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Accessories-text-editor.svg This is a Wiktionary policy, guideline or common practices page. Specifically it is a policy think tank, working to develop a formal policy.

According to our Criteria for inclusion, Wiktionary is intended to include all words in all languages.

Languages may be differentiated through their names, or by codes formed by a few letters.

See Wiktionary:Dialects and Wiktionary:Families for discussions of dialects and of language families, respectively.


Language codes are found in topical categories, language-exclusive templates, etymologies, among other pages. There are also situations where language names are used instead.

Each language code is stored in a different template, the name being the code itself. When the template is called, the result is the language name, which may or not be automatically linked to the related Wiktionary entry. For example, when called, the template {{vot}} returns Votic. All language code templates are at Category:Language templates. The space of three letter templates is reserved, with a few exceptions, for language code templates as they do change through time. .

  • Wiktionary language codes come primarily from ISO 639-1, a series of two-letter codes which covers 136 major languages. For other languages, we use ISO 639-3, a series of three-letter codes which grew out of the Ethnologue codes and covers thousands of languages. When, according to our criteria for inclusion, a language is constructed and merits to be defined only in appendices, its template is prefixed with conl:. When a language is a reconstructed ancestor of all languages of a family, its template is prefixed with proto:.
    en is stored at {{en}} and represents English.
    fa is stored at {{fa}} and represents Persian.
    ang is stored at {{ang}} and represents Old English.
    cmn is stored at {{cmn}} and represents Mandarin.
    sjn is stored at {{conl:sjn}} and represents Sindarin.
    gem is stored at {{proto:gem}} and represents Proto-Germanic.
  • An exceptional language code may simply come from ISO 639-2, from deprecated ISO 639-1, from deprecated ISO 639-3 or from the Wikimedia language codes.
    cbk-zam is stored at {{cbk-zam}} and represents Zamboanga Chavacano.
    mo is stored at {{mo}} and represents Moldavian.
    nah is stored at {{nah}} and represents Nahuatl.
    nds-nl is stored at {{nds-nl}} and represents Dutch Low Saxon.
    sh is stored at {{sh}} and represents Serbo-Croatian.
  • Otherwise, the exceptional language code must start with a related ISO 639-5 code. Then, it must be followed by - (an ordinary hyphen) and an extension formed by a few lower case letters. (Therefore, no digits, upper case letters, etc; IANA tags allow these, case independent, but Mediawiki software is more restrictive.)
    cpe-spp is stored at {{cpe-spp}} and represents Samoan Plantation Pidgin.
    roa-gal is stored at {{roa-gal}} and represents Gallo.
    zls-mon is stored at {{zls-mon}} and represents Montenegrin.
  • Any specific code derived from community consensus and not directly from ISO, is an exceptional code.
    zh is stored at {{zh}} and represents Mandarin (not Chinese, due to consensus).
    zhx-zho is stored at {{zhx-zho}} and represents Chinese.

Language names are found in entry translations, lexical categories, appendices, rhymes, among other pages. There are also situations where language codes are used instead.

  • All language names should be defined as English words in their respective Wiktionary entries.
  • Each language is consistently referred by only one name, to be used in translations, etymologies and elsewhere. When there are two or more possible names, one of them is chosen.
  • The name is chosen by consensus. Common guidelines are to avoid abbreviations, the words "Modern" and "Standard", diacritics and parentheses when possible.
  • Multiple names of languages should also eventually be listed in the sections synonyms or alternative forms at each entry.
  • Language names from language codes may be linked, to become easier to find information about these languages as Wiktionary entries. Most of them are linked by default, except for those listed at Wiktionary:Translations/Wikification.

