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Language proposal policy/Community draft

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This is a work in progress page for a community-drafted language proposal policy. Feel free to edit or discuss this page. See this link to compare this draft with the current policy.

This page outlines the policy that governs proposals to open new language subdomains of existing projects.
Language committee
Language committee
Language committee
For requesting users
For members
Closing projects (voluntarily)
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Please review the full text of this page before submitting a proposal.

The language committee processes requests in accordance with the application procedure and prior experience with requests and projects. The committee can skip steps in the procedure if they consider a request to have already met the objectives of those steps. Proposals for projects in a language that already has a well-established project may be fast-tracked in this way.

Application procedure




The following requirements must be met by requests before they can be approved; although they can be met at any time before or after a request, the basic requirements should ideally be fulfilled before making a request. If you need any help or have questions, please ask a committee member.

  • Requisites for eligibility
    1. The request is for a new language edition of a language-subdivided existing Wikimedia project in a language not yet supported by Wikimedia Foundation.
      Eligible projects are Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikibooks, Wikinews, Wikiversity, or Wikiquote. Multilingual wikis are not eligible unless they are first subdivided by the community.
    2. The language must be sufficiently unique that it could not coexist on a more general wiki. This generally excludes regional dialects and different written forms of the same language, especially when technical solutions make such alternative forms viable on the same wiki.
      Political differences do not justify a separate project. The Wikimedia Foundation's goal is to give every single person free, unbiased access to the sum of all human knowledge, not to promote the viewpoint of individual political communities.
    3. The proposal has a sufficient worldwide number of people able to express themselves at a fluent level, in the written, spoken or signed form, to form a viable community and audience.
      If the proposal is for a language without native speakers, it will need to be demonstrated that it is well attested in written texts, and is in current use as a special, auxiliary, engineered, classical or learned language.
  • Requisites for final approval
    1. There is an active public test project.
      A test project is a collection of pages on an existing wiki where the editors collaborate as they would on the created wiki. The purpose is to demonstrate that there is sufficient community to build and maintain a wiki. Normally Wikisource test projects are in the Multilingual Wikisource, Wikiversity in Beta Wikiversity, and others in the Incubator.
    2. The MediaWiki interface is available in that language (see localization guide and requirements). A first wiki in a language must localize the most-used messages. Subsequent wikis in the same language also need to localise all MediaWiki messages and messages for extensions used by Wikimedia.
      Localisation statistics are available which describe the current availability of translations for the MediaWiki interface into different languages. The group statistics at BetaWiki have more detailed information.

Initial proposal

  1. Read the above requirements. Requests that do not conform to the policy will be rejected.
  2. Register an account or log in on this wiki.
  3. Go to a page with the name "Requests for new languages/Project Language name", where the language name is English if it exists (for example, "Requests for new languages/Wikipedia French").
  4. Create the page with the following template:
    ==French Wikipedia==
    {{New language proposal
     |language  = [[w:French language|French]] (''français'', fra ISO 639-3)
     |links     = [[incubator:Wp/fra|development wiki project]]
     |external  = [http://www.pch.gc.ca/progs/ai-ia/fi-if/index_e.cfm International Francophonie]
    Replace this line with your opening argument in favour of the new project.
    ===Arguments in favour===
    ===Arguments against===
    ===Other discussion===
  5. Provide the following information (change the example above):
    • language
      • The English language name; if an article about the language exists on the English Wikipedia, link the name to that page.
      • The native language name in italics, if different from its English name.
      • A valid language code. e.g ISO 639-3, Linguasphere, Glottolog etc.
    • Relevant pages and external links.
  6. On Requests for new languages, add "{{subst:ls-newrow|Project Language name}}" (for example, "{{subst:ls-newrow|Wikipedia French}}") under "Open". "Project Language name" must match the name of the page you just created; if it adds a red link, check that you spelled it correctly.



Users are encouraged to discuss whether it is a good idea to open the new language. However, this is not a vote. The project will be assessed on its linguistic merits and chances of flourishing. Even if there is strong support, the proposal may be denied if there are strong arguments against its creation and insufficiently strong arguments in support as judged by the language committee.



If the language is suitable for a project but requirements still need to be met, the language committee will verify the language as "eligible". The conditions for final approval will be listed on the status page linked from the header.

The users should begin writing a test project now, if they haven't already (Wikisource, Wikiversity, or all other projects). At least five active users must edit that language regularly before a test project will be considered successful. You are encouraged to search for interested contributors yourself, as this may speed up the process considerably. Note that a project may be closed if there is little or no activity after it is created.

Final approval


If all requirements have been met and a detailed investigation finds no unresolved problems, the language committee will notify the Board of Trustees of pending approval. If the board does not veto the decision within at least four days, the request will be approved and developers will be asked to create the wiki.

The number of users that support or oppose the project is irrelevant. When the wiki is approved and opened, the header comment will be updated to reflect this.

Users are strongly encouraged to continue developing the test project while they are waiting for the wiki to be opened. This may accelerate the process. For Wikipedia proposals, the list of articles every Wikipedia should have may be useful. All pages developed as part of a test project will be transferred to the actual wiki when it is opened.

Frequently asked questions



  • What kind of languages can have wikis?
    Any language that has people who are able to express themselves at a fluent level, and who want to contribute to a wiki in that language.
  • Can there be wikis in personal, fictional, joke or game languages?
    No. There is substantial opposition in the community to wikis based upon themes created by the entertainment industry and related to fandom. Wikipedia in Klingon existed, but it has been closed.[2]

Test project


See also



  1. See the Old English Wikipedia (ang), Old Church Slavonic Wikipedia (cu), Gothic Wikipedia (got), Latin Wikipedia (la), Pali Wikipedia (pi), Sanskrit Wikipedia (sa), and the Classical Chinese Wikipedia (zh-clasical).
  2. According to the introductory comments at The Klingon Encyclopedia, the Klingon Wikipedia was closed at Wikimania 2005 and moved to Wikia in 2006.