Wiktionary:Votes/2018-03/Showing romanizations in italics by default

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Showing romanizations in italics by default[edit]

Voting on: Italicizing the display of romanization produced by {{l}}, {{m}} and {{head}} templates by default.


  • Vote starts: 00:00, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
  • Vote ends: 23:59, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
  • Vote created: Dan Polansky (talk) 07:58, 17 March 2018 (UTC)



Symbol support vote.svg Support Although there was a consensus on the discussion page. —This unsigned comment was added by Atitarev (talkcontribs).
  1. Symbol support vote.svg Support. — Vorziblix (talk · contribs) 03:07, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support. This is how almost all English dictionaries do it. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 18:02, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    Not true. I just searched for "transliterated dictionary" in Google books and checked five, one had italic transliterations, the other four had non-italic transliterations. --WikiTiki89 18:08, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    @Wikitiki89: "Transliterated dictionary" generally means a dictionary that does not give the original script and only transliterations. I'm not convinced by your sample size without knowing any details of the dictionaries. Every dictionary I've ever used had italicized transliterations. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 18:12, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    All of the dictionaries I checked had the original script. Why don't you try the same experiment? --WikiTiki89 18:13, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    I'm five pages in, and I've only gotten four actual dictionaries that I can preview and three have italicized translit. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 18:17, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    Click "Tools" and change "Any books" to "Preview available". --WikiTiki89 18:21, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    Thanks for the the tip. 6 have translit in italics out of 8 for me, and 1 more has non-italics translit but italicized transcription. So 6.5/9. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 18:26, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    This time I compared the results of "Persian-English dictionary" to those of "Hindi-English dictionary"; out of the ones that had transliterations, the former were overwhelmingly italicized, the latter had more non-italicized. All I'm trying to say is that your claim of "almost all" is not true. --WikiTiki89 18:36, 28 March 2018 (UTC)
    Which dictionaries? Platts? Fallon? From two centuries ago? All modern Hindi-English dictionaries (which are not previewable online on Google Books), the paramount one being the Oxford Hindi-English dictionary, uses italicized translit. I can give you a picture of my hard copy. Anyway, I agree that <script> (<translit>) would not be ideal if the translit was always italicized. I'm not making up stuff when I say all the dictionaries I regularly consult use italics. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:58, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    Most of them were modern. Actually, it seems older dictionaries are more likely to use italics. You can repeat this search yourself, I looked through about three pages of results. Anyway, I'm not saying you're making things up about the dictionaries you work with. I'm saying that the dictionaries you work with are evidently too small a sample size to extrapolate to "almost all dictionaries". --WikiTiki89 13:42, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    I would agree with Aryaman that most -- but not all -- dictionaries in the format <native> <romanized>, the romanization is italicized, but when that format is reversed, <romanized> <native>, romanizations are mostly unitalicized, from what I've seen, and I've yet to find a dictionary in the format of <native> (<romanized>) where the romanization is enclosed and also italicized, which is what this vote is advocating for. --Victar (talk) 04:13, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    Already disproven 12 days ago: diff. Wyang (talk) 05:15, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    https://www.google.com/search?tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=dictionary+%22to+english%22+&tbs=,bkv:p,bkt:b (first 4 pages)
    1. https://books.google.com/books?id=Fg4mHouGfb8C&pg=PA200
    2. https://books.google.com/books?id=oxA9BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    3. https://books.google.com/books?id=15zTAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    4. https://books.google.com/books?id=4g_QAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    5. https://books.google.com/books?id=I94bDQAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    6. https://books.google.com/books?id=1SBFBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    7. https://books.google.com/books?id=50XRAgAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    8. https://books.google.com/books?id=RymzBwAAQBAJ&pg=PA200
    9. https://books.google.com/books?id=5PwI_GuoQusC&pg=PA200
    10. https://books.google.com/books?id=SeQ2AQAAMAAJ&pg=PA200
    --Victar (talk) 14:18, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    Victar, if you are trying to show that you have yet to find a dictionary in the format of <native> (<romanized>), these links are useless. They do not prove your point at all. You have used this argument 12 days ago, and were immediately proven wrong then. I don't know why you are still using this clichéd argument. People inattentive or oblivious to what is being discussed, and would rather vote for the sake of voting, should not be allowed to have their votes counted the same as others. The fact that this vote is a platform where such uninformed viewpoints become translated into valid votes is exactly why this vote should not be happening at all. Wyang (talk) 21:13, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    Skimming quickly through those links, I note that many of those dictionaries do use some typographical convention to make romanizations distinct from English text: most appear to use bold, several use color, and one of the older and harder-to-visually-read ones seemed like maybe it used a different font face. These samples do thus seem to bolster the argument for making romanizations visually distinct. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 21:39, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    @Wyang: I have zero interest in getting into this again with you, but I wrote that dictionaries in the format "<romanized> <native>, romanizations are mostly unitalicized". You replied with that being "disproved", and I provided links to the contrary, as well as some links with other formats, also unitalicized. I could probably give you thousands of examples of this, but the first 4 pages of results should suffice to illustrate that point. --Victar (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    Victar, have a read of the reply I posted then: “On a quick glance, there were 10 romanisations in parentheses on the Wehr page I gave before alone.” It disproved that no dictionary had the format <native> (<italic romanized>) ― the very first link of Wehr I included in my initial reply to your point had this format, and I also specifically mentioned that your argument is untrue when you stressed it further in that discussion. I doubt you had read my reply at all. “Having zero interest in getting into this again with you” does not mean you should freely repost your uninformed (and already-disproven) arguments on other pages. Wyang (talk) 22:29, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
    @Eirikr: We already distinguish romanizations by enclosing them in parentheses. If the format was simply نزدیک nazdīk, I would 100% agree that the romanization should be indicated somehow, be it italicized, bold, or otherwise. --Victar (talk) 22:00, 29 March 2018 (UTC)


