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Welcome to the Information desk of Wiktionary, a place where newcomers can ask questions about words and about Wiktionary, ask for help, or post miscellaneous ideas that don’t fit in any of the other rooms.

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May 2016

Romanization of Gothic, but not Proto-Norse, etc.?[edit]

Was wondering what the rationale behind adding romanized entries for Gothic entries is, if other languages with different scripts usually do not get such romanized entries (I do know of some others, like Japanese romaji, but they are seemingly not the rule). Adding a Proto-Norse lemma recently made me think of this - not everyone can type in Elder Futhark, and many browsers might not even display the symbols.

TL;DR: why is there swistar for 𐍃𐍅𐌹𐍃𐍄𐌰𐍂 ‎(swistar), but no swestar for ᛊᚹᛖᛊᛏᚨᚱ ‎(swestar)? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:29, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

See these three votes (especially the "Rationale" sections, since that's what you're asking about). --WikiTiki89 19:35, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick reply once more, you seem to be all over the place. It does seem that by the rationale of the 2nd discussion you linked, Proto-Norse might well be included among the languages that might benefit from romanized entries. Possibly, however, the language was too underrepresented on Wiktionary at the time to be included? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 19:55, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
I would support having romanization entries for Runic terms, regardless of language. —CodeCat 20:22, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
So would I. In my opinion, the criterion for including romanizations should not be "not everyone can type in" the native script, not "many browsers might not even display the symbols", but rather "the majority of reference works (dictionary, grammar books, textbooks, etc.) present this language in romanization and not in the native script. Thus, I have supported romanization entries for Gothic and Primitive Irish and do support them for Proto-Norse, the Anatolian languages, and Sumerian, but I would not support them for Ancient Greek, Old Church Slavonic, Classical Arabic, and Biblical Hebrew. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:18, 3 May 2016 (UTC)
Could (or should) another vote be organised on the matter? 𝚛𝚊𝚝𝚑𝚎𝚛𝚜𝚒𝚕𝚕𝚢 · 🇹 · 🇨 · 21:34, 3 May 2016 (UTC)

capitalization of "century", "dynasty" and "province"[edit]

Newbie question here. Do we capitalise "century" in 3rd Century BC, the 21st Century, etc.? They're proper nouns in this case, right? But I noticed Wikipedia does not capitalise their centuries. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:11, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

And what about "dynasty"? Should I write the Tang Dynasty or the Tang dynasty? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:13, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

One more - "province". Should I write Henan Province or Henan province? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

I would not capitalize century. The 21st century isn't a proper noun, it's just a description. I would capitalize dynasty and province in the names Tang Dynasty and Henan Province, though, just like New York City and New York State. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:10, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
Ngrams I used the 19th century so as not to conflict with the 20th Century Fox or 21st Century Fox. --WikiTiki89 14:16, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
I think that capitalization of dynasty and province falls under the same rule as rivers and mountains:
“When talking about a specific mountain (Rocky Mountains), river (Mississippi River), state (State of Texas) or street (Main Street), capitalize the nouns and adjectives in the name.
“When talking about a common noun—such as a mountain, a state, a river, or a street—do not capitalize those words.” —Stephen (Talk) 21:08, 5 May 2016 (UTC)
That's what I thought originally. But I noticed that history books commonly write it as Tang dynasty and Henan province, and not the other way. Perhaps a usage note could be written to explain this. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:28, 11 May 2016 (UTC)


Is there a feminine equivalent to this Hebrew name? --Romanophile (contributions) 23:37, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Pretty sure there isn't. Quick search on some baby name websites seems to confirm. Kleio (t · c) 01:05, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Though then again, yeshua is a historical name more than anything so you likely wouldn't find is equivalent on a modern website I guess.. Still, I haven't heard of any such female name, and I know a few. Kleio (t · c) 01:08, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
This name virtually fell out of use among Jews after the rise of Christianity. And up until modern times, it wasn't common for names to have "equivalents" of the opposite gender. Some names were mainly given to males, some mainly to females, and some to both genders without any morphological changes. In Modern Hebrew, however, it has become common to mimic "feminine" equivalents from other languages of originally Hebrew male names, giving things like מִיכָאֵלָה and דָּנִיֵּאלָה, but this addition of ־ָה ‎(-a) cannot be justified by Hebrew grammar, since these particular names (מִיכָאֵל ‎(literally Who is like God?), דָּנִיֵּאל ‎(literally God is my judge)) do not grammatically imply any gender of the bearer of the name (any such implication is merely convention). --WikiTiki89 15:16, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Daniela and Michaela in Hebrew are I think Hebraized versions of Danielle, Michelle, etc. Kleio (t · c) 16:10, 6 May 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, that's what I meant by mimic "feminine" equivalents from other languages. --WikiTiki89 16:24, 6 May 2016 (UTC)

nothing left to take away[edit]

Perfection is finally attained not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to take away.

