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Speak low if you speak love.
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Application-certificate Gion.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. This is an early draft, changes should be discussed on the talk page.
Policies: CFI - ELE - BLOCK - REDIR - BOTS - QUOTE - DELETE - NPOV Language-specific: AR - CA - ZH - CZ - FR - EL - HE - HU - JA - LA - RO - ES

This describes how to handle foreign translations of English words in the English Wiktionary. It is an extension of Dictionary:Entry layout explained#Translations.


  • If you are uncertain about a translation, enclose the language name in {{ttbc}} so that a native speaker or expert translator can check the translation.
  • NEVER rely on automatic translation software to generate translations into a language you don’t speak. Translation software rarely gives accurate results.
  • DO NOT COPY from translating dictionaries (bilingual or multilingual) as this may constitute copyright violation. This applies to dictionaries both in print form and online. Dictionaries that are out of copyright may be used.

Project scope

Translation tables are to be given for English words only. In entries for foreign words, an English translation is given instead of a definition. Translation between two foreign languages is handled on the Wiktionaries in those languages. For example, a reader who wants to translate a Hindi word to Japanese should have some command of either language and look in the Hindi or Japanese Wiktionary.


Each “Translations” section is nested within a part of speech header. For example, in a “===Noun===” section, the translations section begins with the heading “====Translations====”.

The translations are separated into divisions for each sense of the English headword. {{trans-top}} creates a collapsible navigation box whose heading shows a summary of the translated sense.

Within each box for a translated sense, the languages for which translations exist are listed in two columns by their English names in alphabetical order. {{trans-mid}} is used halfway down (which is typically, but not always, between the languages beginning with A-I and those beginning with J-Z) to divide the box into two columns.

{{trans-bottom}} is used on the line after the last translation.

(see: Template talk:trans11 for a more automated template and translation of a word with abundant meanings; remember you must subst: it).

Translation into a foreign language

For each translation into a foreign language, the language name is preceded by a bullet (generated by *) followed by a colon and the translations into that language, each linked to the main entry for the foreign term in the English Wiktionary. The language names of regional languages, dialects and recognised artificial languages may be wikified, but in general, language names are not to be wikified.

  • Use {{t}} with an ISO 639 language code to create a link to the English Wiktionary entry for the foreign word and a link to its entry in the Wiktionary of the target language:
    * Esperanto: {{t|eo|vorto}}
    * Esperanto: vorto eo(eo)
  • If the foreign term uses a script other than the Latin (roman) alphabet, indicate the script with sc= and the Latin (roman) transliteration with tr=:
    * Japanese: {{t|ja|sc=Jpan|言葉|tr=kotoba}}
  • If the foreign term has a grammatical gender, specify it:
    * Latin: {{t|la|verbum|n}}
  • To specify the pronunciation, detailed grammatical information, usage notes, or literal translations of idioms back into English, use the foreign term’s entry rather than the English term’s Translations section. For example, when translating bell bottoms into French, do not follow this with the literal translation back into English of “elephant's feet”:
  • If the translation there is more than one translation option, give a concise English explanation of the options with full translations for each rather than abbreviations. For example, for ankle, an abbreviation such as *(Fuß-) Knöchel is not recommended, as it is liable to be misunderstood. Rather:
  • Do not give literal (word-for-word) translations of idioms, unless the literal translation what is actually used in the target language. Most idioms do not translate word for word. For example, the idiom none of your beeswax cannot be translated into German literally as *nicht dein Bienenwachs, as this does not have the same meaning in German; an appropriate translation is nicht dein Bier (not your beer):
  • If you are uncertain about a given translation, use "Translations to be checked" (see below) or enclose the language name in {{ttbc}} so a native speaker or expert translator can check the translation.


Here is an example (a shortened version of the entry for orange) illustrating some of the conventions:


# The [[fruit]] of the [[orange tree]].
# The [[reddish]]-[[yellow]] [[colour]] of an orange.

{{trans-top|fruit of the orange tree}}
* French: {{t|fr|orange|f}}
* German: {{t|de|Orange|f}}
* Japanese: {{t|ja|sc=Jpan|オレンジ|tr=orenji}}
* Russian: {{t|ru|sc=Cyrl|апельсин|tr=apelsin|m}}
* Serbian: {{t|sr|sc=Cyrl|наранџа|f}}, {{t|sr|narandža|f}}, {{t|sr|sc=Cyrl|поморанџа|f}}, {{t|sr|pomorandža|f}}

{{trans-top|colour of an orange}}
* German: {{t|de|Orange|n}}
* Hebrew: {{t|he|sc=Hebr|כתום|tr=katom}}
* Latvian: [[oranžs]]

orange (plural oranges)

  1. The fruit of the orange tree.
  2. The reddish-yellow colour of an orange.

Translations to be checked

If it is not clear which sense applies to a given translation, create a "Translations to be checked" table with either {{checktrans}} or (preferably) the set {{checktrans-top}}, {{checktrans-mid}}, {{checktrans-bottom}}:

<!--Remove this table once all of the translations below have been moved into the tables above.-->
* {{ttbc|Spanish}}: {{t|es|palabra|f}}
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

The -mid template is not required, and in general no effort need be expended trying to rebalance columns.

The header =====Translations to be checked===== is not needed, and should not be used, this table immediately follows the others in the Translations section.

See also