Universal Language Selector

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Other languages:
العربية 5% • ‎azərbaycanca 37% • ‎বাংলা 33% • ‎کوردی 37% • ‎čeština 79% • ‎dansk 70% • ‎Deutsch 28% • ‎English 100% • ‎British English 7% • ‎español 67% • ‎føroyskt 40% • ‎français 88% • ‎ગુજરાતી 5% • ‎Bahasa Indonesia 70% • ‎日本語 77% • ‎ភាសាខ្មែរ 7% • ‎한국어 58% • ‎Lëtzebuergesch 23% • ‎lietuvių 2% • ‎Nederlands 28% • ‎occitan 35% • ‎polski 14% • ‎پښتو 2% • ‎русский 47% • ‎Scots 88% • ‎svenska 40% • ‎ئۇيغۇرچە 79% • ‎اردو 9% • ‎中文 88%

The Universal Language Selector extension (ULS) provides a flexible way to configure and deliver language settings like interface language, fonts, and input methods (keyboard mappings). This will allow users to type text in different languages not directly supported by their keyboard, read content in a script for which fonts are not available locally, or customize the language in which menus are displayed.

This functionality was partially provided by Narayam and WebFonts Extensions on some wikis. The ULS replaces those extensions and will be available in all Wikimedia projects for all users (logged-in and anonymous). More project specific details later.

The functionality provided is listed below:

  • Language settings panel. Main entry point to configure language tools. It can be accessed from the inter-language list on the sidebar, or at the personal toolbar for wikis lacking inter-language links.
    • User interface language adjustments. User can change the language in which the UI is provided regardless of the content language. At the moment, UI customization is only provided for logged-in users.
    • Font selection. Web fonts are provided for non-latin scripts so that users can display content in those languages without installing local fonts. Users can select alternative fonts or decide to use their local fonts if they are available.
    • Input method configuration. Users lacking a keyboard for a particular script can still write in that script by using input mappings. Hindi users with a QWERTY keyboard can write “प” by typing “pa” when Hindi input method is enabled.
  • Input method contextual menu. Options for switching between languages and keyboard mappings are provided next to each active input element. Users can easily combine English, International Phonetic Alphabet and Russian when writing about Moscow on English Wikipedia: “Moscow (/ˈmɒskaʊ/ or /ˈmɒskoʊ/; Russian: Москва, tr. Moskva; IPA: [mɐˈskva]) is the capital city and the most populous federal subject of Russia.”
Language settings allow a registered user accessing English Wikipedia to change the UI to his native language.
A Bengali user is able to read content from the Bengali Wikipedia despite the lack of fonts in his computer. Web fonts are provided automatically for non-latin scripts for which an open source font is available. The user can decide to use their system fonts on a per language basis.
A Hindi speaker without a Hindi keyboard configures input methods so that he can type in his language.
When searching a user can switch between English and Hindi.

When and where will ULS be available[edit | edit source]

From June 11, 2013 on, ULS has been made available to all Wikimedia wikis:

  • Wiki projects with multiple language versions will integrate language settings in the existing language related area used for interlanguage links. This includes all language versions of:
    • Wikipedia
    • Wikibooks
    • Wikiversity
    • Wiktionary
    • Wikiquote
    • Wikivoyage
    • Wikinews
    • Wikisource
  • Wiki projects without interlanguage links will integrate language settings in the personal toolbar next to their user name. This includes the following wikis:
    • Wikidata
    • Wikimedia Commons
    • Wikispecies
    • MediaWiki.org
    • Meta-Wiki
    • Wikimedia Incubator
On wikis without inter-language links, the language settings are provided at the personal toolbar.

Limitations in functionality[edit | edit source]

The selection of user interface language will be only available for logged-in users (why?).

Anonymous users cannot change UI language yet. They can do so by logging in.

For English Wikipedia, the input method contextual menu will be disabled by default. Regardless of the initial state of input methods, users can always enable or disable them for any wiki.

ULS for editors[edit | edit source]

You can format fraktur text (script code Latf), for example, just by specifying font-family in an inline style sheet:

* <span lang=de-Latf style="font-family:UnifrakturMaguntia, serif; ">Fraktur Schrift</span>

The font will automatically be used:

  • Fraktur Schrift

NB: the required font name may be different from the font's file name. For example, font-family: 'Taamey Frank CLM', serif; is required to use the font TaameyFrankCLM.

Q: does this work in MediaWiki style sheets?

More information[edit | edit source]

Answers to some common queries about the Universal Language Selector can be found in the FAQ page. You can leave feedback at the talk page.

You can also see Interaction Design and Technical Design of this project.

Most development is part of the general libraries for the Milkshake project (see for GitHub repository information and so on).

See also Upcoming development plan.