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This is a proposal for a new Wikimedia sister project.
Status of the proposal
ReasonNo significant interactions since September 2010. --Sannita (talk) 14:33, 17 September 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Imagine a site where you can view standardized word lists of every language on the planet. For free.

These days, when you search online for words in various indigenous languages, you find nothing. When you want to buy a language book, it's out-of-print or overpriced. When you want to learn it, you just can't find it. Wikipedia already has the grammar and demographics, but not the lexicon. And languages are going extinct — fast. Let's do something about it to solve this problem.

I'd like to start a "WikiVocab" project if possible. Right now, Wiktionary has lists for around 200 languages, many of them in language-family rather than individual lists — see http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Swadesh_lists. I have personally created and finished around 20 different Swadesh lists, with more on their way.

My dream is for there to be a big database on the Internet where anyone can access the basic vocabulary words (in standardized topical lists) of all the world's languages. Wikipedia has information on the grammar and demographics of languages, but does not often include vocabulary, which is the core and essence of language. The closest things we have to a massive comparative database on world languages are the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database, Intercontinental Dictionary Series, and of course, Wiktionary's Swadesh lists. As a side note, even though this is basically the Rosetta Project's goal, the website is still quite unwieldy for ordinary users, has a very low Alexa site ranking, and does not allow wiki-style contributions. The Rosetta Project has also pulled off Swadesh lists that used to be on there, and does not have any searchable vocabulary databases as of now. And why do this? To help in language preservation, comparative linguistic studies, language learning, and more.

This "WikiVocab" website will be similar in style to WikiSpecies. If we do create a big, unified, and searchable database for all the world's languages — all in one place — I believe it will be one of the greatest human achievements in modern times. Linguists, teachers, and native speakers from all over the world would be able to add words in different languages, helping to save languages from total oblivion. This will be one of the greatest gems that our future generations can ever inherit.

Thanks for your considerations! — Stevey7788 11:34, 16 September 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Proposed by[edit]

Alternative names[edit]

  • WikiWord, WikiWords
  • WikiLanguage, WikiLang
  • Wikivocab (lower case)

Related projects/proposals[edit]

Related external sites[edit]

There is still no website that has comprehensive word lists of (almost) ALL the world's languages in one place! We have all the names, demographics (Ethnologue and Wikipedia), and writing systems (Omniglot.com and Wikipedia) of a lot of the world's languages, and a even lot of grammar (Wikipedia). But not vocabulary!

World languages

World languages — other existing wikis

Regional languages

Domain names[edit]

  • en.wikivocab.org
  • en.wikiwords.org
  • en.wikilang.org

Mailing list links[edit]


Another external wiki (not mine):

See also:

  • Numbers in Over 5000 Languages (Scope-wise, probably the best multi-language site. This is the only database on the Internet with nearly all the world's languages in it; however, it only has the numerals 1-10.)
  • Intercontinental Dictionary Series (Quality-wise, probably the best multi-language site. Excellent interactive searching and comprehensive topically-organized lists.)

People interested[edit]

  1. @Sannaj:
  2. Yug

See also[edit]