Last modified on 23 March 2015, at 19:04

Wiktionary:Information desk

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March 2015

Please translate Latin to EnglishEdit


Non est forum translationum. Wiktionary:Translation requests quaeris. —CodeCat 20:09, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

What to do when I accidently entered something in upper caseEdit

I added a new entry ("Monthly meeting") which really should be lower case ("monthly meeting"). I don't know how to fix this blunder now that it has been saved. Kiwima (talk) 02:41, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

You need to move the entry to the lower-case spelling. The menu option for doing that tends to be hidden in a menu labeled something meaningless like "More", but you should have it somewhere.
This will leave a redirect behind, which we try to avoid in most cases, but you can add a {{delete}} template to the redirect page to bring it to our attention, and an admin will delete it. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:59, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


How do you guys type all of these characters of various languages? Are you using a software or the your windows input? Im just curious.

Windows allows you to set up your keyboard to input alternative "alphabets" from the standard keyboard (In Windows 8 - Control panel/Clock, language and Region/Language/Change input methods). So for example I can move from the "Roman alphabet" to the «ελληνικό αλφάβητο» (Greek) at the touch of a key.   — Saltmarshσυζήτηση-talk 21:55, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
There are other ways, too. There's a box below the text box when you're editing a page that allows you to click to insert special characters. I also use the Windows Character Map utility; for IPA I use the Transliterator add-on for Firefox, and for Burmese I use a Myanmar character picker. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:22, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Translation RequestEdit

Hi, I don't mean to be a bother but is the translation request page being monitored? I've put In two sentences in latin a few days ago and it has yet to be translated. Could someone check that? Thanks!.

You could be a bit more patient and less demanding? Nobody here has to translate it if they don't want to. —CodeCat 13:38, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Do we have a context label for sectarian slurs?Edit

The IP Formerly Known As Pass A Method added rafidah, which is very rare in English, but does seem to have some usage among English-speaking Sunni Muslims as a sectarian slur against Shiites. I thought it would be a good idea to use a context label to indicate this highly-restricted context, but I couldn't think of any. We do have "ethnic slur", but religious differences aren't necessarily ethnic ones. I'm sure we can find lots of terms to use this on, though papist, heathen and Islamofascist are the only ones I can think of off the top of my head. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:54, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

We can go with sectarian slur or religious slur (more common). — Ungoliant (falai) 13:43, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Other examples are Prod and its synonyms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:43, 27 March 2015 (UTC)


I would like to know how to cite the information that I need to use for a research paper. The information I found is on sugar.

{{senseid}} stringEdit

I added {{senseid|en|pathology}} in theism.

I added {{l/en|theism#English-pathology|theism}} in theaism and in theinism.

When I click the links in theaism and in theinism, I get taken to the top of the theism page.

Should it scroll down the page to the actual sense or stay at the top of the page? Should I just craft a bare link? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 16:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Use {{l|en|theism|id=pathology}}: theism. —CodeCat 17:12, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
That makes sense. I couldn't find that in the documentation. TVM. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

Nahuatl inflectionEdit

As far as I looked around, no Nahuatl word had an inflection table (e.g.: tlācohtli).
One might argue, that an inflection table isn't needed if a few forms are mentioned (e.g. for normal pure Latin words just nom. sg., gen. sg., for German words nom. sg., gen. sg., nom. pl., for normal regular English words nom. sg.). But as there are inflection tables for some languages, this argument isn't valid.
So, accourding to [] and compared with some basic grammar information on some web sites and in a book it should be like this:

Nahuatl Latin English
sing. plur. sing. plur. sing. plur.
abs. tlācohtli tlātlācohtin servus servi slave slaves
poss. indef. tētlācauh tētlācahuān alicuius persona
alicuius servus
aliquarum personae
aliquorum servi
somebody's person/slave somebody's persons/slaves
I. sing. notlācauh notlācahuān mea persona
meus servus
meae personae
mei servi
my person/slave my persons/slaves
II. sing. motlācauh motlācahuān tua persona
tuus servus
tuae personae
tui servi
thy person/slave thy persons/slaves
III. sing. ītlācauh ītlācahuān sua persona
suus servus
suae personae
sui servi
his (her, its) person/slave his (her, its) persons/slaves
I. plur. totlācauh totlācahuān nostra persona
noster servus
nostrae personae
nostri servi
our person/slave our persons/slaves
II. plur. anmotlācauh anmotlācahuān vestra persona
vester servus
vestrae personae
vestri servi
your person/slave your persons/slaves
III. plur. īntlācauh īntlācahuān sua persona
suus servus
suae personae
sui servi
their person/slave their persons/slaves
  • In general the affix -yo would be missing, like "nonac" (my meat) & "nonacayo" (my meat which is a part of me, my own flesh). In case of "tlācohtli" (slave) this maybe doesn't make sense ("my slave which is a part of me" &c.), but maybe it can be used (similar to monarchic 1. ps. pl. "we"/"our").
  • In pillé resp. pilli it is stated that pillé is the vocative of pille. Besides that entry I haven't heard of "(grammatical) cases" in case of Nahuatl anywhere (i.e. it might be wrong), and it seems like Nahuatl has only two cases, subject and object (at least when exluding possessive/genitive like it's also done in some English grammar books). But maybe a vocative does exists or does exists for some words (like some but not all Latin words have a locative case).

