Language families

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One way to organize languages by similarity is through their historical language families. The major families, by number of modern speakers, are:

Indo-European (Europe, Asia, America, Oceania)
Sino-Tibetan languages (East Asia)
Niger-Congo languages (Sub-Saharan Africa)
Afro-Asiatic languages (North Africa to Horn of Africa, Southwest Asia)
Austronesian languages (Oceania, Madagascar, maritime Southeast Asia)
Dravidian languages (South Asia)
Altaic languages (Central Asia, Northern Asia, Anatolia, Siberia)
Austro-Asiatic languages (mainland Southeast Asia)
Tai-Kadai languages (Southeast Asia)
Japonic languages (Japan)  

There are occasional discussions about how to support / represent / interact with local projects in minority languages, as the projects grow to include almost 300 languages, many with few native speakers. One option is to define a set of core languages that are strongly supported in multilingual projects such as Meta, Commons, and the Foundation wiki. A compatible option is to define a set of important regional languages, which would ideally be covered by projects such as the Embassy, translation of major announcements, and interproject Stewards. Every language not in this set would have a parent in the set, where it would by default look for messages or help if a native speaker or translator could not be found.

Major language families of the world


Core language proposals[edit]

The translation team uses a list of languages to prioritize for translations, with a number of levels of priority, based on language prominence in the world and within Wikimedia.

Pri   Languages
---|-----------------
 1 |  en, fr 
 2 |  es
 3 |  ja, ru, zh
 4 |  de, pt 
 5 |  ar, bn, hi, in, it, nl, pl 


The UN uses a different set of core languages:

ar, en, es, fr, ru, zh

Other changes suggested to the above include elevating hi, zh and de in priority for the body of speakers and the breadth of wikipedia and reference/library work, respectively.

Major language proposals[edit]

A list of all languages with a project of over 1,000 articles, and their proposed branches from a core language.

# Language Language (local) Wiki Language tree Comments
2 English English en En --> (De, Fr, Es)
2 German Deutsch de De --> En --> (Fr, Es)
3 French français fr Fr --> (Ca, Es, En)
4 Polish polski pl Pl
5 Japanese 日本語 ja Ja
6 Italian italiano it It --> (Es, En)
7 Dutch Nederlands nl Nl --> (En, De, Fr, Es)
8 Spanish español es Es --> Ca --> En
9 Portuguese português pt Pt --> (En, Es)
10 Russian русский ru Ru --> Uk --> En
11 Swedish svenska sv
12 Chinese 中文 zh Zh
13 Norwegian (Bokmål) norsk no
14 Finnish suomi fi
15 Catalan català ca Ca --> Es
16 Ukrainian українська uk Uk --> Ru
17 Turkish Türkçe tr
18 Hungarian magyar hu
19 Czech čeština cs
20 Romanian română ro
21 Volapük Volapük vo only 9 admins
22 Esperanto Esperanto eo
23 Danish dansk da
24 Slovak slovenčina sk only 9 admins
25 Indonesian Bahasa Indonesia id
26 Korean 한국어 ko
27 Arabic العربية ar

10 000+ articles[edit]

# Language Language (local) Wiki Language tree Comments
28 Hebrew עברית he
29 Vietnamese Tiếng Việt vi
30 Lithuanian lietuvių lt
31 Serbian српски / srpski sr
32 Slovenian slovenščina sl
33 Bulgarian български bg
34 Estonian eesti et
35 Persian فارسی fa
36 Croatian hrvatski hr
37 Newar / Nepal Bhasa नेपाल भाषा new only 1 admin
38 Simple English Simple English simple
39 Haitian Kreyòl ayisyen ht only 2 admins
40 Norwegian (Nynorsk) norsk nynorsk nn
41 Galician galego gl
42 Thai ไทย th
43 Malay Bahasa Melayu ms
44 Telugu తెలుగు te
45 Greek Ελληνικά el
46 Basque euskara eu
47 Cebuano Cebuano ceb 5 admins
48 Hindi हिन्दी hi
49 Macedonian македонски mk
50 Georgian ქართული ka
51 Latin Latina la
52 Breton brezhoneg br
53 Bosnian bosanski bs
54 Luxembourgish Lëtzebuergesch lb
55 Icelandic íslenska is
56 Azeri azərbaycanca az 3 admins
57 Welsh Cymraeg cy
58 Albanian shqip sq
59 Marathi मराठी mr
60 Serbo-Croatian srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски sh
61 Bishnupriya Manipuri বিষ্ণুপ্রিয়া মণিপুরী bpy only 1 admin
62 Latvian latviešu lv
63 Tagalog Tagalog tl
64 Piedmontese Piemontèis pms
65 Belarusian (old) беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎ be-x-old
66 Javanese Jawa jv
67 Bengali বাংলা bn
68 Occitan occitan oc 3 admins
69 Tamil தமிழ் ta
70 Ido Ido io
71 Belarusian беларуская be
72 Aragonese aragonés an
73 Sicilian sicilianu scn
74 Low Saxon Plattdüütsch nds
75 Sundanese Sunda su
76 Neapolitan Napulitano nap
77 Kurdish kurdî ku
78 Swahili Kiswahili sw
79 Afrikaans Afrikaans af
80 West Frisian Frysk fy
81 Asturian asturianu ast
82 Cantonese 粵語 zh-yue
83 Walloon walon wa
84 Samogitian žemaitėška bat-smg
85 Quechua Runa Simi qu only 2 admins
86 Urdu اردو ur
87 Waray-Waray Winaray war only 1 admin
88 Malayalam മലയാളം ml
89 Chuvash Чӑвашла cv only 3 admins

