, is their any convention here that outlaw cursive Cyrillic? There certainly is not at ru. Jcwf 03:04, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Well, cursive Cyrillic is no problem for me, but I think it can be confusing for some people. However, the Dutch and the Americans are completely different populations. The Dutch tend to be linguistically more sophisticated and most know more than one language, and Cyrillic is taught in high school. Americans are just the opposite, and we rarely learn Greek or Cyrillic. So, yes, in our etymology templates, where Roman script is italicized, we have it adjusted so that other scripts, including Greek, Cyrillic, Thai, Chinese, Khmer, and Arabic, are not italicized. Arabic scripts should NEVER be italicized, but I would think that most Dutch would be familiar with Cyrillic italics. For the Americans, I italicize the English in examples and leave the Russian in regular type. —Stephen 03:40, 24 July 2008 (UTC)


I have been waiting for some of those rfscripts to be fulfilled. Thank you very much. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:39, 25 July 2008 (UTC)


In Libyan Arabic it is a kind of olive (called جبوجي), and in Maltese it is THE word for olive (żebbuġ). I am sure that you are aware that Maltese is generally considered a dialect of Arabic, even though many Maltese don't like to see it as such. Hakeem.gadi 04:09, 30 July 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think Maltese qualifies as an Arabic dialect. It seems to be mostly mutually comprehensible with Arabic except for the Italian words that it has borrowed. I’ll put that in the etymology, but how is the Libyan word pronounced? Ah, /ʒabbūʒi/. —Stephen 04:20, 30 July 2008 (UTC)
Oh, thanks for pointing that list out. It will really be fun to work on. --Hakeem.gadi 12:13, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Masry Wiktionary[edit]

We are group of Egyptians who have just started a Masry Wiktionary project on the incubator.If that might interst you,we would appeciated your va;ubale contributions to the project. Many thanks--Ramsis II 01:55, 5 August 2008 (UTC)


Just a note to let you know that I nominated this template for deletion at Wiktionary:Requests_for_deletion/Others#Proto_Etymon_Templates, since we should be using {{proto}}. As an editor who recently used the template, I thought I'd make you aware. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:26, 11 August 2008 (UTC)

Arabic letters[edit]

I must say that I'm rather confused as to how you approve of a pronunciation section for ج but not for other Arabic letters. Your justification that the pronunciation is "more complicated than this" isn't really very illuminating. It would be helpful for readers to learn what the IPA value of Arabic letters are and the correspondance between the IPA representation and whatever transcription system is used (it looks like you prefer a mix of IPA and DIN). Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 09:43, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Only because ج has radically different pronunciations in different Arabic countries. The Arabic letters are not alphabetic, they’re syllabic. A letter ت is not pronounced "t", it may be pronounced t, ṭ, d, ḍ, tt, ṭṭ, dd, ḍḍ, tæ, ṭɑ, dæ, ḍɑ, ttæ, ṭṭɑ, ddæ, ḍḍɑ, tɪ, ṭe, dɪ, ḍe, ttɪ, ṭṭe, ddɪ, ḍḍe, tu, ṭo, du, ḍo, ttu, ṭṭo, ddu, ḍḍo, and more besides. It’s much more complex than an alphabet. Pronunciation also depends on the speaker’s sex and level of education. But most of the letters are pronounced relatively uniformly across the region, except for ج. The Egyptians pronounce it with a "g", while most dialects don’t even have a "g" sound. Pronunciation could conceivably be explained in a long pronunciation section for each letter, but I don’t think people would like it. With Arabic, the pronunciation needs to be given with the individual words, not the abjad letters.
Some IPA symbols are simply unreadable. On paper, if the type is big enough and sharp enough, you can distinguish between ’ and ʿ, but on a computer screen it is not acceptable. Another way is to use ʔ and ʕ, but people get confused about which is which. So we use ’ for the glottal stop, and ʕ for ʕayn.
Finally, there is not a one-to-one correspondence between transcription and IPA, nor between actual orthography and pronunciation. But when you learn the pronunciation, then you can easily determine the correct pronunciation from our transcription (as long as we use clear symbols such as ʕ instead of ʿ). But it’s important to realize that there is a big difference between letters of alphabets and letters of abjads. —Stephen 10:26, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Actually, an abjad is not a syllabic writing system. It just means that certain vowels are not indicated (unless, of course, diacritics are used). Thus must letters are not syllabic. ت indicates the phoneme /t/ and whether there is a short vowel after--whether it be /a/, /i/, or /u/--or not isn't indicated unless there are diacritics (which AFAIK there usually aren't). Besides, if what you say is true and "the pronunciation needs to be given with the individual words, not the abjad letters" then this is also true for ج.
While it may be true that pronunciation depends on a number of factors, I imagine that the pronunciation that we wish to use at Wiktionary would be something close to Standard Arabic. While there are still variations amongst speakers of Standard Arabic, the variations are much slighter in regards to phonemic representation (as opposed to phonetic transcription). Thus ا may be [ɑː], [ɐː], or [æː] depending on phonetic environment but always /aː/.
I really don't see how it's possible that there isn't a one-to-one correspondence between transcription and IPA if you're limited to phonemic representations. It looks very much like there is a one-to-one correspondance. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:27, 13 August 2008 (UTC
Well, an abjad IS a syllabic system, except the vowels are not indicated. Japanese is "ka", but Arabic ك (k) is "kx", where x is nul or any vowel. Diacritics may be added to specify vowels, but they are not letters. ك indicates the phoneme /k/ plus nul vowel or any other vowel. And while the pronunciation needs to be given for the individual words (also a problem, since the same spelling may have several pronuncations, each with different meanings), but ج is the only letter that is pronounced differently by region even when used for Classical Arabic. That is all the the pronunciation for ج tries to answer. The rest is the same for ج as it is for every other letter. Putting the pronunciation for every other letter is like putting the pronunciation for English e. It is not simple enough to just put an IPA symbol, it requires a paragraph or two. Pronunciation for ج is analogous to English r, which is treated in different ways in GB and the U.S. And though the pronunciation given for ج is useful as it is, it still needs to have a paragraph. The pronunciations for the Arabic letters, all of them, are not finished at this time, but they have to be written by someone who knows Arabic pronunciation and how to explain is too complex to simply put an IPA symbol, and it can’t be filled in by anyone who doesn’t know how to pronounce MSA. I can do it if I ever find the time, or Hakeem or someone else can do it, but a simple IPA symbol is not appropriate for Arabic letters. And it’s more complex than mere pronunciation, because there is quite a bit more to writing certain letters (ه, ى, و, ا) that is separate from pronunciation. What this means is that a lot more work needs to be done to all of the Arabic letters, but it has to be done by people who know how to pronounce and write MSA.
There is NOT a one-to-one correspondence between transcription and IPA. For example nongutteral consonants become gutteral in the vecinity of consonants are are gutteral. Gutteral consonants strongly influence nongutteral ones. Vowels are also influenced by gutteral or nongutteral consonants, and the simple vowel scheme of a-i-u is in reality much more complex, and the pronunciations of the transcriptions a-i-u require quite a few more IPA symbols. —Stephen 12:52, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
What you say is factually incorrect.
  • Check out w:abjad. Abjads are not syllabaries as this would mean different syllables would have different characters. Thus without diacritics ت represents /t/ in both the syllable onset and the syllable coda (just like an alphabet). You can also check out the table at w:Arabic alphabet, which does indeed mark each character as representing one phoneme.
Abjads are syllabaries, different syllables, notwithstanding the vowel, have different characters. Without diacritics, ت represents all of the possible syllables, including t, ṭ, d, ḍ, tt, ṭṭ, dd, ḍḍ, tæ, ṭɑ, dæ, ḍɑ, ttæ, ṭṭɑ, ddæ, ḍḍɑ, tɪ, ṭe, dɪ, ḍe, ttɪ, ṭṭe, ddɪ, ḍḍe, tu, ṭo, du, ḍo, ttu, ṭṭo, ddu, ḍḍo. The diacritics were an afterthought, and diacritics are not a requisite. Abjads can exist without them, and in the beginning they do. I am tired of arguing with you, I have been reading, writing, and translating Arabic for 35 years. If you want to continue arguing, find someone else to argue with. —Stephen 21:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Putting the pronunciation for the other letters is not like putting the pronunciation for English e. English e can represent several different phonemes and has some functions as a silent letter. You do know the difference between a phonemic transcription and a phonetic transcription, don't you? By our edit warring at ما and من and some of your comments above I would venture that you do not.
All of the Arabic consonants can represent many syllables, and sometimes are silent. They are very much like e. The edit warring will not continue. If you continue, I will protect the pages. —Stephen 21:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
A phonemic transcription uses slashes and represents only phonemes. It does not indicate allophonic variations such as, for example, the intervocalic flapping of American and Australian /t/ and /d/. A phonetic transcription uses brackets and does represent allophonic variations. Since Arabic is analyzed phonemically as having only three vowel pairs /a/ /i/ and /u/ (and their long variants), the other vowel realizations you mention are allophones. Thus, if we are to make a phonemic transcription, we would not indicate the vowel allophony that you mention above.
Now, if you want to argue for making phonetic transcriptions at ما and من, I've got open ears, but representing /a/ the phoneme as /æ/ is not in accordance with the literature I've seen on Arabic phonology. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 20:49, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Pronunciations are pronunciations, they are not for tranliterations or transcriptions. Three vowels are conceivably enough for transliteration, but they are not enough for pronunciation. In fact, we do not limit ourselves to three vowels even in transliterations here. I am finished arguing with you, stop reverting or I will protect the pages. Continue your arguing with somebody else. —Stephen 21:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
You're really coming off poorly right now. When the discussion gets hot it's suddenly an argument. When you can't "win" such an "argument" by being bullheaded then you threaten to use your administrator powers. I can understand protecting pages over a difference of opinion to motivate editors to discuss rather than edit war, but protecting a page and then telling those you disagree with to shut up shows your protection to be an unethical abuse of power.
I'm hoping that there really is a "we" and it isn't the case that I'm simply the most recent in a long line of editors you've gotten impatient with. Do you think you could direct me to someone else involved in the transcription of Arabic or is this the part where you delete my comments, block me indefinitely and undo all the edits I've done in the past few days? Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 22:16, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
You can talk to User:Hakeem.gadi. I’m not blocking you, but I won’t partake in a revert war and I won’t let you degrade the pages that we’ve worked so hard on. User:Hakeem.gadi is the one who wrote most of the pronunciation for ج. But once User:Hakeem.gadi has told you something, do not keep arguing with him. —Stephen 22:25, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

ب plate[edit]

Hi Stephen, I was in w:Portofino and I saw a car with a registration plate with this ب letter on it, I thought it is from Bahrein. Is that correct? Mallerd 19:53, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

A request: العرب, is it al-ʿarab or just ʿarab? Mallerd 19:59, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I’m not familiar with most of the registration plate codes. But yes,العرب is "al-ʿarab". —Stephen 12:05, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

Ok, no problem. But Stephen, I can't find the actual Russian word in Wiktionary that is said like "dawai". Do you know it? Mallerd 17:42, 19 August 2008 (UTC)

оба entry[edit]

Hi. In this entry you wrote that An intervening adjective will be in the nominative plural, but the examples don't agree with it (the оба examples use gen-pl). I did some googling, and the examples seem to be right, it's just the note that's misleading (nom-pl does seem to work for обе). Could you check it out? ~> SilvioRicardoC 03:20, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

I need to change that. It used to be the case the nominative plural was used, but it is no longer done. The same change has occurred with numbers and intervening adjectives (два). —Stephen 12:13, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


Would you take a look at this stuff I deleted? I figured it's probably nonsense (most stuff entered in a foreign language like this usually is, advertising, or just random junk). But, I figured, maybe someone's being held against their will, and snuck their plea for help onto Wiktionary........or something. Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 09:01, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

That’s Persian for electrofilter. It was a long piece about electrofilters and commercial dealings with India and Thailand. Nothing useful. —Stephen 13:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

radiolisis / lisis[edit]

Would the plural of lisis be lisises? It doesn't seem right to me but I don't really have any idea. Thanks. Nadando 22:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)

The Spanish plural of these feminine -sis words is -sis (la lisis, las lisis). —Stephen 22:09, 14 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen. I'm confused about this edit, since Moroccan Arabic certainly uses جوج for "two", and not زوج. Was this deliberate? Ƿidsiþ 15:23, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I have not seen جوج before. زوج (zūj) is certainly the standard word for two in Moroccan Arabic (in MSA, it means pair, couple). You should ask User:Hakeem.gadi, who knows various Arabic dialects quite well. Looking at the most recent version of زوج, I see that the Moroccan needs to be added back in, since it is slightly different from MSA in both meaning and pronunciation. It’s there as a line item, but it should have a separate L2 entry. User:Hakeem.gadi can do that when he has a look. —Stephen 15:52, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

Hmm. Looking at this website, it seems both may be OK. However, I have to say that I lived in Morocco for a year, and only ever heard "juuj". جوج is all that's listed in my Moroccan phrasebooks as well. Ƿidsiþ 15:59, 16 August 2008 (UTC)

I'm only familiar with جوج in Moroccan Arabic, but it's quite possible that the زوج variant exist as well. I will check with a Moroccan friend of mine. Hakeem.gadi 17:02, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
زوج is the only one given in my old Moroccan Phrase Book (U.S. War Department, 1943) and my Moroccan Arabic Made Easy (Mouncel Saheb-Ettaba, 1984). Neither book mentions جوج. —Stephen 17:08, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
This is possible transcription for the dialectical pronunciation. Many tend to bring the word as close to the standard as possible. I have never been to Morocco, but having several Moroccan friends and having had contact with numerous Moroccan guest workers in Libya they always used جوج. Hakeem.gadi 17:18, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Possibly, but the pronunciations given in both books is "zooj". —Stephen 17:41, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen. As you edit {{dub}} I wanted your input on renaming the template (3-letter templates are reserved for language codes). See Template talk:sk-dub where I posted the note. Thanks.