What did he mean by this? --Romanophile (contributions) 22:23, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

I interpret it as meaning that something is in its most perfect form when every remaining component is absolutely crucial and cannot therefore be removed. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 00:32, 11 May 2016 (UTC)

Finding red/yellow links[edit]

Is there a way to find all red/yellow links for a language code? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 13:03, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

You can add a language code to the Template:redlink category, that would cause links created with {{l}}, {{m}}, {{t}}, {{t+}} to add pages with redlinks to a subcategory of Category:Redlinks by language. Note, however, that adding too many major language codes to Template:redlink category will increase page rendering times and create a bunch of errors on large pages. For orange links, the only way to go would be to write a python script and analyze the database dumps. --WikiTiki89 15:04, 19 May 2016 (UTC)

disabling editing[edit]

Is there any way to freely disable (and enable) one’s editorial functions? --Romanophile (contributions) 03:38, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Off the top of my head I can think of 1. blocking and 2. removing elements from the webpage with JavaScript. —suzukaze (tc) 03:40, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
What do you want to remove? — Ungoliant (falai) 21:06, 22 May 2016 (UTC)
All edit buttons. --Romanophile (contributions) 07:21, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

this CSS helps


--Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 08:06, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

An alternative method: Log out and vandalize until your IP is blocked. Then you can log out to disable editing and log in to enable. --WikiTiki89 15:42, 23 May 2016 (UTC)

common sayings[edit]

It would be nice if Wiktionary could add common sayings. I notice you have a "seeing is believing" entry under discussion -- since 2012 -- whatever status that gives it.

The specific one I was looking for was: don't take candy from strangers

Just for the administrative people/the people in charge to think about; you need not reply to me.

Thank you.

-- John

We actually do have them, except we call them proverbs instead of sayings. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:09, 22 May 2016 (UTC)

Formatting changes with verbs that are centred aligning to the left when they are printed[edit]

Hi Wiktionary is brilliant. I am preparing for Polish exams and am finding my new printer does not print the page as is when I select and copy and print.

Anything that is centred is aligned to the left when printed.

How can I stop this happening?

I will be making a contribution to wiktionary as it has been invaluable. thank You Anne marie

Where do we actually centre things on Wiktionary? Can you show us an example page that has the problem? Does it happen when printing from other sites with centred text? Equinox 02:07, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

vessel lacks a definition[edit]

Hi. I would add it if it wasn't too complicated for me. A vessel (church architecture) is part of the nave (the nave being everything from the narthex (included) to the transept (not included). Thank you.

  • No. I can't find any such definition in any dictionary. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:24, 28 May 2016 (UTC)
    • Perhaps they’re referring to this obsolete definition, which we lack? 1704, J. Harris, Lexicon Technicum I: »Vessels, in Architecture, are certain Ornaments, usually set over the Cornices, and so named, because they represent divers sorts of Vessels, which were in use among the Ancients.«

Finding language codes[edit]

Seriously, why is there no easily accessible list of all language codes? I'm looking for one and have no idea how to find it; and I'm not saying which one, because then the underlying issue will be ignored. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 21:53, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

