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[Story] Allow adding additional languages in the terms box
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Description

You can add terms in languages which already have at least one another term or in your preferred languages. Adding another languages is currently possible only using Special:SetLabel or the gadget. I believe adding them directly in the UI should be allowed.

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Restricted Application added a project: Wikidata. · View Herald TranscriptFeb 10 2016, 8:00 PM
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That's the only function from Wikidata Label editor gadget that's missing (if I'm not mistaken). If this is done, the labeleditor gadget is no longer needed.

Before we do add the ability to add more I'd like to see an analysis of how often the following case actually happens: I want to add a label/description/alias for a language that I have not set as my babel language, isn't my browser language, isn't inferred based on location and doesn't at least have one entry already. My gut feeling this case is very rare and I'd like to avoid adding more creep to the user interface it in this case.

Izno added a subscriber: Izno.Feb 11 2016, 10:43 PM

Before we do add the ability to add more I'd like to see an analysis of how often the following case actually happens: I want to add a label/description/alias for a language that I have not set as my babel language, isn't my browser language, isn't inferred based on location and doesn't at least have one entry already. My gut feeling this case is very rare and I'd like to avoid adding more creep to the user interface it in this case.

I regularly bump into this case, mostly when cleaning interwikis. I may move one link to another page based on e.g. Google Translate, or leave a link behind, and I want to clean up any remaining languages which may have content in them to indicate the different title.

But in these cases the language you want to work on already has a label, description or alias? In this case it would show up for you to edit.

Izno added a comment.Feb 13 2016, 6:14 PM

Right. I realized that after a second reading of what the task was about.

Carry on looking for use cases.

Nikki added a subscriber: Nikki.Feb 16 2016, 4:36 PM

I often want to do this, because Wikipedia articles will normally include the name in the original/native/local language(s) and I'd like to add those as labels too.

Related to what @Izno said, if you move a sitelink to another item, the item won't automatically have a label in the language. You can remove the label from the old item, but you can't add it to the new item.

I do find it rather strange that I can do pretty much anything independently of the UI language except for adding new terms. I'm not restricted in which sitelinks I can add, I'm not restricted in which monolingual text statements I can add and now I'm not even restricted in which labels I can see, edit or remove, but adding new labels? There's no obvious way to do that, the best option I have is a not very user friendly gadget that isn't enabled by default.

I'm not sure how we can accurately analyse how often it happens. We could figure out how many new labels were added using the labelLister gadget from the history, but that wouldn't tell us how many labels people wanted to add but didn't.

Nikki added a comment.Feb 16 2016, 7:30 PM

Another two uses I just had:

Someone entered a label and description using the wrong language code. I can remove them from the wrong code, but I need labelLister to add them to the right code.

Some sitelinks had been added some time ago. Usually a bot will add labels when that happens, but sometimes things seem to get skipped so I wanted to just add the labels myself, but I needed labelLister to do it.

Bene added a subscriber: Bene.Feb 25 2016, 9:56 PM

There should be an empty language input field at the bottom of the terms box when it is in edit mode. It would work just like the sitelinks ui works, one can add langauges but only the ones that have no term defined yet. To make that obvious, we should perhaps only show the additional box when all languages are expanded.

Lydia_Pintscher renamed this task from Allow adding arbitrary languages in the interface to [Story] Allow adding additional languages in the terms box.Apr 3 2016, 11:12 AM
Lydia_Pintscher triaged this task as Low priority.

It seems bizarre that the utility of this is debated. The solution suggested by Bene sounds simple, straightforward, and useful.

Izno added a comment.EditedMay 6 2016, 6:51 PM

There should be an empty language input field at the bottom of the terms box when it is in edit mode. It would work just like the sitelinks ui works, one can add langauges but only the ones that have no term defined yet. To make that obvious, we should perhaps only show the additional box when all languages are expanded.

I agree with the notion, but I want to refine: By "all languages expanded", do you mean "all defined languages expanded"?

Another two uses I just had:
Someone entered a label and description using the wrong language code. I can remove them from the wrong code, but I need labelLister to add them to the right code.

Ah yes, this is the big one for me as well. "Vandalism" of an item's description/label occurs often enough for this to be an issue.

Nikki added a comment.May 6 2016, 7:09 PM

I'm not Bene, but I understood it to mean that it would only be shown after you click "More languages".

I think as a reason of this feature lacking a lot of species don't have a Latin name in Wikidata even when the English, German, French field is filled with the Latin name.

Yesterday I merged to items. Because I couldn't put in a Czech label that one of the items had, the merged item now lacks the Czech label.

It's not only that the result, is a Wikidata with less data because I can't add all data it's also highly annoying on an emotional level to have no way in the UI to add the label.

I don't understand why this is low-priority.

Another use case is creating concepts for "family names".

If I start with a person who has is called John Doe in four language, her family name is Doe in all four languages. Currently I'm encouraged to only put in Doe in the fields of the language that I speak. Having a way in the UI to add additional language labels would allow me to set the label to Doe in all four languages.

Izno added a comment.Aug 31 2016, 9:50 PM

Related to what @Izno said, if you move a sitelink to another item, the item won't automatically have a label in the language. You can remove the label from the old item, but you can't add it to the new item.

I did it today, from Star Trek planet classification to class M planet because I had a concept split, which has been fairly common for much of Wikidata's life span.

Given that @Lydia_Pintscher wants use cases:

At the moment there's a user having problems with the issue at the project chat and asking about the ability to add a language:


Can't add new languages

When i try to create a new item in order to add new languages to an existing item, it shows up as a completely different page instead. How do i add new languages (not wikipedia links, but spaces to add label, description etc.) to an existing page? The main wikidata page says as soon as an item is created in a different language it can be edited in all languages, but that's not what happened. YuriNikolai (talk) 18:34, 29 August 2016 (UTC)


I myself observed that when creating new properties I only create them in the names that I have in my babel box even when there might be others in the property proposal because there's no straightforward way to add the label.

Sjoerddebruin added a subscriber: Sjoerddebruin.

Alright I give in ;-)

Izno awarded a token.Sep 9 2016, 7:02 PM

Alright I give in ;-)

So when can we expect this? :)

Adding our designers to get mockups.

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Charlie_WMDE moved this task from Incoming WD to Doing on the WMDE-Design board.Nov 13 2017, 2:10 PM