Wiktionary:Votes/2012-08/Foreign Word of the Day

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Foreign Word of the Day[edit]

Voting on: Adding a Foreign Word of the Day feature just below the current (English-only) Word of the day. This will be done by adding the following code to the Main Page:

Code to be added at Line 41 of the Main page
41 <!-- ##FOREIGN WORD OF THE DAY ###-->
42 {{#ifexist:Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/{{CURRENT YEAR}}/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}} | {{Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/{{CURRENT YEAR}}/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}}} | <table cellspacing="0" style="border:3px solid #AABBDD; background:#E9F3FF;width:100%;padding:10px;"><tr><td><div style="float:left;margin-top:10px;margin-left:10px;">[[File:Wikinews commentary.svg|55px]]</div><div style="font-size:150%;border-bottom:1px solid #AAAAAA">Foreign word of the day<font size="2">  comes here.</font></div></td></tr><tr><td>'''word''' ''n''
43 #Please leave a note in the [[Wiktionary:Beer parlour|Beer parlour]] to tell us that there is no foreign word of the day.</td></tr></table>}}</div>

The code is basically the same as that used for the English Word of the day. Here is an example of the template in action and here is an example of how the FWOTD box appears when there is no word set.

Words with interesting or notable definitions and complete entries with at least one citation (after satisfying some other requirements) will be chosen by Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV (talkcontribs) and Metaknowledge (talkcontribs) to appear on the main page on a daily basis. They will be automatically updated via a subpage system, just like the English Word of the day. If you are curious to see how it would look, see User:Metaknowledge/Main page.

A long list to choose from is already present at WT:Foreign Word of the Day#Nominations, although most of them are from 2007 and thus may not meet our requirements. We have all the templates necessary, including {{fwotd-nom}} and {{was fwotd}}, and Ungoliant has built up {{FWOTD}} with all the features that we might use (see Template:FWOTD/doc for further details). We also have a complete archiving system that will start working automatically as soon as we post words.

We intend to stay at least a week ahead of schedule at all times, and if either one of us cannot put the time in, we will notify the other so that there is still a volunteer on board.

This idea was originally proposed as the 'Word du Jour' in 2007, but has seen no progress until now. We hope that you can make this a reality, a multilingual Word of the Day to match a multilingual dictionary.

If you vote support, comment on your vote if you support the following features of FWOTD we are thinking about including:

  • A “Focus week” system. For example, in a Latin week we add mostly (or only) Latin words.
  • The eligibility of reconstructed languages.
  • The eligibility of constructed languages.

