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Leave out unspoken languagesEdit

I don't know, I think it would be cool to have some Latin or Ancient Greek words that have produced lots of English words. —RuakhTALK 18:23, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

See EP's comments at Foreign WOTD which is why I've set it up this way at least for now. What you suggest could easily be incorporated in Interesting Stuff. See the changes to Weekly Rotation of Interests. DAVilla 22:47, 12 April 2009 (UTC)
Could the format be flexible enough to accomodate Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, and perhaps even American Sign Language (with image)? Some of our most interesting non-English entries are in these languages, or are Proto-Indo-European. --EncycloPetey 20:07, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Do you mean the format of Interesting Stuff? Absolutely, why not? Circeus is more concerned about the look of the page, but I've been focusing more on dividing up the content. On the redesign it's controlled through Wiktionary:Main Page/2009 redesign/interesting and my newer but inactive version is at Wiktionary:Main Page/interesting which you can feel free to edit. The content which that will eventually refer to is then a question again of aesthetics including, I hate to mention this, having to use images for foreign scripts. DAVilla 20:28, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
The whole process is beginning to look very complicated indeed. --EncycloPetey 20:31, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Nah, the code is a bit complex, but the underlying motivation is to keep everything simple. If you're in charge of rhymes, then you know your day is the first Tuesday of the month, and that the pages you control are rhymes/C1 through rhymes/C12 for each of the twelve months. DAVilla 20:59, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Please, no proto-Indo-Germanic words, they are reconstructions and were never attested. Some of the most interesting words are also in Old Norse, Gothic, Akkadian and Ugaritic. If you admit ancient languages, I would nominate gladly some words of these nice languages. The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 21:03, 17 April 2009 (UTC)
The Latin word ōs is not archaic. It is still in use both in the Vatican and in species descriptions. The question is really what we want in the scope of "foreign". --EncycloPetey 20:10, 15 April 2009 (UTC)


Please, abandon this demand - many entries do not have an audio file and even if they do, I have been a user of Wikiprojects for two years and still do not have the slightest idea how to open these ogg-files. Besides, few entries have them and when I am looking for a good nomination, this may hamper me... Could we get rid of this prærequisite? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 20:59, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

I agree. Audio should be preferable but not compulsory - IMO the IPA pronunciation would do, at least at this stage. --Duncan 08:50, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
In the end this is going to depend on the "czar" or volunteers who are selected for the assignment. There is not as compelling a need to have audio now that it is split again from the WOTD, but I think it will always be highly recommended at the very least. We want to make Wiktionary look good and having audio for the foreign word equally as with the English word is still important to me, although I need to insert a big disclaimer here that I am not nor will I be the czar. The reason I don't feel compelled to make the change at the moment is that this will be a good experiment to see if audio can be consistently provided. Yet I certainly do not assert any ownership over this project. DAVilla 05:36, 20 April 2009 (UTC)

false friendsEdit

Do we consider these to be "words with unusual translations" and thus "ideal candidates"? --Duncan 08:44, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Maybe, why not? I've gone ahead and added it for you. DAVilla 18:08, 18 April 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I've noticed and nominated one. Thanks. --Duncan 18:27, 18 April 2009 (UTC)

Focus weeksEdit

This is a list of possible focus weeks, with words of the day picked to match the week:

  • languages of family X, isolates
  • endangered languages
  • lesser-spoken languages of Europe
  • little-known languages with populations over a million
  • European languages in the Americas (Pennsylvania Dutch, Hunsrik)
  • lingue franche past and present
  • languages of typology X: agglutinative languages, polysynthetic, isolating
  • languages with feature X: tonal languages, pitch accent languages, mora-based languages, click languages, languages with ð/θ, languages that contrast aspirated and non-aspirated consonants
  • languages using a writing system related to the alphabet
  • words from appendices

