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I live in Leiden, The Netherlands. In 2001 I graduated in Japanology. My thesis (in Dutch) was in the field of Psychological anthropology and has been scanned by Onderzoek naar zelfbewuste emoties in Japan: vroege en recente benaderingen (Research of self-conscious emotions in Japan: Early and recent approaches).

Japanese words in English texts[edit]

In 2015 still relevant: how to remove questionmarks after Japanese words

June 2006 I noticed that the English wikipedia had adopted a new way to offer help to those that might really panic when they see a Japanese word in an English text: a link behind (some or all) Japanese words using (at the time of writing) a bold faced blue question mark.

A way to get rid of the somewhat intruding question marks is to (1) log in (2) create an empty css file of the skin you are using (e.g. User:YourName/monobook.css) and edit and add to that new page:

  .t_nihongo_icon {display: none}

As long as the contents of the {{nihongo}} template uses the .t_nihongo_icon class its link (currently the question mark) wil be hidden. If you happen to use Firefox you can also apply this style rule to your local UserContent.css (you may have to add !important to the end of the rule).

  .t_nihongo_icon { display: none  !important }

Firefox’s UserContent.css lives in [profile name]/chrome/userContent.css. If it doesn’t exists, create it.

Edit: Sat Sep 17 08:33:03 CEST 2011: A new class pushing a silly questionmark after Japanese text has emerged: t_nihongo_help. To get red of it in Firefox (even when you are not logged in), put the following in your UserContent.css:

  .t_nihongo_help { display: none  !important }



While I can understand the necessity to prevent the use of Wikipedia as a means of self promotion, I don’t understand the (presumed) non-notable → deletion culture. At all.

Just one example is John W. Loftus, who wrote or edited at least five popular books, but has no page because he is **not notable**. Unlike for instance zillions of closed railway stations like this one in my country . It would be dead easy to find even more trivial pages than defunct railway stations, but when it’s about people different rules apply, especially people that (paradoxically) are relatively well-known. Yes, I read the notability rules, perhaps Loftus fails the rule that no "reliable" (for example: publishers that are approved by wikipedians) secondary source not related to Loftus himself can be used. I think it’s just crazy that I have to look elsewhere to look up stuff about people that actually do stuff because of rules like that one.

  • You can read the _really_ trivial talk of the people who decided Loftus’ case here.
  • There is a stub for Loftus on a user page.

Deletion (more)[edit]

Currently the article about Loftus had been undeleted, but this weird Notability virus is still pretty strong. I came back to this page because I noticed a discussion about Richard Carrier also not being notable and his article up for deletion (since March 2014). Apparently you can be a scientist with a PHD and a successful author of numerous books with zillions of readers and fans, but still not be ‘notable’ and therefore unworthy of a mentioning in Wikipedia. Deletionists remind me of the Catholic Church.


Few, recently mostly on Wiktionary.

Really Old And Probably Totally Outdated Tips[edit]

Chinese Wikipedia[edit]

By default the English wikipedia links to a version of the Chinese Wikipedia which displays in simplified Chinese. You can change that by creating an account in the Chinese Wikipedia and selecting another language variant for display on the first page of your preferences (you can change the language of the interface as well). As a bonus, pages of the Chinese Wikipedia will from then on (when you stay logged in) have tabs to switch to other language variants with only one click.

More on the history and the technique behind all this:

Correct display of notes[edit]

The new superscript notes[1] seem to mess up the lineheight in a lot of browsers. Mzajac has coded a fix for the default skin of Wikipedia. For other skins[2] just remove the #bodyContent ids before sub. Mzajac proposes that you put his fix in your User:YourName/monobook.css (which means you need to remain logged in) but I suppose (when you use Firefox) putting the code in your browsers userContent.css will work just as well.

Firefox and (un)readable url’s[edit]

Someone using Firefox (latest when I wrote this) might be surprised to see in the location bar unreadable strings like %E3%83%A1%E3%82%A4%E3, especially when browsing non-English parts of wikipedia. These strings ( hexadecimal sequences preceded by a percent sign) are code for non-English characters. I suppose this has something to do with the really slow pace in which the internet in general is dealing with internationalization. If you are not afraid for spoofed webpages, the Firefox extension (add-on) Locationbar² will translate the code to the words that are actually there, so that %E3%83%A1%E3%82%A4%E3%83%B3%E3%83%9A%E3%83%BC%E3%82%B8
will read as メインページ, which is quite something different and a lot shorter.[3] By the way, when I checked Opera, I noticed that at least Opera 9 does this translation by default, but Locationbar² has some other cool features as well. [4]

My wikipedia stylesheets[edit]

Archived work[edit]


nl Deze gebruiker heeft het Nederlands als moedertaal.
ja-2 この利用者はある程度日本語ができます。
en-3 This user can contribute with an advanced level of English.
de-2 Dieser Benutzer hat fortgeschrittene Deutschkenntnisse.


  1. ^ A the time of writing the latest method of creating notes in Wikipedia is using built-in support for footnotes (Cite.php). It currently shows a superscript number in the article which links to the text of the note (usually somewhere at the end of the article). Its usage is described here.
  2. ^ User:YourName/*.css files for skins are:
    • monobook (default): monobook.css
    • chick: chick.css
    • classic: standard.css
    • cologne blue: cologneblue.css
    • myskin: myskin.css
    • nostalgia: nostalgia.css
    • simple: simple.css
  3. ^ This radical improvement might not materialize when your operating system is not (by default) sufficiently internationalized (more specifically, installs default with not enough fonts containing non-English glyphs). Examples of operating systems that take this - in my view rather provincial - approach are Windows XP or for example older verions of Linux Slackware (but Slackware 12.1 finally supports Japanse and Chinese out of the box!).
  4. ^ Like making (segments of) the addresses in the location bar clickable and putting emphasis on the hostname with color. A somewhat silly change is that Locationbar hides the protocol indication (http, ftp, etc.) but this can be undone by removing the protocal names in the preferences.