  • Vote starts: 00:01, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 6 September 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 06:02, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
    I support all three, in moderation. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support . — Ungoliant (Falai) 06:06, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
    Forgot to say: I support a focus week system and the elegibility of constructed and reconstructed languages. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:12, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol support vote.svg Support Maro 12:08, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
    But I do not support constructed and reconstructed languages. Maro 17:35, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg SupportCodeCat 15:48, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
    I support constructed languages that meet CFI, and as long as they are properly referenced I support reconstructed languages as well. We should probably not have them as FWOTD very often though.
    I don't feel happy about allowing non-CFI conlangs, because of their typical nature as 'hobby' projects or curiosities as opposed to real scholarly research. Perhaps we could allow them on a case-by-case basis.
    I support focus weeks.
  5. Symbol support vote.svg Support --BB12 (talk) 03:39, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
    I support all three items. I don't think every week necessarily has to be a focus week, but it provides structure for both the reader and the people putting the week together. Constructed and reconstructed languages should be used (probably less commonly) as they are also interesting for the reader. --BB12 (talk) 15:16, 9 August 2012 (UTC)
  6. Symbol support vote.svg SupportInternoob 07:00, 9 August 2012 (UTC) I support constructed languages (EDIT: that meet CFI 17:50, 11 August 2012 (UTC)), don't care about focus weeks, and oppose reconstructed languages. They don't meet CFI, likely have no interest to the common reader, and are not what Wiktionary is about.
  7. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Anatoli (обсудить) 02:58, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
  8. Symbol support vote.svg Support JamesjiaoTC 03:28, 14 August 2012 (UTC) The terms need to be attestable to be included.
  9. Symbol support vote.svg Support --Yoursmile (talk) 12:05, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  10. Symbol support vote.svg Support With the same comment as Internoob expressed for con- and reconlang. Except that I support focus weeks but with some reservations as I am not sure that all languages/lang-families would get treatment similar enough. I am not sure I understand how and how often focus weeks will change focus. --BiblbroX дискашн 23:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
    Focus weeks are really dependent on the presence of entries to display. We will make an effort to include minor languages spoken by aboriginal peoples outside of Europe, because these are usually the least known, but there will be some bias towards the languages that Wiktionary is strong in, because of our requirements (see WT:FW). If you feel like a language or group of languages is not getting fair treatment, all you have to do is nominate some terms and suggest a focus week! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 23:44, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
    K, so focus weeks could generally change focus when new eligible focused candidates arrive for fwotd? If that's the case, then I am in for focus weeks. --BiblbroX дискашн 23:55, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  11. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Also support constructed and reconstructed terms, no opinion on focus weeks. --Yair rand (talk) 19:36, 19 August 2012 (UTC)
  12. Symbol support vote.svg Support. Also strongly support reconstructed terms. Oppose constructed terms. Neutral on “Focus week” system. --Vahag (talk) 14:39, 21 August 2012 (UTC)
  13. Symbol support vote.svg Support including weekly focus, neutral on reconstructed languages, oppose constructed languages. DAVilla 03:32, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose I will not support this as long as it allows constructed languages like PIE to appear on the main page. -- Liliana 14:25, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Per Ungoliant's comment below (of 20:31, 22 August 2012 (UTC)), the above code is buggy. So I'm voting in opposition. If the main vote passes, though, then I abstain on the idea of focus weeks and oppose the inclusion of conlangs and reconstructed languages.​—msh210 (talk) 18:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    You're opposing because the code has been fixed? I don't get it. —CodeCat 18:18, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    What's not to get? He's opposing because the wikitext that we're voting on is broken, which he didn't realize until Ungoliant pointed it out. Ungoliant also provided a fixed version of the wikitext, but we're not voting on that fixed version. (But personally, I think I'll stick with "abstain". It's annoying that we're voting to add broken wikitext to the main page, but even if this vote passes, I'm sure no one will insist that we have to institute the broken version and then leave it in place for a month while we hold a new vote to fix it.) —RuakhTALK 18:31, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    I didn't think anyone was going to be that bureaucratic about it... :/ —CodeCat 21:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    If the vote passes, the fixed code should be added to the main page, not the bugged one. The main point of the vote is whether there should be a Foreign Word of the Day feature in the Main Page or not. Or if we insist on Vogon-like bureaucracy, we can add the bugged version and immediately fix it. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:58, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    I think holding a discussion in the BP should be adequate to pass the fixed code. --BB12 (talk) 20:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose Dan Polansky (talk) 20:17, 23 August 2012 (UTC) This is a badly written vote overall, so I oppose. For one thing, the voted-on text contains statements that are not intended for the voters to agree with or diagree with, such as "We intend to stay at least a week ahead of schedule at all times, ..." or "A long list to choose from is already present at WT:Foreign Word of the Day#Nominations, ...". Put differently, the vote mixes the voted-on thing with a rationale and auxiliary non-normative information. For another thing, the vote fixes two particular users as the ultimate decision makers, which I dislike: "Words with interesting or notable definitions and complete entries with at least one citation (after satisfying some other requirements) will be chosen by Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV (talk • contribs) and Metaknowledge (talk • contribs) to appear on the main page on a daily basis." --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:17, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    I think it makes more sense to regard the label "Voting on" as having scope over only the first sentence, namely "Adding a Foreign Word of the Day feature just below the current (English-only) Word of the day", and regarding all the rest — including, @msh210, the proposed wikitext — as non-normative. Your own penchant for including rationales gives precedent for having non-normative text in the vote, though obviously you always take care to explicitly label the rationale as a rationale, which arguably does a better job of implying that it's non-normative. —RuakhTALK 20:34, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    Given the wording of the vote, seeing the "voting on" as applying only to the first sentence seems to make some sense, but this interpretation of the vote is nowhere obvious. If a vote states two decision makers, how is an interpreter of the vote to know this is not being voted on?
    My including a separate rationale section provides a clear separation of what is being voted on and what the proposer thinks are some of the best reasons for supporting the voted-on part. People often feel the urge to provide a rationale as part of the vote, as can be seen in various Wiktionary votes that have appeared before I have started to provide a separate "rationale" section. I certainly do not feel like inspiring people to mix a voted-on part with a rationale; to the contrary. --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:13, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    Actually, I read the first paragraph and the code as normative. (Hence my vote in opposition, as I explain above.) Your reading may be right. This should have been clarified before the vote started.​—msh210 (talk) 22:53, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
    OK, everybody! I wrote the vote, and I intended that the part labeled 'Voting on' would be exactly what we're voting on! *gasp* I'm sorry that you were so excessively confused by the fact that I decided to include background and links to relevant pages and templates. I hope you realize that the reason that these two users are the choosers is because we are the only ones who stepped forward to do the work to implement this (for five years, various users have asked for FWOTD volunteers, and nobody has stepped up. I can provide links to BP and other discussions.). So, Msh210, we are not Vogons, and please don't oppose just because Ungoliant did us all a favor by checking the templates again. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:02, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
    Well, there's a huge block of text that's introduced by "voting on", so while it may be obvious to you that "the part labeled 'Voting on'" is only a subset of that huge block of text, it's not necessarily obvious to everyone else. There's no need to get sarcastic. (And at the very least, if you're going to be sarcastic, you might as well be helpfully sarcastic by actually explaining the thing that's supposed to be so obvious!) As for being Vogons — I think that's premature. If, once a problematic vote has passed, people refuse to interpret it commonsensically, then sure, you can accuse us of Vogonicity. But I don't think it's Vogonic to object to a problematic vote, especially since one person's "common sense" is not another. Even if we all know that the biggest problems with the vote will have to be resolved, somehow, if it passes, that doesn't mean that we all know exactly how they'll be resolved. You and CodeCat seem to be taking it for granted that Ungoliant's proposed alternative wikitext is what we'll end up with, but obviously Ungoliant didn't feel confident enough to just fix the vote-text. —RuakhTALK 00:59, 24 August 2012 (UTC)
    Sorry, I was just annoyed. I try not to use too much non-witty sarcasm when I can help it. I do think that calling a technical, or debating my (mis)use of bold text or Ungoliant's choice to use the 'Comments' section instead of just editing it, is following the letter of the law and not its spirit. I don't take it for granted that we'll use the new wikitext — I take it for granted that we'll use the most correct wikitext we know of that produces essentially what the old wikitext intended to produce. And choosing not to interpret something commonsensically is the same thing if it's done now or a month from now. It may not be Vogonic, but it is certainly not productive (do you want this to take a month longer so that the same result ensues?). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:11, 24 August 2012 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. Not against it but I don't read the main page so it won't affect me. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:09, 8 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Symbol oppose vote.svg I abstain from the main point of the vote, but oppose the inclusion of constructed languages and of reconstructed languages.​—msh210 (talk) 17:05, 9 August 2012 (UTC) I'm striking and indenting this and voting above instead.​—msh210 (talk) 18:08, 23 August 2012 (UTC)
      …and I abstain from voting on focus weeks.​—msh210 (talk) 17:20, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain on the main point, abstain on the idea of "focus" weeks, support allowing the occasional interesting well-reference reconstructed-term entry if we do this, and oppose allowing any constructed-language term ever (since the only ones that could meet the CFI are ones from "proselytizing" languages that I don't think we should be giving help to). —RuakhTALK 03:10, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    Comment: I'm surprised to see so many abstentions, but I'm glad to see even abstainers are responding to our opinion poll. How about you, MG? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:15, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    Normally, abstainers can be silent. This time, we have something to say.  :-) ​—msh210 (talk) 17:31, 15 August 2012 (UTC)