Name Wikipedia article Wiktionary code Comments
 !Kung w:!Kung language khi-kun {{khi-kun}}
  •  !Kung may be considered a group of dialects or related languages.
Ammonite w:Ammonite language sem-amm {{sem-amm}}
Banyumasan w:Banyumasan language map-bms {{map-bms}}
Bunurong w:Bunurong language aus-bun {{aus-bun}}
Chinese w:Chinese language zhx-zho {{zhx-zho}}
  • The code zh is ISO 639-1 for Chinese, though recognized as Mandarin due to consensus.
Darkinjung w:Darkinjung language aus-dar {{aus-dar}}
Dutch Low Saxon w:Dutch Low Saxon nds-nl {{nds-nl}}
  • Wikimedia uses the code nds-nl for Dutch Low Saxon language projects.
Gabi w:Pama-Nyungan languages#Classification and Languages aus-gab {{aus-gab}}
Gallo w:Gallo language roa-gal {{roa-gal}}
  • Gallo may be considered a dialect of French or an individual language.
Gaulish w:Gaulish language cel-gau {{cel-gau}}
Greenlandic Eskimo Pidgin w:Indigenous languages of the Americas#Pidgins, mixed languages and trade languages crp-gep {{crp-gep}}
Guernésiais w:Guernésiais roa-grn {{roa-grn}}
  • Guernésiais may be considered a dialect of Norman, a dialect of French or an individual language.
Gunai w:Gunai language aus-gun {{aus-gun}}
  • Gunai may be considered a group of dialects or related languages.
Gutnish w:Modern Gutnish gmq-gut {{gmq-gut}}
  • Gutnish is the modern version of Old Gutnish.
Jèrriais w:Jèrriais roa-jer {{roa-jer}}
  • Jèrriais may be considered a dialect of Norman, a dialect of French or an individual language.
Leonese w:Leonese language roa-leo {{roa-leo}}
Mandarin w:Mandarin Chinese zh {{zh}}
  • There is the ISO 639-1 code cmn for Mandarin.
  • The code cmn should be used always; zh is merely an alternative to be avoided.
  • The code zh is ISO 639-1 for Chinese, though recognized as Mandarin due to consensus.
Maroon Spirit Language w:Jamaican Maroon Spirit Possession Language cpe-mar {{cpe-mar}}
Middle Chinese w:Middle Chinese zhx-mid {{zhx-mid}}
Middle Norwegian w:Norwegian language#From Old Norse to distinct Scandinavian languages gmq-mno {{gmq-mno}}
Mingo w:Mingo iro-min {{iro-min}}
Moldavian w:Moldovan language mo {{mo}}
  • Moldavian may be considered a dialect of Romanian or an individual language.
  • The ISO 639-1 code mo and the ISO 639-3 code mol for Moldavian are no longer active.
Montenegrin w:Montenegrin language zls-mon {{zls-mon}}
  • Montenegrin may be considered a dialect of Serbian, a dialect of Serbo-Croatian or an individual language.
  • Montenegrin is currently in the process of being standardized, has an official orthography, and a request for its own ISO code has been submitted.
Nahuatl w:Nahuatl nah {{nah}}
  • Nahuatl may be considered a group of dialects or related languages.
  • There is the ISO 639-2 or ISO 639-5 code nah for Nahuatl.
  • Wikimedia uses the code nah for Nahuatl language projects.
  • The result of a RFDO discussion [1] was to keep the language category.
Norfuk w:Norfuk language cpe-nor {{cpe-nor}}
  • Norfuk and Pitkern may be considered related languages or a single language.
Norman w:Norman language roa-nor {{roa-nor}}
  • Norman may be considered a dialect of French or an individual language.
  • Wikimedia uses the code nrm for Norman language projects, but the ISO 639-3 code nrm is assigned to Narom language instead.
Old Novgorod dialect w:Old Novgorod dialect zle-nov {{zle-nov}}
Old Polish w:Old Polish language zlw-opl {{zlw-opl}}
Old Portuguese w:Galician Portuguese roa-ptg {{roa-ptg}}
Old Swedish w:Swedish language#Old Swedish gmq-osw {{gmq-osw}}
Phuthi w:Phuthi language bnt-phu {{bnt-phu}}
Picuris w:Picuris language nai-pic {{nai-pic}}
Pitkern w:Pitkern cpe-pit {{cpe-pit}}
  • Norfuk and Pitkern may be considered related languages or a single language.
Pomeranian w:Pomeranian language zlw-pom {{zlw-pom}}
Russenorsk w:Russenorsk crp-rsn {{crp-rsn}}
Samoan Plantation Pidgin w:Samoan Plantation Pidgin cpe-spp {{cpe-spp}}
Serbo-Croatian w:Serbo-Croatian language sh {{sh}}
  • Serbo-Croatian may be considered a group of languages (Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian; Montenegrin may also be included) or an individual language.
  • The ISO 639-1 code sh for Serbo-Croatian is no longer active.
  • There is the ISO 639-3 code hbs for Serbo-Croatian.
  • Wikimedia uses the code sh for Serbo-Croatian language projects.
Slovincian w:Slovincian zlw-slv {{zlw-slv}}
  • Slovincian may be considered a dialect of Kashubian, a dialect of Pomeranian, a dialect of Polish or an individual language.
Sydney w:Sydney language aus-syd {{aus-syd}}
Syrian Arabic w:Syrian Arabic sem-syr {{sem-syr}}
Taimyr Pidgin Russian crp-tpr {{crp-tpr}}
Tarantino w:Tarantino language roa-tar {{roa-tar}}
Wemba-Wemba w:Wemba-Wemba aus-wem {{aus-wem}}
Woiwurrung w:Woiwurrung language aus-wwg {{aus-wwg}}
Zamboanga Chavacano w:Chavacano language#Zamboangueño cbk-zam {{cbk-zam}}
  • Wikimedia uses the code cbk-zam for Zamboanga Chavacano language projects.

