After several years discussing about it, and one year of development and
discussion with the communities, the development team has now released the
first version of lexicographical data support on Wikidata
Since the start of Wikidata in 2012, the multilingual knowledge base was
mainly focused on concepts: Q-items are related to a thing or an idea, not
to the word describing it. Starting now, Wikidata stores a new type of
data: words, phrases and sentences, in many languages, described in many
languages. This information will be stored in new types of entities, called
Lexemes, Forms and Senses. It will allow editors to describe precisely all
words in all languages, and will be reusable, just like the whole content
of Wikidata, by multiple tools and queries, everything that the community
creates to play with words. Lexicographical data can be reused inside and
outside the Wikimedia projects, and can provide support for Wiktionary.
The first release
A new namespace and several new entity types have been created in order to
model words and phrases. If you’re new to this project, you can learn more
by looking at the documentation
briefly describing the data model and the interface. The technical
structure is set, but the editors remain free to model and organize data as
they prefer, with the usual open discussions and community processes that
we apply on Wikidata. Some discussions about new properties
create have already started: if you want to be involved in the early stage
of the project to shape it, please participate!
Please note that the version that is now deployed is a first experiment,
that will be continuously improved in the future. Some features are
missing, some bugs may certainly occur. Here are the features that are
included in the first release:
- Add, edit and delete Lexemes, Forms, statements, qualifiers, references
- Link between the different entity types (Item to Lexeme, Form to Item,
- Entity suggestion when adding a property or a value
And the following features will not be included in the first version, but
are planned for the future:
- Find Lexemes and Forms via Special:Search
- RDF support (which also means: the ability to query it with
- Support for Senses
- Merging of Lexemes
- Including the data on other Wikimedia projects, such as Wiktionary
How to try it?
The features described above are now deployed on Wikidata.org
. Here are
some suggestions of what you can do to explore this new territory:
- If you’re not familiar with the structure of Lexemes, have a look at the
- Look at what is already existing
Please note that Special:Search and the search bar on the top right corner
of pages is not supporting Lexemes yet. We’re working on this.
- Create a new Lexeme with Special:NewLexeme
- If a property that you need is missing, you can suggest it here
- Discuss about how to model words and ask questions on Wikidata
- Report bugs or issues that you may encounter: either on the talk page
or on Phabricator, if you’re comfortable using it (create a task, add the
tag Lexicographical data, and add Lea_Lacroix_(WMDE) as a subscriber)
About mass imports and tools
We kindly ask you to *not plan any mass import from any source for the
moment*. There are several reasons behind that: first of all, like
mentioned above, the release is a first version and we need to observe how
our system reacts to the manual edits before starting considering automatic
ones. The system may not be ready for big massive imports at the beginning.
Second reason is legal. Lexicographical data in Wikidata is released under
CC0, and the responsibility of each editor is to make sure that the data
they will add is compatible with CC0. For more information, you can have a
look at the advice of WMF Legal team
we strongly encourage you to discuss with the communities before
considering any import from the Wiktionaries. Wiktionary editors have been
putting a lot of efforts during years to build definitions, and we should
be respectful of this work, and discuss with them to find common solutions
to work on lexicographical data and enjoy the use of it together.
We also suggest you to wait a bit before building tools or scripts on the
top of lexicographical data. The interface and its API are probably going
to evolve during the next months, and the system may not be stable enough
to support such tools. We will inform you as soon as it will be possible.
After this first release, some improvements will be made on a very regular
basis (new deployments every week). Once you tried playing with the new
data, feel free to give us feedback. We’re looking especially to know what
are the most important features for you to be worked on next.
- What did you experiment while editing lexicographical data? What went
wrong or was unexpected?
- What bugs or troubles during the process did you encounter?
- What are the features that are, in your opinion, the most important?
Which one should we work on next?
If you’re interested in following the discussions and further announcements
about lexicographical data, I encourage you to follow Wikidata:Lexicographical
data <https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Wikidata:Lexicographical_data> and its
talk page, where we will discuss about how to organize and structure data,
new features to be added, ideas of tools and queries, and a lot of other
Additional note: with this new kind of data enabled on Wikidata, we expect
some new editors to get interest in it, edit Lexemes, suggest properties or
ask questions. They may not be familiar with all of our community processes
and our ways to organize content. They will need help and support as well
as links to useful resources to understand how the Wikidata community
works. I hope that we will all be kind and patient, both with other editors
and with the software that may not work exactly as we want it to at the
Thanks to the people who tested the model and the interface before the
release, who showed support and curiosity about lexicographical data on
If you have any question or idea, feel free to write on Wikidata
talk:Lexicographical data or contact me.
Project Manager Community Communication for Wikidata
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
Tempelhofer Ufer 23-24
Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e. V.
Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts Berlin-Charlottenburg unter
der Nummer 23855 Nz. Als gemeinnützig anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für
Körperschaften I Berlin, Steuernummer 27/029/42207.