Language use

From WikiEducator
Jump to: navigation, search
Guideline All content, core wiki documents, and titles should be in a single language.
Add'l info In the case of exceptions, the page should also include an English translation. Titles should never be in a language other than English.


  • Portals for users from non-English speaking countries
  • Pages about a country in which the primary language is not English
  • User pages




This is a typical style guideline, but I'm not sure everything being in the same tradition of English is necessary. I do think that making sure all articles are in English, or have an English translation, helps the wiki maintain a more inclusionary atmosphere. --Jesse Groppi 01:42, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

I'd like to change the first bullet to read "Portals and other WikiEducator instances for users from non-English speaking countries." -- Peter Rawsthorne 15:08, 24 July 2009 (UTC)
What other cases do you foresee this exception being applicable to? --Jesse Groppi 18:59, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Agreed, I'd prefer more generic wording (e.g. only mention specific languages in examples) and to include this guideline in a more general set of guidelines. --Kim Tucker 14:53, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

After thinking this over for a while, and reading things like Kim's language policy draft, I think the exceptions may be in a greater number than I first anticipated. Because of this, there are some specific questions that need to be answered before we can make an educated decision on a guideline involving language. These questions will follow, as subheadings. --Jesse Groppi 17:04, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

When would a page need to be in two or more languages?

  • Language learning
  • Required bi-lingual learning

How does one go about requesting a localised version of WE?

Send an email to the discussion list? --Jesse Groppi 17:04, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Perhaps we should also have a list of requests somewhere. The Language Installations page might be a good place. As soon as the new language instance of WE is available, it moves into the top list of existing "WikiEducator Language Installations". --Kim Tucker 18:06, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Is a quantity of language-based content required to warrant localisation, and if so, how much?

Not sure where to start this, but it might have something to do with the author's intention of continued authoring in that language. --Jesse Groppi 17:04, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

It is not only about "localisation". Consider those who want to get started with new resources in their own language. So, I'd prefer to have as many languages as possible covered in advance with a front page which says (in that language) "Feel free to start a WikiEducator in this language by translating the front page of one of the others: Language Installations. --Kim Tucker 18:06, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
It is also about building a community of contributers in that language. This is easier if they can just go for it on an empty version of WE in their own language. --Kim Tucker 18:06, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

If a quantity is required, how should an author prepare for localisation, and where should he or she store content?

I don't think I'm opposed to housing it on the English wiki, unless it's thought that having specific levels of content pre-existent is unnecessary before creating a localisation. In that case, there's really no reason to have it on the English WE. --Jesse Groppi 17:04, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

S/he could house it on any of the existing language instances of WE until the required new language instance is available. For example, someone in Switzerland wanting to use a Romansch version of WE might already have resources on or or and prefer to use these while waiting. The wait should not be long (as above). --Kim Tucker 18:06, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

How can we help a reader or member of WE understand what language certain articles are in?

  • filing all pages intended for localisation into a "Resources in <language>" category.
    • under which the "localised" categories could be in the language
  • adding a message to readers in the infobox or metadata
  • suggesting that bi-lingual resources follow a two-column format
  • non localised resources should be categorised in English
Some infoboxes would be useful along with associated categories. More on categories on the Language policy / guidelines page - e.g. Both Category:French and Category:Français could appear on the English Wikieducator, the latter for students learning French (teacher wants them to see French categories). --Kim Tucker 18:28, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Wikiversity has some language classification project boxes. --Kim Tucker 18:28, 22 October 2009 (UTC)


The discussion this is generating is useful, but I cannot support the title of the guideline: "All content, core wiki documents, and titles should be in a single language". Ideally, the "core wiki documents" should be available in all installed languages and there should be some freedom in how different language groups interpret and apply the guidelines. Nor can I support the wording in "Add'l info" (references to English). For example, learners have varying preferences for the language of instruction which change according to the subject (e.g. prefer English for technical subjects and home language for social sciences). Let's merge the thinking into WikiEducator:Language policy or rethink this one to make the exception(s) the rule. Kim Tucker 19:30, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Kim, at this point, I don't support the current wording of the guideline, either. As you can see by the discussion held at WikiEducator:Style guide/Proposed guidelines/Multiple categories, we are not assuming that the title we start with is the title we are going to end up with. I think I can say that for all of us, designing a manual of style (which includes how language is used) for WikiEducator is a learning process. I think you have some great ideas, and I would love to discuss them with you. It would be a great help to us if you could suggest ways we could improve a guideline or collection of guidelines that revolve around what language the English localisation is written in. How would you reword this guideline?
Guideline "Uniform language use" seems to have outgrown itself judging from the questions raised. One possibility is to unpack all the guide lines emerging from the discussion into separate entries under "Language and word choice". Alternatively, change the title to something like "For multilingual or alternative language pages consider the WikiEducator Language Guidelines. "Additional info" could read something like: The language guidelines cover WikiEducator Language Installations, Language Support, a template for page translations and tutorials. The challenge then is to develop those guidelines comprehensively. I suspect it would be a good idea to form a separate workgroup on WikiEducator Language Guidelines involving people working with different languages on WikiEducator. - Kim Tucker 23:35, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
I never intended these guidelines to apply to any other localisation than the English WE. As you say, each localised community should be able to interpret the guidelines as they see fit. To me, that means they would use the guidelines as inspiration for their own, not as their own. This means that our core wiki docs are in English, but the Portuguese core wiki docs are in Portuguese. I firmly believe that a localisation's core documents should reflect the language it is based on. Would it help if I included statements in the charter that clarified this? Please add any comments you have to this thread. --Jesse Groppi 20:00, 22 October 2009 (UTC)
Good point Jesse. Perhaps the "Languages policy/ guidelines" is a separate concern. I have added this and a hint in the thread. - Kim Tucker 23:35, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

See Also