This page lists language level descriptions below.
Note that, as the purpose of the Babel system is to help collaboration in making an encyclopedia, proficiency in the written language should be more relevant than that in the spoken language when choosing levels. The Japanese language is a particular case, due to its writing system: if you know enough kanji to read simple texts, but probably not encyclopedia articles, you should classify yourself as low as
ja-2, even if you can write Japanese more fluently than that using kana.
- You might be expected to understand a language (e.g. if you often contribute to articles about it, or you live in an
xx-speaking country), but don't actually understand it at all, or not well enough to qualify for
xx-1. You do not need to use
xx-0for every language you do not know.
- You can understand a language well enough to use an article as a source for writings in your own language, and to ask and answer simple questions in it, e.g. on a user talk page (possibly with the aid of a bilingual dictionary), but are unable to contribute significantly to an article in that language.
- You can contribute to articles in a language to some extent, but are not confident in writing in it. Someone using this level will most likely not be fluent in a language but will understand the general idea as well as many details in an article (although a poorly educated native speaker may use this level). This level might be used by editors who have a sizable vocabulary as well as good understanding of the grammar of the language in question, but who might have trouble creating new articles or writing in an encyclopedic style. You would most likely be able to coherently translate most articles using a dictionary.
- You are confident in writing in a language in an encyclopedic style, but may make minor mistakes, and have trouble with some of the most peculiar features of the language. You should probably only need a monolingual dictionary to understand any non-technical article.
- You are as proficient in writing and understanding articles in an encyclopedic style as an average educated native speaker of
xx. Since users of this level are usually not native speakers themselves (because of its wording, and because the
xxlevel for native speakers corresponds to the same level of proficiency in encyclopedic written language as
xx-4, unless otherwise specified), they might be (but not necessarily are) unfamiliar with some colloquialisms (which are generally not used in an encyclopedia, anyway), some aspects of popular culture of
xx-speaking countries, etc.
- For native speakers. You should use this level if you have lived in an
xx-speaking community and employed it in all everyday situations long enough that now you have a perfect grasp of it, including colloquialisms.
- This means that if you moved from an
xx-speaking country to a
yy-speaking country at age 6, and have never again spoken
xx, you should classify yourself as a native speaker of
yyand not of
xx, even if you used to speak nothing but
xxas a child.
- Should you have moved as an adult, you should decide by yourself, according to your own "feel", and thus might have several "native" languages.
- Used alone, this level indicates that your proficiency in writing and reading encyclopedic language is that of an
xx-4user; if it isn't, you might want to use both
xxand one of the
xx-n levels; for example, if you are a native speaker of
xxbut you were not educated in it, you could use both
- You work in a field in which proficiency in the formal written language is essential, for example as a writer, a copy-editor, a language teacher, …; you are willing to give advice about language issues such as grammar, punctuation, etc. if requested (for the language of the wiki you are contributing to), or to help in translations from this language (for other languages). If you also are an
xxnative speaker, you may wish to use both