Wiktionary:About Italian

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This is a guide for editors of Italian terms in the English Wiktionary.

First Things First[edit]

You should read Wiktionary:Entry layout explained first, although it mostly concerns the formatting of English terms.

Whereas English terms have a definition, Italian (and other language) terms have a translation into English. Where a term can be translated in several ways, each way should be given a separate line, with an optional explanation in brackets. Where no simple translation exists then an explanation in the form of an English language sentence should be given instead.

All Italian entries should start with ==Italian== as the first line or, if there are multiple language entries for a term, after a ---- line. The names of all sections must be in English. In addition to the mandatory part-of-speech section (at level three) other useful sections are:- Pronunciation and Etymology (normally at level three, before the part of speech), Related terms, Derived terms, Synonyms and (for verbs) a Conjugation section (all at level four). Any See also section is normally coded last, at level three.


Most Italian nouns have gender and number, and relatively few are invariant. The {{it-noun}} template should be used to generate the headword for all except invariant nouns. See the template's talk page for help in using it. See qualità for an example of how to code an invariant noun.


Similarly, most Italian adjectives have masculine and feminine, singular and plural forms and the {{it-adj}} template should normally be used to generate the headword (or the {{it-adj-sup}} template for superlatives). See the template's talk page for help in using its three different formats. See blu for an example of an invariant adjective.


Italian adverbs only have a single form. The template {{it-adv}} should be used to generate the headword and add the entry to the correct category. A "Related terms" section should list the corresponding adjective. See lentamente as an example.


The main entry for an Italian verb is that for the infinitive. The template {{it-verb}} should be used to generate the headword; it also adds the entry to the correct category. They are either transitive, intransitive or reflexive and this should be noted either beside the headword, or at the beginning of each translation line if both transitive and intransitive forms are used.

The infinitive of Italian verbs is sometimes used as an invariant masculine noun, in the sense that a gerund is used in English. As this is part of the grammar of the language, we do not explicitly add a noun sense to these entries.

For regular verbs, the Conjugation entry may be generated by one of a set of standard templates. See Wiktionary:Italian inflection templates for details. For irregular verbs a similar conjugation table needs to be constructed, using overrides.

See -are, -ere and -ire for lists of irregular verbs.

The conjugated forms of Italian verbs themselves are generated by a bot. The bot-owner will probably detect a new verb and run the bot automatically. However, you may draw it to his attention by editing User:SemperBlottoBot/feedme (The same bot generates the plural forms of nouns, and the feminine and plural forms of adjectives)


Nouns and adjectives are put into the Category:Italian nouns and Category:Italian adjectives categories by the standard templates. The bot puts noun, adjective and verb forms into the appropriate category.

Italian forms of many other categories may be included by using the lang=it forms of templates (as required). See idrogeno as an example (which also shows how a link to Italian Wikipedia may be coded.


Italian pronunciation (and spelling) is very regular, but a Pronunciation section would be useful in words containing the gl pairing (/ʎ/). See gli as an example. Such a section would also be useful in those instances (such as glicerina) in which the pair of letters is pronounced in the English manner.

Most Italian words are stressed on the penultimate syllable and, where the stress is on the last syllable this is normally marked by a grave accent (see gioventù as an example). In these and similar situations a Pronunciation section may be useful.

Given the regularity of the Italian pronunciation, another form to show it could be useful (and is actually used by the most Italian dictionaries), beside IPA or SAMPA form: writing the words with the graphic accents, as àncora or ancóra for ancora.

The following IPA symbols apply to Italian words. See Alfabeto fonetico internazionale for details.

  • Vowels
  • [a] a as in "casa"
  • [e] closed e as in "velo"
  • [ε] open e as in "cartello"
  • [i] i as in "fine"
  • [o] closed o as in "Roma"
  • [ɔ] open o as in "cotto"
  • [u] u as in "muro"
  • Simple Consonants
  • [p] p as in "pane"
  • [b] b as in "banco"
  • [f] f as in "focaccia"
  • [v] v as in "vetro"
  • [t] t as in "treno"
  • [d] d as in "dente"
  • [s] s as in "sole"
  • [z] s (not z) as in "rosa"
  • [k] hard c as in "cane"
  • [g] hard g as in "gatto"
  • [m] m as in "mare"
  • [n] n as in "nave"
  • [ŋ] n as in "incanto" and "inganno", or ng in "inglese"
  • [r] r as in "rosa"
  • [l] l as in "lana"
  • [ʎ] gl as in "gli"
  • [ɲ] gn as in "gnomo"
  • Composite Consonants
  • [tʃ] soft c as in "cielo"
  • [ts] harsh z as in "inizio"
  • [dz] soft z as in "zona"
  • [dʒ] soft g as in "gelo"
  • Semiconsonants
  • [j] i as in "ieri", or j as in "Jesolo"
  • [w] u as in "tuorlo"
  • Stress mark
  • [ˈ] This small apostrophe is placed immediately before the stressed syllable


The majority of Italian words have as roots a Latin word of similar spelling. A sizeable minority are from Greek, Tuscan and other (mostly romance) languages. An Etymology section is most useful in these cases.

