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Cette page est une version traduite de la page Wiktionnaire:Actualités/020-novembre-2016 et la traduction est terminée à 100 %.
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Wiktionnaire:Actualités is a small monthly periodical about French Wiktionary and words, created in April 2015. Everyone is welcome to contribute to it. You can sign up to be noticed of future issues, read old issues and participate to the draft of the next edition. You can also have a look at Regards sur l’actualité de la Wikimedia. If you have any comments, critics or suggestions, our talk page is open!

Actualités - numéro 20 - novembre 2016


  • The Lingua Libre project, developed thanks to the support of Wikimedia France association, is in a test phase and goes well. It will ease the recording of words, especially for local languages in France, by helping categorizing files.
  • In this New York Times articles (in English), we learn that the taa, also known as ǃxóõ, a khoisan language spoken in Botswana and in Namibia, is the language that contains the most different sounds. Studies indicate that this language includes between 100 and 164 consonants and 44 vowels. These figures should be compared to the 45 sounds total in English.
Picture of a diorite.

Detail of a picture of orbicular diorite proposed by Emmanuel Douzery during the monthly photo challenge of november-december.


From mid-October to mid-November (from 10/20/2016 to 11/20/2016) (Note that two updates are cumulated)
  • French wins 17,218 entries. It now has 334,854 lemmas and 491,739 definitions.
  • The three other languages which most progressed are the Sami (same du Nord) (+ 4,506 entries), the Italian (+ 2,692 entries) and the Swedish (+ 237 entries) languages.
  • The new languages in the project are : the Lese (+1), the Mangbutu (+1) and the Ndo (+1) languages.
  • 25,973 pages of at least 74 languages were extended this month!
  • The new language codes in the project are : mangbutu (code : mdk), nawdm (code : nmz) and ndo (code : ndp). Note that the code gsw-fr now names the German alsatian (instead of only Alsatian) and the code gsw-ch names the German swiss which was deleted because it did not name a language.
  • There are 30,011 illustration medias (picturess and videos) in the frnech Wiktionary articles, meaning 374 more than last month.
  • Quality of the Wiktionary : the entries morse, pâquerette and chat have been proposed as having good content.
  • The project wikistics proposes in alpha version (so it is locked on 19/11/2016) to see the viewing statistics of wikimedia projects. It is interesting to see that wiktionaries cumulate 3,427,008 viewing on this day, amongst which 705,552 for the English version and 327,378 for the French version, which is the second most visited. It should be noticed that the smallest score is 53 for the Sindhi wiktionary (144thaï position), and it is already good to have about fifty viewings a day for a language from Pakistan. To compare, wikipedias have 499,444,987 viewings amongst which 11,876,905 for the French version (and 5,201 for the Sindhi version).
  • Wiktionary now proposes 250 thesauri in French! We will discuss it in the January 2017 Actualités, one year after a first balance sheet on the topic.

Concrete quantity

The cake for the three million pages in French wiktionary celebration.

While the contributors of the French Wiktionary were celebrating the existence of more than three million pages, English Wiktionary soberly noted that they had just reached five million pages. But what does this quantity means? For one year and a half, the Wiktionary Actualités has been giving the statistics of the number of entries, without mentioning the number displayed on the top of the home page. On one hand, because several words can be defined in one page, when they are of a foreign language, which means that there is already more than three million entries in the Wiktionary. That way, there were 3,192,351 entries on 11/20/2016. However, the counting of the number of pages is automatically performed by the MediaWiki software and updated in real time.

On the other hand, the quantity of pages does not reflect their quality. Having thousands of empty pages is easy, you just have to develop a software that creates entries without even defining them, by adding conjugated forms of verbs or plural nouns that you do not define. It is not the strategy adopted by the French Wiktionary, which favors the qualitative additions. Contributors' skills evolved over time and a few software adds enable the creation of drafts of increasing quality. It is more and more usual to see a page created with pronunciation in phonetical alphabet, a precise categorization, one or two examples taken from writings properly cited, an illustration and translations. When it is not the case, the vigilance of the reviewers patrolling all of the modified content often enables these adds. However, these considerations can not be numbered nor presented as statistics, which makes their perception difficult to people only visiting the Wiktionary occasionally.

Furthermore, as we said, French contributors have set up a party with a cake, which was noticed by the English contributors. It is still rare that people contributing to Wiktionaries meet out of the internet to talk about their activities. Most of the time they are attracted by one or two aspects of contributing and can enjoy contributing for years without having met other people working in the same way in parallel. There is obviously a distance problem, which often makes meetings difficult. In Lyon, there has been for now a year and a half a monthly meetings which attracts more and more people. On December 1st of 2016, an new activity was proposed, aiming at illustrate words on the French Wiktionary. For this occasion, about ten words were illustrated and it showed the potential of multimodal definitions.

