Encyclopedia > Wikipedia:Create a new language in Wikipedia

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Wikipedia:Create a new language in Wikipedia

So, you want to start a new language Wikipedia? Beware that it'll be a lot of work and it will take many hours to make your language ready to go live. You need a good knowledge of your language and one of the languages in the multilingual Wikipedia. I think it will take about five hours before your language will be ready for the public. So, let's start:


  • Use the new software
  • Translate the Main Page
  • Welcome page
  • How to edit a page
  • How to start a page
  • FAQ
  • Translate the interface (3 hours)
  • Add link on the English Wikipedia
  • Prepare Wikipedians page

Later steps:

  • Add a style guide
  • Add resources for writers
  • Translate the calendar

Table of contents

Use the new software

Be sure that your language uses the new software. Go to your language's Wikipedia through Wikipedia:Complete_list_of_language_wikis_available and see if the address ends with .com or .org. If it ends with .org, everything's good! If it ends with .com, you need to contact the list Intlwiki-L (/mailman/listinfo/intlwiki-l) and tell them that someone needs to convert it. When it is on the new software, you are ready for the next step.

As far as I can remember, Brion is working on a brilliant script which will convert all languages simultaneously to the new system. He wants to make sure it is thoroughly tested and perfect before he runs it or there could be major problems in Wikipedialand, so it's taking a while.

Translate the Main Page

Go to Main Page and think about how you can translate it into your language. Later, click "Edit this page" and translate everything, but leave the formatting tags. The tags create the format and the links in the page.

Welcome page

You will need to create a welcome page similar to Wikipedia:Welcome, newcomers. You can just translate that, or you can write something original. Hopefully, you already have a link from the Main Page to the Welcome page and you can just click that and start writing the text. Write that you prefer that users sign in using their real name instead of a username, because Wikipedia is a serious project.

How to edit a page

You need to translate How to edit a page in your language. Also, it would be good to translate How to edit a page for experts[?], but you can put that in another language and someone can translate it later.

How to start a page

Also, translate How to start a page.

Translate the interface

This is the most difficult and time consuming work. You need to find the php file of the active Wikipedia in the language you know best either at m:Locales for the Wikipedia Software or you can retrieve it per CVS from the source code. Or, you can ask Intlwiki-L (/mailman/listinfo/intlwiki-l) and they will be able to help you find the file.

Add a link on the English Wikipedia

In the list of languages at the bottom of the Main Page of the English Wikipedia, add your language in English and later in your language, for example German (Deutsch). Hopefully now, the Wikipedians of other languages will add it in the other languages.

Prepare the Wikipedians page

You need a page where writers and editors can put write their name and location. Just use the page of Wikipedia:Wikipedians as a base and translate it in your language.

Now your language is ready for the public! Try to convince your friends to join the project and explain how the Wikipedia works. Thanks for your hard work! Also, here are some steps you might want to take to make your Wikipedia even better:

Add a style guide

You want to have a high quality encyclopedia. Write a few tips for writers.

Add resources for writers

Are there webpages in your language about how to write? Maybe you would want to add a dictionary or a grammar guide here. Put in everything that could be useful for writers.

Translate the calendar

Because encyclopedias have dates, you will need to have an index for them. Translate the calendar into your language. Luckily, this doesn't have to be done for quite a while after the beginning.

Establish cooperation between your language wikipedia and the others

It is recommended that you subscribe to the Wikipedia:Mailinglists to know what is going on. It is also a place where you can draw on the experiences of the other wikipedias. Establish a local Wikipedia:Embassy for multilingual cooperation!

If you want to know who's setting up a new language wikipedia, such as the recent Hebrew Wikipedia, User:Brion VIBBER is the point man.

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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