-07:42, 27 March 2015 (UTC), added by IP

Question about adding obsolete forms.Edit

I have a little question about adding obsolete forms. There was a major spelling change in Swedish in 1906 where a lot of words were changed. Therefore I like to add this to the entries with the modern spelling:

Alternative formsEdit

So, should I put it like that above or like this?:

Alternative formsEdit

—This unsigned comment was added by Dreysman (talkcontribs).

Portuguese has the same issue. What I do is use just {{qualifier|obsolete}} in the alternative forms section of the main entry, and add a more detailed description in the definition of the obsolete form. — Ungoliant (falai) 16:28, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

How to find language codes?Edit

I'm sorry, I have to vent my frustration. All I wanted was copy etymology information for one word (neume) from Wikipedia.

Of course I didn't expect it to be a simple copy and paste operation. I was prepared for the fact that the format is standardized differently from Wikipedia, and when I saw that the templates {{etyl}} and {{m}} expect language codes, it didn't strike me as a problem. How wrong I was!

There was no link to the possible values anywhere, neither in the template documentation, nor in the editing help, nor, for that matter, a list of at least the most common ones in the "Advanced" editing features. After a long and frustrating search (involving several misleading steps, such as when the template description has Easter egg links marked "language codes" and "language families"), I finally arrived at Wiktionary:List of families. Now that page doesn't list "medieval Latin" under that name, so I searched for the word "Latin". That turns out to be impractical, since it occurs many times in the "Scripts" column. Then I had what I thought was a clever idea: Well, I thought, "middle English" and "middle French" are "enm" and "frm", respectively, let's look for "lam". Wrong again! That stands for "Lamba", and there's nothing anywhere near that looks like medieval Latin. Then I realized that the table is sortable, and I happen to know the family; I'll just sort by that! But no, that doesn't work since the table is split in alphabetically, which makes the sorting pointless.

So I'm giving up now; I left the original Wikipedia text as a hidden comment so someone with more experience can convert the text to the proper layout later. SebastianHelm (talk) 07:04, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

You can simply type "Medieval Latin" as the language code (it's not a language of its own, so it doesn't have a proper language code - see Wiktionary:List of languages/special). I've cleaned up the entry. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:00, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Probably the easiest way to find this out on your own would have been to go to Category:English terms derived from Medieval Latin and see how an existing entry does it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:56, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
I had a similar problem when I first started. It was not clear to me what the set of non-ISO 639 codes included, until I read Wiktionary:Etymology#Stages of Latin (which is only a draft). I still see a disconnect between, for example, Medieval Latin as a {{etyl}} code but Latin as the language on the entry page of a Medieval Latin etyl coded word. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 15:31, 30 March 2015 (UTC), modified 17:07, 30 March 2015 (UTC) to add my username.
When writing template documentation, I always include a link to Wiktionary:Languages in there. Something like what I did at Template:number box. —CodeCat 15:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Good to know, nevertheless, Wiktionary:Languages is "a policy think tank" that may change; but the Latin probably will remain stable and not be usable in {{term}} or {{m}} or most other templates which require the ISO codes. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 17:05, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks, everyone - lots of good suggestions; that helps me already. Now I wonder if some of this could be included in the editing UI, so other new users can find it easily. On my monitor, there's plenty of space next to "Advanced - Special characters - Help". It seems to me this is more important than "Advanced", so how about inserting it before "Advanced"? If that's not possible, how about under Help, among the first three entries (Formatting/Links/Headings), for relatively easy discovery? SebastianHelm (talk) 23:50, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