  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. Wiktionary is already typographically overdone, using too much boldface, for instance. One convention that makes sense is that the romanization should be in italics when the roman font for languages that use it is in italics; by that convention, {{m}} should have romanization italicized, while {{l}} and {{head}} not so. This makes sense in so far as {{m }} is used in sentence-like contexts, while {{l}} and {{head}} not so. Another convention would be to avoid italics even for {{m}}, which is fine by me. On legibility, italics is in general less legible, as far as I know, especially on computer screens. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:03, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
    As for what other dictionaries do: For one thing, we do not necessarily need to follow print dictionaries since for them, the legibility concern will be much lower than for electronic dictionaries. For another thing, Victar above does show us examples of dictionaries that do not italicize romanizations; they may be a minority, but they are there. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:57, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose. --WikiTiki89 02:21, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    By the way, my reasons are basically the same as Victar's below and Dan Polanksy's above. --WikiTiki89 14:53, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
  3. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose: I see absolutely no benefit to this change. Italics are less legible, especially with diacritical marks, it merges {{l}} and {{m}} for many languages, and nullifies important transcription distinctions in Hittite. --Victar (talk) 13:51, 26 March 2018 (UTC)
  4. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose [ זכריה קהת ] Zack. — 16:26, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  5. Symbol oppose vote.svg OpposeMahāgaja (formerly Angr) · talk 20:38, 5 April 2018 (UTC)
  6. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, preferring to keep {{m}} and {{l}} distinct. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 10:33, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  7. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, for the reasons outlined above. embryomystic (talk) 07:09, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  8. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose, for the sake of Hittite transliterations. --Tom 144 (𒄩𒇻𒅗𒀸) 16:03, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain -Xbony2 (talk) 21:53, 24 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain — justin(r)leung (t...) | c=› } 01:51, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
  3. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain My initial support was hasty, and I didn't think it through. I feel important points have been raised on both sides, so I don't know. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 10:46, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
  4. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain --SanctMinimalicen (talk) 00:30, 27 March 2018 (UTC)
  5. Symbol abstain vote.svg Abstain. I think that italics are good and that consistency is good, but I also think that Victar's point about legibility is sensible. (somewhat unrelated, but I think it's funny that we talk about the distinction between {{m}} and {{l}}, then disable italics for scripts like Cyrillic. [I realize that both options have their positives and negatives.]) Perhaps we could make a user gadget for this? —suzukaze (tc) 21:55, 29 March 2018 (UTC)
  6. Symbol abstain vote.svg AbstainΜετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:24, 2 April 2018 (UTC)

Oppose having this vote[edit]

