Template talk:User en

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I believe Babel mentions that if you have a rather outstanding vocabulary then to just say Native. But this doesn't make sense if the user isn't a native speaker. So we should address "or has language abilities comparable to that of a native speaker" I believe. Please leave a message on this talk page and if its too big of a deal we can vote on it. Redwolf24 09:04, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

I don't believe there is anything comparable to native-speaker competence in a language. Either you have it, or you don't, and if you don't, the best you can have is what it says at Template:User en-3. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 14:02, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
There used to be Template:User en-4, which served the purpose of indicating that an user is able to speak the language fluently, despite not having it as his or hers mother-tongue. That template still exists for other languages, but for some reason it was turned into a redirect on the template for the English language. In answer to Angr: you can have the same competence level as a native speaker of any language. It's not even hard, it just takes pratice. I don't understand on what basis you are stating that. --Sn0wflake 20:48, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
In theoretical linguistics, the concept of native speaker is extremely important. Only a native speaker has the competence in a language to give grammaticality judgments, for one thing. If you start learning a language once you're over the age of about eight to ten, you're never going to have true native speaker competence, no matter how well you speak the language. My German is very good; if Germans don't already know I'm American, they usually think I'm German from the way I talk. But sooner or later they'll hear the trace of an accent, or I'll slip up and get a gender or a case ending wrong, and then the game is up. I wasn't aware of the -4 templates, or I would have called myself de-4. (In fact, there is no Template:User de-4.) But I'd never call myself de-N, because I'm not a native speaker, and I'll never have the same competence as one no matter how much I practice. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 05:09, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Ah, indeed. I had not noticed that you are a specialist. To me, such differences are merely cosmetical, but for somebody who studies languages in depth they must be of relevance. According to the original project, all languages were supposed to have a fourth level (see Template:User es-4 for an example), however, the implementation of the Babel project was... not well orchestrated, to say the least. Level four was indeed part of the original specification, but somewhere along the way said level must have been deprecated - I myself didn't know that had happened. But back to the main topic: I believe that, leaving technical issues aside, a mention should be made about users who have a comparable vocabulary and understanding of the language. Why? Simple, the Wikipedia is composed of written words. Do you agree that if you wrote for the German Wikipedia, a native would not notice the difference? The same applies to en. Do you agree? --Sn0wflake 06:38, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
I do write for the German Wikipedia, and I don't know whether natives notice the difference or not. Probably not, because when I write I can take the time to double-check the grammatical points I'm unsure of. But there is a stylistic difference... the level of German that most articles at de: have is extremely formal, and I'm not really familiar with that style. So if German users notice anything about my German, it's not that it sounds foreign, just that it sounds more colloquial than what most other editors use. As for Template:User en-4, I think it got redirected because it said "This user is a native speaker of English" rather than "This user speaks English at a native-like (or "near-native" to use the usual term in linguistics) level". But for me, it might definitely be convenient to keep the top-level tags for true native speakers only, because what if I as a linguist am looking for someone who is a true native speaker of an uncommon language like Irish or Yiddish? As it is, I can go to Category:User ga-N or Category:User yi-N and see if anyone's there. But if nonnative speakers are there too, then I get false positives in my search for native speakers! --Angr/tɔk tə mi 08:24, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

IMHO, it would be so much better if we would bring back the en-4 template. I, for one, feel somewhat dishonest using the en-N template in my user page. I'm not a native speaker, but I do believe that I'm able to contribute in a near-native level (yeah, I know, what modesty...). It would be more accurate to have a template that states exactly that, with no possible misunderstandings about anyone being a native or a very, very good speaker of the language. I'm inclined to agree with Angr in the sense that there's always a je-ne-sais-pas-quoi about a native. Sometimes it's not about fluency, but rather about how "naturally" one is able to use the language. Maybe that's not that important given that in Wikipedia we all communicate through written language. But if the problem was what it stated, why not bring it back correcting the wording, as suggested above by Angr? Regards, Redux 19:33, 14 July 2005 (UTC)

