Help:Interlanguage links

Interlanguage links are links from a page in one Wikipedia language to an equivalent page in another language. These links can appear in two places:

  1. As links in the "Languages" section of the page's left sidebar
  2. As inline links in the text of the article

These two types of links are created and handled differently.

Links in the sidebar

A list of available languages is visible in the left sidebar of the Desktop version of Wikipedia under the "Languages" section.

Pages on Wikipedia can link to equivalent pages in other languages. The English article on Spain includes a link to the Spanish article España in the sidebar, and vice versa. These links can be mantained in two places: in Wikidata and by using local links in the text of the page itself. Using Wikidata is the preferred method.


Click on Edit links to add links to the Wikidata page

Wikidata is a sister project of Wikipedia, it is a collaboratively edited knowledge base. Part of this project is to centralize the interlanguage links for all the Wikipedia projects. The Wikidata entry for a page contains (among other things) a list of links for that page in different languages.

Adding a new link

At the bottom of the Wikidata language list, notated 'Languages', there is a link labelled 'Edit links'. Clicking on this will reveal a new page:

  • scroll down to the box marked 'Wikipedia' and click on 'edit' at the top of that box
  • click on the greyed-out 'wiki' field, the final item on the list, and enter a language code (see List of ISO 639-1 codes for all language codes)
  • click on the greyed-out 'page' field (now visible) and type in the name of the article as it appears in that language's Wikipedia
  • click on 'save' at the top of the box

If you get an error message like "Site link ... is already used by item Q....", this means that there is already an item in Wikidata pointing to the article you are trying to link to. Wikidata does not allow more than one item to point to a single article in a Wikipedia. There are then two cases:

  • either the two items really are the same, and should be merged: see d:Help:Merge, or
  • the scope of the two items is not in fact the same (typically, the article in one language is wider in scope than the article in the other language) and they should not be linked

Unfortunately, there is no mechanism in Wikidata at present for linking articles that are related, but different in a scope – it is possible to do this with local links however.

Finding interlanguage links for an article

There are many ways Wikipedia articles of another language can be found. These include translating the article's title and its synonyms to other languages and searching for them on the respective language-versions of Wikipedia or on Google, searching for articletitle (for non-English Wikipedia articles), checking the other language versions of related or superordinate articles and checking the other language versions of the article's categories.

Editing a link

To edit an entry on Wikidata, click on the edit link next to the entry you wish to edit. A textbox will appear allowing you to edit the entry. Click on save when you are done.

Removing a link

You can remove a page from the list of Wikidata's links. To do so click edit, then click on the remove link.

Local links

Before Wikidata, interlanguage links had to be recorded in the text of the page itself. The problem with this approach was that each language had to maintain its own separate lists. So for example, if the name of a page on the English Wikipedia changed, then each language that linked to that page would have to separately notice this fact and then change their own links.

For most pages, these links are no longer needed and can be safely removed, but you should verify that the local list and the Wikidata lists match before doing so. There is an automated tool to help with that.

The local links do however still serve some purposes:

  1. They override the information that comes from Wikidata.
  2. They are required if more than one article (or redirect) in one language should point to a target article in another language.
  3. They are required in order to explicitly link to or from redirects. This can be used to level semantical or organizational differences between articles in different Wikipedias so that the links can go to the exact equivalent term in another language rather than to an article with a somewhat different scope or only related topic.
  4. They are required in order to link to sections of articles. For example, corresponding to the English article Spot welding, in Italian there is only a section rather than a full article, so Spot welding includes the local link [[it:Saldatura#Saldatura a punti]].
  5. They are required for pages that are not allowed on Wikidata, such as your userpage.


The local interlanguage links take the following form:

[[language code:Title]]

where the language code is the two-letter code as per ISO 639-1. (See Complete list of language Wikipedias available. English is "en", German is "de", etc.) So for example in the English language article on Plankton, which is available on many other wikis, the interlanguage links might look like this:


NOTE: These links are treated specially, and don't show up in the body of the text, but in a special sidebar section "Languages" listed by language name. They can go anywhere in the article source as their 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 page. Remember, you only need these type links if you are overriding the information from Wikidata, otherwise you should edit the links on the Wikidata entry.

Featured articles and good articles

Featured or good articles are represented via Wikidata.