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This is an unordered collection of frequently asked questions and their answers.

Getting started[edit]

I have registered as user, and I would like to contribute. How can I become an editor?[edit]

  1. Please indicate on your userpage the languages you speak (if possible with Babel templates).
  2. Then ask a bureaucrat to give you edit rights (e.g. Kipcool).

I have the editing rights. What can I do now?[edit]

The first thing is to have a look at the article DefinedMeaning to get an idea of how the database works.

Then, look at a few entries to get a feeling for it. You can either try to look up a few favorite words, or hit Special:Randompage/Expression a few times.

Then, find a page where the Defined Meaning is not translated in your native language, and translate it. You could use Expressions needing translation for that. Then, add expressions that match the Defined Meaningin the Synonyms and translations section.

Ok, my first time to add a new word. What's a good way to do it?[edit]

Check if it already exists[edit]

First, try Expression:(your word) to see whether it's already there. Also try Expression:(your word in English or another language). See Meta:Searching for other ways to search.

Define it[edit]

Look up your word in an existing English-English dictionary (if the word is English). How is the meaning defined there? How many definitions do they have? How would you define the word?

Next, open Expression:(your word). First, you see "Language". Type the first three letters of the language of your word. Type "eng" there, and English should come up.

Next, you'll see "– Exact meanings * +– New exact meaning o +– Definition". Select the language in which you'll define your word. Add a definition for the word. For the first definition, try to grasp the core meaning of the word. You can add additional definitions for other uses of the word later.

Hit the Save button and wait for the page to reload. Your entries should now be visible.

In the same way you added a word, you can also add a combination of words if it has a standardized meaning, such as "fried egg".

Translate it[edit]

Next, try to translate the definition you just wrote in a foreign language that you know. Save.

Look at the "Synonyms and translations" box. You know another word in the same language that also matches the definition? Add it here. You know a word in a foreign language that matches the definition? Add it too. Note that you can only add one word between saves (at the moment).

Relate it[edit]

Under "Relations", you can connect your definition to other definition. For example, if you added "dog: A common four-legged animal", it's a good idea to add it to the list of animals. To do that for our example, open the "Relations" chapter by clicking on "+", type "is part of" under "relation type" and type "animal" under "other defined meaning. Select "animal: English: any living organism".

Hit save. Done!


see also Editing relational data

I want to edit in a language, but it is not there, why?[edit]

There are several possibilities why some languages are not available for editing:

1. Macrolanguages

The language you are searching for is not a language per se, but a macrolanguage. You have to know precisely for which language/dialect/variety you are willing to add words. For example:

a. You cannot add words in "Chinese", but you can add words in "Mandarin" and "Cantonese".
b. You cannot add words in "Norwegian", but you can add words in "Bokmal" and "Nynorsk".
c. You cannot add words in "Kurdish", but you can add words in "Sorani".
2. Editable languages

It can also be that the language in which you want to contribute is simply not yet defined as an editable language. The general idea is to enable a language for editing only when a user is interested in the language (and preferably knows a bit of it). Simply ask for it in the beer parlour.

Why is English-US there?[edit]

The idea on English is to have it in parts: General English (all content that is the same in all varieties) and specific English. When something is specific, it will be copied to all the other English varieties

Is there regional tagging of words?[edit]

Yes, an annotation "area" is defined for some languages. e.g. for English, we have the following list of areas: "United Kingdom", "United States", "Australia", "New Zealand", "South Africa", "New England". New areas are created when needed.


How do you define spelling?

  1. a spelling is a sequence of characters denoting an Expression in a specific Script, and sometimes according to a specific spelling system or as of a specific time frame in the history of a written language.
  2. see also Spelling variant.

Are spellings and spelling variants there time tagged?[edit]

Not at the moment. We are in pre-alpha. A distinction is made on basis of separate language codes, which sometimes differ for historic language versions and modern ones.

How is differentiated between spelling variants and synonyms?[edit]

See next question.

How about homographs versus multiple senses of a single homograph?[edit]

The spelling variations for the same word will be stored in the same table. However each record can have attributes. So in effect it will be up to the editors to give content its attributes.

When you are concerned about homographs and senses, you approach it from a monolingual point of view. The different senses will have different translations and therefore they willl be apart.

How is the "Identical Meaning" flag used if an expression has several meanings?[edit]

"Identical meaning" is a flag that indicates whether the synonym or translation describes exactly the same concept. If not, "use with caution". If it refers exactly to the concept you're working on, it should be on. If it only sometimes refers to the concept you're working on, or has some additional meaning, it should be off.

But expressions having multiple meanings is a different story. The flag is about the cases where the specific concept you're working on is used somewhat differently in a language, not where a word has a totally unrelated secondary meaning.

What is the difference between topic / class / collection[edit]

Please refer to the help pages: Help:Topic, Help:Class and Help:Collection.

As an example, the DefinedMeaning for the language English will have:

  • The topic "linguistics" (it is a concept that belongs to the field of linguistics)
  • The class "linguistics entity" (which allows to add annotations such as "spoken in...", "written in the script...", etc.)
  • The collection "ISO 639-1" (with code en) and the collection "ISO 639-3" (with code eng)

Translating the interface[edit]

Mediawiki interface[edit]

The MediaWiki interface and the system message specific to OmegaWiki are localized at If you notice an error in a translation, or would like to translate in a language in which there is not yet a translation, pleaase contribute to, in the group named Wikidata. Link: [1].

A developer will then have to update OmegaWiki.

Language names[edit]

The language names that appear in the comboboxes in the website come directly from the translations of OmegaWiki (OmegaWiki eats its own dogfood). If a language name is not translated in your language, it will appear in English. To have it appear in your own language, you have to edit e.g. Expression:French, and then notify a bureaucrat so that he updates the list (this is one click).

Classes, topics, relations, etc.[edit]

The names of classes, topics, relations, etc. are also translated by using the translations available in OmegaWiki. It works like the language names, except that it is real-time: there is no need of a manual update from a bureaucrat.

About OmegaWiki[edit]

Who runs and supports this project?[edit]

  • The server is provided by Erik from the WMF.
  • The source code is opensource and hosted on the WMF servers
  • The programming is done by volunteer contributors.
  • The data is added by volunteer contributors.

Why isn't OmegaWiki a WikiMedia Foundation project?[edit]

Because it is not.

Even though the people contributing to OmegaWiki mostly come from WikiMedia Foundation projects, and even though the source code is hosted by WMF, only a few people from the language-specific wiktionaries were willing to move to OW. The main reasons invoked were that:

  • OW is still not complete. Important functionalities such as inflexions which exist in the Wiktionaries cannot yet be entered in OW.
  • OW being multilingual, it is too difficult for people not comfortable with English to take part in the discussions. The creation of language specific beer parlours was not convincing.
  • it is not possible to automatically import the definitions from the Wiktionaries.

Furthermore, the WMF does not want to maintain two overlapping projects at the same time. If you are not satisfied with the answer, you can ask directly to the WMF...

See also Help:OmegaWiki, Wiktionary and the WikiMedia Foundation

I love this project and I would like to donate money. Where can I do that?[edit]

You cannot donate money at the moment. However, you can pay a programmer to work for us :) You can also pay people to add data to OmegaWiki.

I'm a developer and I want to contribute. Who should I talk to?[edit]

See Development.

Which copyright license is used by OmegaWiki?[edit]

See Licensing.

Are there usage statistics?[edit]

Yes, see Meta:Statistics.