Help:Interlanguage links

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Interlanguage links

This page explains how to create interlanguage links on Wikisource.

Interlanguage links are links from any page (most notably works) in one language one Wikisource project to the same work in another Wikisource project, between language versions of Wiktionary, and the same within Wikipedia, Wikiquote, and Wikibooks.

The interlanguage link feature works also on Commons, and produces links to the Wikipedias. This is not reciprocal: a link from a Wikipedia to Commons is an in-page link.

They appear at one or two edges of the webpage (in Monobook on the left, in Classic at the top and bottom) after Languages, and show the names of languages for which a link is available. Interlanguage links look like external links (or different, depending on CSS), but the syntax is more like internal links. They are a form of interwiki links. See m:Meta:Interlanguage links for details on linking different languages on Meta.


The interlanguage links take the following form:

[[language code:Page title]]

where the language code is the two-letter code as per ISO 639-1. (See Complete list of language Wikisource available. English is "en", German is "de", etc.) So for example in the English translation of Aesop's Fables, which is available on a lot of other wikis, the interlanguage links might look like this:

[[el:Αισώπου Μύθοι]]
[[fr:Fables d’Ésope]]
[[la:Fabulae (Aesopus)]]
[[ru:Басни Эзопа]]

These links are treated specially, and don't show up in the body of the text, but in a special sidebar section "in other languages" listed by language name. Technically they can go anywhere in the article source; placement does not alter the visual appearance of the links on the rendered page except for the order. However, the convention is to put them at the bottom of the wikitext.

You should not include the link to the language in which you are writing.

To create an inline link (a clickable link within the text), prefix the language code with a ":".

Multiple links[edit]

Interwiki's on Wikisource are used to track translations. The original language is authoritative, and any language may have more than one edition. It is also possible for a language to have more than one translation. Due to these requirements, there are often multiple interlanguage links to the same language on some pages.

The more extreme case is the Bible on the English Wikisource, where there are multiple translations, and those translations came from different editions in the original language. On Wikisource, not all interlanguage links are bidirectional. For example, linking a Korean bible to the Latin is appropriate, and linking the KJV to the Latin is also desirable, but it doesn't follow that the KJV should be linked a Korean bible.

Side-by-side view[edit]

On Wikisource there is a special extension DoubleWiki which allows the reader to view two languages on the same page, in a side-by-side view. For this to work correctly, both pages must contain the same paragraphing structure, as can be seen with "Criton" in Greek and French.


As interlanguage links are not always bidirectional, the standard bots are not able to be run unattended, otherwise they will cross link our Bibles in inappropriate ways, resulting in many flames. A proposal on how to fix this was raised at Wikisource:Scriptorium/Archives/2008-08#Bot_flag_request_for_Albamhandaebot.

As bots can not be run unattended on Wikisource, only interlanguage bots run by regular Wikisource contributors are given the bot flag. The Recent changes is not overburdened with edits, and admins like to review interlanguage links as they are created.


Various bots are operating which add and attempt to correct interlanguage links: if A links to B, B will be linked to A, and if A links to B and B to C, A will be linked to C. The downside is that an error in an interlanguage link in one Wikipedia propagates to other Wikipedias. Thus if a bot produces a wrong result one may have to search for the underlying error in another language version of Wikipedia.

The activity of the bots also requires that interlanguage links are only put from an article to an article covering the same subject, not more and not less. It is technically possible to make an interlanguage link from an article to a section of an article, just like any link to a section, and have it appear like an ordinary interlanguage link, but since bots cannot handle these this is not recommended. For these, as well as the inverse link from section to article, use inline interlanguage links.


  • Use the exact spelling and capitalization of the foreign page title when adding an interlanguage link. Writing the title with a small letter may work correctly as a link, but interwiki bots may fail to recognize it.


The link tags should be ordered with the original language first, and the remainder sorted alphabetically based on the local names of the languages, as described at m:Interwiki sorting order. Sorting alphabetically according to the two-letter language abbreviations is also acceptable.

See also[edit]