--BB12 (talk) 20:20, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Nice! A question and a point:
  • What does “languages using a cousin to the alphabet” mean?
  • Dental fricatives aren’t particularly rare, four out of the ten languages with most speakers have them (Spanish, English, Arabic and Portuguese).
Some more ideas:
  • Classical languages (Latin, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit).
  • Little-known ancient languages (Etruscan, Hittite, Gothic).
  • Proto languages.
  • (languages with feature X) retroflex consonants, r-coloured vowels, mesoclisis, allophonic nasal vowels.
Ungoliant (Falai) 21:55, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Great additions. I think dental fricatives are rare in Spanish, found only in parts of Spain and perhaps Cuba, and the same seems to hold for w:Portuguese_phonology. In any case, w:Voiceless_dental_fricative#Occurrence and w:Voiced_dental_fricative#Occurrence show that this would be a week that would provide an interesting range of languages :) --BB12 (talk) 22:36, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Erm, have you seen how much work the English WOTD takes? You can ask User:EncycloPetey about the daily commitment! I'm all for it, and I'd be glad to suggest words (by the way, I think there should be a uniqueness requirement as well) and help out generally, but it appears to me that one person (not me) is best. Having said that, I'd rather do more work myself than have this founder because no-one is willing to take it up, so once I get back, I'd be willing to split the job half-half if that's how it's gonna go. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 09:26, 28 June 2012 (UTC)
I'm glad to see you've decided to forge ahead, anyway! --BB12 (talk) 19:05, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Not alone. See User talk:Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV#Email. You can help, though, if you want. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:06, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, I've actually been following that (I'm nosy, too!) I want to get back and concentrate on the LDL stuff and portals, and Zambia will be kicking back in soon (it's on hold now), but I will follow you guys. Let me know if there's something specific. —This unsigned comment was added by BenjaminBarrett12 (talkcontribs).
Great! Specifically, I'd like some edits on my wording here, as well as comments on the visual feel of {{FWOTD}}. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:18, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
{{FWOTD}} looks good, but needs a link to leave feedback. I’ll study the templates to see how they work. — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:56, 28 July 2012 (UTC)
  Done. What else? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 03:03, 28 July 2012 (UTC)


Part of me thinks we should restrict these to mainspace entries. I don't think we should prominently feature reconstructed terms on the Main Page. -- Liliana 12:12, 29 July 2012 (UTC)

What if we require that reconstructed terms have references from a major work? — Ungoliant (Falai) 15:09, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
Major work? There are no major works on Proto-Polynesian. There are well trusted sources, but they're rarely durable archived. I also think that proto-forms that we relistically believe to be correct to the best of the experts' knowledge deserve to be on the front page just as much as any others. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 17:29, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
The point of reconstructed languages is that they're unattested. If we feature these, what stops us from featuring contstructed languages a bored kid comes up with in an afternoon? -- Liliana 18:44, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
They’re unattested but, unlike conlangs, are believed to have really existed. — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:58, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I think PIE and other reconstructed terms should be included because they are interesting and can open up new vistas for the user. --BB12 (talk) 20:37, 29 July 2012 (UTC)
I agree, reconstructed terms should be allowed, provided they have references or if they are completely trivial reconstructions. —CodeCat 00:07, 2 August 2012 (UTC)

PIE *weyd-Edit

Pretty messy, and it seems to contradict Proto-Indo-European *wóyd-. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:29, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