Ok, I've brought back the tag, now using the wording suggested by Angr. Accordingly, I will be removing the "comparable grasp" note on the en-N tag. I hope this is to everyone's satisfaction. Regards, Redux 21:50, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
Seems good. Now go educate users in the en category who you see aren't native. :) Redwolf24 21:52, 14 July 2005 (UTC)
That is indeed problematic. Correct use of the Babel tags is, after all, a matter of good faith: if I'm not a native, I will not use the en-N tag (or any other language), regardless of how well I may think I speak it. A step towards reducing those would perhaps be including the level 4 tag in the Wikipedia:Babel templates. Currently, we only have levels 1 through 3, and then Native on display there (it could be because not all languages have level 4 tags ready to add; it would be a logistic hurdle to get who-knows-how-many of those tags ready). Maybe if people see that there is a level representing "the next best thing" to a native, they might decide to use it instead of the native tag. Then again, if you see people who clearly don't master the language sporting a en-N tag in their user page... it all goes back to good faith and the degree of "ownership" that a user may have over his own user page, especially when using it to lie blatantly. Regards, Redux 03:57, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I think we should assume good faith that people won't blatantly lie about their English-speaking abilities on their user page. (And if they do, we will pretend to ignore it, as trying to do anything about it would be pointless.) What we need is some effective but nonintrusive way to advertise the fact that there is now an en-4 template, because most people probably don't know about it. If you see someone who clearly isn't a native language sporting the en-N label, leave a message on their talk page telling them that there is now the en-4 label for nonnative speakers with near-native competence, and then let them decide whether to use it. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 05:27, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
But what about adding the link to the level 4 tag to the Babel project page? That could be quite helpful in letting people know that the en-4 tag exists. It would also work for the level 4 tags of other languages, such as the fr-4, the es-4 and the it-4 tags, which I don't believe many even know exist. As I said, I don't think all languages have an existing level 4 tag, but this could be an opportunity to resolve that. Regards, Redux 15:19, 15 July 2005 (UTC)

It's been done. ABCD took care of it. Thanks to him. Redux 05:16, 27 July 2005 (UTC)

Uhm, I can't help pointing out that this is really the wrong discussion to apply theoretical linguistic arguments and terminology to. These templates are intended to help Wikipedians get a rough estimate of one anothers language skills, not to learn everyone to use proper linguistic terms. And I seriously question that any linguists would turn to Wikipedia to find native speakers (for whatever purpose). At the very least, they would try to find out background info rather than taking a Babel template for granted.
It's not really a major issue, but this "near-native" wording is not necessary if we actually have a proper native-template. Furthermore, if taking Angr's definition of native-level command of language literally, I should use the native English template, because I *did* learn the basics of English when I was around 8-9. I can today without any trouble pass as a native speaker of American English in almost all situations and have done so on numerous occasions with a wide veriety of people. I think the wording "this user speaks English at a native level" is fairly unambiguous if people know there's a proper "this user is a native speaker of English"-template as well.
Peter Isotalo 18:37, 16 August 2005 (UTC)


I have protected this page due to the large number of pornographic images that were placed here over the last hour. Obviously I cannot place the protected template at the head of the article, so I am just making a mention here. I will unprotect some time tomorrow. Rje 01:08, August 28, 2005 (UTC)

