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Wiktionnaire:Actualités is a small monthly periodical about French Wiktionary and words, created in April 2015. Everyone is welcome to contribute to it. You can sign up to be noticed of future issues, read old issues and participate to the draft of the next edition. You can also have a look at Regards sur l’actualité de la Wikimedia. If you have any comments, critics or suggestions, our talk page is open!

Actualités - issue 28 - July 2017


  • Le Monde diplomatique of July 2017 publishes a whole page about Serbo-Croatian, a language considered by many linguists as a single language but split into four languages (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian) because of politic reasons.

Detail of a picture by Михайло Пецкович, proposed as a featured picture in July 2017.

Lingua Libre

It is time to present you this project which will enrich the Wiktionary in the coming years! The Lingua Libre project is the meeting between two other projects: Languages of France on the French Wikipedia and Shtooka, a project developed by Zmoostik (d · c · b) to record a lot of words in many languages and which uploaded thousands of audio files into Wikimedia Commons (although many are not categorised).

Lingua Libre aims to record all the languages of the world, village by village... and offers an online recording interface with two possible ways to record: a single recording with all the parameters available, or a recording by wordlists that cuts automatically the file after each blank. This latter option is a technology that comes directly from the Shtooka project, reused for the Internet.

Currently, the tool is still in development and all the recordings are stored on its server. It is possible to download the recordings one by one by a single click or by batch by going onto the profile of the speaker. Indeed, in addition to offering the possibility to make recordings, Lingua Libre offers a management of the user accounts allowing to associate several speakers to a same account, in order to be able to record several people with the same account.

Lingua Libre was funded almost entirely by grants from the General Delegation for the French language and the languages of France (DGLFLF) and was initiated and then led by Lyokoï (d · c · b), with the collaboration of Xenophôn (d · c · b), who was hired by the association Wikimedia France for this purpose and who took charge of the administrative stuffs and of the organisation of the meetings and of the test recording sessions. Finally, the tool was largely developed by Zmoostik (d · c · b).

In the future, the project will be as close as possible to a wiki structure based on Mediawiki with a Wikibase interface in order to facilitate the access to its metadata. It will be a form close to the multimedia database Wikimedia Commons, but dedicated to the recordings of the languages, with specific metadata to allow its integration in the Wiktionaries and also reuse for learning, enhancement and language study.


Detail of a picture of the royal palace in Brussels illustrating the maintenance required for large buildings, picture proposed by Sally V for the monthly challenge of June about the topic of vanishing point.

From mid-June to mid-July (from 06/20/2017 to 07/20/2017)
  • French entries increased by 1,765 and quotations increased by 1,779. There are now 353,794 lemmas, 526,189 definitions and 325,897 quotations or examples.
  • The three other languages which progressed the most are Northern Sami (+ 6,950 entries), Latin (+ 209 entries) and Old French (+ 202 entries).
  • Two languages were added in the project (here with French names): kaera (+1), dharug (+1).
  • In July 10,777 entries were created for 67 languages!
Last month's words

Statistics pages give some insight of the evolution of the project:

More improvement
  • There are 32,172 illustrations (images and videos) in Wiktionary entries, so 192 were added since last month.
  • July 31st, the French Wiktionary offers 275 thesauri for French! That’s three new ones: vol aérien [flight], pomme [apple] and médicament [medicine].
  • Among pages describing words in French, 3,883 pages include a link to at least one thesaurus, offering an exploration by meaning.


This month, the French Wiktionary has been refreshed by replacing HTML tags in its wikicode that are become obsolete with regard to HTML5 standard, which will improve page referencing and have more enduring code. This operation was made possible by the development of a tool called Linter which tracks irregularities within the website code, as well as obsolete tags and makes available to everyone its results. This has made possible to update more than 30,000 pages of the French Wiktionary. Contributors are now strongly urged not to use the following tags: <center>, <font>, <strike>, and <tt>, and to replace them with equivalent solutions.

Old tags New tags Example
<center> <div style="text-align: center;">
Text with "text-align: center"
<font color=x size=y face=z> <span style="color: x; font-size: y; font-family: z;"> Text with "color: red"
Text with "font-family: Times New Roman;"
<strike> <s> Text with s
<tt> <code> Text with code

Dictionary of the month

Jean Tardieu, in Un mot pour un autre, Éditions Gallimard, 1951.

