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Draft languages documentation for

Starting a new localisation for the user interface (sub-section of User interface language in mw:Manual:Language?

All languages with a live interface at MediaWiki have a MessagesZxx.php file - see also Localisation_statistics. If your language is not listed then either:

  • it has not yet been enabled for translation (not listed on supported languages (meaning enabled and supported by at least 1 human translator) or languages without translators (only some of these are enabled), or
  • it has been enabled but only a few messages have been translated (see translation statistics<ref> Some languages were enabled before an export threshold was introduced. </ref>). When 18% of the core messages have been translated (roughly equivalent to all the most used messages), then the Language.php file is created at MediaWiki and message export begins, or
  • it has been disabled.

Localisation of the user interface is done at New languages are accepted for localisation at as long as:

  • the language is included in the latest standard issued by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). At September 2013 the latest standard is ISO 639-3.
  • there should be at least one person willing to translate into the language<ref> Some languages were enabled before this policy was adopted, leading to some anomolies. </ref>.

If you wish to localise a language which is not eligible for inclusion on, then you could choose to set up a new wiki, set up to use your preferred language code as its main language.

Instructions for enabling a new language for localisation at are on After being enabled the work of translating messages and other items (via Special:AdvancedTranslate) can begin. You will not be able to see the interface in the new language, either on or on other wikis, until the number of messages translated exceeds the export threshold for MediaWiki (see above). At that point a LanguageZxx.php and MessagesZxx.php file are created at and this is made available in the next MediaWiki version update. Once the MessagesZxx.php is in MediaWiki core, new messages are exported from every few days, and can be updated onto any wiki using the LocalisationUpdate extension (automatic for all Wikimedia wikis).

Notes <references />