There is no reason for the template to be unprotected. Let's leave it protected indefinitely. --Sn0wflake 17:29, 28 August 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. I was a bit shocked (is that the right term when adrenalin and heart rate go up? ;-) to find vandalism on my user page! Took me a while to find the reason; the en-4 template. --Janke | Talk 20:36:01, 2005-09-02 (UTC)
Let's not. There isn't any reason to have the template protected indefintely either, it stifles useful changes to the template. If people vandalise it, revert it, and if they vandalise it a lot, protect it temporarily. JYolkowski // talk 20:37, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Any "useful changes" could be handled by consensus, with an administrator doing any agreed change to a template. The potential for simultaneous vandalism on hundreds of user pages is mind-boggling! --Janke | Talk 20:43:51, 2005-09-02 (UTC)
I concur with Janke. If there were any useful changes to be made, I would agree with unprotecting the template, but there aren't. The only situation in which this template would need to be changed would be in the case that the Babel project standards change. Otherwise, all discussion can be done on the Talk page, and any new "feature" can be implemented by an involved admin (I volunteer). --Sn0wflake 21:12, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I agree. It's quite obvious that they're being targeted for maximum vandalism efficiency. The changes needed to these templates are very minor and can easily be done through admin proxies, granted that Sn0w doesn't start showing editing ambitions of hiw own. :-)
Peter Isotalo 21:40, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
Ideally that's what would happen. In the real world, what usually happens is that admins go ahead and make changes to the template unchecked (I know I've done this to other templates on more than one occasion), while non-admins wait weeks for their proposed changes to get on the template, if ever. A generally unhealthy state of affairs. JYolkowski // talk 22:17, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I am myself, and prefer to be thought of as such, not as part of some admin cabal. I am assuring you that I will see to implementing changes - if there are any, which I find unlikely - as soon as it is made possible to me (usually within a day or two) and in case I am not avaliable, there are other reliable admins to be contacted, such as Grutness or Rje. --Sn0wflake 22:26, 2 September 2005 (UTC)
I too offer to keep an eye and implement any agreed upon changes. On one hand, it's ridiculous that we have to lock out a Babel template because some....people can't get over themselves. On the other hand, the Babel templates have come to fall into the "highly visible" category, thus forcing a preventive protection. Problem is: there are hundreds of templates, and it may become too big a task if all of them need to be protected and Admins need to be on call to implement any needed change in any of them — granted, many of them are not as visible as some others, because they aren't on hundreds of user pages. Regards, Redux 05:23, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
Well, if a few admins volunteer, and protect just the major languages, then the incentive for template vandalism diminishes due to lesser visibility, right? English, Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Chinese and maybe some vandal-prone languages (Jiddish, Arabic) ought to be permanently protected. Then, any user of a less common template can apply for protection if it is vandalized. (For instance: fi-3 is used by only one, fi-4 by three users.) To me, template vandalism implies a user who has been on Wiki for quite some time, knowing his/her way around, and is using proxies and changing IPs to vandalize. (Maybe a case of WP:POINT?) --Janke | Talk 07:55:16, 2005-09-03 (UTC)

Time are changing, that's all I can say. If we don't adapt, we are going to be overwhelmed by vandals. However, all I support at the moment is the protection of the EN Babel tags, as they are the most visible user tags on the Wikipedia. I will not directly oppose to broader actions, though. --Sn0wflake 13:38, 3 September 2005 (UTC)

I agree that the EN tags are by far the most visible, and thus more likely to be attacked. They should be protected (if they havent't been already) immediately. As for the others, we shouldn't protect until they've been attacked at least once. Regards, Redux 22:55, 3 September 2005 (UTC)
I have protected them yesterday. --Sn0wflake 09:31, 4 September 2005 (UTC)
Yes, good work. I was going to do it myself, but found that they were all already protected – except for the en-0 tag, which I then protected (maybe it wasn't all that necessary for this one, but better safe than sorry). Maybe we should add notes to the talk pages though, explaining why they are protected indefinitely and asking that any desired change be proposed on the talk page so that an Admin can implement them. This template is the only one where the eventual user can find out why it is protected and know to propose changes for implementation. Regards, Redux 19:32, 4 September 2005 (UTC)

Following an attack by a vandal, I have now protected the entire series of templates for the German language. Just thought I should announce this here. Redux 20:28, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

Full series for the Spanish language also protected following attacks. Redux 20:43, 27 September 2005 (UTC)

I have downgraded the protection from full to semi. Angr/talk 13:53, 9 March 2006 (UTC)