PS - Re: table templates from other wikt's, if you need help bringing templates over from other wikt's just drop me a line. --Bequw¢τ 21:01, 19 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

Is it O.K. if we delete {{PIE.}} in favor of {{proto|Indo-European}}? (Just making sure, because you've used {{PIE.}} fairly recently, and I don't want to delete it while you're still using it.)

RuakhTALK 02:15, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

It’s okay to delete it. The new one is harder to remember, but eventually I’ll get used to it. —Stephen 09:18, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Thanks! —RuakhTALK 23:12, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


In the article about ژ, you mention that it is spelled ژه. Are you sure that this is correct? I'm sitting with a book from an Iranian school, where they mention it is spelled ژِ. Arvin 17:48, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean that it says that the name of the letter, že, is spelled ژِِ? I have always learned that the name of the letter was spelt ژه. See for example and and also w:Wikipedia:Reference_desk_archive/Language/April_2006#tables —Stephen 18:42, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I can see that. I was just reading the article and thought that it looked a bit wrong. So far, I have looked in 3 of my old school books (1 before the Islam revolution in 1979, and two after the Islamization) and all 3 of the books spell ژ, along with other letters with the ِ. If you want, I can scan in the pages, where they have written down the spelling for all of the letters. Maybe it would be a good idea to write that the letters such as ژ can be written both as ژه and as ژِ. Arvin 19:08, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it should be okay to have both. It’s the same with the English alphabet. Most school books say that the letter a is spelt a, h is h, etc. Obviously h cannot really be the spelling of the name, which is aitch. It’s just that the spellings of the letters are rarely used except in books for foreigners, and native speakers just don’t need them. Very few Americans know how to spell the name of the letter h. —Stephen 19:16, 20 August 2008 (UTC)
Okay, and thanks for the explanation. :-) Arvin 19:30, 20 August 2008 (UTC)


Could you put an actual entry here? زب links to it so I didn't want to just delete it. Nadando 21:07, 20 August 2008 (UTC)

Template:Link FA[edit]

Why was deleted Template:Link FA? --Vpovilaitis 11:29, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Because it appeared to be unused and because it contained this request for immediate deletion: {delete|old unused template that seemingly has no use.} —Stephen 14:41, 22 August 2008 (UTC)


I just wanted to say thanks for the spelling (and the fact that it's blue). -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 04:48, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

The only thing is, I’m not sure it really qualifies as Russian. That combination of letters is normally not allowed in Russian and I think it might be a borrowing from a Paleosiberian language such as Nyvkh. I think most people do not think of swans as making a sound. I couldn’t think of a good English counterpart for it. It’s strange. —Stephen 06:21, 23 August 2008 (UTC)


Stephen, I can't find the actual Russian word in Wiktionary that is said like "dawai". Do you know it? Mallerd 18:05, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

That is давай, imperative of давать. —Stephen 15:06, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Well, ok, I see that davat' is to give, but I think they meant dawai something as "go" or something, is that possible? Mallerd 17:25, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Yes, давай is used like come on or let's: Давай читать = let’s read; давай, я тебе помогу = c’mon, I’ll help you. —Stephen 17:39, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, I shall create the entry. Thank you with this Mallerd 17:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I'm almost sorry to bother you with this, but can you hear what language is spoken in this film? Mallerd 00:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I could not hear enough, or clearly enough, to recognize the language. I can’t even tell if it’s Germanic, Slavic, Romance, or something else. —Stephen 15:06, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Me neither, but I thought it was perhaps because I didn't know the language. Thanks you very much anyway. Mallerd 17:24, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Maybe it's Hungarian, but it's too few to recognize... Not sure. It is if he said bazd meg several times which means fuck you, or fuck off. But absolutely not sure, anyway. --Ferike333 20:13, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

query: spelling discrepancies in sources[edit]


I have a question about how to treat different spellings that appear different sources. In particular, I am thinking of Taos words such as Talk:ną̀xù’úna. There are a few words that are spelled differently in different papers by the same author (George Trager). These discrepanices are most likely errors of Trager's or of the typesetter/publisher. My initial response was to just have the uncertain words deleted as I did with c’ìliyo’óna, which is also listed as cìliyo’óna. But, maybe it is useful to have both spellings in wiktionary even though one is erroneous. There could be a section which indicates the cited word may be a misspelling for the other spelling and vice versa. But, the question is how this should be treated in Wiktionary.

Note: this problem could apply to several languages that are not very well documented and have discrepancies which would require further fieldwork to resolve them (if possible). Ishwar 20:22, 24 August 2008 (UTC)

Apparently most Taos people have historically been not very willing to share information about their language. However, there may be some who would be willing to help. I'm not sure if the language is taught at the pueblo in ad hoc romanized written form, the way Navajo sometimes is; it's a much smaller group by population and I'm not sure what their educational infrastructure is. 20:52, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
I think it would be best to keep the different spellings, with an explanation on the discussion page and an ===Alternative spellings=== section in the entry. Eventually if someone is able to verify some spellings and nix the others, the misspellings can be deleted very easily. With most such languages, the biggest problem is the orthography. We have quite a number of entries in IPA, which I don’t believe is a good idea for any of the languages. Aside for ===Alternative spellings===, if you are more certain that one is right and the other wrong, it could be listed as {{misspelling of}} (including the language code). —Stephen 21:08, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Is Trager still alive to help sort out the discrepancies? 22:02, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
No, he died in 1992. —Stephen 22:26, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
Ok, so I'll do that.
Re orthography. There's no known orthography developed for Taos. They may have developed something themselves, but since they are one of the most secretive pueblos any details about the language, language maintenance, and anything else intrinsic to Taos culture are not discussed with outsiders. (Trager and all other anthropologists have had to work in secret with their informants unbeknown to other pueblo members.) I dont know about Taos, but some peoples in the region objective to having their language written down at all. I'm using Trager's transcription post-1948 which is a version of Americanist phonetic transcription (and not IPA) with a tone-stress marking system of his own creation.
(By the way, Navajo is taught using the standard Navajo orthography which was carefully designed about 60 years ago. It's not as willy-nilly as you suggest. But, not all Navajo speakers can write their language.) Ishwar 22:42, 24 August 2008 (UTC)


Someone who has a good knowledge of kanji readings needs to take a look at the On'yomi in this. Seems like a screw-up but I can't help but think that they might have been trying to divide them into finer divisions like Go'on and Kan'on--50 Xylophone Players talk 12:35, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

You’re correct, it is screwed up. It was done by Special:Contributions/ here...Special:Contributions/ clearly is not a Japanese expert. —Stephen 12:50, 27 August 2008 (UTC)
I had a stab at fixing it. Have a look and see what you think of it now.--50 Xylophone Players talk 14:26, 27 August 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

lately I keep seeing this word, which meaning is obvious, but I can't really tell where it's from. It seemed to me that it's used in Germany a lot, be it by Russians or not, when I googled it, this came up. Of course, it means something like Russian or Russians, but google only seems to find it as slang. Have you ever seen or heard it in a context other than slang? Mallerd 21:26, 31 August 2008 (UTC)

I think they mean русак (plural русаки). This is a colloquial term that means somebody who really looks Russian, who has characteristic Russian features. There are different words for a Russian person: россиянин is a Russian who is a resident of Russia, regardless of ethnicity; русский is an ethnic Russian; and русак is a Russian who really LOOKS Russian. It’s not slang, but it’s colloquial.
When I lived in Germany (during the 1960s-70s), I did not hear this word in use. If Germans are now using Russack, it will be similar to Polack (plural Polacken), which is a disdainful term for a Pole. —Stephen 10:30, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

I guess you know what you are talking about, but the usage I mostly found was of an ethnic Russian (apparantly living in Germany?). I thought it was slang, because of the google findings, the usage of the term seems to be limited to youth subcultures (to me). I also don't think that the term is meant to be disdainful as many speakers use "Russaki" to refer to themselves. The google search also included several youtube videos which show this. I shall ask around in German circles with a Russian background, thanks for your help. Mallerd 11:37, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

translations at tea room[edit]

Hi Stephen

Yesterday you added several translations to the entry at tea room (not the discussion room!), two of which you labelled as "Russian". One of them uses {{t|bg|...}} and is alphabetised at the top of the list ahead of Chinese. I've presumed that this is actually Bulgarian, but I've marked it for checking to be certain.

It would be good if you could take a look and see if I've interpreted your intentions correctly. Thryduulf 12:49, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, that was Bulgarian. Thanks for catching it. —Stephen 16:59, 2 September 2008 (UTC)
AutoFormat deserves the credit in this instance, I just saw it in Category:Entries with translation table format problems and took a look. Thryduulf 17:30, 2 September 2008 (UTC)

کس دادن / سیخ خوردن[edit]

Hi Stephen, When I put the red link into google it returns the blue link. Should we have an entry/redirect/nothing at the red link? See Wiktionary:Most missed articles, on which it appears as the first term. Conrad.Irwin 12:14, 7 September 2008 (UTC)

No, not a redirect. Different meaning. I’ll put something at the redlink. —Stephen 13:21, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Jackie Chan entry[edit]

Could you clarify this? The outcome of the RfD was clearly to delete. Besides, entries on celebrities do not merit inclusion on Wiktionary, regardless of what language the entry is in.--TBC 05:45, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

I don’t think it was clearly to delete at all. There are two big divisions in what a dictionary is, definitions and translations. Dictionaries such as the American Heritage and the Oxford are definition-based, but a lot of other dictionaries, such as Vox and Larousse are translation-based. People who translate from one language into another depend almost entirely on translation-based works, and rarely need definitions. The word that was deleted has, IIRC, over 5,000,000 hits on Google, and all of those articles require a dictionary in order to translate them (or read them if you’re not a native speaker). The two pages that you are trying to have deleted were both created by one of our admins who also has the advantage of knowing Chinese. Those who are trying to delete the pages don’t do translations, don’t know Chinese, and seem confused about that side of the project. At the moment, it is still possible to translate the term in question by searching, because it appears on the traditional page, but if you delete that page as well, it becomes necessary to find another Chinese-English dictionary to find out the meaning.
This page is not about celebrities, it is about translation of terms.
A term mainly used to refer to a major celebrity. --TBC 08:57, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
That it is a term that refers to a celebrity is irrelevant. To translate a text, you have to know or look up not only common words such as nouns and verbs, you also have to know or look up technical and proper nouns, such as cities, countries, and personal names that you are likely to encounter in a text. In most cases, all you need to have are given names such as John or Michael, some important surnames such as Lincoln and Washington. But in the case of some languages such as Chinese, you need to have greater latitude, because some names, including Jackie Chan’s, are so common, and yet cannot be translated without referring to a dictionary or similar source unless you already know his name in both languages. I owned an Eastern language translation company for many years, and names were a huge headache for our translators. —Stephen 20:45, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
It strikes me as very odd that we have room for and need two redirects to Talk:AstroTurf (i.e., Talk:Astroturf and Talk:astroturf), where all three pages are a trifle, yet those of us who do not translate or read Chinese cannot bear to keep two perfectly formed, informative and very useful pages such as these. —Stephen 06:27, 9 September 2008 (UTC)
I am Chinese, I understand what the term meant, but it's still an encyclopedic subject, one that doesn't merit inclusion in a dictionary. There's been no consensus over keeping entries simply because a translation exists. An entry, regardless of what language it's in, still must abide by our Criteria for Inclusion. This sets a terrible precedent for creating thousands of other entries on famous people, places, ect. By your logic, Wiktionary would include translations of every subject, however minor, listed on Wikipedia. --TBC 08:54, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
Besides, isn't that what the interwiki section on Wikipedia is for?--TBC 09:00, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not encyclopedic unless it gives information such as birthdate, age, place of birth, names of wives and children, names of movies, education, etc. As long as the information is linguistic, that is, a translation of the term, it is not encyclopedic but dictionary. Sometimes some people can use the interwiki section that way, but if you don’t know the foreign language well, you can’t be sure what you are looking at. A singular form in the English could be a plural in the other language, or a specific term in English could link to a generalized topic in the other language. The interwikis require a certain degree of familiarity with the other language. And using Wikipedia in that way is to use the encyclopedia as a dictionary...just as Wiktionary doesn’t want to be encyclopedic, Wikipedia should not have to substitute as a dictionary. We are the dictionary, and if a dictionary is needed to understand or translate a term, we should have that term.
I don’t see that it sets a bad precedent at all. There is no need to have names that don’t need translation, such as George Washington in Spanish, but commonly found names that have specific forms in one language and unpredictable but equally specific forms in English should be kept, especially if a trusted editor such as User:A-cai has already done one. The only bad precedent that I see is deleting informative, useful and well-written pages such as these two. —Stephen 20:45, 10 September 2008 (UTC)
I believe it was correct to keep the entry, as we have numerous proper names of famous Chinese rulers, etc. from the past, and this nickname of one of the most prominent living Chinese individuals is a very particular usage that would not be easily found otherwise. 01:16, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

