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Web address
Type of site
online dictionary
Available in multilingual
Launched December 27, 2005
Alexa rank
Current status active

OmegaWiki is a translating multilingual dictionary based on a relational database. Previous names included WiktionaryZ (WZ) and Ultimate Wiktionary (UW).

The first steps towards "OmegaWiki" date back to August 30, 2004 when on the Italian Wiktionary the first templates were inserted. These templates then served to permit a fast exchange of complete lists of words from one Wiktionary to the other.

At that point, two Wiktionarians from the Italian and the Dutch Wiktionary started to talk about methods of utilizing Wiktionarians' time more efficiently. It was clear that copying and pasting these lists from one language Wiktionary to another was inefficient and error-prone, while increasing the amount of time needed to make corrections. With separate Wiktionaries, the probability that a particular translation list would be out of sync with another version of the same list increased exponentially with each language Wiktionary added.

The logical consequence was to think about inserting this data into a common place. A project with the work name "Ultimate Wiktionary" took its first steps. By December 2004 the basic functionalities were clear: an extension for the MediaWiki software, building on the Wikidata project.

During the following year, when the programming of the software had already started, still many changes to the database design were made and more peculiarities of languages like Chinese, Korean, Arabic, Russian and also sign language were considered, some of these thanks to various contacts during Wikimania 2005 in Frankfurt.

Unlike the original Wiktionaries, OmegaWiki will allow for the download of data, particularly for reuse with other software. For example, software Computer assisted translation (CAT), dictionary software on a local computer and spellcheckers.

The prototype started including only the data of gemet[1] multilingual thesaurus is online. This resource is considered to be an optimal collection of terminology to test functions with. Presently, the software is still considered in alpha stage, but it already had more than 500 users (as of 30 August 2006), and has reached 250,000 Expressions, with support for multiple Collections, annotations, examples, hyphenation, etc.

Basic concepts

OmegaWiki is not based on "words", but on the concept of Defined Meaning:[2]

A DefinedMeaning is a combination of an Expression and a Definition; an Expression being a given graphic form (Spelling) associated with a given Language; and a Definition being the concept expressed by this Expression restated in one or several sentences.
To a DefinedMeaning may be attached Translated Definitions, that is a translation adhering as closely as possible to the concept as described by the First Definition. Ideally all Translated Definitions should be translations directly from the First Definition to minimize semantic drift, though most likely in practice this will not always be the case.

One Laptop Per Child Dictionary

OmegaWiki is specifically working on a dictionary for children,[3] to be included on the OLPC laptops. At the moment this is being developed as a separate table, to speed up the process; in a second stage it will then become relevant to program the import of these entries into OmegaWiki to allow for further improvement and additional data as well as adding further entries to it. Presently the project has a core list of approx. 1100 defined meanings they will work on in a first stage. In a second stage they will then, step by step, extend the project so that the dictionary becomes more and more complete.

Relevant events

  • Since 2013 links to Wikidata as well
  • October 12, 2007: possibility to add links to a Wikipedia article on expressions.
  • June 3, 2007: 250,000 expressions reached.
  • December 12, 2006: WiktionaryZ is being renamed to OmegaWik to prevent confusion between this project and the WMF Wiktionary projects.
  • October 3, 2006: start of the OLPC Children's Dictionary project.
  • approx. August 2006: version 1.0.
  • April 30, 2006: a first editable prototype (for a restricted number of people) comes online.
  • end of February 2006: a second read-only prototype is online.
  • January 2006: the name of Ultimate Wiktionary is changed to WiktionaryZ.
  • January 2006: the WiktionaryZ Committee starts working.
  • December 26, 2005: first read-only prototype.
  • March 2005: first database design.
  • August 30, 2004: first discussions.

See also


  1. Themes list eionet, visited 15-7-2013
  2. DefinedMeaning - OmegaWiki
  3. OLPC Children's Dictionary - OmegaWiki

External links