Requests for new languages/Wiktionary Ancient Greek

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main page Request for a new language edition: Wiktionary Ancient Greek
submitted verification final decision
Discuss the creation of this language project on this page. Votes will be ignored when judging the proposal. Please provide arguments or reasons and be prepared to defend them (see the Language proposal policy).

The language committee needs to verify the language is eligible to be approved.

  • Check that the project does not already exist (see list).
  • Obtain an ISO 639 code
  • Ensure the requested language is sufficiently unique that it could not exist on a more general wiki.
  • Ensure that there are a sufficient number of native editors of that language to merit an edition in that language.
  • The community needs to develop an active test project; it must remain active until approval (automated statistics, recent changes). It is generally considered active if the analysis lists at least three active, not-grayed-out editors listed in the sections for the previous few months.
  • The community needs to complete required MediaWiki interface translations in that language (about localization, translatewiki, check completion).
  • The community needs to discuss and complete the settings table below:
What Value Example / Explanation
Language code grc (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Ancient Greek Language name in English
Language name Ἀρχαία ἑλληνική Language name in your language. This will appear in the language list on Special:Preferences, in the interwiki sidebar on other wikis, ...
Language Wikidata item Q35497 - item has currently the following values:
  • en label = Ancient Greek
  • native label (P1705) = Ἀρχαία ἑλληνική
  • instance/subclass (P31/P279) = language, historical language / Hellenic languages
  • Wikimedia language code (P424) = grc
  • writing system (P282) = Greek, polytonic orthography of Greek, Linear B
  • number of speakers (P1098) =

Item about the language at Wikidata. It would normally include the Wikimedia language code, name of the language, etc. Please complete at Wikidata if needed.
Directionality LTR Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.
Project name Βικιλεξικόν "Wiktionary" in your language
Project namespace usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace "Wiktionary talk" (the discussion namespace of the project namespace)
Enable uploads no Default is "no". Preferably, files should be uploaded to Commons.
If you want, you can enable local file uploading, either by any user ("yes") or by administrators only ("admin").
Notes: (1) This setting can be changed afterwards. The setting can only be "yes" or "admin" at approval if the test creates an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) first. (2) Files on Commons can be used on all Wikis. (3) Uploading fair-use images is not allowed on Commons (more info). (4) Localisation to your language may be insufficient on Commons.
Optional settings
Project logo File:... This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone North America/Los Angeles "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces For example, a Wikisource would need "Page", "Page talk", "Index", "Index talk", "Author", "Author talk".
Additional settings Anything else that should be set
submit phabricator task (includes everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings)


Between the three Classical Languages, Latin and Sanskrit have their own Wiktionary page, yet Ancient Greek does not. Students of Ancient Greek deserve to have their target language on par with Latin. In fact, most students of Latin are also students of Ancient Greek if they're preparing for a degree in Classics, Ancient History or a related field. Per the Language proposal policy, "Only Wikisource wikis in ancient or historical languages are accepted" - so Ancient Greek should be - "because resources in such languages continue to be important to the world, even in the absence of native, living speakers of those languages." - which is true Ancient Greek - "Where possible, such languages should be bundled with the modern equivalent Wikisource project" - so Ancient Greek should be bundled with Modern Greek, if possible.

Many, if not most, of the resources on the Modern Greek page could easily be converted to Ancient Greek. In fact, the Modern Greek page can act largely as a template for Ancient Greek. Wiktionary already contains a vast library of Ancient Greek words, along with detailed tables of conjugations and declensions. Many of the Modern Greek definitions of Ancient Greek words could be tweaked, paraphrased and/or translated to yield Ancient Greek definitions.

Of course, there is the issue of what dialect to choose. Personally, I would choose Attic Greek. Attic Greek is much more standardized that later forms of Ancient Greek. I suspect many people might want to see later Hellenistic Koine Greek. I'm open to that idea, but less inclined towards it. This could become open to discussion.

There are already plenty of passionate Greek experts working on the Wiki platform and contributing to Ancient Greek (in English and in Modern Greek). Please consider giving Ancient Greek the opportunity it deserves.

Thank you for your consideration. --Abbadonnergal (talk) 05:23, 16 January 2020 (UTC)


  • Oppose Languages don't deserve anything. We create projects for people in languages, not for languages. I just don't see why Ancient Greek Wiktionary is going to be useful to anyone. (It's not a Wikisource, so any statements thereof don't apply.) I understand volunteers aren't fungible, but I don't know that any of the Wiktionaries are anywhere near complete on Ancient Greek, and most of them would be far more useful than a Wiktionary written in Ancient Greek.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:09, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

  • Perhaps I should clarify that when my initial proposal said that Greek 'deserves to be on equal footing with Latin', this was simply a figure of speech. I did not mean to anthropomorphize the language itself. Of course, what I actually meant is that PEOPLE (namely students of the Classical languages, Classical literature, Biblical studies, ancient history, philology, etc) deserve to have access to an Ancient Greek Wiktionary. I'm not sure why Ancient Greek is somehow not 'useful', while Latin and Sankrit are. There are 3 Classical languages, and only 2 of them are represented on this platform. Why should that remain the case? In fact, there are even artificial languages represented - Esperanto, Ido, Interlingua, Interlingue, Lojban, Volapük, Novial and Lingua Franca Nova. Why are all of these 'useful' enough to warrant development, while Ancient Greek is not? So I question the validity of seemingly arbitrary 'usefulness' criteria. Is there some bare minimum number of students/enthusiast that would make a new language 'useful'? If so, can it be demonstrated that the number of students/enthusiasts of Ancient Greek is below the necessary threshold? It's probably not necessary to remind the educated people administering this platform of the immense contribution that Ancient Greek has had on the Western world. The recovery of Greek literature was the catalyst for the enlightenment. Much of the foundational literature of Europe was written in Ancient Greek - the Bible, the Homeric Epics, philosophical treatises, Mythology, Greek tragedies and comedies. Not to mention the fact that later literature drew heavily on this tradition. By some measure nearly 60% of English vocabulary ultimate derives from Greek roots. One key tool in foreign language acquisition is being able to use dictionaries based solely in the target language. Wiktionary could serve this unique role for Ancient Greek. This is not currently available anywhere on the internet or in print (as far as I'm aware). Again, the Language proposal policy page explicitly states, "resources in such languages (Ancient or historical languages) continue to be important to the world". Whoever wrote that obviously does not share the sentiment that it is not 'useful to anyone'. Quite the opposite.