Category:Entries needing various scripts[edit]

While I'm assuming you've seen the redirects for the articles --> entries bit on these, I thought I'd take a second to make sure before I deleted them. I figure if you lose track of them, most will never get worked, and so figured it worth dropping a note to make sure. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 22:37, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I found them. Thanks. —Stephen 22:44, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

A favour[edit]


I need a favour, actually 2. Could you please create the following

Also, I still have not received response about "Russaki". I've tried asking a Russian on the German wikipedia, but perhaps my German was too poor to understand. Could you please ask it for me? Both Russian and German are languages you speak at a near-native level. I have asked this user for help, but perhaps you know another user? Thank you very much. Mallerd 19:23, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay, I’ll create the pages, but I don’t know of the word пати or пать. There is a word in the game of chess called пат, паты...could that be what you mean?
I looked at your German correspondent, Adrichel, and your question was easy to understand. It needed a couple of commas, but otherwise was quite good. But Adrichel has not been around in five months, since April. I don’t think he has seen your question. I don’t know anyone on the German Wikipedia, but you need someone who is current. —Stephen 15:00, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Well, I searched for party in Wiktionary and found different words, so I thought they had different meanings. Thanks for pointing out the differences.
I shall try searching for a more active user, I'd like to know some more about it. Kindest regards, Mallerd 15:58, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
Looking on the Internet, it appears that пати f (pati) does exist, a loanword from the English word party. It’s something new that I haven’t heard before, so I don’t know exactly who uses it or under what circumstances, but it means party in the sense of тусовка f (tusovka). —Stephen 16:12, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

Hey, I have recieved a reply (in German of course). I was wondering if you could translate it for me? That would mean much to me. Thank you

rusak, русак[edit]

Hallo, können Sie mir bitte erzahlen was das Wort "rusak" bedeutet in Deutschland und insbesondere im Kreis des Russen in Deutschland? Wie weit verbreitet is das Wort? Bitte reagieren auf User:Mallerd. Danke schön

Das ist *imho* ein Slang einer eher ungebildeten bzw unkulturellen Gruppe der Russlanddeutschen. Das russische Wort bedeutet eigentlich "Feldhase" [2], wird aber - innerhalb dieser Gruppe - für die Bezeichnung von sich selbst bzw. russischsprachigen Migranten verwendet. Weil der Wortwurzel "russ" in der russischen Sprache sowohl beim "Feldhasen" als auch beim Wort "Russe" gleich ist. In diesem Zusammenhang möchte ich ausdrucklich darauf hinweisen, dass es um einem Slang-Begriff einer Teilgruppe der russischsprachigen Migranten handelt. Aber wie auch immer - bei einer Enzyklopädia hat so was *imho* nichts zu suchen. Es sei denn, es geht über Migrantenslang. Alex Ex 21:58, 17. Sep. 2008 (CEST)

Kindest regards, Mallerd 18:52, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Ah, thanks. Yes, that sounds right, except that русак, besides the literary meaning of hare, is also a colloquial term that means somebody who really looks Russian, or who has characteristic Russian features. I can’t imagine Germans using "rusak", because they would change it to "Russack". But it looks like they don’t even use "Russack". —Stephen 19:03, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, isn't reality seperate from what you can imagine? There are many occasions where Russian Germans use "rusak", just to identify themselves as, like Alex Ex says "a part of Russian immigrants (in Germany)". Do you believe that an entry (rusak/russaki) should be created? Mallerd 15:33, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

русак, yes, but I don’t think "rusak" or "russaki" should be done. I don’t think it’s German, but Russian written in Roman letters (because they probably don’t know how to get a Cyrillic keyboard or to type Cyrillic). It’s like Mexican immigrants in the Southwestern U.S....they might say something like "I am mexicano", but this mixing of languages doesn’t make "I am" Spanish or "mexicano" English. Russians who live in large Russian populations in the U.S., such as San Francisco or Los Angeles, also use the term русак, and if they write an email or a blog, they often don’t know how to get Cyrillic, so they write in Roman. I don’t believe it makes a reasonable case for having Russian words in Roman letters. —Stephen 15:50, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay, this is how I am going to describe the slang term русак,it should be under a Russian header saying that it's slang only used in Germany. Agreed? Mallerd 16:42, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

I made the page русак. I don’t think it needs to have a mention of Germany, because it can be used by Russians anywhere, Germany, England, France, the U.S., or Moscow. It isn’t slang, but simply colloquial. —Stephen 16:20, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

Well, isn't colloquial usage often more widespread among speakers? Alex Ex said that only a small portion of the German Russians uses it in the sense of "Russian". I believe that small portion stands for "slang" and widespread for "colloquial". Please correct me if I am terribly wrong here, so I will not make mistakes similar to this. Mallerd 19:15, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

No, русак means Russian throughout the length and breadth of the Russian language. It’s much like the word Yank, which is a colloquial term for American. Every American knows it, even though only a few of us actually use it in that sense. But Ami is slang for the same thing and understood by only very few Americans who have spent some time in Germany. All Russians know русак. —Stephen 13:03, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

What I understood from Alex Ex was that the Russian immigrant group in Germany didn't mean Russian looks, but Russian descendance. This way, the word "rusak" has 3 different meanings. I am not accusing you of anything, but I requested you to translate the German reply before. Perhaps I have misunderstood Alex Ex. If you are getting tired of this, I understand. Mallerd 18:09, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

TRANSLATION: "This is IMHO a slang word used by a rather uneducated and/or uncultured group of Russian Germans. The Russian word actually means European hare, but is used by this group to refer to themselves or to Russian-speaking immigrants. The Russian root "russ" means both "hare" and "Russian". In this context I would like to explicitly point out that it concerns a slang term used by a group of Russian-speaking immigrants. But in any case, it has nothing to do with an encyclopedia, IMHO. Unless it goes under "Migrant slang". Ex Alex"
But what I’m trying to explain to you is that Alex Ex is German, not Russian. The word is a Russian word that just means what I said. Like many other words, it can be used metaphorically, as a figure of speech, as a positive term for any Russian, even if he does not particularly look Russian. —Stephen 18:40, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Okay, capito. Thank you for your time and knowledge. Mallerd 18:52, 22 September 2008 (UTC)

Sorry to annoy you[edit]

Hi, i looked on the "recently updated page" and it looks like you are quite a big contributer in maintaining the site.

so i thought i'd just run a couple of definitions past you, for possible inclusion.

They are both seldom used in everyday conversation, but they are becoming increasingly popular in the financial sector, and marketing in general.

The first is "Tart": and is often used to describe someone that has no brand loyality.

i.e. someone that will change insurance, credit card provider to ensure they're getting the best deal for themselves.

and "Wombler": someone that will claim another persons spending rewards, by finding old receipts, then having the points added to their own reward card.

This may need more explanation, as i realise you may not be formiliar with english pop culture... the wombles was a, BBC based, children's tv program. in which the 'Wombles of Wimbledon' were furry creatures that went around Wimbledon Common, collecting rubbish.
and in england it's possible to collect points, for spending in supermarkets on a reward card. if you don't produce a card at the checkout, the receipt shows how many points you would have received. Then if you come back into the store with your receipt and your card, you can have the points added retrospectively.

i realise america probably has exactly the same system, but i thought i'd explain it just incase.

Yes, I’m American, so I haven’t heard those terms before. They would not be capitalized, but written tart and wombler. Never heard of wombles. You probably should search in to find citations to support your meanings. —Stephen 16:35, 16 September 2008 (UTC)
There's an article in wikipedia on The Wombles. but i don't think i'd be able to find anything to verify these fairly new definitions though. I'll leave them out, and wait until they are more widely used, or until them become citable. Thanks for your help anyway.—This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

Umschrift des kyrillischen Alphabets - х[edit]

Hallo, Stephen. Wenn ich den Artikel über Hezbollah überflogen habe, erblickte ich eine Transkription, die ich nie vorher getroffen hatte und stellte fest, daß sie von einer Änderung von dir] herrührt, aber nachdem du anfangs die übliche geschrieben hattest. In allen Wikipedia-Artikeln und selbst bei Bücherausgaben ist "kh" die vorherrschende Variante und die Bücher von z. B. Хинчин werden als Khinchin auf Englisch herausgegeben. Hast du Einwände gegen die Benutzung des hier eingegebenen Systems? Grüße Bogorm 14:12, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Hallo, Bogorm. Na ja, ich weiss schon dass "kh" die vorherrschende Transkription ist, sondern "x" wird auch verwendet (Scholarly und GOST 1971). Ich bevorzuge die Verwendung eines einzigen Buchstaben an eines Digraphs statt. Sehen Sie z. B. w:Romanization of Russian#Transliteration table. Grüße —Stephen 14:39, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Ich habe herausgefunden, warum das alte gebräuchliche System in neuester Zeit vernachlässigt wird - es steht nämlich hier geschrieben, daß Rußland im Jahre 2002 dieses neue GOST 1971 zuungunsten des w:GOST 16876-71, das ich auswendig kenne und hoch achte, übernommen habe. Aber ... ich bin gegenüber der Benutzung von "x" feindselig, weil ich einige ins Englische übersetzte Bücher von russischen Autoren habe und sie alle vom "kh" Gebrauch machen. Gibt es hier eine offizielle Politik darüber? Ich möchte außerdem Ihre ursprüngliche Änderung gutheißen. Darf ich weiter "kh" benutzen? Bogorm 15:03, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Für die ungebildeten Leser ist "kh" leichter zu verstehen, sondern die gebildete Leser bevorzugen "x", dem Anschein nach. Es gibt auch andere Sprachen wie Arabisch, die dieser Konsonant haben. In Arabisch, findet man auch "kh" als zwei getrennte Buchstaben ausgesprochen (d. h. خ bzw. كح oder كه). Deshalb versuchen wir den Digraph zu vermeiden, wenn möglich. Hier ist das System, das wir verwenden: Wiktionary:Russian transliteration. —Stephen 15:44, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
Das ist äußerst beunruhigend - dieses neologische System mit dem "x" ist allem Anschein nach da rechtskräftig. Nichtsdestotrotz gutheiße ich abermals Ihre ursprüngliche Änderung und bedaure die Benutzung des "x". Ich werde (à contrecœur) keine weiteren x->kh Änderungen unternehmen, da ich mich an die Regeln halte. Bogorm 16:11, 18 September 2008 (UTC)
P. S. Was Arabisch anbelangt, bin ich mit meinem Latein am Ende, aber danke dennoch für das Beispiel. Bogorm 16:13, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Bukhari term of endearment?[edit]

Hi Stephen,

My grandmother Z"L used to call us something like /dʒɔ.ni/, which seemed to be a Bukhari term of endearment, or maybe of commiseration. Since it doesn't seem to be from Hebrew, I imagine it's probably from a Classical Persian noun. I don't suppose you recognize it, and could tell me what it means?

Thanks in advance!

RuakhTALK 15:16, 20 September 2008 (UTC)

It could be Persian جان (jân). I suppose جانی (jâni) would be "my life" or "my darling". —Stephen 16:50, 20 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you! :-D   —RuakhTALK 18:59, 20 September 2008 (UTC)


How are you? I'd like to thank you for creating Category:th:Colors. :)
--Alif 22:15, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

You’re welcome. —Stephen 22:18, 28 September 2008 (UTC)

Thank you so much![edit]

Thank you for helping me with the etymology format for "meritorious." I am still learning the new format.

Deletion of Shouting match[edit]

Why did you delete my entry? -- IRP 00:57, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Shouting match is not a proper noun, so it would not be capitalized. Wiktionary entries are case-sensitive. —Stephen 00:59, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, well, then restore it with a lowercase S, please. It was an accident. -- IRP 01:02, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
I’ll restore it for a few minutes, if someone else doesn’t delete it. I can’t restore it as lowercase, you’ll have to move it to the lowercase before it disappears again. —Stephen 01:06, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, can it be kept now? -- IRP 01:13, 5 October 2008 (UTC)


Is it relevant to add that in Russian computer language 4 can be used instead of ч? For instance, people without the Cyrillic keyboard are typing xo4u instead of хочу. Mallerd 15:10, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

I haven’t noticed this before. My guess is that it’s because 4 starts with ч (четыре). The same writers also use w for ш, and I see Roman c being used for Cyrillic с, but the same writers sometimes use c for ч. The letter ы is b|. It seems to be something like leet (1337), where letters are written in assorted and novel ways. I don’t think it’s relevant for us here, however. We don’t usually allow leet entries, and this Russian thing seems even less organized than leet. —Stephen 17:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
4 is used instead of 'Ч' because of similar look in handwriting (4 is written like Ч without top connector in the symbol). And.. Yes, it's some kind of Russian leet, it used by Russian c00l hax0r5 :) --Alexander Widefield 21:23, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

I see, thank you =) Could you please create the entry that belongs to предает? The entire verb I mean, which I guess must be предать? I'm not sure, bye bye Mallerd 18:19, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, предавать, предать. —Stephen 18:32, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Spasibk Mallerd 20:02, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


What is it about Wiktionary that attracts assholes? Kwamikagami 06:53, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

You protect an article against an edit that you made yourself on a related article, because it's "edit warring"??

