User language templates aid multilingual communication by making it easier to contact someone who speaks a certain language. The idea originated on the Wikimedia Commons and has also been implemented on Meta-Wiki and some of the Wikipedias, to varying extents. To participate, you can add the Babel template to your user page by following these instructions:
- Start off with
- Then add one of the following codes for each language you speak, separated by
|, where xx is the ISO 639 code for the language:
xx-0if you don't understand the language practically at all. You can use this if there's some reason why you might be expected to know the language better, or to indicate that you know something very little about it.
xx-1for basic command (the ability to understand the language some and to ask or answer simple questions)
xx-2ability to modify articles and to participate in discussions
xx-3for advanced or fluent understanding (the ability to write articles in this language without difficulties, minor errors may occur)
xx-4if you have a grasp of the language comparable to a native speaker, but are not a native speaker
xxif you're a native speaker
- Then finish by adding closing braces:
|Search user languages|
So, for example, Template:Temp would indicate a native speaker of English with basic knowledge of German. Template:Temp would indicate a native speaker of Swedish with an advanced knowledge of English, an intermediate knowledge of French, a basic knowledge of Spanish and no knowledge of Aragonese.
You can also add stand-alone language templates by following the Template:Temp format.
These templates add you to the category associated with your level of understanding, and to the overall category for that language. To find someone who speaks a particular language, see user languages, and follow the links. For the most part, the two and three letter codes are taken from ISO 639, but see this list for a comprehensive guide.
Some language templates may show different text depending on whether the user has set their gender in their preferences to be male, female or unspecified. This is automatic and happens without needing to do anything. However, if you prefer not to show gender-specific messages or show a gender different from what you set in your preferences, it can be overridden by using the
|g= parameter, which you can set to either
|g=f (female) or
|g=- (not specified). Both the general Template:Temp template and the individual language templates support this option.
You can help expand this system by creating templates for your language. Categories have already been created for most languages which have editions of Wikipedia containing over a hundred articles; they just need labelling up! It's recommended to copy the English or French versions when expanding the scheme, as most of the languages listed here are incomplete. The French versions show examples of how gender-specific messages may be generated. See also Help:Creating a template.