  • How so? The latter is a derived term of the former. —CodeCat 19:36, 14 August 2012 (UTC)
    • Maybe I don't understand, but it seems like inflected forms are not derived terms in Wiktionary. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
      • That isn't an inflected form, though. It's a verb in its own right. The consensus among Indo-European linguists nowadays (as mentioned by Ringe) is that the aspectual system of verbs has its origin in a derivational process, and that the process of creating single paradigms out of the individual aspects was a form of suppletion that hadn't yet happened in PIE itself. —CodeCat 01:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
        • I didn't know that. If this is going to be FWOTD, it needs a usage note (I mean, I'm not completely ignorant, and I probably should have known that, but I didn't). --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:15, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
          • There are several pieces of evidence for it. Firstly, the suppletion was sometimes by means of different roots (like in English be/is vs. was, or Latin sum/est vs fui, ferre vs tuli vs latus). Secondly, often one of the aspects was formed from the root, while the other was derived in a more complicated way, which makes it seem like the one derived from the root was the "original". And thirdly, many roots did not form all aspects, some formed only one or two, and some also formed the same aspect twice (like Template:termx), but with different shades in meaning. This suggests that the suffixed by which the aspects were derived originally had an inherent meaning that was eventually lost. It is quite likely that most aorist stems were the "original" verbs (since most of them were derived straight from roots) and that the present stems were originally "progressive" verbs derived from simple verbs (stand vs. be standing around). —CodeCat 01:23, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
            • It seems that the most ancient and fundamental distinction in verbs was originally between active (present and aorist) and stative (perfect and mediopassive) verbs. This makes sense in another way too: languages that have a distinction between animate (masculine and feminine) and inanimate (neuter) tend to have such verb systems. Most linguists conclude that PIE's own ancestor was an w:Active-stative language, different from its descendants which were w:Accusative languages. —CodeCat 01:36, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
              • As always, you are eminently educational. I believe it, although I don't think can be used as evidence, because I gather that that mash-up probably happened a lot more recently. I have seen allegations that is related - would it be known whether it came from weyd- or wóyd-? --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:48, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
                • Thank you! :) It's not really a question that's easy to answer. weyd- is the root, which has a basic meaning of "see". wóyd- is a verb stem derived from that root, through the derivation process called a "root perfect", which this particular verb stem happens to be the only reconstructible example of. So, anything that is derived from the verb stem wóyd- is also derived from the root weyd-. You may notice that the verb stem has an accent whereas the root doesn't; that's because roots by themselves don't have any accent, it's only when they form words that they are accented. In the same way, the ablaut grade of the root is only determined by the word derivation, but the custom is to cite roots themselves in the e-grade. It is possible and even likely that other words (verbs or otherwise) were derived from the root. One I can think of is Germanic *wissaz, which is from the root weyd- plus the suffix -tós, which is suffixed to the zero grade of the root, hence wid-tós [widstós] > wissaz. "Druid" was certainly derived from the root weyd-, but I don't know if it was derived from a particular word that existed already in PIE. It's possible that it was derived from a word that was only created in the Celtic branch and isn't reconstructible for PIE proper. It may be a known formation from PIE, but it could also be an innovated word formation process in Celtic (compare the suffix -ness in English, which is a late Germanic invention). The only thing I can say for sure is that the Celtic form goes back to a zero grade form of the root, and that the Celtic noun is a root noun, but which PIE formation underlies that, and whether there even is any, isn't clear to me right now. —CodeCat 10:39, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
                  • Wow! You really ought to copy-paste some of this into pages... maybe every PIE root should call a template with a paragraph of general explanation, in a collapsible box. So I guess the -i- marks it as necessarily deriving from the zero-grade in this case, instead of an ablaut form like the e-grade? Or am I completely misunderstanding? Also, is innovation that common? I thought few non-onomatopoeic words were created. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:03, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
                    • The zero grade is an ablaut form. :) The ablaut grades for roots containing -e- as the fundamental vowel (the vast majority), in order of commonness: e, zero, o, ē, ō. For the few roots containing -a- as fundamental vowel, it is (probably): a, zero, ā. Innovation occurs in every language, and there are many different ways it can happen. The suffix -ness in particular was formed from something like -in-at-tuz, which were three suffixes that ended up being merged into one. Gothic still has some words with just -at-tuz (-assus), showing an earlier stage in this process. Innovation also happens when language learners interpret the language in slightly different ways, causing them to make assumptions about general patterns in the language that didn't originally apply, but seemed to. For example, the Dutch second-person singular bent was formed from the first person form ben, even though the original form was bis - the -n was originally an ending, but was later interpreted as part of the stem. In Indo-European in particular, there has often been a tendency towards levelling out different alternating forms of words, which often led to reduction or elimination of ablaut alternations too. So it's quite possible that while we can reconstruct the zero grade for a particular word, its IE form had another grade. This is especially noticeable in the Germanic words ending in -tiz and -tuz, which almost all have zero grades in the nominative, even though in PIE those nouns alternated between full grade in the direct cases and zero grade in the oblique cases. The oblique stem form ended up being generalised to all forms in Germanic. —CodeCat 15:37, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
                      • I see, or at least everything after your first couple of sentences makes perfect sense to me. That's very interesting (and it reminds me that I've been meaning to learn to conjugate "zijn"). Yes, well, I will continue sounding like an idiot until I teach myself from the ground up about PIE, which may not happen for a long time (eventually, I'll probably get the bug). This is still very helpful; thanks so much! --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:14, 15 August 2012 (UTC)
                        • I have two books that go into Indo-European and Germanic to some depth: {{R:Ringe 2006}} and {{R:Fortson 2004}}. I can definitely recommend them! —CodeCat 16:21, 15 August 2012 (UTC)