April 2015

Grand SophyEdit

How or where do I add "Grand Sophy", "Sophy" is a title, that is also found with the "Grand" epithet/adjective? I don't think it should be a separate entry. I don't think it is a separate sense of "Sophy". Do I add "Grand Sophy" as usage note in "Sophy"? Where do place the attributions, do I add attributions in a usage note? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 21:40, 6 April 2015 (UTC)

*whatever* has an article on wikipedia ...Edit

I strongly suggest to to remove this - bot-created? - thingy off of every page where the "article" on en-wikipedia is but a redirect. A redirect is not any help whatsoever on a word redirected to whereever else, instead just pissing off anyone who falls for that (bot-created?) link. Should not be that hard to check, is it ? thanks. 04:50, 8 April 2015 (UTC)

I think that these links are bridges to the encyclopedic world. A link to a redirect might be relevant, but I agree that a link to the actual page would be much better. However, the major issue is that a link from e.g. a common noun to a town with the same (capitalized) name is 100% irrelevant. A bot cannot make the difference between relevant links and irrelevant links, except for entries with the same name (capitalized in both projects). Bots should not be used in other cases. Lmaltier (talk) 15:12, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Hi. I made above entry, as you can see middle of the night and probably not even sober. Ehem. Sorry.
I did not mean the problem with links to something else with the same name, but to redirects -> articles under a completely different "word". I mean whoever is here looking up things in probably is interested in the word itself, e.g. etymology of "helium", not necessarily in all the technical and whatnot aspects of helium within the real world. In this case, the link "wikipedia has an entry on helium" is serving well, that article is under the lemma helium, and has a "history" section explaining why this name "helium". But if look up "harlot" in wiktionary, and lets say not satisfied with the etymology bit I click the link thingy "wp has an entry on harlot" -> it has NOT. It has but a redirect to "prostitute" and of course that article on "prostitute" has absolutely nothing about the word "harlot".
I was just hoping that it might be feasible to give that bot creating those links to wikipedia some criteria so it could decide to not enter that link thingy into wiktionary pages when the wp-target is but a redirect. dab pages would not be affected, since they are not redirects. But maybe that is not feasible ? ah, well, then … 19:55, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
There is no such bot. The {{wikipedia}} template (or whatever it redirects to) creates the link based on either the page name of the entry, or on whatever it's given as a parameter. The problem is that (as far as I know), templates can't check for redirects on other wikis. Besides, the Wikipedia links aren't there for people who want more dictionary-type information such as etymologies, they're there so people who want to know more about the concept referred to by the term can read about it in an encyclopedia article. In other words, a {{wikipedia}} template in the harlot entry should be changed to link to w:Prostitute directly- but that would have to be done by hand (one could program a bot to do it, but someone would have to take that on as a project, and it doesn't sound like a very good use of a bot owner's time). Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

Dump of English wordsEdit

Hi, is there any more up-to-date dump of English words available than the one at dated 2012-Apr-28? 00:58, 10 April 2015 (UTC)

Yes: [1]. Equinox 01:04, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the reply. The linked pages contain a lot of stuff which I don't fully understand, and I can't really find what I am looking for. Could you (or someone) possibly give me specific instructions on where I can download the list of English words? 01:26, 10 April 2015 (UTC)
Anyone? 11:23, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Try here: [2]. You can't just get the "list of all page titles" because that will include non-English words too. Perhaps get "all pages, current versions only", and then discard any page whose content does not include the string ==English==. It might require a little programming, or some kind of search-in-files tool. Equinox 11:53, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. This is much more complicated than I envisaged from your first reply. So there is no way just to get an up-to-date list of English words in simple user-readable format? I think that would be a valuable facility. 17:10, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
Once upon a time Index:English was kept up to date. But, as with all other languages, this is sadly no longer the case. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:54, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. 19:21, 12 April 2015 (UTC)
  • By the way, in case anyone cares, or ever wants to run the process again, I think there may be a slight glitch somewhere in the generation of Index:English. One or two common words, e.g. "confer", "prefer", "tolerance", which I assume must have been entered at the time of the 2012-Apr-28 database dump, are inexplicably omitted. 02:01, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Index:English is outdated and should probably not be used. If you want to "screen-scrape" the English word list, then you should now use Category:English_lemmas plus Category:English_non-lemma_forms. Since this involves at least as much programming as my previous suggestion regarding the data dump, I don't see why anyone would do it. Equinox 03:09, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • Original poster, if you're desperate for the English word list (but let me warn you it will include things like aargh, bzzzt, niggerfucker and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, so it might not suit your Facebook Scrabble game): I can probably generate it for you. But right now I'm very busy with some academic commitments so it might take me a little while. Equinox 03:16, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
If you do ever get the time to do this, I think it would be a very useful facility. Free, high quality word / phrase lists are always valuable. From my point of view, it would be useful to include inflections (plurals, verb inflections, comparatives, superlatives), but to exclude misspellings, such as recieve. If you ever do do it, I think it would be helpful to put a link at the top of "Index:English" saying "For more up-to-date list, go here" -- that's assuming you don't replace "Index:English" itself. Another possiblity is that I may be able to do it myself from the database dump, but the main sticking point is that I cannot read the "bz2" format, and I cannot install any software to enable me to do so. How hard would it be for someone to convert the "bz2" file to a "zip" file that I can open with standard Windows software? 17:14, 15 April 2015 (UTC)
  • It's a shame this hasn't been updated in three years. We've added a LOT of new entries since then. Is there no one out there with the relevant expertise who can publish an updated index? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:36, 17 April 2015 (UTC)

