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Commons talk:Language templates

Use of flagsEdit

Please, do not use country flags for languages. Use simple ISO 639 language codes like 'en', 'fr', 'it' and so on. --Keichwa 15:48, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

Because national flags are not appropriate to denote language, I will start editing the templates. The solution is to make them look like interwiki links. --Keichwa 04:35, 20 May 2005 (UTC)
Seconded. BjarteSorensen 01:36, 21 May 2005 (UTC)
As I said on Village pump these language symbols need to be strictly neutral. But please do not remove the flags unless the vote is positive. You may add the alternative (french) symbols without problems (if you want to). --Denniss 13:07, 21 May 2005 (UTC)

Please, let's change the so called "current representation" now; doing this voting game again and again does not seem to kill the misleading flags. As I said earlier, simply "represent" the templates as:

de - Deutsch:
en - English:
ja - 日本語:

Your proposal, using either the ISO code ('en') or the native name (English) or an image of the code will not help to resolve the issue. --Keichwa 16:59, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

This is not a repeated voting, this is a voting about which language representation to use, the last voting was about whether or not to use animated flags and nothing else (like trying to "kill the flags"). Please understand this finally. If this voting does not resolve the issue in your opinion, then please say what issue you mean and why it isn't resolved. (You can do so in German on my talk page, if you wish to.) — Richie 17:39, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Voting about language representationEdit

This Vote is now over. ISO-Code as text is the prefered method of language representation on gallery pages. See below for the detailed result.

There has been quite a lot of concern about using flags as language indicators, because languages are not unique to a single country – which is represented by the flag –, e.g. English is the official language in about 30 states, German in about 10 etc. I asked for alternative language representations at the village pump and I would like to initiate a voting amongst the most useful ones. The representation with a clear majority will be employed.

Note: This is not a vote about the abolition of this template or about how it should be used, it is only about the default language representation.

Proposal For English For Japanese
Flags (current representation)  
ISO 639 language codes as text en ja
ISO 639 language codes as image    
Native language name English 日本語

How the vote works: You can vote for one, more or each of the alternatives, your vote counts as agreement, there is no disagreement (so called Approval voting). Please sign by using ~~~~, no anonymous votes allowed. This vote closed at 2005-06-05 12:00:00 UTC, please do not modify it. — Richie 07:54, 26 May 2005 (UTC), — Richie 16:22, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)


  1. Feather 06:56, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  2. Romanm 13:32, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. Kowey 08:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC) (we still call English "English" after all, not "American")
  4. Muke Tever 16:14, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC) I like the flags, and we could keep those few there are no neutrality issues about... Some langs have their own flags to begin with, like esperanto
  5. Profoss 20:05, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

ISO textEdit

  1. Aoineko 09:04, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  2. Mormegil 09:34, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. Richie 12:30, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  4. -- Schorsch 12:42, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  5. Arnomane 14:31, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  6. GurraJG | Talk 16:27, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  7. Christoph D 17:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  8. Raymond de 17:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  9. Romary 20:01, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  10. Andrew pmk 21:17, 26 May 2005 (UTC) Images are unnecessary and too small on small monitors.
  11. Avatar 22:18, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  12. EugeneZelenko 03:49, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  13. Patrick-br 11:16, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  14. Gbiten 18:55, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  15. Dbenbenn 23:56, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  16. Gaf.arq 00:12, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  17. Korrigan bla 17:34, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
  18. WεFt 09:06, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
  19. Taragüí @ 10:53, 30 May 2005 (UTC)
  20. Secretlondon 11:17, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
  21. --Hautala 13:03, 31 May 2005 (UTC)
  22. Simon Shek 13:35, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