Are there enough people without support for Greek and Cyrillic to justify requiring images for terms in those alphabets? — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:56, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Polytonic Greek does not have complete support (see WT:RFDO#Template:Latinx) and Cyrillic with diacritics is probably dicey. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:24, 19 August 2012 (UTC)

Italian pronunciationEdit

Italian pronunciation is extremely regular and, as a consequence, almost none of our Italian words have a pronunciation section. I hope that this won't stop them being selected. SemperBlotto (talk) 11:24, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

I don't think it should be a problem, but we prefer to include phonetic as well as phonemic transcriptions. If Italian spelling is phonemic, then that part is taken care of, but they'd still be missing the phonetic representation (and for good measure, we might as well include both). —CodeCat 12:12, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Serbo-Croatian pronunciation is also regular and many of the entries have only phonemic IPA, so I hope that if any of them are nominated, their phonetic representation won't be necessary for being eligible. --BiblbroX дискашн 13:45, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
Italian pronunciation isn't all that predictable from the spelling. You can't tell from spelling, for example, whether a stressed e stands for /e/ or /ɛ/ or likewise whether a stressed o stands for /o/ or /ɔ/; you can't tell whether z(z) stands for /(t)ts/ or /(d)dz/; you can't tell whether stress falls on the penult or the antepenult. Pronunciation info should be added to the Italian entries. —Angr 14:26, 8 September 2012 (UTC)
We'll still nominate interesting words no matter the state of the entry, but they're going to need pronunciation sections if they are to be featured. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:32, 8 September 2012 (UTC)

Add new nominations to the top or to the bottom?Edit

The English WOTD asks people to add new nominations to the top of the list. The FWOTD mostly does the opposite, but some have been added to the top regardless. Should we follow the same practice here? —CodeCat 13:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Yes: I don't know if one way is better than the other, but it's confusing for them to be different. FWOTD should match WOTD. —RuakhTALK 14:02, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I don't care that much either way. I also don't really care if the two are in synch. If any of you have a strong opinion, I can roll with it. --Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:52, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I don’t care much but prefer adding new noms to the bottom, because that’s the way lines are usually ordered in Latin-alphabet text. — Ungoliant (Falai) 20:58, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
OTOH, the benefit of adding nominations to the top is that the old nominations are 'automatically' pushed downwards and can be segregated under month headers (as months pass) without the length of the page a person must scroll through to add a term being increased; it also keeps a person from having to scroll past old nomimations in the edit window. And while entries are usually added to the bottoms of lists, updates (e.g. blog updates, Wiktionary:Announcements) are usually posted to the tops... - -sche (discuss) 23:15, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
Either way, there should probably be a <!--commented--> note like WOTDN has. - -sche (discuss) 23:17, 23 September 2012 (UTC)
I'd prefer having new noms at the top. Beside the reasons -sche presented, which are IMO convincing enough, it's because I need to scroll down the list just to see the new ones. If noone objects I'll introduce a <!--commented--> note as suggested. --biblbroksдискашн 20:15, 28 September 2012 (UTC)