I noticed recently that the language cody was a wikilink to the German language in the Template:User de template, and decided that it was a good idea. Especially for less common languages, which might not be recognized here on en. I've been adding it to other templates as I saw them. I've been unable to do it to this one, for reasons that you might be able to guess. -Lethe | Talk 12:40, 26 September 2005 (UTC)

Done. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 13:30, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks. I've done about 10 languages now. Would you like to do en-0, en-1, en-2,en-3, en-4, es, es-0, es-1, es-2, es-3, and es-4, which are also blocked? -Lethe | Talk 14:24, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I've done all the English ones. I didn't realize Spanish was also blocked. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 14:39, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
that's awesome, thanks. How about one more? -Lethe | Talk 14:54, 26 September 2005 (UTC)
I came across Template:User en-4 today. needs wikis too? -Lethe | Talk 17:53, 21 October 2005 (UTC)
Done. --Angr/tɔk tə mi 20:03, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Why "Category: User en"?[edit]

The language templates all seem to add a Category link that points to the "User en" category. Why not call this category "English speakers" or "Users who speak English"? Ditto for "User fr" and the rest. Tim Pierce 16:42, 13 December 2005 (UTC)

I suppose what the category is called doesn't matter much, but the pattern is well established now, and I for one don't want to go through every page here and rename the category on it. --Angr (t·c) 17:05, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
If I understand the mechanics of the templates correctly, all that would have to be changed would be the {{user en}} template itself and Category:User en :-) (It would have to be changed for umpty-ump languages, but I think each language would require only two changes.) I would be willing to do at least some of the legwork on this, but {{user en}} is protected :-) Tim Pierce 22:33, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
I definitely think you should put up a request for renaming before doing anything else. Just being bold and renaming it without seeking broader consensus first will be considered disruptive. --Angr (t·c) 22:43, 13 December 2005 (UTC)
It is not worth doing such extensive work for something as trivial and, by all means not meaning to be offesnsive, relatively useless as that. There are no benefits. --Sn0wflake 02:12, 14 December 2005 (UTC)

I would support such a change. -lethe talk + 02:38, 2 June 2006 (UTC)


Is it just me or should the border be darkened a bit? Could someone who has access play around with it? Wave of Mutilation

New threads on the bottom of talk pages, please.
I think the idea is for the border to be the same color as the "en" section on the left side, so that it disappears around that part of the box. Perhaps this is not a universally appreciated design? TCC (talk) (contribs) 02:30, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
Sorry about that, not too familiar with discussion page protocol. Anyways, should I create an alternate template for users that prefer it? Considering how widespread its use is I doubt even a simple change like the border colour would go unnoticed. Wave of Mutilation
If you click that "+" next to "edit this page" you'll get a form asking you for a thread title and message content. The new thread will automatically be added to the bottom of the page.
You might wait for a bit and see if anyone agrees with you about the border color. Regardless, you don't need to live with it personally if you don't want. Reference the box using {{subst:en}} and the actual code will be included on your userpage instead of the template call once you save it. (But not when you're previewing it.) Then you can just edit the result directly. (See Help:A quick guide to templates.)
This is actually the preferred method (according to some) for including this kind of template since it saves cycles on the server and they theoretically don't change very much. The inconvenience to it is that if it does change, you'll have to manually update it by deleting the subst'ed code, re-inserting it, and then re-applying your customizations. TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:53, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Additions by User:Myrtone86[edit]

I've reverted the additions [1] by User:Myrtone86:

Also, native language/tounge implies that it was the first language one learnt and that can be determined, if you are not a native speaker of any particular native language – this is, no one (including you and your parents) can determine which language you learnt first – use one of the following:

First off, there is no evidence of support for such a highly-visible change.

Secondly, the idea described in the text about the definition of a native speaker does not seem to accord with the commonly-accepted idea of "native speaker" status. Being a "native speaker of X" doesn't always mean learning X before all other languages. More importantly, if a child learns two languages simultaneously from infancy, he is a native speaker of both by the commonly-understood meaning of the term. However the text above seems to imply he is a native speaker of neither, because the "first" can't be determined!

