Wiktionary:Simple talk/Archive 16

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Status of wordlists[change]

I have a suggestion for improving the usability of our different wordlists. If any of you have contributed to Wikibooks, you would have seen a square at the top right corner of the page to show the development status of that book. What I am suggesting is that we can also use it on our wordlists so that we know the development stage of the wordlist. These templates should be transfered here:

  1. {{stage}}
  2. {{status}}

This is not going to be a vote, but to find out what you guys think about this new feature, is it useless, or useful? Hydriz (talk) 09:59, 19 January 2011 (UTC)

It's an interesting idea, might be helpful when I'm searching for underdeveloped lists. I don't think it will take much effort to implement, so I'd say it's moderately useful. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:22, 19 January 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, but underdeveloped lists will have red links, maybe this template might be useful to estimate how far we are from finishing the list? Hydriz (talk) 06:35, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Adding on, maybe the admins can import the template over here and test it on some lists so that people can see it in action before we implement it on all wordlists. Thoughts? Hydriz (talk) 06:39, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, thanks to Pmlineditor for importing {{stage}}. It is(was) live on the Sandbox. So, what do you guys think? Hydriz (talk) 15:00, 21 January 2011 (UTC)
Okay, I presume you guys would not object(since I am so excited about deploying it), so I have posted details about it on Help:Development stages. Have a look at it and help fix errors. Hydriz (talk) 16:14, 22 January 2011 (UTC)
Yes check.svgY Done on all wordlists in Category:Wordlists

SAMPA in pronunciation[change]


since there is no SAMPA section in the "Special Characters" area of the edit box, how do I write in SAMPA? Wpeaceout - Let's have a talk 19:40, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

I believe it's a matter of using a compose key (on Windows, ctrl+number code allows you to access uncommon symbols and letters). However, I don't exactly know how that works. It might be better just to copy the SAMPA from en.wiktionary for certain entries, if they have it (or another reputable online dictionary). Tempodivalse [talk] 16:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

lexical maps[change]

What do folks think about lexical maps of the sort included at environment? Should we include these? If so, how?--Brett (talk) 21:15, 28 January 2011 (UTC)

I think those maps are useful for language learners. I actually never used them, but heard that many people use such maps to learn a language. I think it would be good to include them on pages when they are available. -Barras (talk) 23:19, 28 January 2011 (UTC)
That's an interesting concept. I haven't seen those before, but it seems like a useful way to help learners grasp the concept of more complex words more easily. I don't see why we shouldn't use them. Tempodivalse [talk] 00:40, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Proposal for changing synonyms and antonyms[change]

I really hate to suggest such changes when our manpower is so limited and when we have so many words to add, but I think that the way we show synonyms and antonyms now is a little confusing. Currently, they come at the end of the lemma entry. In other words, if a word is both a noun and a verb, there are synonyms and antonyms listed after the noun entries and again after the verb entries. Because of this position, it's often difficult to see which sense the synonym is related to. It's possible to gloss each sense, but that's rarely done and often still not clear. I think the better way to do this is to list the synonyms after each definition, perhaps in purple or another colour the way the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English does it. It would look something like this:



  1. () A charge is a claim the somebody has done something wrong or illegal, especially a claim by police.
    He says charges against his son are false.
    The police have filed criminal charges against the company.
    They will ask the judge to drop the murder charge against Sutherland.
    Jowdy denied the charges of lying.
  2. () A charge for something is the price of the thing. It often it is for a service or fee for a period of time. ( = price, cost, rate, fee, fare)
    The charge for having an item shipped varies according to the weight.
    The charge each month for the phone service is fifty dollars.
    The university agreed to let them use the space free of charge.
    Credit card companies must list the fees and interest charges separately on your monthly bill.
    Do you want to put that on your charge card?
  3. () If someone is in charge of something, they are responsible for it. ( = care, control, responsibility)
    Josh is in charge of buying drinks for the party.
    He took good care of the children in his charge.
  4. () If someone leads the charge, they are working hard to make some kind of change. ( = fight, attack; ≠ retreat)
    Amazon.com led the charge in making electronic books popular.