@Korn Try User:Pengo/test2. DTLHS (talk) 21:59, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
@Korn: Wiktionary:List of languages, linked-to from the top of Wiktionary:Languages, lists all the codes we use. SIL lists all 3-letter ISO codes. Wiktionary:Language treatment and its talk page (especially this thread) document codes they have that we don't. - -sche (discuss) 22:24, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
How do you get to Wiktionary:Languages? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 22:26, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
If you go about looking for information on languages or for a list of all language codes, and type something to that effect into the search bar, like "Wiktionary:Languages", "Wiktionary:Language codes" or "Wiktionary:List of...", the search bar brings it up. You can also click the link "language code" on any language's main category, or in the documentation of the modules where the individual sets of language codes are stored. Where else would it be appropriate to stick a link? - -sche (discuss) 22:43, 30 May 2016 (UTC)
I include a link to Wiktionary:Languages in the documentation of parameters. See {{affix}}, {{head}}, {{poscatboiler}}, {{inh}} etc. Sadly, others haven't been so thorough. —CodeCat 00:25, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Since this is ultrabasic information required to work on literally everything Wiktionary, the appropriate place would be the goddamn front page. For example as an info on top of Index:All_languages, which is linked at the front page. New users don't know that a separate namespace Wiktionary: does even exist, they'll never find this stuff. I'll take this to a more appropriate place, though. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 09:03, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
  • The front page is for people who just want to read Wiktionary, not those who want to edit it. I don't think it's too much to expect editors to be aware of the Wiktionary namespace. What I use is User:Kephir/gadgets/xte, which gives you a button that lets you search by language name to find the code and by code to find the language name. Entering the language code as the positional parameter of {{\}} returns the language name as well, i.e. {{\|de}} returns German. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:32, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
  • Anyone who wants to become an editor is going to have to find the Wiktionary namespace right quick, and not just for this. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:09, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
@Korn In addition to what others have said, in your preferences, under Wiktionary:Per-browser preferences, there is an option near the bottom to "Add a language name to ISO code converter to the sidebar." Unfortunately, it only seems to work when editing L1 or L2 headers. Andrew Sheedy (talk) 06:31, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

June 2016

Proto-Kartvelian nouns[edit]

Are these actually nouns or roots? Bonus question: if a reconstructed archetype has a hyphen in the end, does it automatically mean it's a root? btw, in case you've just thought "wow this guy is dumb", I'll have you know that it took me exactly a year to notice this potential error. --Simboyd (talk) 15:59, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

Having worked a little with polysynthetic/agglutinative languages, I would never question the intelligence of anyone who has trouble understanding one of them. For those of us here who don't speak such languages, very basic features of them can be mind-meltingly strange. Not knowing the specifics, I would point out that being a root and being a noun aren't necessarily mutually exclusive- it depends on the language. For instance, in Sanskrit the noun lemma forms at Wiktionary don't include the inflectional endings, because the forms of the endings vary substantially according to what word follows, and because all the major dictionaries don't include them either. Chuck Entz (talk) 20:45, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Don't worry, I was being sarcastic. I've made my peace with the fact that I'm a bit slow. Anyway, none of the dictionaries of Proto-Kartvelian mention whether the reconstructions are to be classified under roots or nouns, but somehow common sense tells me they are roots. For example, *baba is most definitely a fully respectable noun while *mam- is probably just a root whence Kartvelian words for "father" are derived. It's the same in PIE entries too — the ones that end in hyphens are roots and the ones without are fully reconstructed words. I think I'll just convert all of the Kartvelian nouns/verbs to roots, after all, I'm the one who fucked them up. --Simboyd (talk) 21:54, 5 June 2016 (UTC)
Proto-Kartvelian isn't Proto-Indo-European. For one thing, PIE roots (at least as I understand it) don't really have a part of speech, since they can be made into either verbs or nouns. The answer to your question depends on the analysis of those who work with Proto-Kartvelian, which I know nothing about. Perhaps @Dixtosa or @Vahagn Petrosyan might have some insights. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:27, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
A reconstruction or word with a hyphen can have a part of speech. I don't know much about Proto-Kartvelian either, but it looks like that unlike Proto-Indo-European Proto-Kartvelian roots do have part of speech. For example, the meaning and the descendants of *ɣwino- are all nominal. --Vahag (talk) 07:18, 6 June 2016 (UTC)


We don’t have a label for this dialect. I would add it myself if I knew where it’s supposed to go. --Romanophile (contributions) 15:36, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

What's it a dialect of? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:26, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Ladino, according to w:Haketia. - -sche (discuss) 20:12, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Do we want to treat it as a dialect of Ladino or as a separate language? If we want to treat it as a dialect, do we want the category to be called "Category:Haketia" or "Category:Haketia Ladino"? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:20, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
This is a tricky question. I would go with making it a dialect just for convenience, even if it's not the ideologically correct thing to do. The category should be Category:Haketia. --WikiTiki89 14:29, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done here. The labels {{lb|lad|Haketia}}, {{lb|lad|Hakitia}}, and {{lb|lad|Haquitía}} should now all categorize into Category:Haketia, unless I did something wrong. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:46, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
The correct category is Haketia Ladino. I am changing the module to this. DTLHS (talk) 19:27, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Why is that "correct"? "Haketia" is the name of the dialect, most other dialects don't actually have names and so are called "[place] [language]", but that's not necessary here, and frankly is not very grammatical. And please let the discussion play out before making changes. --WikiTiki89 19:30, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
Show me any other dialect category that leaves out the language name. DTLHS (talk) 19:32, 8 June 2016 (UTC)
That's not an argument. But there is Category:Helsinki slang. --WikiTiki89 19:52, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