--Abbadonnergal (talk) 05:23, 17 January 2020 (UTC)

LPP says "Only Wikisource wikis in ancient or historical languages are accepted, because resources in such languages continue to be important to the world, even in the absence of native, living speakers of those languages". Note the italicized word. Ancient Greek Wikisource has been ruled eligible, but it has only four pages, mostly being links to the Greek Wikisource.
I've read similar arguments several times and it's frustrating. Other Wiktionaries are neither here nor there; current projects rarely get closed, but that doesn't mean similar projects will get started. I don't care how great Ancient Greek is and how much English vocabulary comes from it. The only thing you said that I find relevant to the proposal is "One key tool in foreign language acquisition is being able to use dictionaries based solely in the target language. Wiktionary could serve this unique role for Ancient Greek. This is not currently available anywhere on the internet or in print (as far as I'm aware)." The first is interesting, but not something I've ever heard before. Given that it's not available in print for Ancient Greek (unlike, say, Esperanto) makes me wonder how widely that is actually believed to be a "key tool".--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:59, 18 January 2020 (UTC)
* The existence of other Wiktionaries for 2/3 of the Classical languages seems to set a precedent. With that said, I'm not sure why Ancient Greek would be inherently less 'useful' than its other Classical counterparts. Conversely, if Latin and Sanskrit were NOT yet included, hypothetically, it might be more difficult to make a case for including Ancient Greek without any such precedent. But I'll grant, for the sake of argument, that my salient point is that a dictionary/thesaurus based completely in a target language is, in fact, a 'key tool' for foreign language acquisition. I'm sure any polyglot can attest to this fact. For example, an English-to-English dictionary/thesaurus is a universal tool that can be utilized by ANYONE studying English, regardless of the English student's native language. The same applies to all languages. Definitions/glosses into one's native language can also be helpful, especially for beginners. But they often involve paraphrasing the target language, potentially distorting the meaning of words through an interpretive filter. Whereas definitions OF the target language IN that language are often inherently more precise and immersive (as long as they're well-formulated). Synonyms can also be very helpful. Again, this is obviously the key merit of having an all-Latin Wiktionary, for example. Is it possible to learn a foreign language without this tool? Sure. One can forego a number of tools and still achieve the goal of learning a language. But the lack of availability of a particular resource does not negate its potential utility. Student of Classical languages frequently face this conundrum - that students of living languages inevitably have vastly more resources at their disposal. But students of Classical languages manage to get by with what they have. This does not invalidate the need to develop more resources for Classical languages, as long as there are students who benefit from them. Digital tools are rapidly becoming more advanced and more readily available. One example is that students of living languages typically have access to dictionaries that translate both to and from their target language. Until recently the only available dictionary from English into Ancient Greek was Sidney Woodhouse's English-Greek dictionary, published in 1910. I'm not aware of any such resource's existing prior to 1910. The University of Chicago library has recently digitally scanned this dictionary and made it publicly available online, in a searchable format. But the actual text of the volume has yet to be properly digitized. It's an invaluable tool that only recently became available. I could go on to list many more such examples. The fact that a resource was not previously available at some point in time does not negate its potential utility. Analogously, the fact that an Ancient Greek Wiktionary is not yet available does not negate its potential utility. This idea should be evaluated on its own merit, relative to the number of people who will potentially benefit from it.

--Abbadonnergal (talk) 10:43 AM, 18 January 2020 (PST)

No, it doesn't set a precedent. The rules were ill-defined when they were created, and have changed since then.
I buy that definitions in a language are more immersive. I do not buy that they are more precise, that defining kangourou as "Animal de l’ordre des marsupiaux, originaire d’Australie caractérisé par le volume de sa queue et par la longueur de ses membres postérieurs dont il se sert pour sauter." is more precise than calling it a "kangaroo".
The English Wikipedia has translations from English into Ancient Greek. Wikisource could host that dictionary.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:56, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Support Okay, I see the value in an in-language dictionary for language learners. I am still concerned that this is about the glory of Ancient Greek and will never produce anything of value, but I suppose if it escapes the incubator, it will have passed that test.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:56, 20 January 2020 (UTC)
*Thank you so much! For the record, I'm not Greek and am not at all motivated by any nationalistic sentiment or ties to Greek cultural beyond my interest in the language. Greek is actually my 6th language. My personal motivation is to see an expansion in resources for future Greek students so they will have more to work with than what was available to me when I started out many years ago. In my lifetime of language study, Greek was by far the hardest language to learn, precisely due to the paucity of resources compared to my previous languages. My hope is that this project might be beneficial to the entire field of Greek studies and Classics. I plan on actively contributing to the best of my abilities. That said, I think the "glory" of Ancient Greek stands on its own merit, regardless of whether or not my proposal escapes the incubator :) --Abbadonnergal (talk) 2:10 PM, 20 January 2020 (PST)
Support As follower of the Holy Bible, I am favorable at the creation of Wiktionary in Ancient Greek, what soon will come to 100 entries.
Leonardo José Raimundo (talk) 00:15, 24 February 2020 (UTC)