Name Wikipedia article Wiktionary code Comments
A Programming Language w:APL (programming language) art-apl {{conl:art-apl}}
C w:C (programming language) art-ccc {{conl:art-ccc}}
Eloi language w:Eloi language art-elo {{conl:art-elo}}
Hyper Text Markup Language w:HTML art-html {{conl:art-html}}
Klingon w:Klingon language tlh {{conl:tlh}}
Láadan w:Láadan ldn {{conl:ldn}}
Lapine w:Lapine language art-lap {{conl:art-lap}}
Mandalorian w:Mandalorian#Language art-man {{conl:art-man}}
Mundolinco w:Mundolinco art-mun {{conl:art-mun}}
Na'vi w:Na'vi language art-nav {{conl:art-nav}}
Neo w:Neo (constructed language) art-neo {{conl:art-neo}}
Quenya w:Quenya qya {{conl:qya}}
Sindarin w:Sindarin sjn {{conl:sjn}}
Toki Pona w:Toki Pona art-top {{conl:art-top}}

Code Language Names Common links
ab Abkhaz Abkhaz, Abkhazian, Abxazo
adj Adioukrou Adioukrou, Adjukru, Adyoukrou, Adyukru, Ajukru
ak Akan Akan, Twi-Fante
ang Old English Anglo-Saxon, Old English
arr Arara-Karo Arara-Karo, Karo
art-apl APL APL, A Programming Language
art-html Hyper Text Markup Language HTML, Hyper Text Markup Language
ase American Sign Language American Sign Language, Ameslan, ASL
asf Auslan Auslan, Australian Sign Language
aue ǂKxʼauǁʼein ǁAuǁei, Auen, Kaukau, Koko, Kung-Gobabis, ‡Kx’auǁ’ei, ǂKxʼauǁʼein, ǁX’auǁ’e
aum Abewa Abewa, Asu
aus-gun Gunai Gaanay, Ganai, Gunai, Kurnai, Kurnay
aus-syd Sydney Darug, Dharug, Dharruk, Dharuk, Eora, Iora, Iyora, Sydney
aus-wem Wemba-Wemba Wamba Wamba, Wamba-Wamba, Wemba Wemba, Wemba-Wemba
aus-wwg Woiwurrung Woiworung, Woiwurrong, Woiwurrung, Wuywurung
av Avar Avar, Avaric
axb Abipon Abipon, Abipón, Callaga, Kalyaga
az Azeri Azerbaijani, Azeri, Azari, Azeri Turkic, Azerbaijani Turkic
bal Baluchi Balochi, Baluchi
bau Badanchi Bada, Badanchi
bcn Bibaali Bali, Bibaali
bdh Tara Baka Baka, Tara Baka
bey Akuwagel Akuwagel, Beli
bfi British Sign Language British Sign Language, BSL
bkc Baka Template:bkc/names
bkp Iboko Boko, Iboko
bm Bambara Bamanankan, Bambara
bmy Kinyabemba Bemba, Kinyabemba
bua Buryat Buriat, Buryat
bzs Brazilian Sign Language Brazilian Sign Language, LGB (obsolete), LSB (obsolete), LSCB (obsolete), Libras
bzj Belize Kriol English Belizean Creole, Belizean Creole English, Belizean Kriol, Belize Kriol English, Kriol
ca Catalan Catalan, Valencian
car Galibi Carib Carib, Caribe, Cariña, Galibi, Galibí, Galibi Carib, Kalihna, Kali'na, Kalinya, Maraworno, Marworno
ciw Chippewa Chippewa, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibwemowin, Southwestern Ojibwa
cmn Mandarin Mandarin, Mandarin Chinese, Putonghua
cpe-mar Maroon Spirit Language Jamaican Maroon Spirit Possession Language, Maroon Spirit Language
cpe-nor Norfuk Norfolk, Norfuk