There is no "Chinese" pronunciation. Tell you what, why don't you be consistent, delete Italian, Spanish, and Romanian from Wiktionary, replace them with French, and call the result "Latin". And then you can protect the articles if anyone tries anything funny, like claiming that French and Latin are not synonymous.

Decide if you're going to cross-link words or stems. It would be nice, if you link stems, that you allow other editors to do so as well, and that if you threaten to block them for doing so, that you refrain from it yourself. Kwamikagami 09:41, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Chinese is generally understood to be the same as Mandarin, but when it is necessary to distinguish among different dialects, they are indicated by indenting under the Chinese header in the translation sections. We don’t alphabetize it under Mandarin.
We link words, not stems. In some cases, the term provided in the translation section is not considered a citation form, as in the case of most Chinese adjectives formed with , and most Japanese adjectives formed with . These particles are left out of the link. Here we consider the redlink a useful tool, and we do not avoid links that have not yet been written. I have not threatened you with blocking, although I think you are a net detriment here.
You are too nasty for my taste, and you seem unwilling to learn how we do things here. I will not allow you to damage our articles or insert the sort of nonsense you attempted to do with the French forms, but I find talking with you extremely distasteful. Ordinarily I would be happy to try to explain everything to you, but you are abrasive, and I would really prefer if you would try to learn quietly by observation. —Stephen 10:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Your tone has been rude and abrasive since the get-go. You don't like it when I talk to you that way, but it's okay for you? Let's see, the first thing you said to me was "Do not revert the French again. You do not know French. stop screwing up the French and other languages". This for a capitalization error. (I still don't know what the "and other languages" referred to.) Then "This is your last warning. If you screw it up again, I'll protect the page so you can't" — this a melodramatic overreaction to a formatting error. Now, if you had had the basic courtesy of explaining what I was doing wrong, as you finally did above, I'd've been on my way to being a better editor, and there would have been no need even in your mind to protect the article. Instead you got all huffy at my attempt to even out your inconsistent edits, which by the way are still there, since you've reverted my attempts to fix them. I'm perfectly willing to learn, but don't appreciate unexplained administrative sanctions over minor errors in good-faith edits, which is an abuse of your position. As for me being a net detriment, you're preventing me from touching up my own contributions. No, I'm not claiming ownership, but I hope you can see that appears ridiculous. Kwamikagami 21:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Civility is really quite easy: instead of saying "stop screwing up the French" in the edit line, you could say "the noun is capitalized in French". The natural response to such an approach is respect, whereas hostility on your part just provokes more hostility. Instead of "If you screw it up again", you could say "we just link the citation form". It's actually easier to be civil, at least in terms of the amount of typing involved. Kwamikagami 21:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)


Since when are spelling redirects allowed? just wondering. Teh Rote 15:50, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

It should not be a redirect, but a redirect is better than a deletion. It should be expanded into an article, not deleted. Until it is, let’s keep it as is, since that is what many if not most people type to find that word. —Stephen 18:29, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Hey, thanks for correcting the Russian articles that I've been writing! I can't believe all the silly mistakes that I'm typing. --Locutus 20:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

You’re welcome. :) —Stephen 18:30, 8 October 2008 (UTC)


Should this be moved to an Arabic title? -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 01:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Probably, but I don’t know anything about Hassānīya Arabic. There is even a "transcription" on the page, but I don’t know it it’s correct. It could not be correct if it were anything like the Arabic I know, but Hassānīya is not mutually intelligible with the other Arabic dialects. I did what I could with it, but I think a native is needed before we can move it to an Arabic title. —Stephen 02:32, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I'll ask Hakeem if he has any additional input, and tag it with attention|mey. How long do you think it'll be until someone with Hassānīya skills comes along? :) -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 03:42, 11 October 2008 (UTC)


Please don't change my contribution for al-fatir الفاطر, my definition is more complete.


Please don't change my contribution for al-fatir الفاطر, my definition is more complete.

I believe you are incorrect. You must furnish proof or corroboration of your claims or the article will remain as I have it. —Stephen 14:29, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
In fact, I have study the books of god (Torah, gospel, psalm, quran) for a long time, and analysed origin of the word in hebrew, greek & latin aspect, so fatir is a deviation of PATER, because in arab there is no lette p so they use f with numerical value of 80, so pater became fatir... My definition is more complete, i found it with babylon using greek, latin, hebrew פטר & arab etymology... So please let it be...
Yes, I know well about the Arabic alphabet. The problem I have is that I have never seen all the meanings that you are putting. The way the article is now, everything in it looks correct. When you put words in such as "first born", it looks incorrect to me. Perhaps User:Hakeem.gadi can confirm your claims. If Hakeem accepts what you say, then I will accept it also. —Stephen 16:11, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't limit the explanation with a arabian language, check all aspect, and try to find the origine...

recent entries[edit]

Hi. I'm a little concerned that some (most) of the new entries by KSiimson are SOP in English, but (s)he seems to need them for translated entries. What d'ya think? -- ALGRIF talk 15:26, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I see a few that I think are really only SoP, such as exhaust purifier and exhaust system, but I think a lot of them are good technical terms that we should have, such as catalytic converter. I know that a lot of editors think articles that are nothing more than SoP are a burden, even if well-formatted, but my feeling is that if they are well formatted and if there are a significant number of Google hits to show that they may be useful, then they are harmless. We could delete some of the SoP ones that KSiimson has written, but I think it might have a dampening effect on his efforts if we do much of it. I think they’re harmless if they are well written. —Stephen 15:47, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Which is why I put it to you rather than a discussion page. I can live with that also. Cheers. -- ALGRIF talk 16:05, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
My concern is that they either have no definition, or a definition in meaningless English. I have cleaned up a few, but then got bored. SemperBlotto 16:16, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
That’s the thing. If I find they are not well written, I usually just delete them. I haven’t examined any of KSiimson’s entries recently, so I am not sure he is doing a good job. —Stephen 16:21, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

New Arab words[edit]

I'm sorry I'm just adding some new word for arab, because i need the definition for a web book that i'm making using link to wiktionary. If you don't have time to correct my addition, please, try to find new guy to work with... I'm trying to improve Wiktionary...

You are not improving Wiktionary, you are making a huge mess. You clearly don’t know Arabic well. You act like User:Drago. If you are Hungarian, do Hungarian articles. Otherwise, work in a language that you actually know. —Stephen 20:53, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
And don’t put Nemzag as a signature. That does not work. You have to put ~~~~ to make a signature. —Stephen 20:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
i'm sorry to irritating you, but i need those word for my link, so i add it... So please, help me instead of being annoyed... Nemzag 21:09, 12 October 2008 (UTC)Nemzag
You can add the words you want in Wiktionary:Requested entries:Arabic, so that someone who knows the language can add them (if they are real Arabic words and are properly spelt). —Stephen 21:12, 12 October 2008 (UTC)
Why do you remove the words instead of correcting them ? جن, جنين ?
They were piling up too fast. If you place them in Wiktionary:Requested entries:Arabic, then we can make the articles. It is much easier to create new words than to correct entries that are full of problems and mistakes. —Stephen 12:44, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


Noun translated as an adjective? Or does he mean holly? SemperBlotto 14:24, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

That’s User:Nemzag again. He’s well-meaning but makes lots of mistakes and hasn’t a clue about formatting or, apparently, grammar. I told him to use Wiktionary:Requested entries:Arabic instead of continuing to mangle Arabic entries, and I see that he should use Wiktionary:Requested entries:Hebrew as well. I don’t know of a Hebrew הק, so I’ve deleted it. Perhaps User:Ruakh knows of it? —Stephen 14:41, 13 October 2008 (UTC)


Can you remove my two modification please ? I don't know how to do it by my self... Nemzag 21:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC)Nemzag


Well, a lot of word of Arab are deviation of Latin ancient word

Like OBEDIENCIA who became ABAD عباد or ABD عبد.

Why this deviation, the phonetic. In arab Ayin have a numeral value of 70, in Greek O have a numeral value of 70... So the word OBD & OBED became ABD & ABAD because of deviation of prononciation...

Like latin word CRIMEN [grimen] who became in arab mujreemen جرِم [ʤrimin] In fact C [g] have a numeral value of 3 in ancient greek & in arab djim [DƷ] have a numeral value of 3... So these deviation can be explained by ethymology so please don't remove my addition to عبد & عباد. Nemzag 09:04, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

That is just an example of folk etymology. That is not proof or even good evidence. Don’t add such things unless you can show that it is accepted by recognized authorities. —Stephen 09:11, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
ok but who is that authoritie ? I'm telling the truth. Think again, look at numerologie of arab :
The Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary have good etymological information on many words. There are other good sources as well, including Wikipedia. You might ask Ivan Štambuk for ideas about Arabic etymology sources, since he has done a lot of work in this area.
I realize that you believe in what you are saying, but that is not good enough for us. We have, for example, a Korean contributor who is trying hard to prove that Korean is an Indo-European language. He believes it and he comes with evidence similar to yours. His theories are not accepted by any respected linguists, and his constant efforts to add his theories to Korean etymologies have caused him to be blocked from editing.
I know how Arabic is used for numbers, I am the one who wrote Appendix:Abjad numerals. And I know that you believe your ideas, but we don’t accept that as evidence of anything. —Stephen 09:48, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Well I respect your opionion, but I think that you make a mistake...
I understand. —Stephen 10:17, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I just wan't to explain that عبد & عباد mean obedient, and not slave it's a huge difference, slave is رقيق in arab...
I have not seen them with that meaning and I don’t believe it is correct. On the Internet, it is possible to found almost anything you want to find. If you want to find evidence that the moon is made of cheese, you can find it on the Internet. Before I will accept your unusual meanings, you will have to get the agreement of User:Hakeem.gadi, or at the very least you will have to find it in a GOOD Arabic-English dictionary, such as the one written by Hans Wehr. Babylon is not an acceptable source here, our standards are higher than that. —Stephen 10:32, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Please, stop editing languages that you don’t know well. Surely you can add useful and correct articles in your native language, whatever that may be. Your Arabic/Hebrew/Aramaic edits are just creating trouble and work for everyone. —Stephen 10:35, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry that i'm not reaching your high standard, but wiktionary is open source, so if I have an opinion that I'm sure is good, I will add it even if you think that is not totaly correct. So please escuse me. I'm sure of what i'm writing. If you disagree we can talk. Nemzag 11:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I don’t think you understand how it works. If we don’t accept what you write, we will revert it. If you engage in a revert war, reverting the reverts, you will be blocked for longer and longer periods. I am trying patiently to help you to see how you can contribute here. If you insist on writing things here that we find unacceptable, you will ultimately be blocked from contributing at all. Please be reasonable. —Stephen 10:58, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not reverting like you said, i'm just explaining you why I add those information, is better more than less information...Nemzag 11:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
All of the information has to be completely correct. We consider incorrect information to be much worse than incomplete information. More is NOT better. We are getting nowhere with this discussion. I have explained it as well as I can. I cannot make it any clearer for you. —Stephen 11:08, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Macedonian verbs[edit]

Could you please add the appropriate tag to show the type of verb. With listing verbs in Macedonian, the verb type "he eats" and "she is eating" is used. I don't know the term on English. -- 13:21, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Do you mean like совершенный вид and несовершенный вид? If so, you can use {{pf}} (for совершенный вид) and {{impf}} (for несовершенный вид). Or do you mean simple and progressive? —Stephen 13:39, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I meant to say that Macedonian lacks the infinitive, so verbs are listed in their third person singular forms. I don't know how that should be shown in the articles. -- 13:47, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean. It’s similar to Latin, Greek, Hungarian, and Arabic. Although the Macedonian verb is shown in the 3rd-person singular, I think the translations should be the English infinitive...for example, to eat, to see. —Stephen 13:55, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes. But does it need to be noted that Macedonian verbs are being presented in that form (unlike the other languages whose verbs are given as infinitives? -- 14:02, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, hopefully someday there will be a conjugation table such as we did in Bulgarian бягам. I think бягам has a very good format. —Stephen 14:09, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

ملاكائيل (from you know who)[edit]

I don't see where the "of God" comes from (though I have less than minimal Arabic). If it is the same as Malachi then isn't it just "my messenger"? SemperBlotto 13:51, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

To me it looks like a transcription of a Hebrew name. I’ve never seen anything like it in Arabic. Deleted. —Stephen 19:16, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi, is it not common that translations of words are given in an etymology section? In the так article, only the words are given, not the translations. Do you know them? Mallerd 14:28, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Mostly they all just mean so or such. In Polish, it has come to mean yes, which is a meaning that is carried by so (it is so). Just as so can be use for yes in English, так can be used the same way in the Slavic languages: так, it is so. —Stephen 19:23, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes, I've heard some Pole once say "tak jest", meaning that also right? Anyway thank you. Mallerd 20:06, 16 October 2008 (UTC)


In my effort to clean out User:Robert Ullmann/L2/invalid, I came upon the Denai'ina entries. Both sil and the ethnologue call it Tanaina. I was wondering if there was a specific rationale for one name over the other. Many thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:51, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia has the article at w:Dena'ina and w:Dena’ina language. Dena'ina and Tanaina are the same word...many languages, including Dena'ina, do not differentiate a voiced/unvoiced contrast, so t and d are interchangeable. Also, it is the same root as w:Na-Dené and Navajo Diné and Apache Ndee (it means "the people"). There is an online phrasebook in Dena'ina that calls it Dena'ina, and the books and recordings that I have all call it Dena'ina. Tanaina is the older spelling, but Dena'ina is the modern spelling. Like Siamese vs. Thai. —Stephen 06:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)



Do you know whether durwan comes directly from Persian, or via Urdu or something? It seems odd to me that an Indian English word would come directly from Persian, especially with those particular sound changes, but of course you know infinitely more about it than I do.