Poe's lawEdit

Can Poe, as a noun, be used as to refer to an instance of Poe's law? For example That statement is a Poe, to mean the statement is false, and has been created to discredit the purported author? LongHairedFop

  • Basically it depends on the existence of evidence. Can you see such usage in the real world - Google book search for instance. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:32, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
A quick Google search, with quotes, for "that is a poe" -power found a few relevant hits. Confounding the search is that Poe can refer to Power over Ethernet, Edgar Allan Poe, or directly to Poe's Law. The hits are
However, they are all in comments, rather than the site's author, so there may be less weight to them. I'm not sure if it is enough of a neologism to warrant inclusion, which is why I'm asking here. LongHairedFop (talk) 10:21, 11 April 2015 (UTC)
@LongHairedFop: I think describing your example in terms of Poe's law, "that statement is a Poe", would not "mean the statement is false" but that it is not discernable. I don't think it distinguishes whether the statement "has been created to discredit the purported author." In that sense, I think "that statement is a Poe" is equivalent to "that statement is indiscernible." The links you gave show a different sense, that a poe is someone or something fictitious. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 18:50, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

how can you submit a new word?Edit

How do you submit a new word to Wiktionary?

Wikidictionary BabelEdit

How do you guys know if someone truly knows a language at a near native level? Do you test anyone?

No. It's entirely based on self-reporting. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:40, 16 April 2015 (UTC)

-iter - German?Edit

Words with -iter do (or more like did) exist in German too. E.g.: "So wie aber die Tochter das Substantiv nur pronominaliter und die Mutter das Adjektiv nur adverbialiter begreift [...]" (older book); idealiter, generaliter, realiter ( Some of these words could even be pseudo-latinisms, i.e. they might be created in German and not exist in Latin.
So: is -iter also German? If not: Should "German" -iter be mentioned anyway, of course with notes like "only in latinisms", "not productive"? -23:14, 19 April 2015 (UTC)

Serious help needed with this templateEdit

Discussion moved to WT:Grease pit/2015/April#Serious help needed with this template.

Why is there no conjugation tables for the English words?Edit

Why is this? I think that it would be very useful to have. The Swedish wiktionary has conjugations for its terms, the Icelandic wiktionary has conjugations for its terms and Dutch has conjugations for its terms etc. Why doesn't the English version of wiktionary have this?

What do you expect to see, exactly? We already list the inflections for English verbs (goes, going, went, gone). Equinox 20:37, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, so the grammar isn't more complicated than that? I mean, I've never really thought about it, but isn't their some sort of archaic forms? Dreysman (talk) 20:51, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Yes, they're pretty repetitive: it's not like e.g. French or Finnish where you need huge conjugation tables for gender and grammatical case. The nastiest English verb is "be", where we do actually have a table. There are archaic forms (goest, goeth) but they don't exist for all verbs, and I think consensus is against including them at the lemma form. Equinox 20:52, 26 April 2015 (UTC)
Okay, that's all I needed to know, thanks! Dreysman (talk) 21:25, 26 April 2015 (UTC)

Creating a new pageEdit

What are the stipulations for creating a new page for a protologism?