Running out of usable entriesEdit

There aren't many usable words left in the list. Someone needs to look around and add quotes and pronunciation to some more of them... —CodeCat 20:17, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

I can probably add some more German and Irish words, but I'd hate to see FWOTD just keep repeating the same handful of languages over and over again. —Angr 00:11, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
I don't think we really need more words as such just yet. We need more usable words: words that have pronunciation and at least one quotation. —CodeCat 00:35, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
On the bright side, we're safe for a little while. As for diversity, I'm more worried about language families, myself. If I just go at it, we'll have a lot of Polynesian and creole (I could conceivably fill an entire month only repeating each language twice) but that's not a good thing either. Some "easy" languages that I/we ought to attack are Swahili, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic, and Japanese — common languages underrepresented in FWOTD which have copious resources and multiple speakers contactable around here. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:00, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Wiktionary DayEdit

Wiktionary Day (the day Wiktionary was started) is December 12th, if you want to select an anniversary- and founding-related word that day. - -sche (discuss) 19:37, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Do you know in what year it started? —CodeCat 21:30, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
2002. We're due for our ten-year anniversary soon. Something kinda cool should happen. --Adding quotes (talk) 21:38, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
I thought of this, and I noticed that you set for en-WOTD, but I can't think of something appropriate here. Suggestions welcome. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 00:41, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Maybe we can use eierlegende Wollmilchsau for that day. It's kind of what Wiktionary has become in 10 years! :D —CodeCat 00:58, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
But according to the entry it is used “often disapprovingly”. — Ungoliant (Falai) 01:03, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
It's a great word, but I'd like to "veto" that, if I may, per Ungoliant. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 01:15, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Set for the 4th, by the way. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:40, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
If we can't think of anything better, we could use Joaresdach or jähren or one of the translations of [[anniversary]], [[commemorate]] or [[found]]. - -sche (discuss) 03:41, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
How about Dutch opleving or heropleving: a (re)invigoration, an upsurge, a return of life or interest into something. —CodeCat 03:45, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Are there any languages with good single words for "ten year anniversary"? - -sche (discuss) 04:03, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Russian has десятилетие (desjatilétije, ten-year anniversary, decade). --WikiTiki89 07:31, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
tienjarig "ten-yearly" maybe? —CodeCat 04:09, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Hm, maybe. Actually, I like your earlier idea of something hopeful; maybe the English WOTD can cover the ten-year-ness of the anniversary and FWOTD (being, appropriately, a new project) can look to the future. :] Another hopeful possibility is tȟokátakiya. - -sche (discuss) 04:28, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
I happen to like the Lakota, but the Germanic ones aren't bad either. Luckily, we've got a good few more days (personally, I'm already thinking about what to do for next April Fools' Day...). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:40, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Haha I was thinking about that too. CodeCat, I don’t want to sound mean but there are already 3 Dutch FWOTDs in December. — Ungoliant (Falai) 04:43, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
Excellent point. To adhære to the maximum that we set, would it be appropriate to move Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/2012/December 31 to Wiktionary:Foreign Word of the Day/2013/January 1? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:46, 20 November 2012 (UTC)
That seems a bit petty doesn't it? Why does moving it one day make such a difference? —CodeCat 16:21, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Obviously it doesn't, but once it was pointed out to me it began to annoy me, and I figured it will be just as apt for the nieuw as for the oud. (Of course, if there's a reason that it isn't, then I do suppose we'll have to move it again.) Please note that I'm not doing anything to be petty, it's just that inconsistencies and things like that annoy me, and I feel a direct need to fix them (which is in part why heavily templated Wiktionary appeals to me more than free prose Wikipedia). —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:22, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
The reason I put it on the 31st, though, is that oud-en-nieuw starts on that day. Putting it on the 1st would be a bit like putting christmas on the 26th (at least in the Netherlands, where it's called 2nd christmas day), or, a bit more topical, to put a word about the olympics on a day half way through. —CodeCat 18:38, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Alright, alright *grumbles about not being dictator of Wiktionary* I'll move it back for you. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 19:33, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Ok don't go blaming it on me now. If you really don't like it, move it to 31 December 2013...? —CodeCat 20:11, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Well, this is another reason Wiktionary appeals to me — it helps make me a little more human. Really, it's OK. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 20:55, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
Here is an idea: let’s have a whole “10 years of Wiktionary” focus week, starting a week before the anniversary. — Ungoliant (Falai) 04:04, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I guess... do we have enough? Or must I go and cite decennium? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:19, 21 November 2012 (UTC)
I've beefed up mdala, if you want to use it. - -sche (discuss) 06:09, 21 November 2012 (UTC)

