Feature request: languages aware links system

Hi,

As mentioned multiple times in this forum, working with multiple languages is an unsolved problem in Obsidian.

For example, the “Unlink mentions” feature won’t link between “happiness” and “bonheur” (French for happiness). This make it hard to connect knowledge between multi-language notes.

A language aware links system would be fantastic.

Don’t get me wrong, I get that this problem is hard to solve: not all word can be translated.
(For example, how do you build a link for 積ん読 , the Japanese concept of “acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them”?)

Nevertheless, I really think solving this problem would set Obsidian apart in the note taking space.

Best regards,
~ gb

4 Likes

One thing that might work as an intermediate solution, would be having a list of cross-language synonyms.

I’d like to use this opportunity to extend @gberthiaume request, to support languages with declination.
I know, that it’s not an easy feat, especially for languages with word prefixes and exceptions, but perhaps Hunspell - like approach could be used?

Please, take a look a the size of Hunspell language files for US English and Polish + how .dic and .aff files are used together. If Obsidian could let me connect English notes to the Polish ones, and used the base part of the word to do it, mmm, I’d be so happy… and probably more people would be too.

What’s the general problem?
TL;DR:
Non-native-English people often use 2+ languages in their notes, in various ways and proportions. A toggle doesn’t cut it. Having cross-language synonyms is pretty much a must. Having declination-aware reference search for languages like French, Polish, and probably lots of others, would be awesome.

We, non-English people were mostly raised in our mother tongue, and as a result, (usually) think and reason in it. But the English became the status quo. When I read about something new, or related to my job, it’s mostly in English. My specialization-related English vocabulary is pretty decent, but when it comes to the most of other things, it’s just bad, as I didn’t need to know the English names of vegetables for example. Moreover, when I create personal notes about things like programming, math, statistic, etc, it’s easier to use English (or “English”) exclusively. This creates a weird mix of notes in 2 languages, and sometimes 2 languages used in a single note, either Polish text with English words put in it, or even changing languages by paragraph.

Declination makes word lookup even harder. In Polish, words can have many forms depending on usage, and they mostly differ by suffix (but there are exceptions a suffixes too). If Obsidian could index the words in parts, similar to how Hunspell checks them, it would be awesome.

Thanks

2 Likes

I believe this is one of the use cases of note aliases, see Aliases for note names

@argentum

I agree with you: Note aliases are great to manually translate a link.
For example, let say I’m writting in Espagnol and I want to link to an English note, I can do:

[[The art of war | El arte de la guerra]]

But the idea here is not to manually make links prettier.

We wish that obsidian automatically understand that if I mention “El Arte de la Guerra” in a note, it needs to create an unlinked mention to “The art of war”.