Community Wishlist Survey 2021/Categories/Support multilingual category names

Support multilingual category names

  • Problem: Commons imposes English-named categories, which discourages non-English speakers from adding and creating categories and sometime leads to weird category names.--Strainu (talk) 11:57, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Who would benefit: At least Commons editors, likely all multilingual wikis.
  • Proposed solution: Use Wikidata labels from the item associated with the category to provide multilingual aliases for the category names. The wikitext should always contain the English name, just the display and input should be i18n.
  • More comments: Input should work everywhere categories are used: search, wikitext editor, visual editor, upload wizard, classic uploader, API etc. The same, display should work in desktop, mobile and apps,
  • Phabricator tickets: could benefit: phab:T89973
  • Proposer: Strainu (talk) 11:57, 17 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]


  • I think this proposal has low priority. English is the language of international communication. Plus, there is not always an exact correspondence between categories from different languages.Carn (talk) 13:18, 18 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • What a horrid and Imperialistic comment to make. Yes I can speak English fairly well. English isn't my normal language of comunication, Welsh is. Welsh is the language I speak to my friends and family. Your suggestion, that my language is low priority, is arogant and crude and insulting to my loved ones who I use my first language with on a daily basis! Saying that my language is low priority is the same as saying that my parents and children and other loved ones, who I speak that language with, are low priority. AlwynapHuw (talk) 05:29, 17 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • It is low-priority for English-speakers, yes :) Not so for people who don't speak English at a decent level. As to the correspondence, it should (and usually is) handled in Wikidata. The guidance there is to have 1 item for each clearly identifiable concept or object, it this isn't the case, then more items should be created.--Strainu (talk) 16:33, 18 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    So it is low priority for ~20% of people and high priority for ~80% of people of the Earth. Infovarius (talk) 23:15, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I do see it as high priority. Right now there are too many duplicities between commons and local wikis. Some, like es: has move to use only Commons to avoid that. However, we lose some of the content from that communities if the lack of localization discourage a fraction of users from collaborating in Commons. A more multilingual commons that allow all wikis (specially small ones which may lack skilled manpower for an effective (C) review of images) will avoid the need for local repositories. It may be specially relevant for small communities which sometimes are themselves finding hard to create a core user group for edit on their language online and may find it more challenging to use something more internationally oriented. For many of them online skills and language proficency are hard already to find together--FAR (talk) 11:08, 29 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Start using structured data and Wikidata instead of Categories :-) --Sabas88 (talk) 12:49, 20 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Wikidata doesn't contain media, for example, as Commons do. Infovarius (talk) 23:15, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    What Sabas is suggesting here is to move away from Categories to more modern ways of grouping media. I don't think we're there yet. While bots are actively adding information, there is a shortage of simple tools to find images based on those informations. Plus, my proposal goes in the same direction, by using Wikidata as source for the names.--Strainu (talk) 23:42, 21 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Yeah, my comment was to use the Structured Data deployed in Commons to replace the Category system --Sabas88 (talk) 12:38, 25 November 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Strainu and Mike Peel: Is this close to being the same as Make subcategory browsing multilingual using Wikidata, and should they be merged? —SWilson (WMF) (talk) 07:17, 4 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    @SWilson (WMF): Yes, they're pretty close. Mike's proposal treats the display part (the easy one, I would say), while mine also includes the possibility for the user to input category names in any language (which is somewhat harder due to all the different ways this can be done).--Strainu (talk) 08:54, 4 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Agreed they are close. I didn't want to include editing in mine as that's a whole different ballpark from just displaying the content, but I really like Strainu's point about using multilingual category names everywhere else, not just when browsing categories. I'm happy for them to be merged if you want. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 10:59, 4 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • @Strainu and Mike Peel: Okay, thanks, makes sense. I'm not sure any more: let's just leave them as separate, and we can see which gets the most votes. Certainly the displaying feels easier, but it'd be super great to have more editing places support Wikidata lookups. :-) —SWilson (WMF) (talk) 06:58, 7 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Very interresting proposal, there is a lot of categories when another language would be more appropriate. For exemple, categorizing Louvre rooms and paintings in english is rather inefficient: we do not always have an english translation for all terms, so it leads to a strange frenglish mix.--Green fr (talk) 18:32, 11 December 2020 (UTC)[reply]