Lastly, the intent of the templates Template:User en-m and Template:User en-f is unclear. It's not explained, but my guess is that this is to express the idea that, for example, a bilingual French-English speaker has an French-speaking mother and an English-speaking father: this would be "en-f" and "fr-m".

I object to this plan because it's seriously non-scaleable. Not everybody grows up in a household with exactly two parents, a mother and father. People learn languages from grandparents, siblings, nannies, etc., etc. Clearly we wouldn't want this level of detail in templates. I think the current system, describing anyone who learns two or more languages in childhood as simply a native speaker of all, is the most workable one.

I'll hold off a bit on nominating the en-m and en-f templates for deletion, to let User:Myrtone86 explain his/her opinion on this. --Saforrest 23:10, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

The way I interpret user en-m and user en-f is that it's for people who do not feel that they have native-speaker competence in any language; such people certainly exist. I have at least two acquaintances who would say that this applies to them: both of them grew up speaking one language at home and a different language at school (and in one fellow's case, neither was the language spoken by the larger community where he lived), but then did their advanced education in still another language and as adults speak the home language of their childhood rarely or not at all. They don't feel completely at home in any language; there's no language in which they don't have a foreign accent or make "foreigner's errors" in grammar. User:Angr 14:38, 24 July 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough, but I think my objection that the en-m and en-f templates are non-scaleable still stands. I don't know what the best way is to describe the linguistic capabilities of the sort of person you describe. --Saforrest 19:54, 27 July 2006 (UTC)


Please add sl:Predloga:Uporabnik en. Thanks a lot. --Eleassar my talk 13:28, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

Edit fulfilled. Jesse Viviano 15:41, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Please do the same for bo:Template:User en. Thank you. --Lotic 11:07, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
(As well as for eo:Ŝablono:Vikipediisto_en. Thanks.) --Lotic 11:35, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

text changing[edit]

Hi, I wanna add this: {{{1|This [[user]] is a native speaker of [[English]].}}}.That would let users have their own text. thanks.--Emperor Walter Humala · ( talk? · help! ) 21:24, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Removing {{editprotected}}. See my comment at Category talk:Language user templates. CMummert · talk 13:53, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
hehe, you'd better see what I did on template:user American --Emperor Walter Humala · ( talk? · help! ) 23:10, 30 March 2007 (UTC)



Is there any reason that this template does not use ifeq language? If there is no particular babel reasoning behind this, could that change be made? Miss Mondegreen | Talk   06:37, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

What change do you want made? I don't know whether there is a reason that it doesn't use parser functions (the correct term), but I don't see why it should either. Harryboyles 06:15, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
N Not done. There's no reason for this template to use ParserFunctions, as far as I can see (it uses no parameters but the standard {{{category}}} which doesn't need ParserFunctions to work); they're more useful in complicated templates which need to respond differently according to parameters. --ais523 08:52, 30 April 2007 (UTC)
Well I'd like to see something done about the category. Either parsed so that it only shows up on userpages, or so that category suppression works (which would mean that categories could still be used to stop badly placed templates and people could supress categories on pages where the template was purposefully placed without substing it). Sorry I wasn't clear before. Miss Mondegreen | Talk   05:11, 1 May 2007 (UTC)



A very minor thing, but is there any chance the template's alphabetical categorization can be made lowercase ("en" rather than "En") so the template is listed with all the other English templates? Thanks! -Bbik 19:53, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

done. — Carl (CBM · talk) 21:08, 22 June 2007 (UTC)

A request to add Template:Languages[edit]


Every other English language level should use the Template:Languages (Except Template:User en-6, but it isn't included in the template anyway.), but I was unable to add the template into this page because the page is fully protected.