What do you think?--Brett (talk) 14:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

It might be a good idea, but I am 50% go for it. Reason:
  1. Having random words(which I felt at first before I read your story above) at the back of the example seems weird, unless we did specify clearly that it is the synonyms of the example.
  2. This change should only affect a few(at most 1,000 entries) entries. This is due to the fact that most words only come with one definition, so it would be simpler to put it at the bottom of the whole entry.
Brett, it is somewhat a good idea, maybe improve on it a little and show it to us so that it would be clearer? Cheers! Hydriz (talk) 14:36, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I would think that the "=" would indicate synonym to most people, but perhaps it wasn't obvious. I've put another space. Does that help?--Brett (talk) 14:45, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Hmm, I was thinking about this: (syn. = care, control, responsibility), although I am not sure whether people knows what "syn." means... Hydriz (talk) 14:48, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I like Brett's idea. The equals sign is pretty much a universal symbol across cultures, whereas syn. is vague to a non-Anglophone. My only thought is that the antonyms symbol (≠) might not be immediately obvious. Maybe use the word "Not:" or something for maximum clarity? Tempodivalse [talk] 15:54, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
  • I really like the idea, however I don't like the "=" signs. If you aren't knowledgeable about our conventions, I just don't think it is clear enough. So, I like the idea but I think before it is put into use it has to be made very clear for the common reader.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 16:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Another possibility is to use a dropdown script like en.wiktionary does for quotations for example here.--Brett (talk) 17:55, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes I think that would work well! --Gordonrox24 | Talk 20:41, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

I will start by saying that I don't have a problem with clarifying the sense in the Synonym and Antonym sections (like is done in light). However, I am not opposed to the change and actually quite like the dropdown script example you gave. · Tygrrr... 02:33, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Don't want to get ahead of myself, but does anybody know how to put set up that dropdown script here? I don't.--Brett (talk) 03:05, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
So, this discussion is kinda considered to be okay to proceed with this new implementation of a dropdown Synonym and Antonym section. However, we need someone to copy the code into MediaWiki:Common.js from en.wikt. This is what I believe should be placed into that JS page (source for the dropdown quotations:
function setupHiddenQuotes(li)
   var HQToggle, liComp;
   var HQShow = 'quotations ▼';
   var HQHide = 'quotations ▲';
   for (var k = 0; k < li.childNodes.length; k++) {
      // Look at each component of the definition.
      liComp = li.childNodes[k];
      // If we find a ul or dl, we have quotes or example sentences, and thus need a button.
      if (/^(ul|UL)$/.test(liComp.nodeName)) {
         HQToggle = newNode('a', {href: 'javascript:(function(){})()'}, '');
         li.insertBefore(newNode('span', {'class': 'HQToggle', 'style': 'font-size:0.65em'}, ' [', HQToggle, ']'), liComp);
         HQToggle.onclick = VisibilityToggles.register('quotations',          
            function show() {
               HQToggle.innerHTML = HQHide;
               for (var child = li.firstChild; child != null; child = child.nextSibling) {
                  if (/^(ul|UL)$/.test(child.nodeName)) {
                     child.style.display = 'block';
            function hide() {
               HQToggle.innerHTML = HQShow;
               for (var child = li.firstChild; child != null; child = child.nextSibling) {
                  if (/^(ul|UL)$/.test(child.nodeName)) {
                     child.style.display = 'none';
addOnloadHook( function () 
   if (wgNamespaceNumber == 0) {
      var ols, lis, li;
      // First, find all the ordered lists, i.e. all the series of definitions.
      var ols = document.getElementsByTagName('ol');
      for(var i = 0; i < ols.length; i++) {
         // Then, for every set, find all the individual definitions.
         for (var j = 0; j < ols[i].childNodes.length; j++) {
            li = ols[i].childNodes[j];
            if (li.nodeName.toUpperCase() == 'LI') {
Someone who is extremely professional in Javascript should modify this source accordingly before putting it into MediaWiki:Common.js, hope this helps. Hydriz (talk) 14:27, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Thanks! Let's see if we get any Javascript pros.--Brett (talk) 15:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Warning: This might not look so simple. I think some templates that we regularly use might need to be configure. I am not sure. :P Hydriz (talk) 15:52, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

