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Help:Interlanguage links

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Interlanguage links are links from any page (most notably articles) in one Wikipedia language to one or more nearly equivalent or exactly equivalent pages in another Wikipedia language, between language versions of Wiktionary, and the same within Wikisource, Wikiquote, and Wikibooks.

The interlanguage link feature works also on Commons, and produces links to the Wikipedias. This is not reciprocal: a link from a Wikipedia to Commons is an in-page link. They appear at one or two edges of the webpage (in Monobook on the left, in Classic at the top and bottom) after Languages, and show the names of languages for which a link is available. Interlanguage links look like external links (or different, depending on CSS), but the syntax is more like internal links. They are a form of interwiki links.


[edit] Syntax

The interlanguage links take the following form:

[[language code:Title]]

where the language code is the two-letter code as per ISO 639-1. (See Complete list of language Wikipedias available. English is "en", German is "de", etc.) So for example in the English language article on Plankton, which is available on many other wikis, the interlanguage links might look like this:


NOTE: These links are treated specially, and don't show up in the body of the text, but in a special sidebar section "in other languages" listed by language name. Technically they can go anywhere in the article source; placement does not alter the visual appearance of the links on the rendered page except for the order. However, the convention is to put them at the bottom of the wikitext.

You should not include the link to the language in which you are writing.

To create an inline link (a clickable link within the text), see the section Inline interlanguage links below.

To mark one or more of these links as a featured article in a specific language, just add the Template:Link FA below right before the interlanguage links:

{{Link FA|language code}}
[[language code:Title]]

For example, if the Tomato article is a featured one in French and German, you should write:

{{Link FA|fr}} {{Link FA|de}}

[edit] Bots and links to and from a section

Various bots add and attempt to correct interlanguage links: if A links to B, B will be linked to A, and if A links to B and B to C, A will be linked to C. The downside is that an error in an interlanguage link in one Wikipedia propagates to other Wikipedias. Thus if a bot produces a wrong result one may have to search for the underlying error in another language version of Wikipedia.

The activity of the bots also requires that interlanguage links are only put from an article to an article covering the same subject, not more and not less. It is technically possible to make an interlanguage link from an article to a section of an article, just like any link to a section. The bots can handle this. They will not try to link back from a section to the article that links to it. Maintaining such a link by hand, however, is complicated, so linking to a section is still not recommended.

If interwiki bots persistently add an interwiki link that human editors consider wrong, it is no use revert-warring against the bots: they won't understand and will always add the link back in. A simple solution is not to remove the offending link, but to enclose it in html comment marks ("<!-- [[ex:Example]] -->"). The bots understand this convention and will not re-add a link marked in this way.

[edit] Specific languages

[edit] Hebrew and Russian

In the Hebrew Wikipedia there is a thorough project to add relevant interwiki links to all possible pages and categories or to mark them as unlikely to need an interwiki link (for example, disambiguation pages for Hebrew-only homographs). If you know Hebrew and want to help the project or if you want to learn from our experience and apply it to the Wikipedia in your language:

[edit] Chinese

In the past the Chinese Wikipedia had two versions of many articles written in Simplified and Traditional script. Nowadays the conversion between the scripts is made automatically, so there is no need for linking script-specific versions of articles. Please take a few moments to read Wikipedia:Chinese interlanguage links to avoid unnecessary extra work.

[edit] Particular tasks for languages

For a few other Wikipedia languages, there are lists of pages where links may be needed. For example, the English article may have a Spanish link, but the corresponding Spanish article might be missing a link to English. Most of these lists are outdated.

For more information on working with other language Wikipedias, see Wikipedia:Embassy and Wikipedia:Multilingual coordination.

[edit] Tips

[edit] Inline interlanguage links

[edit] Purpose

Ordinary interlanguage links used mainly for linking an existing English Wikipedia page to a corresponding page in another language Wikipedia. If it is desired to include, in some article, a link to a topic that is not covered by an article on English Wikipedia but does have a page in another language version of Wikipedia, then there are two possible approaches:

  1. Use a red link pointing to a possible future article on the English Wikipedia;
  2. Use an interlanguage link pointing to the existing article on the other Wikipedia, as described in the next section.

The advantage of the first approach is that the red link informs all readers that the page does not exist locally, thus inviting its creation, and avoiding directing readers to a page that many of them will not understand. The disadvantage is that it conceals the existence of the foreign-language page, which might in itself be of interest to many readers, and may also be valuable to anyone wishing to create a corresponding English Wikipedia article.

It is sometimes possible to combine the two approaches, giving a local red link in addition to an interlanguage link explicitly marked as such. For example: "...the plans were drawn up by German architect Hans Knoblauch (see German Wikipedia article)..."