ISO imageEdit

  1. Aoineko 09:04, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  2. Richie 12:30, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. - Schorsch 12:42, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  4. - Joolz 12:57, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  5. - Denniss 13:10, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  6. WεFt 15:27, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  7. Raymond de 17:58, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  8. Avatar 22:17, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  9. koko 14:21, 27 May 2005 (UTC)
  10. Kowey 08:56, 29 May 2005 (UTC)
  11. Slavik IVANOV
  12. Muke Tever 16:14, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC) Less boring than plain ISO text, for when flag images lack neutrality

Native language nameEdit

  1. Aoineko 09:04, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  2. Mormegil 09:34, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  3. ISO codes are not language neutral Peregrine981 13:39, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  4. Arnomane 14:31, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  5. WεFt 15:27, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  6. Edub 19:52, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  7. Romary 20:01, 26 May 2005 (UTC)
  8. Get_It 19:28, 27 May 2005 (UTC)


The voting ended with the following results:

  • Flags: 5 votes
  • ISO text: 22 votes
  • ISO image: 12 votes
  • Native language name: 8 votes

The clear majority is in favour of using ISO language codes as plain text and the language templates should be modified to reflect this outcome. — Richie 13:12, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Further discussionEdit

I wish I knew this voting took place... anyway, I have two points here:

  1. 2-letter ISO 639 doesn't unambiguously identify a language, we'll have to use 3-letter
  2. the person who made the images with ISO codes should have made one for each or none of the languages :p Helix84 17:54, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    No Problem: Simply take the three letter extension in cases you really need it and of course ISO 639 has two parts: The one with 2 letters and the one with 3 letters if you're afraid our vote didn't cover that. ;-) Arnomane 18:40, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    Sorry, but the suggestion to mix both of them for one thing is so silly that when I was writing the previous contribution I didn't dare to warn against suggesting it. I want to say that although such solution occured to me I rejected it after a fraction of second. You're not serious to say that, are you? Helix84 18:47, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
    It's the same practice Wikimedia uses in assigning language subdomains (en.wikipedia, but nah.wikipedia), and it's the same practice the Wiktionaries use that use language templates ({{en}} but {{nah}}). People are more used to the two-letter codes, so they get used, but they don't cover everything, so three-letter codes get used when necessary. —Muke Tever 15:48, 6 Jun 2005 (UTC)

And why was the voting decided in 11 days? I don't know what the voting policy is, but is this ordinary? Helix84 18:02, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Well you could first start a vote if votes are the right way for making a policy and after that a voting about the time period of a vote and then if we should vote on a new policy and if we need a new policy at all. After that has been achieved make a vote which policy should be voted about and then finally a vote about the policy but this was not the end we still need a vote if everything was according to democratic principle and then in the end a vote if this policy is for eternity. You see in the end you have nothing but bureaucracy... And this will lead to zillions of silly policies like en.wikpedia (the most silly vote I have seen there was about deletion of stubs) and we are debating the whole time if someone has broken a rule or not and if we have to keep XYZ because of the strict application of policy $Foobar (I always thought we Germans in de.wikipedia are having the most policies because of prejudices we Germans have about ourselves but we seem to be very much relaxed compared to en.wikipedia). You see voting is not wiki-like and are only for measuring of opinions in case you weren't able finding them otherwise. Someone sets up a vote, defines a resonable time and conditions, informs the people and if no persons reasonable objects in the beginning of the vote the vote lasts as intended by the starter and it will come to a result. The result is now clearly visible we only need to make the decision reality. And it would be nice if we could avoid too much votings in future that way that we are sensible and respectful against each other and find a good solution in consent after a short informal brain storming. Arnomane 18:40, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Thanks for exhaustive explanation :) I agree completely. Of course, what I wanted to know was what the usual period is for closing a vote. But doesn't matter, anyway. Helix84 18:52, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)
"The clear majority is in favour of using ISO language codes" – That's not a majority at all; it's a plurality (46.8%). Since the voting's done, can I just add my voice to suggesting coloured plain text, as is being suggested at the village pump? QuartierLatin1968 01:30, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I think it is a clear majority since the possibilities weren't mutually exclusive like they usually are at other votes. — Richie 16:46, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, it's not a question of your opinion, but of definitions; a majority's 50% plus one. (I do have to be anal here, being a politics geek.) By the way, I'm not disputing who won the vote. QuartierLatin1968 21:35, 19 July 2005 (UTC)
Referring to definitions, "majority" just means "more than all others" for me. If I mean at least 50%, I would say 50%-majority. — Richie 17:15, 20 July 2005 (UTC)

