Wiktionary:About Spanish

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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.

Note 1: This guide is intended to provide guidelines both for creating Spanish entries on English Wiktionary as well as for adding Spanish translations to English words. The main guidelines for creating any entry on English Wiktionary is set forth in Wiktionary:Entry layout explained; this page is an addition to that page, not a replacement.

Note 2: If a change occurs in the basic wiktionary template (currently at Wiktionary:Entry layout explained that affects Spanish entries, then that change should be reflected here.

Creating Spanish entries

Entry name

The name of the entry is that of the word or phrase that you are defining.

Capitalization: Spanish does not capitalize words as often as English, so the entry name will usually begin with a lowercase letter. Exceptions include many abbreviations and some proper nouns, such as names of people and countries.

Diacritics: Spanish uses two diacritics: the acute accent (á é í ó ú) and the dieresis (ü). These should always be included. Spanish speakers often drop acute accents from capital letters, but at Wiktionary we always include them. Similarly, the letters n and ñ should always be distinguished.

Periods: Periods are used only in abbreviations (abreviatura such as EE. UU.). Symbols (such as cm or $), shortenings (acortamientos such as foto) and all types of acronyms and initialims (siglas and acrónimos) don't use periods.

The essentials

  1. Language header lets you know the language of the word in question (==Spanish==). It is almost always in a level two heading (See Wiktionary:How to edit a page for some basic terminology we use). When there is more than one language header on a page, the language headers should appear in alphabetical order with Translingual and English given priority. Do not use Castilian in the language header.
  2. Part of Speech header may be a misnomer, but it seemed to make sense when it was first chosen. It is the key descriptor for the grammatical function of the term in question (such as 'noun', 'verb', etc). The definitions themselves come within its scope. This heading is most frequently in a level three heading, and a page may have more than one for a single language.
  3. Headword line is the line immediately following the part of speech header. In the simplest entries, this will be just {{head|es|(part of speech)}}. It is preferred to make use of the standard headword templates provided.
  4. Definitions or Translations of the word appear as a numbered list in the part of speech section immediately following the headword line, though it is a good idea to include a blank line in between for ease of editing.

A very simple example

This is a simple entry for the word lápiz, and shows the most fundamental elements of an article:

  1. the word’s language (as a level 2 heading),
  2. its part of speech or "type" (as a level 3 heading),
  3. the word itself (using the correct Part of Speech template),
  4. a definition (preceded by "#", which causes automatic numbering),
  5. and links in the definition or translation for key words.

This example can be copied and used to start an article or section of an article.



# [[pencil]], [[crayon]]
# [[graphite]]

Formatting Spanish entries

Preferred order of sections

The part of speech section will often include simple translation(s) into English in place of definitions, but there may be subsections.

Following is the preferred sequence for these standard sections:

 ===Alternative forms===
 ====Usage notes====
 ====Conjugation==== (''Note: Only for verb entries'')
 ====Related terms====
 ===See also===

Please note that the Noun header is only one possible part of speech that may appear as the header. If the entry being created is for a Spanish verb, then "Verb" should appear in place of the word "Noun" in the example above.


If you read Spanish, a good place to get the etymology information for a word is the Spanish Royal Academy's Dictionary. If the word is a derivative using a suffix/prefix and another word you can note that as well ([[Category:Spanish suffixes]], [[Category:Spanish prefixes]]). Examples:

  • For volar(to fly) From {{etyl|la|es}} {{term|volare|volāre|lang=la}}, present active infinitive of {{term|volo|volō|lang=la}}.
  • For cafetal(coffee field) {{suffix|café|al|lang=es}}
  • For antemano(beforehand) {{prefix|ante|mano|lang=es}}

Etymologies should be traced back to lemma forms whenever possible.


The following accent tags can be used to distinguish between Spanish dialects:

Phonemic transcriptions
Phonetic transcriptions
  • Spain: {{a|Northern Spain}}, {{a|Southern Spain}}, {{a|Canarian Spanish}}, ...
  • Latin America: {{a|coastal Mexico}}, {{a|Peru}}, {{a|Costa Rica}}, {{a|Puerto Rico}}, {{a|Andean Venezuela}}, {{a|highland Bolivia}}, {{a|Peruvian Sierra}}, ...

See Wiktionary:Spanish pronunciation for the specific IPA symbols used for Spanish phonemes and phones.

Headword line templates

Most English entries use a headword template immediately following the part of speech header. For Spanish entries, the following templates are available.

For lemma Noun entries (singular forms of nouns, not plurals [Note: It is not yet clear whether to treat the feminine form of certain male/female noun pairs (e.g. amiga) as its own lemma form or as a gender-inflected non-lemma form of the masculine form.]):

  • {{es-noun|m}} for masculine nouns
  • {{es-noun|f}} for feminine nouns
  • {{es-noun|mf}} for countable nouns which have forms of both genders

For lemma Verb entries (the infinitive):

For lemma Adjective entries (usually masculine singular):

  • {{es-adj}} (see template page for information about indicating feminine form)

For non-lemma noun, verb, and adjective entries (e.g. plurals of nouns, feminine and forms of adjectives, and verb forms that do not end in -r), {{head}} may be used instead:

  • {{head|es|noun form}}
  • {{head|es|verb form|}}
  • {{head|es|adjective form}}

Some non-lemma forms may be better expressed with only the term bolded (or a template that produces such a result, such as es-verb-form), while information on the form is provided on the definition line (through a template such as es-verb form of). This is particularly helpful in verb forms, which may have multiple definitions.

Spanish in non-Spanish entries

Besides Spanish entries, Spanish words appear in two places within entries for words in other languages: the Translations section of English entries, as well as the Etymology section of non-Spanish words derived from Spanish.

Spanish translations for English words

Spanish words will appear in the Translations sections of English words. In general, only the lemma form of the Spanish translation should be given, as described for each part of speech listed above.

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 which follows:

* Spanish: {{t|es|ejemplo|m}}
* Spanish: ejemplo m

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

  1. es – the ISO code for Spanish
  2. ejemplo – the word
  3. m – the gender: m, f, mf (m & f)
  4. (optional) s – the number: s for singular, or p for plural; typically this is not used for singular words

The superscript (es)   provides a link to Wikcionario, specifically to the relevant word should it exist there. The text ejemplar links to the entry for the Spanish word in the English Wiktionary.

Two variants of the {{t}} template exist. These are {{t+}} and {{t-}}. The + or - in the name indicates whether Wikcionario 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-Spanish words

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

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

From {{etyl|es}} {{term|cañón|lang=es}}
From Spanish cañón

The first template invocation {{etyl|es}} identifies the word as having a Spanish origin. When the word is English, this template requires only the first argument (but see the next example below).

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

  1. cañón – the word (identifies the source word to be linked)
  2. lang=es – specifies the source word is Spanish

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

The additional (named) argument lang=es is not required by the template to function, and technically is optional. However, it should always be included as a courtesy to users. This named argument ensures the link will lead to the Spanish 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 Spanish entry on that page. Therefore, it is better practice to include this named argument.

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

From {{etyl|es|tl}} {{term|cerveza| |beer|lang=es}}
From Spanish cerveza(beer)

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 Spanish 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, since the word in this example is not English, the template {{etyl}} requires a second argument, in this case tl to indicate Tagalog. For English words that come from Spanish, this argument is optional. For all other languages, this argument is required, since the template will categorize the entry by etymology. For the example above, the template adds the entry to Category:Tagalog terms derived from Spanish. 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.

Other Spanish aids