Still aliveEdit

I've cited [[kuxa’an]], which Ungoliant proposed for the 22nd. I suggest we move [[ragnarǫk]] (currently scheduled for the 22nd) to the 21st, to match what the Mayans have on their calendar, and the set [[kuxa’an]] for the 22nd as originally proposed. - -sche (discuss) 02:31, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

That seems ok to me. —CodeCat 02:52, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Support. Thanks, -sche! — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:47, 16 December 2012 (UTC)
Well done, -sche! Much obliged. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:38, 16 December 2012 (UTC)

When to waive the pronunciation requirementEdit

Obviously, we don't need pronunciation for ASL words (although we haven't featured any yet). However, what about languages like Primitive Irish and Old Armenian where the phonology is truly lost to time and we don't have anyone competent in the major reconstructions? There are entries in both those languages I'd like to feature, and this is the only obstacle. What do you guys think about it? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:30, 1 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't know about Old Armenian, but I don't think Primitive Irish phonology is unreconstructable. Which word(s) did you have in mind? —Angr 10:21, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Do you know about it or have a book on it? I don't really care too much which word, maybe something medievally oriented like ᚉᚐᚈᚈᚒ. I'll be glad to cite it meself. I just thought that it would be an interesting obscure extinct langauge to feature. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 15:59, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I know about it and I have some books. That particular word can be reconstructed as /katu-/ in Primitive Irish, though I suppose the nominative case was /katuh/, and later on /kaθu(h)/. The spellings don't show when voiceless stops began being lenited between vowels (voiced ones were probably lenited already in Proto-Insular Celtic). The geminate -TT- of the orthography doesn't mean anything; Ogham inscriptions just sort of randomly double consonant letters. —Angr 21:24, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Maybe sign language entries should have video or production information instead of pronunciation. But I’d prefer if we changed the pronunciation requirement into a requirement for the existence of any extra content (such as a complete etymology, pronunciation, semantic relations, related terms or descendants). — Ungoliant (Falai) 18:09, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Make it Pronunciation for living languages, Etymology for ancient/extinct languages. -- Liliana 19:06, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Many words in ancient languages don't have known etymologies, just like many words in modern languages don't. —CodeCat 19:15, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
I like Ungoliant's idea, but I'm OK with just waiving the requirement for extinct languages that don't have well-known phonologies (like Latin, Greek and Norse have). - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
We’ve done that before, for oilam. — Ungoliant (Falai) 19:42, 1 January 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. A complete entry is my personal aim, and pronunciation can be considered to be a good proxy for that. I want to show what we have to offer with the entries we feature. Whether it is appropriate or not to stick to our own rules (and to what degree) is hard for me to decide. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:22, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Exactly, but why only pronunciation? Surely an etymology with steps encompassing the middle, old and/or proto etymons or a full Related terms section are also proxies for a complete entry. As for my opinion, it’s appropriate to waive the pronunciation requirement when even those who who study the language professionally would be unlikely to come up with a pronunciation (Lusitanian), or don’t agree on it (PIE). — Ungoliant (Falai) 02:46, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
Well, we have excellent entries without etymology. Who here knows about Ankave etymologies? I wouldn't know where to look. I did read a short paper on Ankave phonology, which is pretty straightforward, so I can pronounce it. Lusitanian was a good choice for waivement, and I had forgotten that we'd done that. I guess we can follow in that style, and sign languages needing videos or a succession of still shots seems good to me. As for PIE, proto-langs are still not allowed. I think you said that you'd try to get consensus for that? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 02:57, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
I think you might have misunderstood what I mean (or maybe I am misunderstanding your understanding of what I mean?). I’m not suggesting we require that every FWOTD have an etymology and pronunciation and related terms and etc., I’m suggesting they be required to have either etymology or pronunciation or related terms or etc., instead of pronunciation or lump it.
I was just using PIE as an example of a language with pronunciation suggested but not agreed upon (I’m thinking of laryngeals).
Call me selfish but I regret having added that question to the vote. Still, it’s better than risking having some experienced Wiktionary seeing a reconstructed FWOTD and throwing a tantrum against us. IMO it’s still too soon to ask it again. I’ll wait a few more months, but if you’re in a hurry and start the discussion I’ll totally support it. — Ungoliant (Falai) 03:13, 2 January 2013 (UTC)
No, I understood. I'm just trying to make the case that pr0n(unciation) is a better proxy. And yeah, if you're selfish then I am too. I regretted it from the start but I figured I'd respect your wishes... at least now I get to blame you for it :) Not sure how soon is soon, but we have a lot of Proto-Indo-European, -Polynesian, -Germanic, -Slavic, etc entries that would help a lot, and conlang entries as well. That said, it's not like the well is dry or anything. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 04:37, 2 January 2013 (UTC)


