Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Search/Index all labels and aliases on Wikidata

Index all labels and aliases on Wikidata

  • Problem: Sometimes the names of entities are transcribed differently in different languages. A subject for instance could be spelled in different ways in Russia, Germany, France and England (not to mention the numerous other languages). Often these are already recorded as labels and aliases in Wikidata in say German, French and Russian but a user searching, say, the English Wikipedia will not find the relevant article unless redirects for other variants have been created on the
  • Who would benefit: All people searching using the Wikipedia search box. It would also help foreign-language users search content in non-home Wikipedias. Additionally many users searching on Mobile phones often work only with the English keyboard making searches in say a Hindi Wikipedia could sometimes be easier using the English label (as users in that geography tend to be bilingual as far as keyboard usage goes).
  • Proposed solution: I believe this should be so little work that it could be rather easily done - in the worst form (because it involves duplication) of the solution, the community could write bots to add redirects to all wikis by examining the label and alias fields on Wikidata.
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets:
  • Proposer: Shyamal (talk) 07:33, 4 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


  • We are already indexing all labels in all languages, and you can use it when searching Wikidata. However, I am not sure how to use it to search on language wikis - e.g. if you search on enwiki and it matches item label on Wikidata, what should the result be? Should it return enwiki sitelink? What if there's no enwiki sitelink for this item? Smalyshev (WMF) (talk)

02:15, 7 November 2018 (UTC)

Yes, wiki on which one is searching if site link exists. Shyamal (talk) 20:19, 8 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Just to clarify - here is a specific example - there is the article en:Władysław Taczanowski but there is no en:redirect at Ladislaus Taczanowski but that is already listed as a label in German for the same entity on Wikidata. A search on the English Wiki for "Ladislaus Taczanowski" should ideally have taken me to the right article even if there are no explicit redirects based only on the entries in Wikidata as listed under aliases/"also known as" and the language labels. Maybe some amendements need to be made based on what is not to be indexed, but I am afraid I do not fully understand those issues. Shyamal (talk) 10:42, 12 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]


Thank you for the comment. Actually you seem to be voting on a solution to the problem, which I believe should be open to further discussion. The use of bots would indeed be the a bad solution - as indicated. I think it would be the second worst, as others have even suggested that this can be manually fixed with redirects. The point is that Wikidata and Wikipedia working as a single system would be beneficial. Shyamal (talk) 12:05, 21 November 2018 (UTC)[reply]