So, does anybody know how to implement this?--Brett (talk) 12:08, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't think we have anyone here competent enough to review the javascript changes. I'm hesitant to just copy the existing code onto the common.js page because it could conflict/be incompatible with some of our templates. You might want to ask the folks at en.wiktionary about it (I think en:user:Conrad.Irwin is en.wikt's local JS pro). Tempodivalse [talk] 16:05, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
The above piece of javascript code also requires the "Visibility toggling" part of en:Mediawiki:Common.js:
var VisibilityToggles = {
    // toggles[category] = [[show, hide],...]; statuses[category] = [true, false,...]; buttons = <li>
    toggles: {}, statuses: {}, buttons: null,
    // Add a new toggle, adds a Show/Hide category button in the toolbar,
    // and will call show_function and hide_function once on register, and every alternate click.
    register: function (category, show_function, hide_function) {
        var id = 0;
        if (!this.toggles[category]) {
            this.toggles[category] = [];
            this.statuses[category] = [];
        } else {
            id = this.toggles[category].length;
        this.toggles[category].push([show_function, hide_function]);
        (this.statuses[category][id] ? show_function : hide_function)();
        return function () {
            var statuses = VisibilityToggles.statuses[category];
            statuses[id] = !statuses[id]
            return (statuses[id] ? show_function : hide_function)();
    // Add a new global toggle to the side bar
    addGlobalToggle: function(category) {
        if (document.getElementById('p-visibility-'+category))
        if (!this.buttons) {
            this.buttons = newNode('ul');
            var toolbox = newNode('div', {'class': "portal portlet", 'id': 'p-visibility'},
                            newNode('h5', 'Visibility'),
                            newNode('div', {'class': "pBody body"}, this.buttons)
            var sidebar = document.getElementById('mw-panel') || document.getElementById('column-one');
            var insert = null;
            if (insert = (document.getElementById('p-lang') || document.getElementById('p-feedback')))
                sidebar.insertBefore(toolbox, insert);
        var status = this.currentStatus(category);
        var newToggle = newNode('li', newNode('a', {
            id: 'p-visibility-' + category, 
            style: 'cursor: pointer',
            href: '#visibility-' + category,
            click: function(e)
                if (e && e.preventDefault)
                    window.event.returnValue = false;
                return false; 
            (status ? 'Hide ' : 'Show ') + category));
        for (var i=0; i < this.buttons.childNodes.length; i++) {
            if (this.buttons.childNodes[i].id < newToggle.id) {
                this.buttons.insertBefore(newToggle, this.buttons.childNodes[i]);
    // Update the toggle-all buttons when all things are toggled one way
    checkGlobalToggle: function(category) {
        var statuses = this.statuses[category];
        var status = statuses[0];
        for (var i = 1; i < statuses.length; i++) {
            if (status != statuses[i])
        document.getElementById('p-visibility-' + category).innerHTML = (status ? 'Hide ' : 'Show ') + category;
    // Toggle all un-toggled elements when the global button is clicked
    toggleGlobal: function(category) {
        var status = document.getElementById('p-visibility-' + category).innerHTML.indexOf('Show ') == 0;
        for (var i = 0; i < this.toggles[category].length; i++ ) {
            if (this.statuses[category][i] != status) {
                this.toggles[category][i][status ? 0 : 1]();
                this.statuses[category][i] = status;
        document.getElementById('p-visibility-' + category).innerHTML = (status ? 'Hide ' : 'Show ') + category;
        var current = $.cookie('Visibility');
        if (!current)
            current = ";";
        current = current.replace(';' + category + ';', ';');
        if (status)
            current = current + category + ";";
        $.cookie('Visibility', current);
    currentStatus: function(category) {
        if ($.cookie('WiktionaryPreferencesShowNav') == 'true')
            return true;
        else if ($.cookie('Visibility').indexOf(';' + category + ';') >= 0)
            return true;
        return false; // TODO load this from category specific cookies
--Yair rand (talk) 15:39, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
(Note: I don't understand exactly what you're trying to do here, but the code from en.wikt makes all unordered lists inside ordered lists become collapsible, with the collapse/uncollapse buttons labeled "quotations". --Yair rand (talk) 15:47, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Thanks to everyone for your help on this, especially Ruakh! We now have the ability to format synonyms as discussed. Please see the example at charge. You'll need to use the synonyms and antonyms templates.--Brett (talk) 19:58, 3 March 2011 (UTC)

Yes check.svgY Done with documentation on Help:Synonyms and Antonyms. We can start implementing this new feature after some major bugs has been fixed... Hydriz (talk) 16:01, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Adding a collocations section[change]