  1. Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose having this vote. This should take place in a discussion, not on a vote page. Wyang (talk) 01:46, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    The reader will notice that the main difference between this vote page and Wiktionary:Beer_parlour/2018/March#Unifying the display of romanisations in links and headwords: italicise romanisations by default is that this vote lands on many more people's radar screens since votes are added to watchlists, and that the vote page is open for a little over 5 weeks in total. The BP thread looks like a low-visibity vote; it shows people casting votes, where most of the supporting votes are mere nods, with no comment, deliberation, analysis or argument in support. The vote page does not prevent discussions; indeed, the English Wiktionary votes are votes-cum-discussions. --Dan Polansky (talk) 06:54, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    As I have said in the Beer Parlour discussion, the fact that this vote page lands on more people's radar screens is a disadvantage, not an advantage. Decision-making should be made by encouraging people's volunteering of opinions and considerations, not by encouraging people to compress their comments into camps in a black-and-white manner. Wyang (talk) 07:02, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    If the objective of the BP discussion was to encourage people not to compress their comments, it failed miserably as for comments on the supporting side. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:06, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    @DP: Please note that if people, including me, just say yes or no and leave no comment, it doesn’t mean that they haven’t given it a thorough consideration, not at all. It applies to both BP and the vote page but even more on BP, since only interested parties took part in the discussion. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 07:32, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    You seem to agree with what I said: the BP thread failed miserably in eliciting reasoning and detail from supporters, except from Wyang. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:09, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
  2. Symbol support vote.svg Support Struck my initial vote. Oppose this vote. Dan Polansky has successfully derailed this initiative. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 11:22, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    If there is consensus, it will be seen in this vote. If there is not, then there is not. The proposal still has a chance of passing. It may de facto pass even via "oppose this vote" votes as long as it wil be clear from them that they actually support the proposal. Since, votes are not just a cold mechanism; they are a means of finding out what the consensus is, from the posts to the vote pages. --Dan Polansky (talk) 11:46, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    I object to your claim that Dan Polansky has derailed this initiative. If the initiative really has as much support as it seemed from the BP discussion, it will still pass. If it doesn't pass, then it's not because of Dan Polansky, but because of everyone that votes oppose. --WikiTiki89 14:16, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
    Maybe votes aren't the best way to solve these kinds of issues. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 00:55, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    Bare votes, no. Votes-cum-discussions, why not. This very vote page features people collecting evidence and bringing forward specific reasoning. --Dan Polansky (talk) 08:51, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
  3. I am in general opposed having votes on formatting/stylistic issues (and hence am opposed to having this vote). - -sche (discuss) 17:36, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    @-sche: Formatting and stylistic issues are less amenable to factual arguments, those that are unquestionably correct or incorrect, than other issues. How should these be decided, if not via votes or polling? Since these are often matters of taste, whose taste? --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:41, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    This proposed change could potentially affect all languages all the time. I suspect that's partly why we have a lack of general agreement: editors working in different languages have different perspectives, contexts, and use cases. From my own (evolving) perspective, it seems like this issue might be better addressed by each individual language community coming up with their own approach -- smaller groups may more easily achieve consensus. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │Tala við mig 18:18, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
    I don't see how the different contexts for different languages yields different preferred treatment. It would yield disunity among languages for no good reason, IMHO. Furthermore, consensus of a small group is an inferior form of consensus as compared to a larger group; a consensus of a group of one is no consensus proper at all. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:26, 30 March 2018 (UTC)
  4. Symbol support vote.svg Support. A site-wide issue that is very noticeable is certainly worthy of a vote. I don't see how this is intrinsically different than changing our logo, for example. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:24, 2 April 2018 (UTC)
  5. Oppose having a vote in this manner. No one participated in the discussion earlier, so jumping straight to a vote won't get us anywhere. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 17:44, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    @AryamanA, Metaknowledge: It doesn't matter much, but your "support" votes apparently have an opposite meaning to the "support" vote of @Atitarev; it could be confusing. --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:04, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    Sorry, no, Aryaman and Atitarev support votes are synonymous, and Metaknowledge is the outsider (I think). --Per utramque cavernam (talk) 18:06, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Per utramque cavernam: I am very confused... —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 18:08, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    For the record, the above vote by AryamanA was changed in diff; before the diff, the vote said "Support" and this is what people responded to. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:02, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    @AryamanA: By the way, I think you did not need to strike out your support at the top of the page. You could have voted support for the proposal and yet vote oppose for having this vote in the first place; that would be perfectly consistent. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:08, 15 April 2018 (UTC)
    @Dan Polansky: Fair enough. I also changed my "Support" because its meaning was ambiguous. —AryamanA (मुझसे बात करेंयोगदान) 19:27, 15 April 2018 (UTC)


Fails 2-8-6 (or 4-8-6 counting Wyang and Atitarev). --WikiTiki89 19:48, 23 April 2018 (UTC)