If a red link is not appropriate locally for whatever reason, such as because the subject does not appear to be notable, then linking to the other language page may be useful.

Interlanguage links may also be useful outside of the mainspace for convenience, such as from one's userpage to a page frequently visited or that like-minded visitors might want to go to.

[edit] Method

You can create a clickable link that will be visible in the text by adding a colon before the language abbreviation:

[[:fr:Littérature française du XVIIIe siècle]] or [[:ja:Wikipedia:井戸端]]

You can use the pipe to show only the title:

[[:fr:Littérature française du XVIIIe siècle|Littérature française du XVIIIe siècle]] or [[:ja:Wikipedia:井戸端|Wikipedia:井戸端]]

Which would look like this: Littérature française du XVIIIe siècle or Wikipedia:井戸端 in your text.

[edit] Links to pages that do not exist

Links to pages on another wiki (including other Wikimedia Foundation sites) are coloured differently from links within the English Wikipedia. Unlike internal links, these links do not indicate whether the target page exists or not. If the target page does not exist, the link leads to the empty page, with a message informing you about this.

If you find blank interlanguage links on the English Wikipedia, they may be deleted as having no content or you can comment them out. It is strongly recommended that you create at least a stub page before adding interlanguage links to it. Later, interested people can translate the rest of the page content from the original language to the new one for which the link was made.

Note: if the language prefix is wrong it is considered part of the name of a page on the same wiki. Such an error is clear from how the link looks: as an internal link to a page that does or does not exist.

[edit] Sorting

The link tags should be sorted alphabetically based on the local names of the languages, as described at m:Interwiki sorting order. The vast majority of articles are currently sorted this way. Sorting alphabetically according to the two-letter language abbreviations is also acceptable. There are numerous other sorting methods to sort interlanguage links, but consistency between articles is encouraged.

[edit] Other

For a complete list of current languages and language codes, see: w:List of Wikipedias

For a multilingual family of similar projects, with one project per language, a system for interlanguage linking can be set up, setting $wgInterwikiMagic to true and $wgHideInterlanguageLinks to false. If this project is in a family for which this applies, Help:Interlanguage link demo may demonstrate what is explained below (this depends on whether the same language codes are used).

An interwiki link within the family is treated differently, unless it is on a talk page of any namespace. It appears at one or two edges of the webpage (left in Monobook, top and bottom in Classic).

Thus, an interlanguage link is mainly suitable for linking to the most closely corresponding page in another language. It is not suitable for multiple links of the same other language. See Interlanguage use case for a discussion of common troubles with this system and other possible implementations.

The feature can also be used on an image description page, to link to the same or a similar image in a sister project. Other interwiki links to images require the prefixed colon.

Note that, if a page may be used as a template (even if it is not in the template namespace), it should note its interlanguage links between <noinclude> and </noinclude>. This is the same idea as for categories.


  1. [[:en:link]] or [[:category:name]] are ordinary links.
  2. [[m:en:link]] or [[m:category:name]] are interwiki links, see above.
  3. [[category:name]] without leading colon, adds a category to the page.
  4. [[en:link]] without leading colon, adds an interlanguage link to the page.
  5. <noinclude>[[category:name]]</noinclude> limits it to the actual page.
  6. <noinclude>[[en:link]]</noinclude> also limits it to the actual page.

For projects like Meta, a missing leading colon has no effect, because Meta doesn't support interlanguage links. For Wikipedia and similar projects, it is a major difference. The mutual order of interlanguage links is preserved, but otherwise the positions within the wikitext are immaterial, again the same rule as for categories. Usually they are put at the end. With section editing, they appear in the preview, if they are in the section being edited. A link to the project itself (hence, also a link to the page itself), even if referred to with the project prefix, appears in-page.

Suppose that we have pages de:Zug, en:Train and fr:Train, then we need:

Thus, there is no possibility of simply copying each list, let alone of using a template, as can be done, if different languages share one project with or without separate namespaces. For further information, see:

[edit] In-page interlanguage links

To make an interlanguage link in-page, prefix a colon (e.g. [[:en:wiki|wiki]]). This can be useful to link to a page in another language, if no local version is available. For example, several templates for conveniently making such links would be:

A few other templates are listed in Category:Interwiki link templates, apparently using the same ISO 639-1 code as above, i.e. <language name> suffixed with i.

[edit] Interlanguage links in the wider sense

An interlanguage link in the wider sense includes a link to a corresponding page in another language, which, for the software, is a regular link, as opposed to one employing the special interlanguage link feature as described above. This can also be an internal link on a multilingual project, e.g. on Meta:

Possible reasons for using an "interlanguage link" in the page body include:

[edit] Notes

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

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