RuakhTALK 22:26, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

No, I don’t know precisely what the path was, but it’s likely that it went thru Urdu. —Stephen 15:55, 18 October 2008 (UTC)


Hey Stephen, I noticed that you include words because you like to think of a translator's perspective, as you did with Jackie Chan. I wonder why proverbs are not included on a large scale in Wiktionary. I believe you would be advocate of that, wouldn't you? Mallerd 16:16, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I would like to see a lot more proverbs. I think the reason that the number of proverbs included here is low is due partially to the fact that many proverbs can have different forms in the full version (e.g., you, one, they, we, or people as the subject), as well as abbreviated forms ("a bird in hand is worth two in the bush" versus "a bird in hand"). This makes it tricky to find probably have to look through Category:Proverbs to find what you are looking for. Another difficulty is the proverb’s counterpart in other languages...often a proverb concerning a certain lesson is very different in another language. A lot of contributors actually try to "translate" the English proverb literally, instead of giving the one that is normally used in that language. But I agree with you, I think we should have a complete inventory of proverbs here. —Stephen 14:13, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I was thinking of importing a lot of counterparts from the Wikiquote project. A lot of Dutch proverbs for example also show the English counterparts. Thank you for your opinion on this. Greetings Mallerd 18:38, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


Hello, could you possibly offer your opinion on this entry which I nominated for deletion a while ago? I just noticed the discussion about 成龍 and thought perhaps 'crazy English' ought to be kept after all. Thanks. Kaixinguo 20:53, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

It gets 1.5 million Google hits, so I think it is very likely to appear in some translator’s text from time to time. It’s a set term in Chinese and has an official English translation, so I think we should keep it for the benefit of Chinese-English translators. It’s only a tiny file, but it can be very useful to any translator who encounters it. —Stephen 00:52, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


Hi. I added chrjo as a pronunciation to this; was that incorrect? sewnmouthsecret 04:12, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

I don’t see how it could be correct. That pronunciation would be spelt "чрё" (but that’s not a word as far as I know). —Stephen 04:37, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I am not familiar with Russian pronunciations, but I got it from here (see also here). I thought it was interesting enough to add; if you feel it indeed could be a valid pronunciation or transliteration, feel free to re-add it. Thanks!. sewnmouthsecret 16:24, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
We don’t know which of the many transliteration systems were used, and we don’t know how accurately it was transliterated, or if it was transliterated from the original Russian at all. My guess is that he meant the word хрю, wherein the first letter might be transliterated in various ways, including x, kh, h, and ch; and the last letter, which might be transliterated yu, ju, iu, or ’u, or even you, jou, iou, or ’iou...but that he made an error along the way, or perhaps didn’t get it from a reliable source, and wound up without an acceptable spelling. But if his transliteration is accurately taken from a real Russian word, then it’s a different word with a different spellinga that I don’t know about. Before we can accept it, we have to have the original Russian word written in Cyrillics, as I am sure that "chrjo" does not correspond correctly to хрю. —Stephen 19:18, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

shadda+fatha hack[edit]

  1. shadda+fatha = &#x0 651;&#x0 64E;
  2. shadda+kasra = &#x0 651;&#x0 650;
  3. shadda+dhamma = &#x0 651;&#x0 64F;
لستنَّ إنـِّى الطـُّولى

物見高い (ものみだかい)[edit]

I was wondering if you could help me with this. Clearly it is an adjective but Moji isn't giving a very good translation. It's saying it means "burning curiosity". As far as I can see that would not be a good definition to give and something about "burningly curious" just puts me off--50 Xylophone Players talk 14:49, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

I think "burning curiosity" is a good definition. The problem lies in the fact that a part of speech in one language does not always correlate to the same part of speech in another language. The Japanese is an adjective, but the English is a noun. We don’t say "burningly curious", we say we have a burning curiosity about something. It’s like being English, we’re hungry (adjective), but in many languages we "have hunger" (noun). —Stephen 15:02, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, thanks. I'll keep that in mind. I would not have thought of that even though I am familiar with things like avoir faim in French. Just one more question: would "a person with a burning curiosity" be a good way to translate 物見高い人?--50 Xylophone Players talk 22:25, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, "a person with a burning curiosity" sounds about right. In an actual running text, it could and probably would be modified from that in any number of ways, but as a dictionary entry, I think this is enough. —Stephen 22:40, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
I think it is better to keep the same approximate part of speech when reasonably possible. Sometimes it's really not reasonable to do so — I don't think there's a common English noun that means חינם, for example — but in this case, what's wrong with “burning with curiosity”? Granted, it's less common (2% fewer b.g.c. hits, 48% fewer news-archive hits, 58% fewer Web hits), but I'd definitely consider it common enough to be a useful translation/definition. And I think a good example sentence can solve the problem entirely in this sort of case: the sense line proper can retain the approximate part of speech, while the translation of the example sentence can use the most appropriate idiom. —RuakhTALK 22:42, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, of course, if the same part of speech carries the same meaning, connotation and register. I don’t think "burning curiosity" and "burning with curiosity" are completely interchangeable. You have to consider the specific text to decide how to translate it, but it is enough to know that it means "burning curiosity". —Stephen 22:48, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

2 things to address[edit]

1. Why did you revert this edit?
2. I suggest that you archive your talk page because it may take a while to load on some peoples' internet connection.

-- IRP 20:00, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia link was too low, especially for such a short article. Yes, this page is getting too long already, but I only recently took a large chunk out of it. I should probably archive another half of it or so. —Stephen 20:06, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
If that's the case, then subhelic arc has the same issue. -- IRP 20:11, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
By the way, it's not an "article", because this is not Wikipedia. -- IRP 20:14, 26 October 2008 (UTC)
Wikipedia notwithstanding, I call them articles. —Stephen 20:28, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Adminship vote[edit]

I just thought I'd let you know that there is a vote for my adminship at WT:VOTES at the moment so that you can vote (I really need more people to vote to see if I'll get this or not because so far I only have 1 supporter and 3 abstainers).--50 Xylophone Players talk 21:15, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

vág az esze, mint a borotva[edit]

Hi Stephen, thank you for your correction. I've found a lot of google hits for "as sharp as a needle" (but much more for as sharp as a tack). What is the difference? Also, I'd like to create an English entry, what would be the correct head word? Thanks in advance. --Panda10 23:06, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Sharp as a needle is would be a description of a sharp metallic piece such as a pin or a nail. Sharp as a tack is figurative, meaning very intelligent. —Stephen 23:16, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Oghuz, Oghuzer, Oghuzest[edit]

Thanks for the amazingly fast fixes to this initial entry! Now I know better how to link an entry. Thanks. Aymatth2 03:53, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

You’re welcome. —Stephen 03:56, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

Ewe gender[edit]

Hello Stephen, please find my response here. Generally, Ewe nouns are neutral.--Natsubee 15:51, 2 November 2008 (UTC)

servus, szervusz[edit]

You reverted my contribution to servus; did you forget to go back and put szervusz somewhere else in the entry? --Una Smith 14:47, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

szervusz is at hello. We don’t provide translations of foreign words, only of English words. There was no other logical place to put it, as far as I can see. —Stephen 14:50, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
I worked it out. --Una Smith 04:21, 18 November 2008 (UTC)


I'm having a rather difficult time trying to differentiate between mjh and mwe. {{mjh}} and {{mwe}} are what I came up with, but I don't really know if that's the ideal solution. Any thoughts? Of course, please feel quite free to simply change the templates if you have a solid idea in mind. Many thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 07:36, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

I would use Mwera for {{mwe}} (southeastern Tanzania), and Nyasa {{mjh}} (southwestern Tanzania). Those are the more usual English names, and they are the names that Wikipedia intends to use when it gets around to writing the articles. —Stephen 18:33, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Done. Thanks. I've been creating quite a few language templates lately, trying to get iron out of User:Robert_Ullmann/Trans_languages, after which I suppose I'll move to peace and butterfly, among others. If the idea of crawling through a hundred language templates for obscure Bantu languages sounds like fun, please feel free to do so and critique. I've generally been going off of SIL and the ethnologue, but I get the feeling that they might be using outdated terms sometimes. I'm not terribly worried, as once they're all standardized, they become linked, in a sense, and changing that standardization in the future should be fairly easy. Thanks again. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 20:42, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, many Ethnologue reports are made by people who really are not linguists at all, and although they may have learned something about the language, they often use outdated names and spellings. It’s very useful, but it must be taken with a grain of salt. —Stephen 20:51, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Also, could you double-check that Samialugwe is in fact {{lsm}}. You put the code as luy, which is now a macrolanguage containing lsm. Sorry to bother. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 02:07, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the Luhya or Luyia group of Bantu languages now shows to be {{luy}}, while one of the Luhya dialects, Samialugwe or Saamia, is {{lsm}}. Ethnologue only mentions Saamia as a Luyia dialect under {{luy}}, and Wikipedia only has an entry for w:Luhya. —Stephen 02:32, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

fell off a truck[edit]

Yesterday, I have created tombé du camion, the French translation for fell off a truck. You have deleted it with no reason. Could you explain that. Maybe, it was not well done, but it was possible to correct, not delete. It is not the way in French Wiktionary. -Béotien lambda 09:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

The reason I deleted it was because it was not an idiom or a set phrase. It’s what we call SoP (sum of its parts). You could just as well say "fell off a box" or "fell off a dock". That’s if all it means is "fell off a truck". If it’s idiomatic, with a meaning such as "stolen", then it is permitted, but then it has to explain that that is the meaning. —Stephen 18:16, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

A little homework help[edit]

Hi! I was wondering if you could confirm this French translation I need to do as part of my homework. If you want to say "I no longer go there" do you say "Je n'y vais plus"? Please reply ASAP.--50 Xylophone Players talk 21:16, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

"Je n'y vais plus" sounds right to me. —Stephen 21:22, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, I just had to confirm it to sure. :)--50 Xylophone Players talk 21:28, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Pacific Ocean[edit]

Hi Stephen,

Did you sort all these translations by hand? That must have taken a long time. It took a long time harvesting them as well, which is why I didn't feel like sorting them. I also created (with help from digwuren) a new template ( This allows me to have the language code substituted to the language name in English, but quite often I have no idea to what it will expand. So sorting them has to be done in another edit anyway, that's why I decided to let AutoFormat take care of it. AF choked on it, since apparently not all languages that have Wikipedias had templates already.

