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What is LingWiki?

LingWiki is short for Linguistics Wiki. Its purpose is to become to language what Wikipedia has become to general encyclopedic knowledge. LingWiki's many fields of interest include the following:

While existing sources dealing with one language or feature of a language in depth are useful, languages are not merely collections of words organized by a grammar that remain in isolation from other languages. Language as a whole is an organic, living being, and LingWiki's goal is to treat it as such and deal with the interconnectedness of it all while at the same time providing in-depth and accurate information on the fine details as well.

Who runs LingWiki?

LingWiki was created on May 26, 2006 by Paul Baptist, however it is maintained by a team of editors working together to develop ideas and expand the content available on the site.

Why a separate wiki, instead of just adding all of this information to Wikipedia?

While Wikipedia is a great place for general encyclopedic knowledge on everything under the sun, even Wikimedia has seen fit to spin off certain aspects into different Wikis (c.f. Wiktionary, Wiki Books, Wiki University, etc.).

LingWiki's aim is to become as complete of a reference as possible for languages and language learning that is free from the constraints placed by the current Wikipedia. For example, if you're interested in learning about World War I, then by all means you should go look it up on Wikipedia, because at most you'll find general information about how the war was conducted on LingWiki. If you want to know how to say it in, say, Japanese, however, then all you have to do is look it up on LingWiki, add /translate to the end of the article name (e.g. World War I/translate), and you'll see a list of known translations for the word provided by users so far.

In addition to simply translations, however, we're also working on not just adding grammar references, but lessons and tests to help ensure people who come to learn something are learning it. We're aiming to provide a guide to the resources available for learning languages and the pros and cons associated with them so that people can find just the right dictionary/grammar/textbook/etc. for their particular needs and learning style.

Who can edit LingWiki?

Absolutely anyone may edit LingWiki, provided you register first.

I'm not a linguist, is there still a way for me to contribute?

Most definitely! More people use language than just simply college professors with 3 Ph.D.s in East Asian literature. While those with a greater linguistic background are of great help in polishing up the finer technical points within articles, the project will grow much more rapidly with normal, everyday people contributing words and phrases they use in their everyday lives. We at LingWiki realize this, and wish to harness it to make a better resource for everybody.

Are there any guides on how to contribute?

The Editing Guidelines are a good place to start to get a feel for the general principles. There are also a couple of topics in our forum that describe the basics of editing pages and formatting text on a wiki.

I can't find the sign up link!

Here it is! The forum and Wiki share the same user database, and so accounts on one are usable on the other. As a result of the way the merge was performed, the registration page on the wiki itself has been disabled.

What's a complete article supposed to look like?

To see articles from various parts of LingWiki in the highest form of development so far, see Category: Archetype Articles. These pages are the ones that set the bar we intend to raise the other articles to, and which we intend to extend past with time.

Can I get translations for 'X' on LingWiki?

While LingWiki does not provide automated translations for text, several articles do have translation subpages which provide cross references to other articles whose subjects can be translated as the title of the main article. These subpages provide an excellent general overview of possible translations for a word or phrase. To find an article's translation subpage, add "/translate" to the end of the name of the article (e.g. the subpage for language is located at language/translate).

I can't find any articles on knitting terminology in Norwegian, may I add or request them?

By all means! Our aim at LingWiki is to become as comprehensive of a resource as possible. If it's a vocabulary-related question (new words, pronunciations, definitions, etc), the best place to post your request is here. If it's grammar-related, the best place to post your request is here.

May I link to LingWiki from my site?

You are more than welcome to provide a link to LingWiki. As a courtesy we would appreciate an e-mail letting us know, but it's not required. Thanks in advance for supporting our site!

Can LingWiki add a link to my site?

We reserve the right to screen websites applying for link exchange, however as long as your website is related to language or language learning materials it shouldn't be a problem. If you're interested in actively sharing content between sites, you may also request to become a partner site. Sites we have exchanged links with may be found at LingWiki: Link Exchange.

Who does the artwork for LingWiki?

The original logo for LingWiki was designed by Dwayne Baptist. The current logo and header background were created by the wonderful Jennifer Duong, also known online as bw-inc.

Why are the Essential Word lists so English-centric?

The word lists are designed to help provide food for thought and generate ideas for people collaborating to create content for the language. As it is in the LingWiki namespace (as indicated by the LingWiki: prefix), it is not intended as general content like word entries and grammar explanations are. Many of the words on the list are ambiguous, and have multiple meanings even in English. We choose to see this as one of its strengths, as it means we can pull in a wider variety of words by trying to cover all the possible nuances; as opposed to just 1,000 words by doing simple 1-1 translations.

With regard to the English-centrism, there are a couple of reasons for it. As LingWiki is currently only in English, the list is based on the 1,000 most common words in English. The logic is that these are the words that English speakers are most likely to seek out when learning a new language so that they can talk about the issues they discuss most frequently in their native tongue. Further, with the list standardized, it makes it easy to create a new list on the fly for people interested in collaborating on a new language on LingWiki without having to wait for someone to provide them direction.

Can we create a version of LingWiki in X language?

If you are interested in creating a separate version of LingWiki in a language other than English, send an e-mail with information including information on who would be willing to contribute to help keep it going. We're very interested in expanding LingWiki so that it can be all things to all people, however that goal cannot be met by individuals working independent of each other.

My question isn't answered here, how can I get an answer?

If you post your question on the talk page for the FAQ either an answer will be posted in the FAQ or you'll be directed to where to find it in the current FAQ. If you're not comfortable posting it there, you may also e-mail the webmaster.

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