The professor Frœppel had conceived the grandiose project of constructing a complete language, based solely on the use of "lower words". Through this fictional character, Tardieu experiences minimalist writings and shows that, in the end, the language could be satisfy by very little and we would understand each other as well.

With a bit of humor and an effort to describe the uses, this dictionary remained alas! unfinished has 214 entries (which I have enumerated myself!) of terms that humans use to talk to domestic animals, children and foreign people, informal diminutives, vague words, mindless repetitive monosyllables, childish or gaga expressions, imitative words and grommels, interjections and exclamations, sweetened slang, etc.

In addition to being a rather unexpected collection of these words, the entries are sometimes embellished with examples; of etymologies, unfortunately not sourced; of their register or of their origin; of pronunciation support.

An amusing work to read, and to complete absolutely by the various texts (theatre, poetry, narrative) which accompany this dictionary and implement this language. A beautiful demonstration of writing with artistic constraints, and perhaps a precursor of a future Wikiproject?

Selected quotes:

Ah! Ah! (ascendant tone): confirmation of a fact that was suspected. Ex. "The Great Pan is dead!" Answer: "Ah! Ah!".

Cui-cui: song of the birds. Ex. "The cui-cui of the fifis is mimi." (the song of the birds is pleasant.)

Gugusse: from "Auguste", famous clown. Anyone who wants to entertain the audience by doing the clown. "Qualis gugus pereo!" (Nero dying.)

Machin : masculine forme of "chose" (thing).

Ouais! : nasalisation of "oui" (yes). (The nasal flatters and skews. So he adds a dubious and ironic element to the statement.)

Zizi, or zibi: sexual parts of the male individual (word from African origin).

— a chronicle by Dara

Detail of a picture by Андрей Кровлин, proposed as featured picture in July 2017.

LexiSession on flight

Powered by the Tremendous Wiktionary User Group, LexiSessions aim to suggest monthly themes to put all Wiktionaries on the same page. Themes are suggested on Meta and announced every month in several projects.

July LexiSession was on flight and drived to the creation of a thesaurus of flight in French that allow to find vocabulary related to this kind of transport. Several improvements were also made in the English version of the project related to this topic. A lot of words could still be added, so do not hesitate to contribute in the future!

For August, the topic is circus!


This chronicle reviews videos about linguistics and French published during the month, do not hesitate to add videos and channels that you find!

Other detail of the same picture by Андрей Кровлин, showing a sunrise on the Sea of Japan.


As a follow-up to the discussion about the creation of a category Lemmas, here are some elements to understand the difficulty of simply knowing what words to integrate into a dictionary in the case of polysynthetic languages such as the Inuit or Yupik languages. In these languages, the words — in the sense of lexical units carrying a proper meaning and separated by pause in oral speech and by spaces or punctuation in writing — the words, may correspond to a syntagma, a proposition or even a whole sentence in another language, such as the French language.

The question therefore arises what to put in a dictionary, what can be considered a canonical form of a word for this kind of languages?

The mode of constitution of these words consists in a derivation starting from a root to which are attached different suffixes. It is clear that we can not integrate all the words since, by definition, there is an infinity of them and, moreover, the interest is almost null for a reader.

Who would put in an English dictionary: it looks like the sound of an airplane (in Inuktitut "qangatasuuvvaluktuq")?

One might think to put only the roots. But they are very few and for example, we would not have the word airplane (qangatasuuq) which is itself derived from the root qangata- ("rise in the air") and the suffix -suuq ("something that is used to or is able to").

The linguist Steven A. Jacobson proposed the following rules (Yup’ik eskimo dictionary, ANLC, 2012, volume 1, page 16): (examples are in Central Yupik language):

The following shall be considered as main entries
  • the roots (obviously),
  • derivatives whose the constitution and/or the meaning is easily predictable if the form is significantly different from the one of the parent word. Ex. acir- ("to name") will be integrated although it derives from ateq ("name") because the link between at- and ac- is not obvious,
  • derivatives whose the meaning can be given by a word in the target language (in a bilingual dictionary). Ex: calissuun, literally ("instrument to work") which corresponds in fact to ("tool"),
  • derivatives which, although easily foreseeable, are in common use. Ex: maqivik ("steambath"), derived from maki- ("to take a steambath").

This thought is intended only to encourage caution when, in the French Wiktionary, it is envisaged to extend to all languages certain notions originally intended for the French language. — a chronicle by Unsui

Last slice of the same picture by Андрей Кровлин, bringing a bit of freshness.