cpe-pit Pitkern Pitcairnese, Pitkern
den Slavey Slave, Slavé, Slavey
dlm Dalmatian Dalmatian, Dalmatic
dsb Lower Sorbian Lower Lusatian, Lower Sorbian, Lower Wendish
dv Dhivehi Dhivehi, Divehi, Mahal, Mahl, Maldivian
ekl Kolhe Kolhe, Kol
el Greek Greek, Modern Greek, Neo-Hellenic
en English English, Modern English
enm Middle English Medieval English, Middle English
eu Basque Basque, Euskara
fa Persian Farsi, Persian
fan Pahouin Fang, Pahouin
fr French French, Modern French
frp Franco-Provençal Arpetan, Arpitan, Franco-Provençal
fy West Frisian Western Frisian, West Frisian
ga Irish Irish, Irish Gaelic
gd Scottish Gaelic Gàidhlig, Highland Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Scottish, Scottish Gaelic
gez Ge'ez Ethiopic, Ge'ez, Gi'iz
gsw Alemannic German Alemannic German, Swiss German
gul Gullah Geechee, Gullah, Sea Island Creole English
gv Manx Manx, Manx Gaelic
ho Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, Pidgin Motu, Police Motu
hsb Upper Sorbian Upper Lusatian, Upper Sorbian, Upper Wendish
ht Haitian Creole Creole, Haitian, Haitian Creole, Kreyòl
hub Huambisa Huambisa, Huambiza, Wambisa
hvc Haitian Vodoun Culture Language Haitian Vodoun Culture Language, Langaj, Langay
hwc Hawaiian Pidgin Hawaii Creole English, Hawaii Pidgin English, HCE, Pidgin
hy Armenian Armenian, Modern Armenian
ik Inupiak Inupiak, Inupiaq, Iñupiaq, Inupiatun
ja Japanese Japanese, Modern Japanese, Nipponese
jam Jamaican Creole Jamaican, Jamaican Creole, Jamaican Patois, Patois, Patwa
kbc Kadiwéu Caduveo, Ediu-Adig, Guaicurú, Kadiweu, Kadiwéu, Mbayá, Mbayá-Guaycuru, Waikurú
kcn Nubi Ki-Nubi, Nubi
kcu Kikami Kami, Kikami
kda Worimi Gadang, Gadhang, Gadjang, Kattang, Kutthung, Worimi
kea Kabuverdianu Cape Verdean Creole, Kabuverdianu
kg Kongo Kikongo, Kongo
khi-kun !Kung !Kung, !'O!Kung
kj Kwanyama Kuanyama, Kwanyama, Oshikwanyama
kl Greenlandic Greenlandic, Kalaallisut
kmb Kimbundu Kimbundu, North Mbundu
ko Korean Korean, Modern Korean
ky Kyrgyz Kirghiz, Kirgiz, Kyrgyz
lad Ladino Judaeo-Spanish, Judæo-Spanish, Judeo-Spanish, Ladino
lg Luganda Ganda, Luganda
li Limburgish Limburgan, Limburgian, Limburgic, Limburgish
lkt Lakota Lakhota, Lakota
mec Mara Leelawarra, Leelalwarra, Mala, Mara, Marra
meu Motu Motu, Pure Motu, True Motu
mnk Mandinka Mandingo, Mandinka
mo Moldavian Moldavian, Moldovan
moc Mocoví Mbocobí, Mocoví, Mokoví, Moqoyt
mgs Nyasa Kimanda, Kinyasa, Manda, Nyasa
mjh Nyanza Kinyasa, Mwera, Nyanza, Nyasa
mrh Mara Chin Chin Mara, Lakher, Mara, Maram, Mira, Zao
mwe Mwera Chimwera, Cimwera, Mwela, Mwera
my Burmese Burmese, Myanmar
mzn Mazanderani Mazandarani, Mazanderani
na Nauruan Nauru, Nauruan
nb Norwegian Bokmål Bokmål, Norwegian Bokmål
