Requests for new languages/Wiktionary Tunisian

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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 aeb (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Tunisian Language name in English
Language name تونسي 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 Q56240 - item has currently the following values:
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 RTL 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 ويكيمنجد "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 yes 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:Wiktionary AEB1.png This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone Africa/Tunis "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. It will include everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings. After creating the task, add a link to the comment.

First Discussions[edit]

General Overview[edit]

Tunisian Arabic, or Tunisian (written in Tunisian as تونسي (Arabic Script) or Tounsi (Tunisian Arabizi)[1] local pronunciation: [ˈtuːnsi][2]), is a Maghrebi dialect of the Arabic language or Derja, spoken by some 11 million people in all Tunisia. That is why it is usually known by its own speakers as Derja, which means dialect, to distinguish it from Standard Arabic, or as Tounsi, which means "Tunisian". In the interior of the country it merges, as part of a dialect continuum, into Algerian Arabic and Libyan Arabic. Its morphology, syntax, pronunciation and vocabulary are quite different from Standard or Classical Arabic.[2] Tunisian Arabic, like other Maghrebi dialects, has a vocabulary mostly Arabic, with significant Berber and Punic substrates,[3] [4] as well as many words and loanwords borrowed from Berber,[3] French,[5] Turkish,[5] Italian[5] and Spanish.[5] As a Derja, Tunisian Arabic is intelligible to the speakers of Maghrebi Arabic, but it is hard to understand for middle eastern Arabic speakers.[3]

Due to multilingualism within Tunisia and due to all the different linguistic influences present in Tunisian Arabic as well as the Tunisian diaspora, it is not uncommon for Tunisian people to code-switch, mixing Tunisian, French, English, Arabic, and other languages into their daily speech.[6] Within some circles therefore Tunisian Arabic has integrated new French or English words, notably in technical fields, or replaced old French and Spanish ones with Standard Arabic words; more educated and upper-class people who make code-switching between Maghrebi Arabic and Modern Standard Arabic also have more French and Spanish loanwords.[6]

Moreover, Tunisian is also closely related to Maltese,[7] which is not considered to be a dialect of Arabic for sociolinguistic reasons.[8]

Tunisian had been always a field of research in Linguistics since 1893. That is why a number of dictionaries involving words in Tunisian are already available and that is why creating a Tunisian Wiktionary will not be difficult.

Further information could be found in: Tunisian Arabic in Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia

Arguments for Wiktionary Tunisian[edit]

Arguments against Wiktionary Tunisian[edit]

  • As mentionned before, this is a dialect not a language. This dialect does not obey to any grammatical rule. It is a mixture of languages of different civilizations or conquerors that have passed through this country. Moreover, each region in Tunisia has its own dialect with its own words that are not used in other regions. --Khaled MTG (talk) 19:59, 9 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
Khaled MTG: This is not accurate.
  • It is true that each region in Tunisia has its own words. But, there are a list of common words that are used by all the Tunisian people and that can be used in a standard variant of Tunisian. --Csisc (talk) 11:41, 10 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • As for the rules, Tunisian has rules. To verify that, you can see The morphology of the Arabic dialect of Tunis of Ferid Chekili. --Csisc (talk) 11:41, 10 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  • As for the status of Tunisian, it is not an ordinary dialect of a given language. Tunisian is not intelligible to the speakers of Modern Standard Arabic or of the Eastern Arabic dialects. So, a fluent speaker of Tunisian can misunderstand a scientific theory explained in Modern Standard Arabic or in French. That is why the creation of a Tunisian Wiktionary is important to let Tunisian vocabulary available to interested people so that they can use it to write science books or to explain scientific theories to Tunisian analphabets. This will absolutely ameliorate the literacy rate in Tunisia. --Csisc (talk) 11:41, 10 March 2017 (UTC)[reply]


  1. Sayahi, Lotfi (24 April 2014). Diglossia and Language Contact: Language Variation and Change in North Africa. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9781139867078. 
  2. a b Gibson, M. (2009). Tunis Arabic. Encyclopedia of Arabic Language and Linguistics, 4, 563–71.
  3. a b c Tilmatine Mohand, Substrat et convergences: Le berbére et l'arabe nord-africain (1999), in Estudios de dialectologia norteafricana y andalusi 4, pp 99–119
  4. Elimam, A. (2009). Du Punique au Maghribi: Trajectoires d’une langue sémito-méditerranéene'. Synergies Tunisie, (1), 25-38.
  5. a b c d Zribi, I., Boujelbane, R., Masmoudi, A., Ellouze, M., Belguith, L., & Habash, N. (2014). A Conventional Orthography for Tunisian Arabic. In Proceedings of the Language Resources and Evaluation Conference (LREC), Reykjavik, Iceland.
  6. a b Daoud, M. (2001). The language situation in Tunisia. Current Issues in Language Planning, 2(1), 1–52.
  7. Borg and Azzopardi-Alexander Maltese (1997:xiii) "The immediate source for the Arabic vernacular spoken in Malta was Muslim Sicily, but its ultimate origin appears to have been Tunisia. In fact Maltese displays some areal traits typical of Maghrebine Arabic, although during the past eight hundred years of independent evolution it has drifted apart from Tunisian Arabic".
  8. Borg, Albert J.; Azzopardi-Alexander, Marie (1997). Maltese. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-02243-6.