Regional variation[edit]

Words that have a local or regional spelling or usage should be marked with the appropriate placename, and a synonyms section should include the national word or spelling. See graspo as an example.

Note: The definition/translation lines of Swiss Italian words may be prefixed with {{Switzerland|lang=it}}. See autopostale as an example.

Note: Sicilian, Neapolitan and Venetian are treated as separate languages.

Italian in non-Italian entries[edit]

Besides Italian entries, Italian words may appear in two places within entries for words in other languages: (1) the Translations section of English entries, and (2) the Etymology section of non-Italian words derived from Italian.

Italian translations of English words[edit]

Italian words will appear in the Translations sections of English words. In general, only the lemma form of the Italian translation should be given.

An abbreviated table from the entry for example is shown below: (Click [Show] to expand the translation table.)

The template {{t}} should be used, it speeds up entry and will enable any later, global changes in format to be made.

The syntax below will give the output in grey that follows:

* Italian: {{t|it|esempio|m}}
* Italian: esempio m

The template is explained at Template_talk:t; it has the following arguments:

  1. it – the ISO code for Italian
  2. esempio – the word
  3. m – the word's gender (m or f)

The superscript (it)   provides a link to Wikizionario, specifically to the relevant word should it exist there. The text esempio links to the entry for the Italian word in the English Wiktionary.

Two variants of the {{t}} template exist. These are {{t+}} and {{t-}}. The + or - in the name indicates whether Wikizionario does or does not have a corresponding entry with this name. It is not necessary to check this. A bot automatically checks the entries, so if you are not sure, you may simply use {{t}} and the bot will adjust the template as necessary.

Etymology of non-Italian words[edit]

Some words in English and other languages derive from Italian. Such words will appear in the Descendants section of the Italian entry, but the Etymology section of each of those words should also link back to the Italian word from which it descends.

A simple example from the English entry for violin is shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|it|en}} {{term|violino|lang=it}}
From Italian violino

The first template {{etyl}} identifies the word as having an Italian origin.

The second template {{term}} is explained at Template_talk:term. In the example above, it has the following arguments:

  1. violino – the word (identifies the source word to be linked)
  2. lang=it – specifies the source word is Italian

The first argument is required, as it is the target for the link generated by {{term}} or {{m}}.

The additional (named) argument lang=it is not required by the template to function, and technically is optional. However, it should always be included to link to the specific language in question. This named argument ensures the link will lead to the Italian section of the target page. If it is omitted, the link will lead instead to the top of the target page rather than to the Italian entry on that page. Therefore, it is better practice to include this named argument.

An optional argument providing the English translation of the Italian word may also be included, as in the example from the Serbo-Croatian entry for kušin shown below. The syntax on the following line will give the output in grey that follows:

From {{etyl|it|sh}} {{term|cuscino||cushion, pillow|lang=it}}
From Italian cuscino(cushion, pillow)

The English translation is included in the position of the third argument, however this argument is not necessary for the template to function. The second argument position is blank, and is never used for Italian derivations. But even though it is a blank, it must be present whenever the English translation is included, or the template will not display correctly.

Additionally, the template {{etyl|it}} requires an argument, in this case sh to indicate Serbo-Croatian. For the example above, the template adds the entry to Category:Serbo-Croatian terms derived from Italian. The template builds the category name directly from the given ISO code, so a missing or incorrect argument will cause to entry to be categorized incorrectly. More on the use of this template and others like it is available at Wiktionary:Etymology/language templates.

Additional help[edit]

Help from the community[edit]

Sometimes, we know there is a problem, but don't know what to do to correct the problem. If you should find an Italian entry with a problem that you do not know how to correct, there are several ways to approach the situation.

  1. Mark the page with {{attention|it}}. This template adds the entry to Category:Italian terms needing attention, where another user can then find and correct the problem. It helps if you include comments on the entry's talk page explaining what the problem is or why you think the page needs attention.
  2. Raise the issue on Wiktionary talk:About Italian. Note that this approach is primarily for issues of style, formatting, categorization, and not for specifics of content.
  3. Mark the page with {{rfc}}. this is a more general cleanup tag, and it allows the user to include reasons or concerns as an argument in the template. Be sure to also add an entry to WT:RFC concerning the word so that other editors will be made aware of the problem.

Other Italian aids[edit]