I just had a quick look at your user page. That's an impressive list of languages! Maybe I should consider passing my username on to you. Somehow I feel lot less worthy to use it anymore. Polyglot 12:26, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

No, I used my word processor to sort them. It’s necessary to remove any initial differences on each line that would affect sorting, such as brackets that appear on only some languages. After sorting, I put the brackets back in place. AutoFormat will be delinking a number of those languages. I try to concentrate my efforts on Russian and Arabic, but since I know or read a number of other languages, it is usually easy for me to fix them along the way. —Stephen 12:42, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't know how automated your workflow is, but may I suggest that a spreadsheet might be a better solution than a word processor. I did the following: paste the list of translations in column 1. In Column two all the cells contain the following formula: =SUBSTITUTE(A1,"[[","",1). I don't know about Excel, but in this means remove the first occurence of [[.
Now it's possible to use Data/Sort with everything selected and the second column as the column to sort on. --Polyglot 16:58, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I don’t have a spreadsheet program and haven’t used one before, but my word processor (Word) will sort a list instantly, and you don’t have to mess with columns or settings or selecting things. —Stephen 18:22, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
I know that a word processor can sort a list. What I'm a bit worried about is the work you have before you can start the sort and the even more tedious amount of work you have afterwards to put all those "* " and "* [[" back. can be downloaded for free from the internet. []
It's free software (free as in liberty) and will always be available, so the effort of learning how to use it is certainly not wasted. What I described above may seem convoluted, but I can immediately go on with editing after all the copy/paste mumbo jumbo. No need to put all that was removed at the beginning of the line back again. If you like I can send you the spreadsheet and give a better description of the procedure. Of course, I don't know how often you need to be resorting lists of this kind. If it's only to clean up after I mangled an entry, then it's probably not worth it, since I'm planning to automate the whole thing even further, so no cleanup is necessary behind me. Polyglot 21:51, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I see what you mean now. It is unusual that I have to deal with any "[[" codes. (I think this one of yours was the first time.) Normally I start with [​[nl:Woord]]-styled terms. I have written a macro that changes it to lower case (except when it’s a proper noun), then expands the language code to the correct name (with * in front but no brackets), and then I just sort it. No work is involved up to this point. I’d guess the entire process takes me about five seconds. After that, I recapitalize the German, Alemannic, and Luxembourgish (and occasionally some others), and I go through and transliterate some of the non-Roman scripts and add genders when I know them. Sometimes I have to change some of the terms from a plural to a singular, but this is linguistic work that I have to do the old-fashioned way. It’s only the capitalization, expansion of language codes, formatting the terms (e.g., * Dutch: {​{t|nl|woord}}), and sorting that is automated.
Nevertheless, I really should get a spreadsheet program and learn to use it. I made my own spreadsheets back in the days of WordPerfect 5.1, and they were very useful for some of the tasks that I had to do in those days. I’m not sure I’d find a use for a spreadsheet now, but I’d still like to learn. —Stephen 23:33, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
You should really download and have a look at It's not only a word processor and spreadsheet (compatible with .doc and .xls), but also a drawing program (vector diagrams) and Impress can be used to create presentations like Powerpoint. If you're looking for a tutorial/documentation. The people at are doing a great job for the community.
I recently created a template that does what I think you describe above. It's called poly. It can be used as follows:

{{subst:poly|nl|woord|n}} This will become: * Dutch: {{t|nl|woord|n}} automagically. The effect would be the same as writing the following in full: * {{subst:nl}}: {{t|nl|woord|n}}

It doesn't cope with sc, tr and xs though. I'm not all that good at writing this template stuff and I already needed help to make the gender optional. --Polyglot 00:02, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

عکس کس[edit]

Could you possibly add the definition for this word if you have some spare time? It's been deleted several times, so would be nice to have some real content there. Conrad.Irwin 12:19, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

It’s Persian. It means "picture of a pussy". Somebody was searching for porn. I can create the page if you think we need it, but in my opinion it should be protected from any future creations. I will protect it now, let me know if you still want me to create the page. —Stephen 21:23, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

This is upsetting[edit]

On my Wikipedia userpage, I specifically said "I do not want a userpage on Wiktionary". Some user spitefully attempted to irritate me by creating it against my will. I am not very active on Wiktionary and I do not need a userpage here. If you delete it and create-protect it, it will be much appreciated. Thanks, IRP 19:19, 15 November 2008 (UTC)

Deleted and protected. —Stephen 21:15, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. -- IRP 21:40, 15 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

How do you know the word genders in that many languages? For some languages one can look at the article (lidwoord) or an adjective, but for a language like Dutch one has to look at a back reference in a subordinate phrase or the following sentence to know for sure whether it's m or f. For other languages like Greek, it's generally possible to look at the word ending and the article used. Anyway, I was interested to know whether you have a system or whether you simply happen to know them.

Concerning the Armenian translation. Is what I put there the capitalization? I should have moved it to ttbc, when I modified it. It sure made me wonder. What I thought had happened is that I introduced an error there when I was adding a lot of translations for the first time in December 2003. That first letter looks a lot like a Roman h and I probably started with something I copy pasted back then as a starting point, that included that h (due to the fact that in Wikipedia all article names are capitalized, meaning that I had/have to only copy paste all but the first letter.

Sorry I added a translation for Serbo-Croatian. There seems to be a Wikipedia for it, so it simply came along with the flow.

I don't know how you feel about my harvesting of interwikipedia links, but I'm not merely adding more translations, I'm also checking the ones we already had. All the ones that now have a t template were double checked. It did help to correct the Czech translation. Oh, and there was one Wikipedia (forgot which one) that was wrongly having he instead of Helium. I left them a note on the talk page. Hopefully they'll fix it.

I couldn't add a transliteration for Cantonese even if I tried. Would you prefer I don't include it? The character is the same as Mandarin, so it doesn't really add any information.

How do you feel about adding another parameter to the t template for including a translation comment? I added a comment on its talk page; Template_talk:t. It's also a problem to use the t template when there are three different transcriptions for a Japanese translation.

Polyglot 09:28, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Gender concerns depend on the language. It’s much more difficult to figure out Dutch than it is in almost any other language. Gender is problematic in almost all the Germanic languages. Slavic gender tends to be mechanical, with nouns that end in -a feminine, -e or -o neuter, and in a consonant masculine. In Czech, -e is often a feminine, and sometimes a final consonant can still be neuter. Certain suffixes are gender the Slavic languages -nost, -ost is feminine (in Russian, -ность). Russian final soft sign can be either gender, so you have to watch out. There are occasional hiccups, such as Russian кофе, which looks like a neuter but actually is masculine. Soft consonants are found marked in many of the other Slavic languages as well, and a final soft consonant may be either masculine or feminine. Also, there are a number of Russian words in -я that are neuter. In the Romance languages, again -a tends to be feminine, -o or -u masculine, -e may be either...but borrowings from Greek that end in -ma or -pa (mapa, programa) are usually masculine. With Danish and Swedish, they have only two genders, similar to Dutch: common and neuter. If you know some Swedish, you can often get the correct gender just by adding the enclitic article. If the suffix ends in -t, it’s neuter...if in -n, it’s common.
There are just a lot of different signposts (including the meaning), and I picked it up from decades of experience as a professional translator and foreign-language editor.
Romanian is more difficult, I can only be sure of some words, since many that would be masculine in Italian or Spanish are neuter in Romanian. I don’t have enough experience with Albanian or the Baltic languages.
Yes, the Armenian was capitalized and it should not have been. Capitalization is a big problem since Wikipedia capitalizes every entry, and there is an unfortunate tendency there to capitalize the page name thoughout the article to make it stand out, even when it should not be so.
Yes, there are still Serbo-Croatian articles on Wikipedia, but the concensus here is that Serbo-Croatian is no longer a language. It is Serbian, Croatian, or Bosnian. Croatian and Bosnian are written in the Roman alphabet, but Serbian may be written in either alphabet. So Serbo-Croatian terms must be resolved as Serbian or Croatian or both.
Cantonese without the transcription is not useful. It’s usually the pronunciation that distinguishes the languages, so without that, we really don’t have a Cantonese entry. I can manage Mandarin well enough, but I don’t know the Cantonese pronunciations...and Cantonese tones are an even bigger problem, since there are more of them.
When I use Template_talk:t for Japanese, I just use the tr= argument to add both the hiragana and the romaji: {{t|ja|米国|tr=べいこく, beikoku}} (米国 (べいこく, beikoku)). I use other comments in the translation section so rarely that it does not seem to be a problem. On the rare occasion that I need such a comment, I just add it italicized in parentheses. —Stephen 10:30, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
That was an interesting read. I don't quite agree with the Dutch genders. They can only be compared to Danish and Swedish if you want to know what article to use or whether the adjective needs an extra -e. If you want to refer back to a word in a previous sentence, it's important to know whether it's actually m or f, to decide whether to use hij, zij or het (when it was a neuter). An additional problem with Dutch gender is that there is a difference between Dutch spoken in Holland (where they seem to try to simplify the matter by making as many words a possible m) and the variation spoken in Flanders. Resorting to a dictionary is the only recourse in many cases. This is why I was surprised you could determine the gender for that many languages. Thanks for the explanation.
I'll refrain from using the Serbo-Croatian and the Cantonese Wikipedias if I go harvesting again.
OK, for Japanese, that would work.
The reason I asked you about the translation comment, is because sometimes they are there, even if we don't add them ourselves and I think it would be great to also include them in the t template. I'm always thinking in terms of reuse of the data later on. Right now, we don't know what the comment is about. Is it about usage (archaic, obsolete, only in a certain region Holland/Flanders, Portugal/Brazil, on other Wiktionaries they probably need to distinguish between UK, US, Canadian, Australian, etc), or is it to subdivide the meaning further (make it more specific) than was done in the definition (older sister, younger sister, paternal uncle, etc). It's great for me to see that during my absence you guys managed to bring all the relevant information of a translation together in one structure. It will make parsing them so much easier. --Polyglot 11:01, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
No, I meant that Dutch, like Swedish and Danish, is starting to have two genders, common and neuter. I didn’t mean that you can guess Dutch gender from Swedish words or anything like that, only that in those languages, masculine and feminine have coalesced into a single noun class in most cases.
I just feel that the different kinds of comments would be difficult to fit into a single solution. Sometimes for example, the comment seems better if it precedes the entry, other times it follows. But I could be wrong, there might be some simple way to do it so that it works for all comments. —Stephen 11:18, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
This may be true for Dutch as it is spoken in Holland, but it certainly isn't for what we speak here in Flanders, Belgium. Also when I look up a word on, it always gives m,f or n and sometimes more than one. Usage wise it may seem that way to determine which article to use, because de is used for both m and f, but the words still have a specific gender, which becomes obvious when one refers back to to them, as in:
De tafel staat in de kamer. Ze staat in de kamer.
De koffiepot staat op de tafel. Hij is zwart.
Het paard staat in de wei. Het draaft rond.
When I look up tafel on vandale, it gives f(m), because in Holland the tendency is to say Hij staat in de kamer. They will of course not do this with words like zus (sister), moeder (mother), tante (aunt), merrie (mare), zeug (female pig), so obviously even after their tendency to simplify the issue, there will still be three genders in Dutch. (They might say De koe, hij staat in de wei though, which sounds odd to us)
--Polyglot 11:53, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I know that Flemish is more conservative. Still, the Germanic languages are unusual in the unpredictability of their gender, Dutch most of all. In all grammatical gender-based languages, there are a number of conventions for certain kinds of nouns, such as river names, cities, countries, abstract nouns, and so on, and usually some special conventions that deal with borrowings from other gender-based languages, but to a large degree, most of those languages are, unlike Dutch, largely or mostly predictable once you learn the conventions and exceptions. Hebrew is more unpredictable than Arabic, but it is much more predictable than Dutch or German. Arabic nouns are so predictable that Arabic dictionaries do not even address the issue of gender, except to note the rare exceptions. —Stephen 12:10, 16 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm glad to hear the gender issue is not as complicated in most other languages as it is in my own. All we have as a guideline for the gender is that certain suffixes are always a certain gender. This is comparable to German:
f: -heid, -ing (mostly), -teit (as in French)
m: -us (for derivations of Latin)
I'm sure there are more, I remember there was an entire list of them we had to learn when I was learning German in a French school for translators. This only helps for derivations and relatively new words though. --Polyglot 12:29, 16 November 2008 (UTC)

Don't remove my contribution, correct them[edit]

I have added some contribution, you removed it, could you please correct them instead, I would like that my name to be the first add in the history of contribution instead of yours :( Nemzag 20:17, 19 November 2008 (UTC).

If you want your name on them, first find good sources and do the necessary work to make a correct and usable entry. Your entries are horrible condition and would take more work to fix than to make them from scratch. If you can’t manage the work needed to enter words in a language that you don’t speak, then enter words in a language that you actually speak. —Stephen 20:15, 19 November 2008 (UTC)


Hey, I note that the article on marriage, while it says "Union of two people" also refers to "man and a woman" in the translation section. I'm not looking to open up a can of worms...but; should they not be the same (prompted by your edit war, prompted by visiting Wiktionary, prompted by an inane argument on facebook about the fact the dictionary reflects the times, not the other way around...) Bastique 19:45, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

Correct, they should be the same (and now they are). —Stephen 10:39, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

appareil photo (numérique)[edit]

Could you tell me what the plurals for these are? I'm not familiar enough with French yet to be sure of what they might be. I'd check the French Wiktionary but they don't seem to have an etry for either one.--50 Xylophone Players talk 20:38, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

appareil photo is short for appareil photographique. The plurals are appareils photo and appareils photographiques. Also, appareils photo numériques. —Stephen 20:43, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, just one more question I'd like to ask: when using{{fr-noun}} how do you denote an uncountable noun?--50 Xylophone Players talk 21:41, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
You use {{fr-noun-unc|m}}. —Stephen 22:14, 21 November 2008 (UTC)
Okay, thanks.

