Wiktionary:Using templates

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By Templates, we mean those entries in the Template: namespace.

Templates are designed to be used for a number of purposes

  • To allow the consistent, quick insertion of a common block of boilerplate text.
  • To allow for the abbreviated entry of common code

With parameters, these usages can be extended to boilerplate text which has some variation.

The use of templates also allows for the change of the boilerplate text in one place, with the changes then being reflected into each of the entries using the template. However, this use has drawbacks, as the entries are not updated until the next time the entry is edited and saved.

The common use of templates is also useful if entries are to be automatically translated into another language. The boilerplate text can be translated just once, and the entries using the template will have that part automatically translated.

This last possible use has led to a large number of short templates being used, such as {{noun}} , to allow for the easy translation of the labels such as {{noun}} into other languages. This usage is apparently very common, almost obligatory, in the Dutch Wiktionary. However, this use is very intermittent at best in the English Wiktionary, and there is little evidence of such templates actually being used for automated translation. This usage is still subject to some debate.

Templates have also been used as a way of holding dynamic lists for insertion into just one or a few other pages, thus isolating maintenance of the list from maintenance of the overall page. Please do not use the Template:namespace for such use. See instead Help:Showing the contents of one page within another page.


1. The Template: namespace should be reserved for boilerplate text that is intended to be inserted into many other pages.
2. Each template should have an explanation of its use. Where possible, this should be included in the bolierplate text itself. Otherwise, it should be in the "Talk" page of the template.
3. Each template should be listed in the Wiktionary:Index to templates or Wiktionary:Inflection templates, with a brief description of its purpose.
This is desirable so that newcomers can see at a glance, in one place what templates are available, with a brief description of their use