Help:Interlanguage links

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Interlanguage links are links from a page in one Wikipedia language to an equivalent page in another language. These links can appear as links in the "Languages" section of the page's left sidebar (or in a dropdown menu in the top right corner of the page if you use the Vector 2022 skin).

Less commonly, for certain situations these can appear 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 maintained 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 in the left sidebar contains (among other things) a list of links for that page in different languages and it is the standard procedure to add interlanguage links.

Adding a new link

"Languages" in the sidebar shows the Wikidata language list. At the bottom is a link labelled "Edit links" (mobile viewers may lack such a feature). Clicking on this will reveal the Wikidata page:

  1. Scroll down to the box marked "Wikipedia" and click on "edit" at the top of that box.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Click on "publish" 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:

  • The two items really are the same, and should be merged: see d:Help:Merge.
  • 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, unless there exists a redirect between the two items on one of the languages. 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.

It may take several minutes for the link to show up in the article's sidebar. Especially, to enable links between templates, you must explicitly purge the server's cache for each template.

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 2013, the only method of generating a link in the sidebar to the article in another language was to use a "local" interlanguage link in the text of the page itself. As of 2013, the use of such "local links" for interlanguage linking has been deprecated except in the situations listed below, with interlanguage link data being centralized on Wikidata. 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 were required if more than one article (or redirect) in one language should point to a target article in another language. This can now be resolved by doing a redirect to a section of the article and adding the redirect to Wikidata.
  3. They are required for pages that are not allowed on Wikidata, such as your userpage.


Although generally no longer required, to force the generation of a "local" interlanguage link in the Language sidebar of the article, use 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 "local" 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 "In other 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.

To force the "local" generation in the Language sidebar of the article of all the languages of a different Wikidata item, use Template:Interwiki extra. For example, the Murder of Kitty Genovese automatically links languages listed at Lua error in Module:Wd at line 621: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (Q18341392); to add the language links at Lua error in Module:Wd at line 621: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value). (Q238128), use {{Interwiki extra|Q238128}}. Links to foreign language Wikipedia articles to both topics will then appear in the Language sidebar.

Featured articles and good articles

Featured or good articles are represented via Wikidata.

Inline links (links in the text of the article)

When the English Wikipedia doesn't have an article, the links to it show up as red links. For example, we don't have an article on Erich Anders (it shows up as a red link), but the German Wikipedia does. There are a few options available:

  1. The best practice is to use the template {{interlanguage link}} which gives both a redlinked English link and a German blue link, but hides the German link if the English redlink turns blue when the article is created. For instance, by writing {{interlanguage link|Erich Anders|de}} we get "Erich Anders [de]", while by writing {{interlanguage link|Ludwig van Beethoven|de}} we get "Ludwig van Beethoven [de]", as the page does exist on the English Wikipedia. (Alternatively, the shortcut {{ill}} may be used in place of {{interlanguage link}}.)
  2. If the foreign language article has a different title, use the following parameters: {{ill|English article title|language code|Title in foreign language}} – for example, {{ill|Marivan and Sarvabad constituency|fa|حوزه_انتخابیه_مریوان_و_سروآباد}} gives Marivan and Sarvabad constituency [fa].
  3. To show the language code and the link to the other language article, but don't link to an English article: ''[[:fr:Jeux olympiques]]'' or [[:ja:東京都]] These links look like this: fr:Jeux olympiques or ja:東京都. The language abbreviation is displayed, so the reader knows that they are links to the French article on the Olympic Games and the Japanese article on Tokyo.
  4. To show the name of the other language instead of its code, which can be easier to read for less experienced readers, you can use the lang template or one of its class: {{lang-fr|[[:fr:Jeux olympiques|Jeux olympiques]]}} or {{lang-ja|[[:ja:東京都|東京都]]}} These links look like this: French: Jeux olympiques or Japanese: 東京都.
  5. To show only the title: ''[[:fr:Jeux olympiques|Jeux olympiques]]'' or [[:ja:東京都|東京都]] which would look like this in your text: Jeux olympiques or 東京都.
  6. Using the pipe trick to simplify methods 4 and 5: ''[[:fr:Jeux olympiques|]]'' or {{lang-fr|[[:fr:Jeux olympiques|]]}}. These give the same results: Jeux olympiques or French: Jeux olympiques.
  7. To link to a namespace other than the main article namespace, add the namespace after the language abbreviation. For example, the page for general discussions on the Japanese Wikipedia is located in the Wikipedia namespace. You can link to it as follows: [[:ja:Wikipedia:井戸端]] or [[:ja:Wikipedia:井戸端|]] giving ja:Wikipedia:井戸端 or Wikipedia:井戸端.
  8. On Talk pages and on Meta, you can omit the leading colon. An interlanguage link like [[fr:Jeux olympiques]] will appear inline in the text, like a regular link.
  9. An inline link to a Wiktionary entry, such as [[wikt:model|]], can be directed to another language's Wiktionary: ''[[wikt:fr:modèle|]]'' gives fr:modèle.

Links to pages that do not exist

On the English Wikipedia, links to pages that do not exist are displayed in a different color (usually red). But this check is not performed for links to pages on another wiki (including other Wikimedia Foundation sites). Unlike internal links, these links do not indicate whether the target page exists or not.[1] If the target page does not exist, the link leads to a message on the target wiki informing you that the page does not exist and inviting you to create it.

If you find interlanguage links to non-existent pages on the English Wikipedia, they may be deleted as having no content. Alternatively, you can create at least a stub page on the target wiki before adding an interlanguage link to it. Later, interested people can complete the rest of the page.

Note: if the language prefix is wrong, it is considered to be part of the name of a page on the English Wikipedia. This page will probably not exist, so the link will be displayed in red.

The {{interlanguage link}} template can help with this.

Linking with external links

You can also link to Wikipedia pages in other languages by using external links, in the same way as linking to other sites on the Internet. This method should not be used in the body of an article, but it may be useful on User pages or Talk pages. For example, this method can be used to link to diff pages that show the editing history of a page on another Wikipedia.

The following code:

Tokyo 2020 was added to the French page on the Olympics in [ this diff].

renders as:

Tokyo 2020 was added to the French page on the Olympics in this diff.

Templates {{Cross-wiki language diff}} and {{Cross-wiki language free diff}} are also available to construct diffs for other languages and projects, as is the special-page term :Diff/: [[:fr:Special:Diff/96480208]] will show the same diff as above.

Multilingual links and QR codes offers a tool to create a multilingual link to a Wikipedia article in any language. The user's browser will be redirected to the corresponding page in the language of the browser. Just replace with in the URL to get a multilingual link. For example:, if changed to, will be redirected in a French browser to You can also make QR codes using the tool at: and 3D print them into plaques for zoos, botanical gardens, monuments, etc. using

See also

Different languages
Sister projects


External links