nds Low Saxon Low German, Low Saxon, Modern Low German
nn Norwegian Nynorsk Norwegian Nynorsk, Nynorsk
ny Chichewa Chichewa, Chicheŵa, Chinyanja, Nyanja
nyr Shinyiha Shinyiha, Nyiha
nys Nyunga Noongar, Nyunga, Nyuunga
ood O'odham O'odham, Papago
os Ossetian Ossete, Ossetian, Ossetic
ota Ottoman Turkish Ottoman, Ottoman Turkish
pa Punjabi Panjabi, Punjabi
pap Papiamentu Papiamento, Papiamentu
pis Pijin Kanaka, Neo-Solomonic, Pijin, Solomons Pidgin
pit Pitta-Pitta Pitta Pitta, Pitta-Pitta
plg Pilagá Pilacá, Pilagá
pot Potawatomi Potawatomi, Pottawatomie
pro Old Provençal Old Occitan, Old Provençal
pt Portuguese Modern Portuguese, Portuguese
pua Western Highland Purepecha Phorhé(pecha), Purepecha, P'urhépecha, Tarascan, Tarasco, Western Highland Purepecha
rap Rapa Nui Rapa Nui, Rapanui, Pascuense
ro Romanian Daco-Romanian, Romanian, Roumanian, Rumanian
roa-jer Jèrriais Jèrriais, Jersey French, Jersey Norman, Jersey Norman French
roa-ptg Old Portuguese Galician-Portuguese, Galician Portuguese, Old Portuguese
rop Kriol Australian Kriol, Kriol
sco Scots Lowland Scots, Scots
sh Serbo-Croatian BCS, Serbo-Croatian, Croato-Serbian
si Sinhalese Singhalese, Sinhala, Sinhalese
sl Slovene Slovene, Slovenian
snq Chango Chango, Sangu
spp Supyire Suppire, Supyire, Supyire Senoufo
sqt Soqotri Socotri, Soqotri
srs Sarsi Sarcee, Sarsi, Tsuu T’ina, Tsuut’ina, Tsu T’ina
ss Swati Swati, Swazi
st Sotho Sesotho, Sotho, Southern Sesotho, Southern Sotho
sth Shelta Cant, Shelta
tcs Torres Strait Creole Big Thap, Blaikman, Brokan, Broken, Broken English, Cape York Creole, Lockhart Creole, Papuan Pidgin English, Torres Strait Brokan, Torres Strait Broken, Torres Strait Creole, Torres Strait Pidgin, Yumplatok
tg Tajik Tadjik, Tadzhik, Tajik, Tajiki, Tajik Persian
tmh Tamashek Tamahaq, Tamajaq, Tamasheq, Tamashek, Tuareg
tn Tswana Setswana, Tswana
tnq Taino Taino, Taíno
tob Toba Chaco Sur, Namqom, Qom, Toba, Toba Qom
tog Siska Chitonga, Kitonga, Siska, Sisya, Tonga, Western Nyasa
toi Tonga Chitonga, Plateau Tonga, Tonga, Zambezi
tpi Tok Pisin Melanesian Pidgin English, Neo-Melanesian, New Guinea Pidgin, Tok Pisin
tsz Purepecha Purepecha, Phorhépecha, Porhé, Tarascan, Tarasco
ug Uyghur Uigur, Uighur, Uygur, Uyghur
uln Unserdeutsch Rabaul Creole German, Unserdeutsch
umb Umbundu South Mbundu, Umbundu
vai Vai Gallinas, Vai, Vy
waq Wageman Wageman, Wagiman, Wakiman, Wogeman
xaa Andalusian Arabic Andalusian Arabic, Andalusi Arabic, Moorish Arabic, Spanish Arabic
xcl Old Armenian Classical Armenian, Liturgical Armenian, Old Armenian
yue Cantonese Cantonese, Yue, Yüeh
yun Bena Bena, Binna, Buna, Ebina, Ebuna, Gbinna, Lala (offensive) , Purra, Yangeru, Yongor, Yungur

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