In science fiction, the Encyclopedia Galactica is a compendium of a galaxy’s worth of knowledge. Wikipedia isn’t quite there yet—for one, we’ve barely left Earth. However, that doesn’t mean we aren’t trying to put together a planet’s worth of knowledge and ensure that all of its inhabitants can learn from it in their own languages.….
Studies estimate that there are more than 7,000 languages spoken around the world. Wikipedia exists in about 300 of them. That’s about 4 percent of some of the world’s languages documenting some of the world’s knowledge. Consider the Arabic language. With more than 420 million speakers, it’s one of the most widely spoken languages in….
Languages and multilinguality have always been an important part of the Wikimedia projects. After all, Wikimedia projects are available in over 300 languages. But most of these languages are accessible as a form of knowledge of their own only in their written form. Lingua Libre aims to change that by making the sound of a….
Names can be surprisingly complicated. What you think of as “your name” is probably a constellation of variations on a theme—possibly with a few random bits and bobs mixed in for good measure. Names that travel across cultures, languages, or writing systems cause all sorts of additional complications.
Many of the languages of the world use two or more writing systems, like the familiar Arabic, Cyrillic, or Latin scripts. Supporting those languages and those scripts—for reading, editing, and searching—can be a real challenge.
A new feature makes it easier for English-speaking Wikipedia readers to find versions of the article they’re reading in other languages. To mark the occasion, Amir Aharoni of the Wikimedia Foundation’s Language team details the history of interlanguage links on Wikipedia and details what went into the new feature.