See this comment. --Brett (talk) 12:45, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

I would suggest that we not include a collocations section and that rather we simply choose example sentence such that they include any strong collocations. I believe a collocations section would be unwieldy and require too much technical expertise to produce. For example, a commonly used metric of collocational strength is the mutual information (MI) score, a number that I expect nobody here understands and few would even know how to generate. Using this metric alone, and looking four words to the left and right, consistent would have the following collocates (from largest MI on down): mostly, primarily, entirely, usually, mainly, items, components, systems, teams, typically, largely, materials, elements, cash, solely, complex... It's hard to see how a student would deal with a list like this, though there were some ideas in the additions that were made at consistent (whihc been commented out).

Note too that even the strongest collocate, mostly co-occurs only about 0.1 times per million words. In other words, this information is really quite trivial. In contrast, consist takes the complement of, and the two appear together very consistently. Despite that, of doesn't produce a high MI score because it's so fickle.

So, we have the problems of finding a useful metric for collocation and helping editors calculate it. These are not insurmountable problems, but they will take some consideration, and in most cases, the results of any decision will be so infrequent as to be more of a distraction than an aid to language learners. We also have the issue of how to format the section, should we agree to include it.

In general, my thoughts about the value of collocations are that they're currently highly overrated for language learners. You can see a more detailed discussion in my article here.--Brett (talk) 13:38, 20 February 2011 (UTC)

The Monday morning class[change]

For the last three weeks or so, every Monday morning I've had to clean up a mess seemingly left behind by a class of language learners or language teachers in training. I've try to contact their teacher and a number of the students, but with no reply. Their edits are not in bad faith, but they occasionally include copyright violations, and are mostly unhelpful. Suggestions on how to deal with them?--Brett (talk) 12:07, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

If nobody's replying to any messages, then it's difficult to do anything but keep reverting. Maybe we should try leaving messages on all of the students' talk pages in the hopes that at least one would notice and reply. That's really all I can think of. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:40, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
My suggestion might not improve anything, but since they edit a few pages only, lets leave it and we can have the rest of the time to fix them. What do you think? Hydriz (talk) 09:05, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

Simple News[change]

I spent the Saturday night thinking (I am in GMT+8, so I experienced night already) and I was thinking if it is possible to have Simple News to be available here on the Simple English Wiktionary. This step might make the two Simple English wikis more connected with each other. What do you guys think? --Hydriz (talk) 16:40, 5 March 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean have our own version of Wiktionary news, or combine SEWP's news and our news on one page and then post it here as well as there? I really don't think it's needed. We only have a handful of regular editors, and don't have all that much news. Time would be better spent creating up and fixing entries, I think.--Gordonrox24 | Talk 17:28, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
No need for this. Do article work. Five active users here don't need a WikiNews page. -Barras (talk) 17:50, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
Meh. Agree with what Barras said. Most of the users here edit WP and those who don't won't care about who becomes an admin there or which article becomes a GA. Creating a Simple News for Wiktionary is even more unnecessary. Let's create some entries... Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 17:53, 5 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure this is essential. Let's go write some entries! Tempodivalse [talk] 03:31, 6 March 2011 (UTC)


did i do something wrong? --New (talk) 21:25, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Not sure what you're asking about, but look at how we've modified yellowjacket and raincoat.--Brett (talk) 00:04, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

yes thank you much brett. New (talk) 00:48, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Synonyms & Antonyms[change]

I think the new format for synonyms and antonyms is great, and it appears that some editors are making the effort to use it. That makes this a good time to point out that even in synonyms and antonyms, we are a Simple wiktionary. Our users are not looking for the mot juste when looking at these, they're trying to understand the meaning and perhaps looking for a suitable alternative to a word. By including all and sundry, we just add more noise to the system. In other words, when adding synonyms and antonyms, be judicious. Try to include words that are at least as common as the headword and avoid rare and obscure vocabulary. If they want a thorough listing, there are other sources for that.--Brett (talk) 11:57, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

I need simple English but I could not understand what is this website yet?[change]

I need simple English but I could not understand what is this website yet? This unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Simple English Wiktionary is "an online dictionary that uses simpler words so it is easier to understand." In other words, it gives meanings of words (definitions) in simple language for first-time learners of English. Pmlineditor (t · c · l) 12:16, 26 April 2011 (UTC)