"Don't". —CodeCat 15:43, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Could you give me a better understanding of why I should not? --Netterandrew (talk) 15:56, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
Because we don't allow entries for protologisms on Wiktionary. —CodeCat 16:53, 30 April 2015 (UTC)
The steps for creating a new page for a protologism are as follows:
  1. Create your protologism someplace other than Wiktionary.
  2. Make your protologism so popular that at least three people independent of you use it in a durably archived medium (e.g. a print book, newspaper, or magazine) over the space of more than a year.
  3. Add the new Wiktionary entry for your protologism, providing the citations for who has used it and where.
Good luck! —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:20, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

May 2015

Basic linguisticsEdit

Hi. I want to learn more about the science of linguistics, like about morphology/phonetics/IPA/etc. This is not taught in my high school. Is there a way I can learn about basic linguistics science with basic wordings? As in like middle school classroom typed language? I like things I can understand easily. Thanks. NativeCat drop by and say Hi! 04:09, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Also it has to be something online and free. NativeCat drop by and say Hi! 04:15, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
There's a textbook for linguistics at Wikibooks, so it's online and free, but I don't know how good it is or how easy it would be for a middle-schooler to understand. Linguistics isn't usually taught before the undergraduate university level, so that is usually the target audience for textbooks. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:16, 11 May 2015 (UTC)


globe, focusing on the Spanish writing Mar del Zur.

I was quite excited to come across this globe in our shop. The writing, not that you can see all of it, is in Spanish and Latin. However the Spanish is archaic, it features the writing mar del zur and not pictured, mar del nort. This is obviously not contemporary Spanish. Can anyone work out when the spelling zur was used? It would give me an insight into how old the piece is. Renard Migrant (talk) 15:25, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Google Books Ngrams isn't looking promising. Deliberate misspellings? Not Spanish? Renard Migrant (talk) 15:43, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
If you look at w:Abraham Ortelius, you'll see a map from 1589 that uses that spelling. Ortelius was Flemish, but was in the service of the king of Spain. You'll probably get better results by looking at the place names to see if there are any historical clues from what different places are called. Of course, there's always the possibility that this a modern copy of an older globe, with decorative details like dragons thrown in for artistic effect. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:09, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Where's "our shop"? I'm coming to buy that globe. Equinox 02:52, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
I found a hit from 1748. --Type56op9 (talk) 14:07, 17 May 2015 (UTC)


Are there any good resources on the Navarro-Aragonese language? I’d like to add some words. --Romanophile (talk) 09:51, 13 May 2015 (UTC)

The first place I'd look is in the books cited in the footnote section of Navarro-Aragonese. It doesn't actually have an ISO code; do we want to create one for it, or shall we consider it an archaic variety of Aragonese (code an) and tag it with a context label like {{label|an|Navarro-Aragonese}}? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:16, 13 May 2015 (UTC)
Defining the name of the language would be the first thing to do. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:05, 14 May 2015 (UTC)
[3], [4] (watch out for normalisations). — Ungoliant (falai) 15:58, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Do we also have a term for the ancestor of Asturian? What is it? --Romanophile (talk) 10:57, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Old Leonese (roa-ole). — Ungoliant (falai) 15:32, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Problem creating new entryEdit

I intended to create a new entry for "ZOPA" (= Zone of Possible Agreement), but when I follow the instructions at, I simply get taken to the existing "zopa". So how do I create "ZOPA"? 02:45, 17 May 2015 (UTC)

Click this link [5] Equinox 02:49, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! I see that someone else has now already created the entry. I think it would be useful to update the instructions at to include the information about how to create an entry when a case variant already exists. I would be happy to do this myself, except I am unable to edit the help page. 17:19, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The easy way is to create a redlink on an existing page and then click that. For example, if you type ZORI in the search box, it just takes you to the page zori (which is a relatively new feature; when the help page was written that didn't happen), but if you make the link ZORI on a page and then click it, you can start a new page. (You don't even have to save the page with the redlink on it; just click "Show preview" and then click the redlink.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:32, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The IP is right, auto-redirects are quite irritating when you want to create an entry and the title already exists with variants caps or diacritics. For genevre yesterday it took me to génèvre so I had to type directly into the URL to stop it taking me to génèvre. I've been here since 2007 and it's taking me a while to get my head around it! Renard Migrant (talk) 17:32, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
The easiest way is to go to the existing entry and add an {{also}} template at the top. That generates a red link for the one you want to add. Don't forget to do the same in reverse. SemperBlotto (talk) 06:58, 18 May 2015 (UTC)


Is there a synonym for this word that’s less offensive to ancient Germanians? --Romanophile (talk) 08:38, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

List of wiktionary user promotonsEdit

Could someone give me the link of wiktionary user promotions list? It is a list of user jobs I guess like admins and stewarts. I cannot seem to find the page