Dictionary of the month

Halina Lewicka, Krzysztof Bogacki, Dictionnaire sémantique et syntaxique des verbes français [Semantic and Syntactic Dictionary of French Verbs], Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1983

This month, we will briefly present a dictionary specialized on French verbs! A very specialized work that aims at defining verbs by presenting numerous attestations in order to delimit the specific meaning of each verb, depending on the context. The second part takes the same sample of verbs and describes their use, without getting in the detail of verbal cooccurrence. Despite its 733 pages, this precious work only focuses on 574 verbs. The complexity of the language required a deep study by a whole team of researchers: Krzysztof Bogacki, Graz̍yna Bogusɬawska, Alina Kreisberg, Halina Lewicka, Maria Lozińska, Monika Thieme, Leszek Wójcik and Teresa Zielińska. As their names show, it is a Polish research team, and translations are indicated in this language. The originality of this book is the description of the meaning of a word in the same way as the description of a sentence thanks to the use of a representation based on formal logic combined to the use of a reduced number of meaning unit. It is a precious resource, but hard to find and use.

Picture of a rock.

Detail of a picture of a clinochlore proposed by SKas during the monthly photo challenge of november.

Wikimedia Community Logo.svg

LexiSession about wine

Boosted by the Tremendous Wiktionary User Group, the LexiSessions aim at proposing montly themes to energize all of the Wiktionaries simultaneously. The fourth LexiSession dealt with wine and drive the creation of the French thesaurus of wine Treasurchest.svg and of the Breton thesaurus of wine Treasurchest.svg !

But also the creation of the following entries: auxerrois, chambolle-musigny, faugères,madiran, minervois, montrachet, passetoutgrain, persistance aromatique interne, pinot gris, pommard, vin doux naturel.

And the improvement of these entries: assemblage, bouche, élevage, longueur, nez, nouveau, typicité, vert.

Participation on other Wiktionaries is difficult to measure because the communities are diverse and the feedbacks rare. Still, the LexiSessions will not stop and December's theme will be the gift !


This chronicle is an inventory of online videos about linguistics and the French language, in French.

Last month's top words

Burned candle and spilled wax.jpg

Statistics provide with the information of the words that have been modified by the most people in the past months. Here are the most modified words for October 2016! In superscript are the number of different editors:

  1. Français de souche6 (following a second deletion procedure)
  2. pute6 (with no difference, only vandalism)
  3. bite5 (same as above)
  4. feu5 (linked to the thesaurus)
  5. la roter4 (creation by Rama and collective improvement)
  6. patronnier-gradeur4 (creation by Trace and collective improvement)
  7. kinoïste4 (created par Basnormand after the suggestion of an anonymous visitor)
  8. kara-gueuz4 (creation par Webamri and collective improvement)
  9. chacaliser4 (creation par Tchang75 and collective improvement)
  10. Thesaurus about fire4 (creation by Noé and collective improvement)

This month, mainly novelties inspired improvements of the Wiktionary, and creations of varied contributors !

Fun facts

Do you know these figures of speech : the lipogramme and the holorime verses ?

A lipogramme is a text from which we excluded some letters of the alphabet on purpose. One of the most famous lipogrammes is the novel by Georges Perec, La disparition, written without any letter e.

As for the holorime verses, they are poems in which each verse is an homophone of the previous one. A famous distich, often attributed to Victor Hugo but actually by Henri Monnier is this one :

(La reine dit à Gall : "Beau moine rose et gras,
Jusqu'où peux-tu marcher, me tenant dans tes bras ?)
Gall, amant de la reine, alla, tour magnanime,
Galamment de l’arène à la tour Magne, à Nîmes.

(The queen said to Gall : "Beautiful monk, pink and fat,
Until where can you walk, holding me in your arms ?)
Gall, lover of the queen, went, magnanimous rounds,
Gently from the arena to the Magne tower, in Nîmes.

And when the humor of Alphonse Allais comes across, this is what we get :

Ah ! Vois au pont du Loing, de là, vogue en mer, Dante !
Hâve oiseau, pondu loin de la vogue ennuyeuse.

Ah ! See at the bridge of Loing, from here, sail in the sea, Dante !
Pale bird, laid far from the boring vogue.
(Here, « en mer, Dante ! » is an homophone of « emmerdante », which is a slang synonymous for « ennuyeuse ».)

provided with this tasty comment of the author : « The rime is not very rich, but I prefer this rather than falling into triviality. »

Picture of a headlight by night.

Detail of a picture of the headlight of the Hospic in the Paimpol bay, in Britain, proposed by Poncetdespontets during the monthly photo challenge of November.