Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Wikidata/Solution to the ‟Bonnie and Clyde” problem

  • Problem: Wikidata can only link one article per language. There are, however, cases where a single article in one language corresponds to two articles in some other language. A prototypical instance is Bonnie and Clyde, with most languages having an article about the duo Bonnie and Clyde, some having an article about Bonnie Parker, and some having an article about Clyde Barrow (see also d:WikiProject Cross Items Interwikis). The articles about the individual bank robbers cannot (at least not both) link to the many articles about the duo, which exist in many languages, so it is hard to find the corresponding articles in those other languages when coming from such a single-person article. (Other relevant situations I can think of are misfitting taxonomies; while e.g. in biology the international research community has agreed upon a common hierarchy, this is not the case in many other fields, where it might turn out to be unclear or questionable which term in another language an article should be linked to when there is no perfect match.)
  • Who would benefit: Potentially all readers, exact number of relevant cases unknown so far
  • Proposed solution: While allowing Wikidata items to link more than one page per language is probably not a viable option, having language links as displayed in Wikipedia side-bars link to more than one article in another language should be principally possible. A language link to a language version in which more than one article is linked to the current one could, for instance, show a pop-up menu instead of directly navigating to the foreign-language article in question. More important than the GUI design for this feature would be the question where to take the target articles from. In the case of Bonnie and Clyde, a language link connecting Bonnie Parker articles (or Clyde Barrow articles, respectively) with Bonnie-and-Clyde articles could be obtained from the ‟part of” relation (d:P361). A sufficiently general solution would perhaps allow for a set of relevant Wikidata relations, to be determined by the Wikidata community, that are used to populate ‟multiple” interwiki connections of the proposed form. Even if the ability to have ‟multiple” interwiki connections is undesired, the Wikidata relations could still be used to connect articles to languages for which a direct equivalent has not yet been registered in Wikidata (either because a corresponding artcile has not yet been linked or because such a corresponding article does not yet exist).
  • More comments:
  • Phabricator tickets: T54564
  • Proposer: Lothar Scherners (talk) 17:04, 8 November 2018 (UTC)


  • Well, there is Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Wikidata/Allow non one-to-one correspondence relationship in wikidata and display them in interlanguage link also. --Izno (talk) 00:15, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
    • I am unadopting that proposal in order to adopt another proposal, now that someone have created a similar proposal. If someone think the proposal that I wrote would be better than this proposal then they're welcome to adopt it. C933103 (talk) 01:20, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • I don't think P361 is sufficient for determine the display of multi interlanguage link. For instance New York is Part of the USA but I don't think many would want to see such interlanguage link when there are no direct correspondence. Additional properties could be created for situation that would match this. C933103 (talk) 01:32, 9 November 2018 (UTC)
  • What about phab:T206426 way instead? By this way we don't need to "regard" generally all redirects. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:32, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
    • phab:T206426 is only for multilingual wiki, not general wikipedia projects. C933103 (talk) 15:26, 13 November 2018 (UTC)
      • @C933103: But in the last year Survey you also suggested that the T206426 solution should also work on monolingual wikis that use multiple scripts (e.g. Min Dong Chinese Wikipedia), or am I remember somewhat wrong? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:17, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
        • The solution to this ticket can be expanded to cover multilanguage wiki scenario however the ticket itself is just that.C933103 (talk) 04:19, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  • And, why is this section shown twice on Community_Wishlist_Survey_2019/Miscellaneous? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 11:33, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • If this is done, I think it would also be beneficial to fix these links for wikis which use multiple different untranslatable scripts or dialects (i.e. wikis which use permanent duplicated item (P2959)), perhaps by allowing a set number of interwikis for each wiki (e.g. one each for hak-Hant and hak-Latn). Jc86035 (talk) 12:31, 11 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Given that the AfC for allowing redirect was just closed, it's now possible to solve one way of the Bonnie-and-Clyde problem.
I don't think the other way should be done via a property based way. Lets say we have en:"Bonnie"->de:"redirect:Bonnie-and-Clyde" and en:"Clyde"->de:"redirect:Bonnie-and-Clyde" but no existing link from the de:"redirect:Bonnie-and-Clyde" to English. We could have a plugin that provides a page that lists en:"Clyde" and en:"Clyde" that gets automatically generated (e.g. no Wiki page) when a user clicks on `English` in the interwikilink list. ChristianKl❫ 18:38, 14 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Another example could be lists such as List of something A to E on and List of something A–C on (Same list, but different alphabetic seperation into sub-lists.) I've noticed couple of articles/items like this, these lists often doesn't have any interwiki. But it might be comment for other discussion. Regards, — Draceane talkcontrib. 21:51, 18 November 2018 (UTC)

FYI: The Wikidata folks say that they could commit to analyze and solve the problem, but not necessarily with the solution offered here. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 23:08, 14 November 2018 (UTC)

See also Community Wishlist Survey 2019/Wikisource/Create integrated interwiki mechanism for Wikisource for a specific aspect of this problem. Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 12:37, 18 November 2018 (UTC)


  •   Oppose I think that we should find a way to deprecate P2959 instead. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 04:18, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
    • The problem of P2959 related to, however independent from, the problem we are talking about here. With a full overhaul to the wikidata structure, both problems will be solved immediately, however it seems like no one is actually willing to spend serious efforts on improving wikidata, I guess we have no other choice than to accept that only minor improvement will be made and hope that it will become more useful after accumulating all the minor improvements after a decade or so. From this perspective, the proposal doesn't goes against resolving the problems related to P2959. Hence   Support C933103 (talk) 07:04, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Jc86035 (talk) 10:47, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Libcub (talk) 11:38, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Walter Klosse (talk) 13:28, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support JAn Dudík (talk) 20:33, 17 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Zabia (talk) 10:15, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  • Partial   Support. I support this proposal in the sense that the issue needs to be looked into and be resolved within reasonable time, yet not necessarily in the exact same manner as suggested by the proposal. --Beat Estermann (talk) 16:33, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Per Beat Estermann — Draceane talkcontrib. 17:21, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Dvorapa (talk) 19:23, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Per Beat Estermann Pharos (talk) 05:43, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Mend My Way 23:51, 19 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Toto256 (talk) 06:39, 20 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Novak Watchmen (talk) 15:11, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support with "FYI: The Wikidata folks say that they could commit to analyze and solve the problem, but not necessarily with the solution offered here. Ryan Kaldari (WMF) (talk) 23:08, 14 November 2018 (UTC)" in mind. Topper13009 (talk) 20:34, 21 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support GPSLeo (talk) 20:19, 22 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support BugWarp (talk) 14:58, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support NaBUru38 (talk) 18:30, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Nvrandow (talk) 20:18, 23 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Dreamy Jazz (talk) 13:27, 26 November 2018 (UTC)
  •   Support Olea (talk) 21:28, 29 November 2018 (UTC)