Just something to think about: I thought today's [6 August] WOTD and FWOTD complemented each other quite well (Olympiad and ἀγών). This was pure coincidence, but maybe we could occasionally try to do this intentionally in the future? The connections need not be blatantly obvious, but they add another level of interest. Hyarmendacil (talk) 05:37, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

It’s a good idea, but WOTD is abandoned AFAIK. They use a different system, so that if you don’t set a WOTD the previous year’s is displayed instead. — Ungoliant (Falai) 09:25, 6 August 2013 (UTC)

April foolsEdit

@Hyarmendacil, Metaknowledge we need something funny for April 1st. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:00, 26 March 2014 (UTC)

Optional waiving of the pronunciation requirementEdit

@Metaknowledge, Hyarmendacil, Angr, Wyang, -sche the requirement for pronunciation is a huge obstacle preventing the featuring of a greater variety of languages, because adding a pronunciation often requires a more in-depth knowledge of a language than looking up references to make sure it means what it says it means.

I propose that nominations be considered valid when either they have pronunciation and a citation/reference (the current requirements) or two citations/references.

What do you think? — Ungoliant (falai) 20:00, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

I'd certainly have no objection to waiving it for extinct languages or for tiny languages where it could be difficult or impossible to find out how a word is pronounced, but I don't think it should be waived for large languages. To stick to a distinction we already make at Wiktionary, we could waive it for LDLs but not for WDLs. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:06, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I’m OK with that. — Ungoliant (falai) 20:07, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Not that I am very active with FWOTD at the moment, but I'd be happy to waive the pronunciation requirement even for the WDLs (in favour of an extra citation), because citations can be found by users with little knowledge of the language (i.e. me), whereas creating pronunciations requires more detailed knowledge (or finding and asking other users to do it, which takes time when you're trying to fill the next week's allocation). Providing pronunciation should be encouraged, of course. But the purpose of the FWOTD is not to provide interesting words that people will use in conversation, but rather words that are simply interesting in their own right, and so providing pronunciation is not essential. Adding the extra citation in its place is a way of making sure that the entry does not look rather bare and inadequate (and a way of ensuring the word exists), and so I would support that. However, I don't really feel strongly on this issue (problem does not apply in Egyptian where the Egyptologial pronunciation is easy to generate) and I'd be happy with just a waive for LDLs or even the status quo if other users have reservations. Hyarmendacil (talk) 08:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I am fine with either Angr's suggestion or Ungoliant's original suggestion. - -sche (discuss) 12:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I support waiving the requirements for well-known and easily attested languages to "either a pronunciation or a quotation" (reference is inappropriate in these cases). Wyang (talk) 21:27, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I have update the policy. {{fwotd-nom}}’s cite= parameter now accepts values higher than one, but they should only be used for LDLs. — Ungoliant (falai) 18:22, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Aug 31, 2015Edit cuts off halfway through a subordinate clause. (I found where the thing is located but it's not editable due to being transcluded on the main page.) Neitrāls vārds (talk) 00:25, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Fixed. Thanks! — Ungoliant (falai) 00:28, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Constructed languagesEdit

