Thursday, July 12, 2012

Finding Wikipedia in your language

Since yesterday, the www.wikipedia.org portal has a new feature. In addition to the long list of language names linking to the Wikipedia in that language, there is an inputbox right above it where you can enter a language name and it will redirect you to that Wikipedia. It accepts the native name (autonym), name in English, in your browser language and the language code. For example, you can enter "français", "French", "Frans" or "fr" and it will bring you to fr.wikipedia.org.

In case no Wikipedia exists (yet) in that language, it will go to the Wikimedia Incubator test wiki if that is started yet, and else it will show the "info page" inviting you to start that test wiki. For example, entering "Brahui" brings you to the Brahui Wikipedia and entering "Bini" brings you to the relevant info page.

This is still an early version:
  • The language names coverage and the search itself will improve in the (near) future, and the Universal Language Selector might be used in the longer term for easier usage.
  • The label "Find Wikipedia in language" is also only in English since there is no obvious language-neutral icon to use. A solution could be to add a translation of the label based on the browser language.
  • It can probably be added to the other portals as well (i.e. for Wikibooks, Wikinews, ...).
Update: it did not display properly on small screens (mobile phones), it is now (temporarily) hidden there.

Any comments, ideas, problems are welcome,
Thanks,
Robin (SPQRobin)

28 comments:

Waldir said...

I suggest support for variants of the language names without diacritics to be added, for lazy people or those without access to proper keyboards. Example: "Português" vs. "portugues"

GerardM said...

The ISO 639-3 codes for languages that do have an ISO-639-2 code are not supported... It is easy to add I would think.
Thanks,
GerardM

Robin Pepermans said...

@Waldir: Yes, I know, same for e.g. francais instead of français. As mentioned in the post, the search itself needs to be improved.

@Gerard: That's currently not possible as far as I know, but support for that is underway.

Harry Burt said...

"in language" is a really awkward construction in English - can I suggest "in your language"?

Anonymous said...

Hooray! Great start. Have had a tough time finding the Native American languages on Incubator. This is useful, thanks to the developers!

Djembayz

Robin Pepermans said...

@Harry: dropping the article or pronoun emphasizes that you need to enter a language name in the input box. In itself it is awkward, but I think using it as a label is fine. You can always change it in https://meta.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=Www.wikipedia.org_template/temp&action=edit if you want (maybe to "in a language"?).

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