The code above is bugged. Here is the correction (and some minor changes so it looks nicer when it fails):

Code to be added at Line 41 of the Main page
41 <!-- ##FOREIGN WORD OF THE DAY ###-->
42 {{#ifexist:Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/{{CURRENTYEAR}}/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}} | {{Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/{{CURRENTYEAR}}/{{CURRENTMONTHNAME}} {{CURRENTDAY}}}} | <table cellspacing="0" style="border:3px solid #AABBDD; background:#E9F3FF;width:100%;padding:10px; margin-top:30px;"><tr><td><div style="float:left;margin-top:-25px;margin-left:-25px;">[[File:Wikinews commentary.svg|55px]]</div><div style="font-size:150%;border-bottom:1px solid #AAAAAA">Foreign word of the day<font size="2"> comes here.</font></div></td></tr><tr><td>'''word''' ''n''
43 #Please leave a note in the [[Wiktionary:Beer parlour|Beer parlour]] to tell us that there is no foreign word of the day.</td></tr></table>}}</div>

Ungoliant (Falai) 20:31, 22 August 2012 (UTC)


  • (Having a Foreign Word of the Day feature in the Main Page) Passes: 13-3-2.
    • (Existence of a Focus Week system): Passes: 6-0-12.
    • (Eligibility of reconstructed languages): No consensus: 7-5-6.
    • (Eligibility of constructed languages): No consensus: 7-6-5.
I will start a BP discussion to consult the community on whether the bugged code or the corrected code should be added to the main page, and whether it’s fine to add a request for nominations for a week. — Ungoliant (Falai) 19:16, 7 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree with the above, but wish to add that the eligibility of, specifically, conlangs that don't meet the CFI fails at-most-4 to at-least-9 to 5.​—msh210 (talk) 07:54, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I am not convinced that the focus weeks, conlangs, etc are part of the vote proper. I actually saw them as an opinion poll of a sort (although Ungoliant wrote that part, so my thoughts on it aren't so important, I suppose). Anyway, a very strict reading of the vote would show that the poll questions were preceded by "if you vote support", and therefore would suggest that in fact the opposers' and abstainers' opinions don't count, which would be a very strange way to run part of an official vote. However, this re-interpretation past the text of the vote during the decision is problematic, in my mind. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 14:55, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

You may be right, but what has been polled cannot be unpolled. Now that you know how many people are against it, I don't think you can, in good faith, feature words from reconstructed or constructed languages. —RuakhTALK 15:13, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we would have done it very much at all, but occasionally something fits so well that it feels like it would be a shame to settle on a descendant language filled with connotations for the reader. I guess it's just that there is a bit of beauty in the possibilities that I hate to ignore (like the occasional word that feels so perfect to its job, so mellifluous, and so unique a concept never again to be found in the world's languages — and then it tunrs out it's in an appendix). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:25, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I plan on holding a BP straw poll in the future, hopefully people will be in favour of re/constructed languages in the future. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:33, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
OK. Given the lack of opposition (or really, lack of interest) in the BP, do you think we can add the one-week request for nominations now? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:36, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
“or really, lack of interest” lol that describes pretty much every BP discussions we held on FWOTD. Let’s add it and set the first words. — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:55, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
I'll let you have the honor of editing the main page. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:05, 9 September 2012 (UTC)