~Iceshark7 17:55, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done, no problem. Nihiltres(t.l) 21:42, 18 July 2007 (UTC)

Request to change Template:Languages to Template:Languages-en[edit]


This template incorporates en-6. It is a separate template because since this is an English Wikipedia, other languages cannot really contribute at a professorial level. -Sox207 21:05, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

The documentation has been switched to use the doc subpage pattern. Cheers. --MZMcBride 00:34, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Request to add parser function[edit]

Sorry I didn't think of this when you were writing the doc, but could you add a parser function to the userbox like it says at Category:Category suppression supporting templates, <includeonly>{{#ifeq:{{{categories}}}|no||[[Category:User en|{{PAGENAME}}]][[Category:User en-N|{{PAGENAME}}]]}}</includeonly> this is how the includeonly tags should look. This will benefit seeing as this page is transcluded as an example on so many pages. I already added the page to this category. -Sox207 04:35, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Hi, can you explain a little more about what this does exactly? I'm a bit confused. ---J.S (T/C/WRE) 19:13, 17 September 2007 (UTC)
 Done - the system that already existed there (which used "category" instead of "categories" and didn't use a ParserFunction) has now been standardized to the version you quoted. Nihiltres(t.l) 22:38, 17 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you! -Sox207 16:14, 1 October 2007 (UTC)


I removed the -N category as duplicative. (And added the template to the category for ease of navigation.) - jc37 10:36, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

{{editprotected}} It's not a duplicate category; it's a more specific one. Category:User en covers users from all levels of en (see the source of Template:User en-3 as an example), while Category:User en-N is intended to cover only users who are native speakers of English. This is customary in all language userbox templates, e.g. see Template:User fr or any other lang template. With your change, there is now no category that exclusively covers en-N users. I am adding a request to revert your edit. Mxipp (talk) 08:42, 17 May 2009 (UTC)
 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 09:30, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Convert to {{userbox}}[edit]


No change in semantics. New code:

{{ userbox
| id-c     = #6EF7A7
| id-s     = 14
| id       = [[English language|en]]
| border-c = #6EF7A7
| info-c   = #C5FCDC
| info     = This user is a '''[[:Category:User en-N|native]]''' speaker of '''[[:Category:User en|English]]'''.
}}<includeonly>{{#ifeq:{{{categories}}}|no||[[Category:User en|{{PAGENAME}}]]}}</includeonly><noinclude>{{pp-template|small=yes}}

Chris Cunningham (not at work) - talk 15:48, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

 Done EdokterTalk 16:00, 12 March 2008 (UTC)

Edit Req[edit]

{{editrequest}} Could the template be updated to the code below:

| level    = 
| id       = [[English language|en]]
| info     = This user is a '''[[:Category:User en-N|native]]''' speaker of '''[[:Category:User en|English]]'''.
| usercategory  = User en
| usercategory2 = User en-N

This is to change it to use the userbox-level template which is used by other similar userboxes. Thanks -- WOSlinker (talk) 14:31, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

 Done — Martin (MSGJ · talk) 17:36, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Please add category opt-out[edit]

{{editprotected}} With the change to the Userbox template, the ability to opt-out of the user category was lost. This line will re-add that functionality:

nocat = {{{nocat|}}}

Can this be added?—Chowbok 23:09, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

 DoneTheDJ (talkcontribs) 01:00, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

Does not comply[edit]

"DO NOT copy the source of this userbox." doesn't comply with the Manual of Style, it should be "Do not copy the source of this userbox". I don't fully understand how the documentation template works so I apologize in advance if I'm ranting on the wrong page. --Kris159 (talk) 13:50, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Category:User en[edit]

The various {{User en}} templates add pages to Category:User en as well as the specific categories. It seems rather pointless to add the pages to the parent category as well as the subcategories, especially since every user on the English Wikipedia should be able to speak English anyway. McLerristarr | Mclay1 05:10, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

See WP:SUPERCAT. I just noticed this through a rather roundabout way and posted something at Template_talk:User_iso15924#Supercats. Hyacinth (talk) 06:46, 12 October 2012 (UTC)

The formatting directions are incorrect.[edit]

The template for adding this userbox to Babel is incorrect. It should be {{Babel|en}} Rmorabia (talk) 19:27, 7 June 2014 (UTC)