Interwiki link problem

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

interlanguage links[edit]

We have a serious problem on our hands: interwiki links. There must be thousands upon thousands of links between different wikis (e.g. different Wikipedia language versions, the Meta, & the other Wikimedia projects). But as Wikimedia grows simple links like en: (to english version)or fr: (to french version) will become very ambiguous. This problem was due to a lack of foresight on the amazing size of the material contained by what we now call Wikimedia, but we must not let the situation progress. I propose we decide on a new nomenclature for interwiki links, which would allow for future development and be explicit in the direction to the chosen page. What do others think of this proposal, or the situation in itself? -- Kwekubo 14:02, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

The above does not make the problem clear - could you add an example ? Thanks.
I also think that the Interwikimedia situation is a problem and getting worse. It needs to be more centralized in my opinion. My proposal would be to have pages on meta that lists all the articles (well, many pages broken up by letters since otherwise it would be a huge page) as well as a translation into every language. All the interwiki links should be removed from the articles, and this page should be the only one that handles interwiki connections. Have another table in the db that takes care solely of interwiki links. The way it's happening now it seems like people see something in en and tie it to an article they're working on their own xx pedia. But it does not work very well when you have an article say on fr: and one in it:, but not in en:. En: has become sort of the central point since it has more articles, but it should be more centralized in my opinion. Dori | Talk 17:51, 13 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Another problem with the large amount of links, is that some search engines view excessive links as spam and may choose not to list offenders or to lower the ranking of the "linked to" site. This may be the reason for an anomaly seen on DE recently.

I suggest create automatic linking. For example, when creating a wiktionary page about a word (i.e. city), automatically include a Interwikimedia section with a link to the wikipedia article to city. The user could mark (when offered by the web server) more interwikimedia links to another projects, if related.

The interlanguage links are very important too, and one would allow links to empty pages in another languages or offer to the user include the translation of the word in the article (wikipedia) or definition (wiktionary), i.e. the translation to spanish, french, english, and so on. If in the future there is a page with the same name in the other language version (i.e. in spanish), the concrete wikimedia project (i.e. wikipedia, wiktionary), would include a link to the spanish page.

Note: don´t mix interwiki with interwikimedia. Interwikimedia is an interwiki link to a wikimedia project. There are more interwiki links, i.e., from meatball to wikipedia or vice versa; these last ones are external links.

  • I don't think automatic linking is feasable -- a lot of places have different names/spellings/etc in one language than another. At best, automatic linking would be a "sometimes works" kind of thing. --Improv 19:26, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)


Interwiki-Link-Checker is a tool to find Interwiki Links between different languages written in the same way. With the Interwiki-Link-Checker you can help to improve the internationalisation of the Wikipedia.

Ambiguity might hurt: Keep optional?[edit]

Ok so it seems the three problems are

  1. interwiki ambiguities (Kwekubo)
  2. using English as a de facto interwiki repository (Dori)
  3. propogating interwikis is annoying (Kowey)

But precisely because of the ambiguity this proposal tries to solve, we need to tread carefully to avoid making the problem worse. One worry is that different languages have different ambiguities. For example, the French article of the week last week was "Cuisine" which could be either "Cooking" or "Kitchen".

For this we can use the inline wiktionary solution [[:en:cooking]], [[:en:kitchen]]

In order for a central repository to work correctly, it would have to capture the subtle nuances in meaning in every language or have to be continiously refined as new nuances get discovered. Fine, and this would be a better place to do it than En; however, we need to be careful that all this works and breaks gracefully. A central repository would be useful, especially for non-ambigious stuff like the periodic table of elements. But to be on the safe side, the old-fashioned links should still work so that we hand-massage weirdo ambiguities.

I propose that articles that use the common interwiki point to something like [[**:Hydrogen]]. If the article contains both central and language interwikis ([[fr:Hidrogen]]), the latter should override the central for that language.

-- Kowey 08:01, 14 Dec 2003 (UTC) (a Malay-English interwiki injector)

Walon Wikipedia[edit]

The problem with Walon Wikipedia is that you can't make interwikis refering to it. I think, it can be solved by changing its address from to Is it possible?

I would want to move it, indeed Srtxg
That is now done, thanks Srtxg

Serbo-Croatian Wikipedia[edit]

Can someone fix problem whit interwiki of this Wikipedia? Serbo-Croatian is Srpskohrvatski on Latin or Српскохрватски on Cyrillic. I suppose that name Srpskohrvatski/Српскохрватски is to long. Can you put Srpskoхрватски or Српскоhrvatski? Thank you. --Pokrajac 00:14, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Please, can you rename sh interwiki link in to 'Srpskoхрватски'? --Pokrajac 18:55, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)
You will find almost no Croat agreeing that he speaks Serbocroatian. Why don't you rename Serbocroatian to Serbian? Anyway, it is just waste of time to deal with issue. Kreso Bilan 13:58, 2 June 2006 (UTC)[reply]


Often I find that names relating to plants/animals are referred incorrectly. With these it would be helpfull when they refer to the same latin context. Example: Salmon, the fish, are many species. When it is called en:salmon it does NOT refer to the nl:Europese zalm. The nl:otter is the de:Fischotter but not the de:Otter. GerardM 17:28, 1 Mar 2004 (UTC)

This is a very important suggestion. We could use the scientific name like accurate machine.Go ahead with it.
  • More or less people know what to do if a page includes an equivalent of en:Template:Disambig, if they should link it or not.
Sorry, but I did not understand the purpose of Template:Interwikiconflict. pt:user:e2m

Templates as Interwiki?[edit]

Please, just take a look at: Template_talk:LION-Interwiki, could You help me? Please answer me on w:pl:Dyskusja_Wikipedysty:LION --LION 12:03, 26 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

A proposal for Interwiki linking[edit]

From what I've read here the problem is that names like en:Main Page links to another wiki when using on Wikibooks or on Wikipedia or on Wikinews or ... So, I think you should drop the concept of two separate prefixes like in w:de:Hauptseite and introduce only one prefix per wiki. For example, on Meta, I have got used to sign with a syntax like de.wp:Computer instead of w:de:Computer. The prefix "de.wp" is assigned to the wiki "". I have chosen this point syntax because I'm used with it in discussions on en.wb (that's what I mean). The advantage is that en.wp:Main Page always links to the same wiki, en:Main Page doesn't. -- de.wb:User:Stefan Majewsky -- 20:09, 20 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

See also[edit]