P.S. I think its time to archive some of your talk page (say maybe 25-50%) again ;).--50 Xylophone Players talk 23:34, 21 November 2008 (UTC)

builder ant in russian?[edit]

hi could you try and fix it or someone else please sometime ty. take your time theres no rush. -- 00:29, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

If it exists at all, it would be муравей-строитель. I have never heard of it, either in Russian or in English. Before I can make a page for it, I need to know something about it. What subfamily is it? Where is it found? Does it have any other common names? —Stephen 07:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Ojibwe noun categories[edit]

In an effort to make Category:oj:NI and Category:oj:NA use the full language name rather than the code do you think moving these over to Category:Ojibwe nouns with inanimate gender and Category:Ojibwe nouns with animate gender would be appropriate? Thanks. --Bequw¢τ 00:07, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I think better names would be Category:Ojibwe inanimate nouns and Category:Ojibwe animate nouns. —Stephen 14:52, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Back again, but this time with Verb categories. How about these translations (based on w:Ojibwe grammar#Verbs):

--Bequw¢τ 09:29, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Too verbose, I think. These are linguistic terms and would be "verbs animate intransitive", "verbs inanimate intransitive", "verbs transitive animate", and "verbs transitive inanimate". But the abbreviations are stock and are what students and scholars of these languages expect to see. I think I would prefer these names:

Uyghur edit to MediaWiki:Common.css[edit]

Hi. Did you mean to remove support for 8 script templates from the style sheet?[3] Michael Z. 2008-11-26 09:07 z

No, I have no idea how that happened. I only replaced TITUS Cyberbit Basic in the Uyghur with Scheheradzade. —Stephen 09:10, 26 November 2008 (UTC)
K, just checking. I've had burps like this which should be edit conflicts, but end up wiping out half an article. I'll restore those bits. Cheers. Michael Z. 2008-11-26 09:12 z

Script template changes[edit]

Hi. You mentioned “So far, I see that the Russian is messed up, the Arabic is hard to read, the Tamil is very hard to read, the Khmer is hard to read, the Uyghur is illegible.” at template talk:ug-Arab. Can you give me details? I'm trying to clean up the damage I've done by restricting some font specifications to MSIE only, but preferably without blanket applying fonts in every script template.

Are you using firefox/Windows? Which of these scripts went wrong in the last day, and are still looking wrong? Thanks. Michael Z. 2008-11-26 20:15 z

I’m using Firefox/Win XP. The other day all of them were bad. Now the Russian has been cleared up and it looks good (нёбо, не́бо). I think the Uyghur was fixed by removing TITUS Cyberbit. I just had a look at the Tamil and it seems to be back to normal. The Khmer seems improved a bit, the regular face អាមេរិក is fine, but the bold អាមេរិក is a bit blobby-looking. The Arabic is still more difficult to read ثلاثة. The lines are so thin that parts of the letters disappear on my screen, and the three dots over ث are blurred into a single blob. With الوِلايَات المُتّحِدَة الامْرِيكِيّة, I have to copy it to another program and enlarge it in order to make all of it out. I think the font is okay if printed at high resolution, but on my computer screen, it is hard to read. —Stephen 13:06, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
That looks much better. —Stephen 13:23, 27 November 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean all better just now?—I have made other changes today, and perhaps the style sheet just reloaded in your browser. Arabic is now displaying at 125% size again (16px in most browsers). I don't read Arabic, but the dots in ث are a bit indistinct to my eye (in Safari/Mac).
Incidentally, the diaeresis in нёбо looks fine in my browser in plain or bold font. But when sc=Cyrl is applied, the generated bold of Arial Unicode MS makes it look just like a macron. I'm thinking about evaluating font choices in a more systematic manner in the next few days or weeks, so I hope to address issues like this.
I'm going to continue working on the script templates, but I'll try to be more careful not to create any unexpected changes. Let me know if there are more problems. Thanks for your patience. Michael Z. 2008-11-27 20:57 z
Yes, between my first reply at 13:06 and the second at 13:23, the Arabic changed to a different, larger font.
нёбо does look like a macron, but it’s not bad. Before, that letter wasn’t even on the baseline, and looked like something I couldn’t recognize. —Stephen 00:37, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


I am appreciative of your adding the Arabic script in calpack. However, according to the source, the origin of the word is kulāf (Middle Persian) which is probably different from the contemporary Persian kolāh, that is why I wrote cf.. The mistake was partially mine, because I did not write Middle Persian, but could you provide the Middle Persian word with the appropriate script? Bogorm 09:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I don’t have a source for Middle or Old Persian. I don’t think that the Pahlavi script has yet been accepted and agreed upon by the Unicode Consortium, so it would probably have to be written in Roman transcription for the moment. —Stephen 13:04, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
done. However, since I could not find an etymological template for Middle Persian (something like {{etyl|mfa}} or {{MPers.}} ), I preserved {{etyl|fa}}. Is that acceptable? Furthermore, I added {{rfscript|Pahlavi}} for a hypothetical inclusion of the script in the Unicode. Bogorm 13:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
The language code for Middle Persian is {{pal}}. —Stephen 13:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


Hi Stephen,

I've been working on water again. I'm not entirely sure whether I put the right languages together. Could you have a look at it? --Polyglot 20:54, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

I moved Gan and Wu under Chinese (although I don’t think they are very helpful, since they don’t give the pronunciation), and the Sardinian dialects under Sardinian. The Manchu has parentheses only because it’s in the wrong script. It might be better to hide it. I put the Egyptian back in, but since it does not show the correct script (hieroglyphics), it might be good to hide it as well. —Stephen 14:32, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
So I suppose having Tosk (Albanian) under Albanian is OK then. It seems more related to German though.
I won't bring Gan and Wu along anymore while harvesting WP. I certainly won't find the pronunciation in those WP articles, except if I could lure in some contributors from those Wikipedias as well, so they can come and add them. In general it's interesting to know that they also need to be sorted under Chinese though (for the code I'm writing). That's the kind of thing I'm trying to find out by trying to put as many translations as feasible on those entries. I'm glad I also understand the semantics/meaning of a term in parentheses now and I'm wondering what the result would be if it would be put in a t template with the word itself left blank. --Polyglot 17:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Yes, Tosk is Albanian. If a Tosk word looks like German, it’s probably a borrowing. Albanian is divided into two main dialects, Tosk in the south, and Gheg to the north. Standard Albanian is based on Tosk. —Stephen 17:28, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Ah, I see what you mean about Tosk. I don’t know who added that word, but I suspect there was a confusion about the language code. In ISO 639-3, Tosk is assigned the code {{als}}. However, {{als}} is already in use by the Alemannic Wikipedia. The Alemannic word for water is Wasser, while the Tosk word is uji. —Stephen 17:36, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
I'm also a bit concerned about the Mandarin line. One t template has sh, the other has cmn. Which one to keep? Is there such a thing as zh-classic? That template doesn't seem to exist.
Leaving the t template empty is predictably not an option, it looks ugly and probably creates problems in the category. Wouldn't there be a way to ask passers by to add it in the correct script? Like we do for asking a translation towards a language? Shouldn't Egyptian reflect that it is about the ancient language, written in hieroglyphs and not the Arab version that is spoken there nowadays? Maybe the label should be Ancient Egyptian.
It's confusing that the Alemannic WP started using the wrong iso639 code, but it's a good thing we found out about it. I use { {subst:als}} and that produces Albanian Tosk. So that's where the confusion came from. It's not clear to me whether that template should be changed to reflect MW customs or whether it needs to stay like it is following iso639-3. --Polyglot 19:59, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Oh and gsw is the code for Swiss German. Is that what you intended? --Polyglot 20:14, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
For Mandarin Chinese, I just use zh, which is the language code that the Mandarin Wiktionary and Wikipedia use. As for zh-classic, I assume it means Classical Chinese, which is a written literary language, and therefore no pronunciation. I think most differences between Classical Chinese and Mandarin occur in longer phrases and sentences, but little or no difference in individual words.
To request a script, you can use {{rfscript|Arabic}}. Egyptian is the name used on Wikipedia, but Ancient Egyptian is what people say informally. A more precise term would be Archaic Egyptian, but it is not widely recognized or understood.
There have been a number of languages whose original language codes collided with the newest ISO. Probably should ask on the Beer Parlour whether {{als}} should reflect the new ISO or the existing Wikipedia usage. I believe it should agree with the existing Alemannic Wikipedia. The Alemannic Wiktionary has now been closed. When it was open, it was under ALS, but the later ISO 639-2 code was GSW. In 639-3, GSW means Swiss German. We probably should stick with ALS for Alemannic, since that is the code needed for the {{wikipedia}} template. —Stephen 20:35, 29 November 2008 (UTC)


Sorry for taking so long. جانة? No, first time I hear it. Ex-my-dictionaries too. Likely to be a typo.:)Hakeem.gadi 08:56, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, Hakeem, that’s what I thought, too. —Stephen 18:55, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

(it is) done[edit]

Hi Stephen,

I was wondering what done is in Russian. Is it the same as the 3rd person perfective aspect of do? I guess not, but I'd like to know. Could you help me? Bye Mallerd 20:28, 2 December 2008 (UTC)

No, done will be the past passive participle of сделать, which is сде́ланный, сде́лан, сде́лана, сде́лано, сде́ланы. I need to make a more complete conjugation of делать and сделать. —Stephen 20:01, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Affirmative. Thank you, Mallerd 10:02, 4 December 2008 (UTC)


I'm trying to delete Category:Levantine Arabic language, in favour of Category:North Levantine Arabic language and Category:South Levantine Arabic language. This entry is the only remaining resident of that cat, and I was wondering what you think should be done. Many thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:54, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

The word, its form and its spelling are the same across almost all Arabic dialects, with only the pronunciation varying slightly here and there. I doubt that there’s a difference in this phrase between North and South Levantine. I pronounce it kéifak/kéifik in Standard Modern, but it’s kīfak/kīfik in South Levantine. So perhaps you should change Levantine to South Levantine, and if a Syrian speaker comes along some day, he can add that it’s also North Levantine (if he’s aware of the distinction). —Stephen 15:19, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
Ok, it's been switched to South Levantine. Thanks. Out of curiosity, may I ask what your thoughts are concerning the grand structure of Arabic on Wiktionary? Based only on my limited viewing of Wiktionary Arabic entries, it appears to me that the primary difference between the different Arabics is pronunciation, and it seems a bit silly to have a whole slew of duplicate language sections. Obviously, as I have zero Arabic background, I'm in no position to assert anything; I'm simply curious. Also, if I've asked you this before, you answered, and I subsequently forgot about it, I apologize. Thanks. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 05:04, 6 December 2008 (UTC)
That’s pretty much the case. Most words are found in most dialects, but there are variations in pronunciation. A bigger difference is in the grammar, but grammar doesn’t stand out so much in a dictionary. When it comes to verb conjugations and sentence structure, it’s easy to see the differences, but in single words in a dictionary, there isn’t much difference. Also, few of the dialects are written at all, except in bits of dialogue as eye-dialect. Every educated Arab learns Modern Standard Arabic and that is what is used by newspapers, books, personal letters, lectures, and so on, and certainly when speaking to an audience from other areas. The dialects are spoken with friends and family around the home. There are small differences in the way different dialect areas pronounce Modern Standard Arabic. The Egyptians pronounce ج as a hard g (Gamal), but the Levantines pronounce it as a zh. The classical pronunciation is dzh, like the English j. But these differences do not cause any confusion and are like the differences in New York English versus the English of Georgia and the Carolinas. I don’t try to add any Arabic dialect material, but if someone such as Hakeem likes to do it, it’s okay with me. I’m sure we will never reach good coverage of the numerous Arabic dialect. It’s enough of a challenge just to hand Modern Standard Arabic. —Stephen 06:11, 6 December 2008 (UTC)

Odd characters[edit]

When you have the time, you might look over Special:Contributions/ This editor is adding Russian translations, and the transcriptions include numerically-based versions of Unicode characters. --EncycloPetey 19:32, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Oh, I see what’s happening. He doesn’t have a keyboard where he can type the acute accent to mark stress, so he’s using numerical codes. —Stephen 20:09, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

What the hell is wrong?[edit]

I tried to copy and paste Arabic and Amharic(?) words in the project-wanted articles page to replace bluelinks with them but I can't seem to highlight all of any one of those words. Can you try and see what's going on? 50 Xylophone Players talk 18:42, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Just to hazard a guess: it may be because such text is read right-to-left, as distinct from Latin-script text which is (universally?) read from left to right.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 19:22, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
I was thinking that might have something to do with it but I wasn't sure. So is their anything that can be done? 50 Xylophone Players talk 20:28, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Nothing that I can think of; perhaps you should ask in the Grease Pit.  (u):Raifʻhār (t):Doremítzwr﴿ 21:17, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
Arabic words have been moved up in queue, process explained on PalkiaX50's talk page. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:37, 7 December 2008 (UTC)
You didn’t give me a link to the word you’re having trouble with, but I’m sure it’s the right-to-left issue. Amharic is probably the wrong name, since Amharic is left-to-right like English. Still, you should be able to place your cursor at one end of من فضلك , press SHFT, then move just one pixel into the phrase, and successfully highlight both words.
If you have trouble with this, you could insert an English letter on either side of the Arabic text (like this: "x من فضلك x") and then highlight from x to x, later removing the x’s when you’re finished with the move. —Stephen 11:50, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
It's alright now Atelaes told me one way to do it which (hopefully) shall help me in the future. 50 Xylophone Players talk 22:08, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

curcumin and Curcuma[edit]

Both have the same Arabic (tr="kurkum", turmeric) in their etymologies which I cannot provide. If you would do the honors, I'd be obliged. I should have looked to see if there an official mechanism for requesting Arabic entries from a transcription. And I also didn't look for an Arabic translation at turmeric. D'oh. DCDuring TALK 02:41, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Please check. DCDuring TALK 02:51, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Just use {{rfscript|Arabic}}. I will check. —Stephen 11:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks. DCDuring TALK 12:00, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

arabic wiktionary[edit]

hi Stephen. i was trying to figure out whether there is an arabic-english dictionary here. it seems like some preliminary work (a LOT of work!) was done, but then the index seems to have just a few words in it? did the effort die out, or am i just not looking in the right place?

