I would like to add to this that I think the worst part of this idea
is the assumption that other languages should take articles from
I would be in favor of an international, language-free Wikipedia
if/when perfect (or 99.99% accurate) MT software exists, but that is
not currently the case. My point here is that rather than forcing
English articles on other languages, everybody everywhere speaking any
language should be able to modify the same article and view it in
their native language.
On Sun, Jul 25, 2010 at 2:59 AM, Ray Saintonge <saintonge(a)telus.net> wrote:
Translation between wikis currently exists as a
paradigm: Someone on the target wiki finds an article in another
language (English for example) and then pulls it to their language
These days Google and other translate tools are good enough to use as
the starting basis for an translated article, and we can consider how
we make use of them in an active way. What is largely a "pull"
paradigm can also be a "push" paradigm - we can use translation tools
to "push" articles to other wikis.
If there are issues, they can be overcome. The fact of the matter is
that the vast majority of articles in English can be "pushed" over to
other languages, and fill a need for those topics in those languages.
This is well suited for the dustbin of terrible ideas. It ranks right
up there with the notion that the European colonization of Africa was
for the sole purpose of civilizing the savages.
Key to the growth of Wikipedias in minority languages is respect for the
cultures that they encompass, not flooding them with the First-World
Point of View. What might be a Neutral Point of View on the English
Wikipedia is limited by the contributions of English writers. Those who
do not understand English may arrive at a different neutrality. We have
not yet arrived at a Metapedia that would synthesize a single neutrality
from all projects.
In addition to bludgeoning these cultures with an imposed neutrality,
there is also the risk of overwhelming them with sheer volume. I
remember only too well the uproar when the large quantity of articles on
every small community in the United States were botted into en-wp.
Neutrality was not an issue in that case, but the quantity of unchecked
material was even if it came from a reliable source.
It's important for the minority language projects to choose what is
important to them, and what is relevant to their culture. As useful and
uncontroversial as many English articles may be in our eyes they may
still not yet be notable for minority languages.
foundation-l mailing list