Help:Monolingual text languages

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The list of Wikimedia language codes available for monolingual text values is fixed. It can only be changed by the development team.

Special language codes[edit]

In addition to language codes describing actual languages, there are four special language codes available:

  • und: For content whose language is not yet determined (undetermined)
  • mis: For content whose language is known, but has no language code (uncoded languages). We also use it for content whose language has a language code that is not yet available on
  • mul: For content in multiple languages (multiple languages), meaning either content that is the same in more than one language, or content that contains more than one language, so a reader would need to know all of them to understand it.
  • zxx: For content that is not linguistic (no linguistic content, not applicable)

See the #Lists below for current uses.

When a language code is missing[edit]

It might happen that you need a language code that is not yet supported. In that case, follow these steps:

  • Use mis as language code in the statement, reference or qualifier where you need the unsupported language code
  • If possible, add a qualifier language of work or name (P407) with the item for the language; create an item for the language, if none already exists
  • If possible, add a reference for the correct language to the statement
  • Request the language code if it fulfills the requirements for a new language code (see below)

Getting a language code added[edit]

The preferred way to request a language code to be added for monolingual text values is by opening a new ticket in Phabricator. Add the following information:

  • The language code (examples: lkt, sr-cyrl)
  • Language name in the language itself or English (examples: Lakota, Serbian in Cyrillic)
  • The used script, if not obvious (example: Cyrillic)
  • Where and when the language was or is used (example: In use by the Lakota people in North America)
  • The Wikidata item id (example: Q33537)
  • Make sure you link to the item where you want to use the language code (see previous section). If you didn't already add a reference to the statement, add it to the Phabricator ticket.

If you don't want to or can't use Phabricator, add your request to Wikidata:Report a technical problem.

Request language code on Phabricator

Requirements for a new language code[edit]

Note: This is work in progress and not finished policy

A new language code probably has to fulfill the following requirements:

  • It has to be valid IETF language tag. If no tag is available, an attempt to register the tag can be made.
  • It has to be required for an actual use-case on Wikidata (other than native label (P1705) on item for the language itself)

A language code does not have to fulfill the requirements of the language proposal policy for new Wikis. Specifically:

  • The language doesn't need an active community or amount of usage
  • The language code doesn't need to denote a unique language (For example, we have nn and nb, but also no, which is a macrolanguage covering both)

In general, if you need a language code to correctly model real-world data, it should be accepted as long as it's a valid language code.

Using inside SPARQL queries[edit]

BIND (LANG(?label) AS ?language)
  ?s ?label "The Rolling Stones"@en .
  ?s ?p ?o
Try it!
?spouse rdfs:label ?spouse_label .
FILTER (LANG(?spouse_label) = "en").


See also[edit]