Thanks. Robert sides 21:12, 14 December 2008 (UTC)

No, it has not died out. I haven’t done much on the indexes because I think we’ll have a bot or other convenient means to populate the indexes soon. In the meantime, you can look at Category:Arabic language and the subcategories that you will find there such as Arabic nouns or verbs. —Stephen 00:02, 15 December 2008 (UTC)
fantastic. a few questions. 1) when you say a bot will populate the indexes, do you mean it will automatically create the thousands of entries that will constitute the dictionary itself? where will it get the data from? 2) i see in the entries for verbs that at the moment it does not indicate the middle vowel for present tense for form I (e.g. "u" for kataba). will that be included? 3) i see that roots can be searched in the arabic script. are there plans to allow a search for roots in transliteration (i.e. i want to type "k-t-b" and hit search, rather than " ك ت ب"?
4) my browser displays rectangles instead of a few of the transliterated letters (i think the ones with dots below them, e.g. Saad). changing the "encoding" (currently "Unicode (UTF-8)") does not help. any suggestions? (the arabic script displays fine) 5) i have been studying arabic for about 2 years, and have been building a dictionary of my own in the form of a large excel spreadsheet (currently about 3700 entries). i have no idea whether it could be of any use. regardless, i'd be very happy to contribute in any way (data entry, etc.). you seem to be one of the main workers on this project. is that right, or should i contact someone else?
hope i'm not troubling you with all this. much thanks for all your efforts! Robert sides 03:10, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
There are some problems to consider with the Semitic languages. Hopefully someone can write a bot that will look at etymologies and populate the indexes accordingly. If that turns out to be too difficult, I will have to do it by hand. But if it can be done, then the bot will look at the etymology, if there is one, and sort the list accordingly. Otherwise it will have to consider only the page name, which would put words under alif, taa', mim and yaa' that really don’t belong there.
كتب has the conjugation included and eventually we want complete grammatical information for all the words. It would go a lot faster if we could write conjugation and inflexion templates, but they are very complicated. At this time, we are resigned to doing it as I did in كتب.
I don’t think it will be feasible to have searches in transliteration, especially since there are so many different systems in use.
As for the boxes, that is one of the problems. I would prefer to use a transliteration scheme that everyone (or almost everyone) can see on their screens, with ʂ,ɖ,ʈ,ʐ, but some of our purists are insistent that we use underdots that require special fonts to be installed. You should download and install Code2000. Even then it can depend on your browser. Mozilla Firefox works quite well, but some other browsers seem to have more trouble with the different fonts.
If your Excel list is accurate (meaning spellings and definitions), they are welcome. When adding words, always include a transliteration. For nouns, include the gender and any plurals, and if possible an etymology that shows the root. For verbs, try to give the derived verb forms as I did in كتب. For prepositions and similar words, try to give the inflections if you can, the way I did in ل, من, عن, ب, and نفس.
In general, don’t use double diacritics (e.g., shadda-fatha or shadda-kasra), because the software automatically reverses the order so that they do not appear correctly. Just settle for either shadda or fatha, but not both. There is a way to do it, but it’s tricky (I managed it in كتب). —Stephen 03:47, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
i'm still very curious where the bot would get the words from. the arabic-arabic wiktionary? but then where would it get the english meanings from?
having a full paradigm for each verb is nice of course, but all i usually want when i look up a form I verb is that one single letter, as in, say, Hans Wehr "kataba u". is it too late to put that in right at the top?
Oh i think we are in full agreement about transliteration. i think it would be a travesty to use anything other than a system that is both easily read and also easily TYPED. i mean, if someone wants to be a "purist" about how to write arabic in arabic script, then fine. but it's ludicrous to say there is any "pure" form of transliteration. S for saad, s for seen, D for daad, d for dal. let's worry about making it usable, not making it pretty. where should i go to put my 2 cents in on that front?
is there a sort of "main forum" where the big decisions are being hashed out?
my excel spreadsheet can be accessed here: i'm not sure whether a bot could make any use of it.
Robert sides 04:36, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
The bot would have to take the page names from the various subcategories of Category:Arabic language. If it could be made to look additionally for etymology sections, it could grab the first Arabic term there, which would be the root. But the index is only an alphabetical won’t have any definitions. The definitions are given only on the individual pages.
No, it’s not too late to add the characteristic for verbs. It only has to be decided how to formulate and display it. If we only put {{ar-verb|I|كتب|kátaba u}}, I think it will cause confusion for casual users who don’t know much about Arabic. But I may be being paranoid...if we put show it just like that, perhaps nobody will be puzzled by it.
There isn’t really a main forum for this particular topic, since not that many users here know anything about Arabic. We have Wiktionary:About Arabic and Wiktionary talk:About Arabic, discussion on my talk page, and occasionally some discussions at WT:BP and the talk pages of some other users. These discussions proceed slowly and in fits and starts because most of the interested parties drift in and out. I believe there is even some mention at WT:ELE about sticking to firmly established systems for transliteraion. It’s something that has gradually evolved over a period of years.
If we were dealing with French or Spanish, it would be easy to make quick policy decisions, because there are so many users around who know those languages and the related issues. With Arabic it’s difficult to find even two knowledgeable people who are posting during the same week. —Stephen 05:39, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
Bots are a related problem. The people who know how to write them and run them don’t usually know anything about Arabic. The Arabic linguists don’t usually know how to write bot applications. So either I will have to learn how to write them or I have to wait until someone who knows how takes an interest in spite of not knowing much about the problem. Unfortunately, I’m spread pretty thin as it is, which is why the indexes are in the state they’re in.
I doubt that a bot would be able to manage Excel. I have no experience with Excel, but I suppose you have to use the Excel program in order to open and read the pages. —Stephen 05:39, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
ok so the idea is not that the bot would put in new words and definitions, but that it would e.g. go to the كتب entry and e.g. see that form II kattaba did not have its own page and then create a page for kattaba and put it in the subcategory "arabic verbs" (or even "form II verbs"). but you are not saying a bot will be able to actually scour (say) the arabic wikipedia articles and find new words and create new pages that way, right? someone will have to manually type in every single word, at least once. it looks like currently there are 242 verbs, 177 adjectives, and 925 nouns, so obviously there is a lot of work left. i am the type of person who would not "drift in and out". if i jump in, you will get a lot of good work out of me.
BUT, i am still a little unsure whether this thing is as potentially useful as it could/should be. (1) is this only going to be capable of going one way? i type كتب and get "to write". ok. is there going to be a function where i type "write" and get كتب ? possibly that is the "responsibility" of ar.wiktionary? but surely all the data is exactly the same, and it only requires a bot to invert it. (2) can you tell me where i should go for info on the transliteration scheme? e.g. exactly what key-strokes for each letter? (i have to say that the boxes for Saad, etc. are seeming more and more outrageous the more i think about it. an online dictionary that will not display on iexplorer!! a dictionary which can't be read. madness.)
thanks so much for answering my questions, Stephen. it is very clear indeed that you do a tremendous amount of work across numerous languages. you are a great guy.
Robert sides 19:09, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
No, there wouldn’t be a separate entry for kattaba, since that is spelt the same as kataba and therefore shares the same page. The index ideally should list every existing page as well as the pages that do not exist as of yet but should. However, a bot could only see what exists, so it would list كتب, which includes kataba and kattaba. As for Arabic Wiktionary, I think a bot can be made to see what is there and write them here, but Arabic Wiktionary sometimes names pages using some diacritics, such as shadda, which we don’t do here because our users don’t know when to put them. So, looking at Arabic Wiktionary could create a few difficulties, but I don’t think there are many of these. When we get words with such diacritics here, we redirect them to the unpointed spelling using "#REDIRECT [[]]".
One of the main things I hope for in a bot is to look at the etymology to see the root, so that, for example, مرسال would be indexed ر instead of م.
If you type write, you will go to the English word write which has a translation section. The Arabic word كتب goes there in the translation section, which links to كتب. Only English words have translation sections. Foreign words such as كتب don’t need translation sections, since they get translations in place of definitions. So write links to كتب, and كتب links to write.
I thought I had already made a page about Arabic transliteration, but I see now that I haven’t. I need to do that. You can use either of these. I would prefer use of the underdot, but if you can’t see the underdot, you could use ˁ instead:
aeiouāēīū, glottal stop=’, ب=b, ت=t, ث=θ, ج=j, ح=ħ, خ=x, د=d, ذ=ð, ر=r, ز=z, س=s, ش=š, ص=ṣ or sˁ, ض=ḍ or dˁ, ط=ṭ or tˁ, ظ=ẓ or ðˁ, ع=ʕ, غ=ğ, ف=f, ق=q, ك=k, ل=l, م=m, ن=n, ه=h, و=w, ي=y.
It’s helpful in the etymology section of Arabic words to include the template {{ar-root-entry|ك|ت|ب}}, putting a bar between each radical. This produces ك ت ب (k-t-b), with automatic transliterations and link. —Stephen 04:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Armenian index on Wiktionary main page[edit]

Hi Stephen. I noticed the Wiktionary Main Page has the second half of Armenian index as հ-և. It should be հ-ֆ though: ֆ is the last Armenian letter. Do you have the rights to edit the Main Page? And another question: is it possible to add transliteration symbol č̣ to the list of Armenian characters available as shortcuts in the edit mode (below the edit box)? Thank you.--Vahagn Petrosyan 16:07, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Fixed the Main Page and added č̣ to the edit tools. If you use Firefox, just press Ctrl-F5 to refresh you cache (or whatever they call it), and then you will see the new symbol in the edit tools. —Stephen 03:20, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks.--Vahagn Petrosyan 06:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Category edit for tauko[edit]

Thanks for the update on tauko. Näkemiin!! --Satish 08:32, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

Ei kestä. —Stephen 08:36, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

lie down[edit]

Hi, do you think it's necessary to distinguish in the Translations tables between lying down in prone vs supine position ([4])? Seems to me that the great majority of languages treat this by the same word like English does, and provided the Japanese and Korean (and possibly some others) don't, might that not be taken care of on the pages for those respective words themselves? --Duncan 17:45, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

I agree, languages that I’m acquainted with treat it like English does. I don’t see the need for separate tables. If there is a language that prefers the use of a verb that differentiates, a common one can be listed in the translation table and differentiation can be made on the respective page. —Stephen 19:34, 21 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, done. --Duncan 20:22, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Some Persian[edit]

Hi. Do you know Persian words "balū" or "alūbalū" meaning cherry? --Vahagn Petrosyan 22:07, 27 December 2008 (UTC)

No, I don’t. گیلاس (gilâs) is cherry. الوبخارا (alûbxârâ) means prune, but I can’t think of anything close to "balū" or "alūbalū" in Modern Persian. —Stephen 15:52, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
There are both bālū and ālū bālū listed in Steingass' 1892 dictionary, though I have no idea of status of these words today in modern literary Persian. --Ivan Štambuk 16:07, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
There are 1300 Google hits for آلوبالو, so it seems to be current. It appears to be more prevalent in eastern dialects such as Dari, having been borrowed from Urdu. —Stephen 16:18, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks both. Hey, Stephen, Ivan, do you know Arabian-English and Syriac-English dictionaries with transliterations, like Steingass' dictionary? --Vahagn Petrosyan 19:13, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
I don’t know of any that are on-line. 334a does our Aramaic/Syriac, so he might know of something. —Stephen 19:33, 28 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi there, Stephen!

Thanks for messaging me about the matter and informing me about it. Thank you also for fixing my edits. I'm a "newbie" (so the term may be) here. I got lost in how to format wiktionary entries, just like what you fixed.

connaissance et moi 00:28, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

connaissance et moi 00:32, 30 December 2008 (UTC) 2ème

You’re welcome. —Stephen 00:37, 30 December 2008 (UTC)


Hi, Stephen!

Thanks again for instructing me on language codes and the alphabetical ordering of sections. Thanks for helping, and moving saya#Filipino.


English- en

Spanish- es

French- fr


Could you give me a link to a page containing all the codes for every language? I would appreciate it very much.

Thank you a lot, connaissance et moi 00:52, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

Language Codes[edit]
That would help. Thanks for taking the time to help me with stuff. I greatly appreciate it. connaissance et moi 01:05, 30 December 2008 (UTC)