Concerning African language wikipedias: I follow Asaf's advice and post my text here:

Hi Ian, thanks for your continuous look at African language wikipedias.
I agree with you that Afrikaans is indeed the best quality among these.
But to look at only article numbers can be very misleading as many have learned since Waraywaray passed a million articles. According to the story I remember, this guy from Sweden wanted to honour the language of his wife from the Philippines – and knew how to write programs that translate certain types of easily translatable short entries from English.No idea if that stuff is readable. A huge wikipedia. Is it a “success”?

For evaluation I propose to go for a mix of indicators. Article number is for very small wikipedias a good indicator.
Beyond say 10,000 we should also look for some quality indicators.

An easy one is the ranking in the 1000-article-index
Here Afrikaans is at 22/100, Swahili at 17/100 and all others down at 7/100 and less.

Similar the 10,000 article list
Afrikaans at 27%, Swahili at 17%, Malagasy here better at 14%, the rest down below 10% of reachable points.

Pageview numbers are important (who reads the stuff??) but difficult to compare because of the numbers of speakers vary so much between languages. I propose to look for the market share in the “home country” (Like Afrikaans/South Africa, Swahiili/Tanzania-Kenya, Amharic – Ethiopia), using These figures are statistically perhaps not sooo strong for some countries (because of relatively small view numbers over all). It is also possible to look at the readership of a language by checking “Pageviews per language” showing the countries where requests come from. Many smaller African language versions have their readers abroad, in USA or Europe (the homesick African student? Exception; Igbo!).

Interestingly but not surprisingly no African language wikipedia has more than 10% share of overall wikipedia views in the “home country” (so far!). Top are Somali in Somalia (very small database) and Swahili for Tanzania with 8-9 %, the large majority reads English wikipedia. Afrikaans reaches less than 2% in South Africa wikipedia lookups, Amharic gets 4% in Ethiopia. Yoruba is not visible in Nigeria wikipedia lookups, all its readers seem to be abroad, same for Malagasy in Madagascar..

I try to balance that with a check using the langviews analysis tool at

I go for some locations which will probably not be searched a lot from outside the country. (Not for Cape Town, not for Dar es Salaam, as these are sought from all over the world. I assume that small places will be looked up rather by people inside the country). I get a comparison of language searchs for the entry if it is connected to wikidata. My random check shows a surprisingly strong position of Swahili in the interlanguage search compared to English.

Places in Tanzania
Pos. Lang. Name lookup/day
1 en Mbozi District 6 / day
2 sw Mbozi 3 / day

1 en Mbeya Rural District 3 / day
2 sw Mbeya Vijijini 1 / day

1 en Mpwapwa District 4 / day
2 sw Wilaya ya Mpwapwa 4 / day

1 en Kigoma Region 34 / day
2 sw Mkoa wa Kigoma 28 / day

1 en Sumbawanga 15 / day
4 sw Sumbawanga (mji) 1 / day

1 en Tabora 39 / day
4 sw Tabora (mji) 6 / day

1 en Tabora Region 20 / day
2 sw Mkoa wa Tabora 17 / day

This very tentative comparison puts Swahili in a stronger position even compared to Afrikaans!
Places in South Africa
Pos. Lang. Name lookup/day

1 en Dordrecht, Eastern Cape 11 / day
5 af Dordrecht, Oos-Kaap 1 / day

1 en Noordhoek, Cape Town 26 / day
4 af Noordhoek 0 / day

1 en Melkbosstrand 28 / day
2 af Melkbosstrand 1 / day

1 en Langebaanweg 5 / day
3 af Langebaanweg 0 / day

1 en Velddrif 15 / day
3 af Velddrif 2 / day

Ok, this just as some indicators for ways to look for quality. Because just quantity should not be the decisive factor when looking where to invest energy and time.

Kipala – Ingo


Message: 5
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2016 23:09:23 +0000
From: Asaf Bartov <>
To: Mailing list for African Wikimedians
Subject: Re: [African Wikimedians] African-Wikimedians Digest, Vol 8,
	Issue 129 African language Wikipedia update
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="utf-8"

Thank you, Ingo.  I found myself agreeing with everything you said in the
blog comment.  It is perhaps worth pasting on this mailing list as well, as
it would reach more people.