1 000+ articles[edit]

# Language Language (local) Wiki Language tree Comments
90 Tajik тоҷикӣ tg
91 Irish Gaeilge ga
92 Venetian vèneto vec
93 Tarantino tarandíne roa-tara
94 Ripuarian Ripoarisch ksh
95 Gujarati ગુજરાતી gu
96 Uzbek oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча uz
97 Scottish Gaelic Gàidhlig gd
98 Kapampangan Kapampangan pam
99 Kannada ಕನ್ನಡ kn
100 Yiddish ייִדיש yi
101 Maori Māori mi
102 Yoruba Yorùbá yo
103 Lombard lumbaart lmo
104 Min Nan Bân-lâm-gú zh-min-nan
105 Gilaki گیلکی glk
106 Nahuatl Nāhuatl nah
107 Corsican corsu co
108 Upper Sorbian hornjoserbsce hsb
109 Kazakh қазақша kk
110 Aromanian armãneashti roa-rup
111 Alemannic Alemannisch als
112 Interlingua interlingua ia
113 Limburgian Limburgs li
114 Armenian հայերեն hy
115 Central_Bicolano Bikol Central bcl
116 Gan 贛語 gan
117 Sakha саха тыла sah
118 Tatar татарча/tatarça tt
119 Turkmen Türkmençe tk
120 Sanskrit संस्कृतम् sa
121 Dutch Low Saxon Nedersaksies nds-nl
122 Wu 吴语 wuu
123 Faroese føroyskt fo
124 Ossetian Ирон os
125 West Flemish West-Vlams vls
126 Võro Võro fiu-vro
127 Egyptian Arabic مصرى arz
128 Norman Nouormand nrm
129 Amharic አማርኛ am
130 Pangasinan Pangasinan pag
131 Romansh rumantsch rm
132 Banyumasan Basa Banyumasan map-bms
133 Divehi ދިވެހިބަސް dv
134 Mongolian монгол mn
135 Manx Gaelg gv
136 Northern Sami davvisámegiella se
137 Friulian furlan fur
138 Zazaki Zazaki diq
139 Nepali नेपाली ne
140 Scots Scots sco
141 Bavarian Boarisch bar
142 Ligurian Ligure lij
143 Novial Novial nov
144 Bihari भोजपुरी bh
145 Maltese Malti mt
146 Ilokano Ilokano ilo
147 Pali पालि pi
148 Mazandarani مازِرونی mzn
149 Classical Chinese 文言 zh-classical
150 Khmer ភាសាខ្មែរ km
151 Uyghur ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche ug
152 Kashubian kaszëbsczi csb
153 Franco-Provençal/Arpitan arpetan frp
154 Ladino Ladino lad
155 Sinhalese සිංහල si
156 Cornish kernowek kw
157 Anglo-Saxon Ænglisc ang
158 Pennsylvania German Deitsch pdc
159 Hawaiian Hawaiʻi haw
160 Sardinian sardu sc
161 Malagasy Malagasy mg
162 Tongan lea faka-Tonga to
163 Komi коми kv
164 Silesian ślůnski szl
165 Punjabi ਪੰਜਾਬੀ pa
166 Pashto پښتو ps
167 Erzya эрзянь myv
168 Interlingue Interlingue ie
169 Burmese မြန်မာဘာသာ my
170 Guarani Avañe'ẽ gn
171 Fiji Hindi Fiji Hindi hif
172 Lingala lingála ln
173 Saterland Frisian Seeltersk stq