Addressing the many

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Image (1) addressing-the-crowds.png for post 8989When you have a message, you use the appropriate language and tools to address multiple people. We do not use our eyes to see how many people we address and we do not use a bull horn to be heard. Our MediaWiki software knows the numbers involved and a plural enabled message will be formed according to the rules of the language.
When we implemented plural support for JavaScript, we checked our new implementation for plural with our implementation in PHP and we checked against the standard for such things, the CLDR.
The Localisation team does not know the language rules for the 280+ languages that have a Wikipedia. We prefer to implement what the standard tells us but we support more languages than the CLDR. We want to channel our need for support through “Language Support teams” and we want them to help us understand  and fix the inconsistencies and add the missing information to the CLDR.

Inconsistencies with the CLDR
  • Belarusian – ‘other’ form missing in MediaWiki
  • Belarusian-tarask – ‘other’ form missing in MediaWiki
  • Bosnian – ‘other’ form missing in MediaWiki
  • Manx – CLDR has 3 , MediaWiki has 4 forms
  • Hebrew – CLDR has 2, MediaWiki has 3 forms
  • Croatian – ‘other’ form missing in MediaWiki
  • Ripoarian / Colonian – order of forms different. CLDR says 0,1, other. MediaWiki says 1,other,zero
  • Latvian – CLDR defines zero, one , other forms. MediaWiki has only two forms, one for (1, 21, 31, 41, 51, 61…) and another for rest of the forms.
  • Macedonian – CLDR defines forms[0] for n!=11. MediaWiki defines forms[0] for n%100!=11
  • Polish: ‘other’ form is not defined in MediaWiki.
  • Russian : CLDR defines 4 plural forms. Form with decimals missing.
  • Slovenian – MediaWiki defines a zero form which is not present in CLDR
missing in CLDR
  • Church Slavonic
  • Lower Sorbian
  • Scottisch Gaelic
  • Upper Sorbian

Please make a difference for the support for your language and join the Language support team.
Gerard Meijssen
Internationalization / Localization outreach consultant

Archive notice: This is an archived post from, which operated under different editorial and content guidelines than Diff.

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