Python script?[edit]

I think I've seen two references to python within the last month. Is/was Python somehow supported by this site?~If so, in what area? Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 15:06, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

It was probably in reference to bots. Python has some pretty good libraries supporting the MediaWiki API and even some that do wikitext parsing and more, and so most bots are written in Python. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 8 June 2016 (UTC)

context labels: derogatory vs pejorative vs offensive[edit]

When to use which?--Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 06:37, 10 June 2016 (UTC)

Updating Appendix:Glossary with the subtleties explained would be best. --Giorgi Eufshi (talk) 06:45, 10 June 2016 (UTC)
I've been trying to go by the definitions found on the [[Category:English terms by usage]] page which may be of some help to you, but especially derogatory and pejorative seem to me to be used as synonyms a lot of the time. Would also like some clarification on this. — Kleio (t · c) 18:35, 11 June 2016 (UTC)

Is there a way to know when a word is added to a category?[edit]

Turns out putting it on watchlist only informs you about source code changes. But I'd like to know about new entries being created for a language/category. Korn [kʰũːɘ̃n] (talk) 11:32, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

When you watch a category, you can uncheck the box that says page categorization on your watchlist page (under watchlist options just above the list of changes) and it will show new additions to that category. — Kleio (t · c) 14:25, 13 June 2016 (UTC)
So you uncheck the box to view page categorization? Isn't this backwards? DTLHS (talk) 00:41, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
No as long as the list of checkboxes is preceded by "hide", and they are. Dixtosa (talk) 05:13, 15 June 2016 (UTC)
Though whether it should be checked by default is debatable. — Kleio (t · c) 23:24, 19 June 2016 (UTC)


Cōnsors can sometimes appear in the ablative as cōnsorte, although here it is only declined in the ablative as cōnsortī. There is an example of this use in Ovid's Metamorphoses book 1 line 319 "cum consorte tori parva rate vectus adhaesit,"

I have no idea where to suggest this fix nor how to do it myself. 00:05, 15 June 2016 (UTC)

Template to request checking of a definition?[edit]

We have {{gloss-stub}}, but that's for unclear or imprecise definitions, while {{rfv-sense}} is for when the definition is disputed. Is there a mechanism to ask for other users to check if a given sense is accurate, and amend it if necessary? —CodeCat 20:35, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

I've seen {{rfdef}} used for this (i.e. with a definition already given). --WikiTiki89 20:43, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Japanese loan words[edit]

Random question for those Japanese speakers out there: if a Japanese term that derives from Chinese already exists, when is that term preferred over its equivalent transliterated from a Western language? E.g. there are two words for "music" in Japanese - 音楽 and ミュージック. When is the former preferred over the latter? Or are they interchangeable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 13:37, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

I can tell you that, generally speaking, words written in kanji have a formal, cold, technical feel, while the same word written is hiragana is softened, warm, and made comfortable. Then borrowings from Chinese are more technical and formal (equivalent to English using Latin and Greek borrowings), while borrowings from English are popular, stylish, and fun (equivalent to English using Norse and Anglo-Saxon forms). The native Japanese equivalents are often considered old-fashioned, lower-class. The native Japanese words usually have a broader meaning than the loanwords: English inn, Japanese 宿屋 (yadoya), Sino-Japanese 旅館 (ryokan), English ホテル (hoteru). The Sino-Japanese words are likely to be found in contracts and other formal transactions. The English loans would be preferred, for example, in less formal transactions such as cancellation of appointments, ticket reservations, etc.
When choosing between on'yomi (Chinese loans) and kun'yomi (native Japanese), the on'yomi are used in compounds, and the kun'yomi are used in isolation. —Stephen (Talk) 14:44, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
Very helpful, thanks! ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:56, 26 June 2016 (UTC)


A decadent randomness; not always about alcohol, maybe flippant and haphazard, bored and unconcerned, but with an element of supremacy