That is a w:Humpty Dumpty definition. Majority means "more than half". Plurality means "more than any other choice". It is very possible for a minority to be a plurality. — Xiongtalk* 05:02, 18 September 2005 (UTC)

A strong absolute majority is clearly in favor of ISO language codes, either in image or text format. It's enough to reject the native language names and flags. Then for the choice of either image or text, there's also a strong majority in favor of plain-text. Now remains one question: how should the plain-text ISO language look like?
I personnaly found that the ISO images were looking good and meaningful because the surrounding arcs of circles suggests sound waves and speech, and they help disambiguating the ISO language codes. Using only the language code and a colon does not suggest that, and in some languages, it may even match an actual word with a different meaning (for example, the "de:" label could be interpreted on a French page like if it was saying "from:", like in an email header).
So I suggest using at least two surrounding pairs of parentheses. Also to make these parentheses colored differently from the ISO language code, so that the color difference will make a visual hint even in pages where the text is displayed in one of the two colors (for usability in colored pages, the background color must also be specified). I give for example five examples of exactly the same language tags, in a black on white section, in a black on pale or light blue section, in a white on blue section, and in a variant with smaller font size of the first section (you'll note that the explicit native language name is used as the title of the pseudo-icon and shown as a tooltip in most browsers):
  • ((en))A text in English.
  • ((de))Ein Tekst im Deutsch.
  • ((fr))Un texte en français.
  • ((en))A text in English.
  • ((de))Ein Tekst im Deutsch.
  • ((fr))Un texte en français.
  • ((en))A text in English.
  • ((de))Ein Tekst im Deutsch.
  • ((fr))Un texte en français.
  • ((en))A text in English.
  • ((de))Ein Tekst im Deutsch.
  • ((fr))Un texte en français.
  • ((en))A smaller text in English.
  • ((de))Ein kleiner Tekst im Deutsch.
  • ((fr))Un texte réduit en français.
Of course such complex formatting of the pseudo-icon should be made more easily in a template (the total size of the language tag is about 250 bytes, still more economical than separate image icons that also require additional requests to the server). For example the "Template:language tag" would contain:
<span title="{{2}}" style="margin-left:2px;margin-right:2px;border:1px solid #AAF;background-color:#EEF;padding:1px 1px;color:blue;font-weight:bold;line-height:1em;">(<span style="font-size:85%;font-weight:normal;">(</span><span style="font-family:monospace;">{{1}}</span><span style="font-size:85%;font-weight:normal;">)</span>)</span>
And the "Template:en" would be simply:
{{language tag|en|English}}
What do you think about making the language tags look like this? Verdy p 12:20, 13 October 2005 (UTC)

Under construction?Edit


I'm used to using "{{" <language-code> "}}" as a code giving <language-code> in a wiki page.
Today, here at commons ... media on my user page, this code churns out as: CarriageReturn & LineFeed + local name + CRLF.
??? AAaarghhh.
Yet: greetings, --StaNi 1 (talk) 14:31, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Problem with min ISOEdit

I have a problem with an image "File:Wikipedia-logo-v2-min-4k.svg". The description uses the {{min}} code as the text is from from, for the Minangkabau language, which has ISO 639-2 code "min", yet the Min template is apparently a "Mathematical function template". I sortof fixed it on File:Wikipedia-logo-v2-min-2k.svg by using ISO 639-2 code "ms", but this is only a stopgap measure. what can be done?--Auric (talk) 14:14, 5 June 2016 (UTC)

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