This page is a modified version of Wikimedia Commons' multilingual policy. There may be some inconsistencies on the page. Please help make Familypedia better by correcting any inconsistencies or bringing them to the attention of others on the talk page.
Nutshell.png This page in a nutshell:
  • Article names may be in any language, using any characters, so long as the article title indicates the language. Example: Александров (.ru)
  • Category names must be in English.
  • Image names may be in any language, but must use ASCII characters.

Familypedia is a multilingual project. This page contains the project's policy on how multilingual content is used, and what content should be in which language.

Comments--> Please contact rtol or use the talk page.

Major points[]

  • Article names may use any script, so long as the language is indicated in the page name, and the script matches the one used in the Wikipedia for that language. Notation for indicating languages in page names uses the two- and three-letter codes commonly used in web addresses. Familypedia's full list of languages recognized by the wikimedia engine provides the appropriate suffix for each of over 300 languages. Example article name in Russian: Александров (.ru). Article names without any language suffix are assumed to be in English.
  • Images (and other File:) names: These must use ASCII — but may be transliterated from any language.
  • Category names: So far, these may only use English — This may change when MediaWiki software is upgraded for multilingual support of category names. Our rationale is the same as for Wikimedia Commons (for further details, see Commons policy on naming categories). As with Images, Categories may use only ASCII characters, meaning names with accented or special characters must be transliterated to ASCII.
  • Templates — two ways to do them:
    • Simple: Make it language specific, and add the correct ISO 639 suffix from the Familypedia table. Example: Template:Traducción (.es).
    • Ideal: Make templates multilingual so that all that a translator is required to understand is how to change the text of the template for their particular language. For example, see Template:SCat. The main template is in the /main subpage, and the message for each language is set in a subpage with the ISO 639 code. For instance Template:SCat/fr provides the French strings. Semantic MediaWiki may be used for more sophisticated multilingual templates. Template:Showfacts person is an example of one of these more advanced capability templates, although it cannot yet (in 2016) use the full multilingual functions we wanted it to.
    • Messages: A template supports all languages using the mediawiki messages. To do this, use {{int:'''message name'''}} in place of text. Example: Template:Person. See current message table at Familypedia:Multilingual messages. The drawback of this scheme is that new mediawiki messages must be set by administrators.

Names of files[]

  • Media files can be uploaded with names in any language.
e.g. diezauberflote.jpg is as valid as lafluteenchantee.jpg.
However, there are some preferences. Generally retain the original name if from Commons or Wikipedia. See also Non-Latin page names below.
  • Titles of media files should be meaningful, helpful, and correct in the language chosen.
e.g. DSC123456.jpg or Eyefl_t0wer_nite.JPEG is not good. Try Eiffel_tower_by_night.jpg.
If you use a bad filename, an admin may come along and fix it at some point by uploading it again under a better name and deleting the original. Try to avoid creating work for people in this way.
  • Stick to ASCII so that everybody can type the filenames. Not every wiki has the accented character table enabled. The use of ASCII also avoids encoding conflicts between UTF-8 and Latin-1. Avoid "funny" characters that might be significant in future wiki markup. It is a good idea to stick to the alphabet, numbers, underscore (space), ASCII hyphen/minus/dash, plus, and period (dot).


Any parts of an article, even its title ("pagename"), may be in any language, any script. For interoperability between languages, however, article NAMES must follow some conventions.


  • Main article: the article that has the /sensor subpage. The title may be in any language or script.
  • Redirect: an article that provides a redirect from one language to the main article
  • Disambiguation: a page listing articles that would otherwise have the same name.

Page creation[]

  • Anyone can create an article with a title in their own language. For a person-article, if the sensor page data is on a subpage of an article with a different title, then the /sensor page must point to the /sensor page of the other article. Example: If the data for William I of England is on the William I of England/sensor page, then Guillermo I de Inglaterra/sensor must redirect to William I of England/sensor.
  • Anyone can create redirects from their own or any other language to the main article page.
  • All "Image:" pages are multilingual. Anyone can add a description for these in their own language.
  • Anyone can add a disambiguation page leading to articles, in order to resolve any ambiguity caused by words that have conflicting meanings in different languages. For example, in French, Bride is a briddle, not a 'just-married woman', and journal is a newspaper, not a diary etc.

Content of articles[]

  • Articles and many templates (especially those that do not generate text) can be multilingual as well. For an example of a multilingual article, see Henry I, King of England (1068-1135).

Language for categories[]

Category names must be in English. Translations may be added to the text if necessary.

  • The rationale for this has been fully debated at the premiere multilingual wiki, Wikimedia Commons, where they found no better alternative. To put the problem in a nutshell, the problem is that wikimedia software cannot currently redirect categories the way it can articles. We would like for example to have the French language user type Category:Dubonnet (nom de famille) and see the same listings as one would get if they typed Category:Dubonnet (surname) When the wikimedia engine works this way this restriction will be resolved. Until then, we need a common language for classification.

A discussion on the Commons language policy of categories may be read at: Commons:Language for categories

See also: Familypedia_talk:Language_policy.

Non-Latin page names[]

Articles in languages using non-latin scripts should name the article using the same script. If a wikipedia article for the person or subject exists, the full name of the article should be used along with YOB-YOD and language designations. For example, the Russian language article for Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) would be entitled Фёдор Михайлович Достоевский (1821-1881) (.ru) since that is the name of Dostoevsky's article in the Russian Wikipedia. There should generally be a Familypedia page, named exactly as on the Wikipedia, redirecting to the Familypedia article. Use of accented characters and transliteration style should follow the conventions for the language as put into practice by the Wikipedia for that language.

The creator of such a page is urged to create a Latin-script redirect to it immediately, unless it links to a Latin-script page.

Unknown name transliterations[]

Transliteration is the process of converting the spelling of a name from one script to another, usually attempting to approximate the sound of the name in the origin language. For names that do not currently exist in the Wikipedia for the language, the transliteration should follow the style set in the Wikipedia for that language. For instance, English Wikipedia uses a transliteration of Dostoevsky's name that does not use the historic and phonetically incorrect practice of dropping pronounced "Y" sounds. The Wikipedia name is what we use in all cases, but if the an article did not exist, and this phonetically more accurate style of transliteration in use on Wikipedia should be given preference for person names with unknown transliteration.

If there are multiple transliteration styles on the Wikipedia for a particular glyph sequence, give preference to the closer phonetic equivalent. To illustrate, Russian Wikipedia generally follows the historical but phonetically incorrect practice of transliterating Latin script "H" to "Г" producing G sounds rather than H sounds. So, "Harry Truman" is transliterated producing the phonetically odd pronunciation "Garry Truman". However, the practice of "H" to "Г" conversion is not uniform in Russian Wikipedia- see eg. alternate "Harry" transliterations. "Harrison Ford" is transliterated using the more phonetically close cyrillic "Х" glyph: (ru:Форд). This employs the hard H sound similar to the H in the familiar Jewish toast "L'Chaim". Preference should always be given to the transliteration the individual used, and if unknown, to the dominant transliteration found in documents for the individual. Otherwise, the contributor may choose between transliteration styles, being advised to choose the more accurate phonetic equivalent for names with unknown transliterations.

Localization of search words and categories[]

Commons:GerardM wrote an interesting article: Using Ultimate Wiktionary for Commons; it describes how the translations known in Ultimate wiktionary can be used to search for the keywords and categories that are within Familypedia. Technically this mechanism is feasible and may anticipate future semantic capabilities developed for use at Familypedia.