I'm going to feature constructed languages in mainspace from now on, although sparingly. See the discussion here: Wiktionary:Beer parlour/2016/June#Constructed languages and Foreign words of the day. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 09:10, 5 July 2016 (UTC)

Watching FWOTDsEdit

@Angr, Jberkel, Wikitiki89: While I am spending less time on Wiktionary, it would be helpful if at least one of you guys could watchlist all the entries that I've set to be featured; they tend to get viewed more, and thus vandalised more, but it'd be best to keep them looking nice. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:32, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

Done. Enjoy your break! – Jberkel (talk) 20:49, 16 July 2016 (UTC)
I've also watchlisted the ones from now till the end of July. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:49, 17 July 2016 (UTC)
  • @Angr, Jberkel: I'm going to be on holiday for two weeks; I would appreciate it if you guys could watchlist the featured entries (and maybe the FWOTD boxes themselves). Cheers! —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 21:44, 30 December 2016 (UTC)

Achievement unlocked: double featureEdit

A weird coincidence, but just noticed that both today's WOTD and FWOTD were my nominations. Maybe we need more external contributions, or more suggestions in general :) – Jberkel (talk) 22:02, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

A source of ideas - RedditEdit

While not actually a source of that many untranslatable words, r/DoesNotTranslate/ might be a source of interesting words. - -sche (discuss) 21:31, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Subscribed, nice to see Wiktionary links in some of the threads. One interesting word which was mentioned there is Danish madro (peace allowing for comfortable consumption of food). – Jberkel 22:26, 25 March 2018 (UTC)
If you or anyone else reading this and perusing that Reddit come(s) across any that really do seem to not have an English translation, btw, please suggest them at Appendix talk:Terms considered difficult or impossible to translate into English/Candidates. - -sche (discuss) 23:17, 25 March 2018 (UTC)

Ready or not?Edit

@Metaknowledge, Lingo Bingo Dingo: Hi. Currently the nomination template doesn't take the translation parameter into account and outputs the "ready" sign as soon as the other two parameters are set to 1. Should I (try to) change that behaviour and make it compulsory to have a translation? Canonicalization (talk) 12:21, 20 June 2019 (UTC)

Translations have never been compulsory, just preferred (especially when you get a request for translation otherwise). I'm not sure how I feel about the current setup, because I don't want to keep it updated. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 18:55, 20 June 2019 (UTC)
@Metaknowledge: Yes, I understand. Maybe I'll simply remove it. Canonicalization (talk) 16:48, 21 June 2019 (UTC)
@Canonicalization I generally keep track of the translation parameter now, and a few others seem to do so, too. Keeping it up to date for new nominations should likely be doable. ←₰-→ Lingo Bingo Dingo (talk) 09:07, 24 June 2019 (UTC)
Return to the project page "Foreign Word of the Day/Nominations".