On Monday, October 3, 2011, Michael Peel wrote:
I have to admit (from a completely personal viewpoint)
that this sounds
like a reason _not_ to support minority language Wikipedias. I personally
much prefer the trend towards more people speaking a single language, or set
of main languages, rather than encouraging more small niches of people
speaking their own language. The former makes it a lot easier to communicate
with more people on a global basis and hence gain more knowledge, whereas
the latter does the complete opposite.
For me, the key points are increasing the availability of knowledge for
those that only understand that language; increasing the body of knowledge
that's shared between multiple languages to make it easier to learn a more
common language; and to preserve information & culture specific to that
language (which, of course, would ideally also be translated to other
The issue becomes slightly more philosophical: languages *are* a form of
knowledge though. A simple argument: if I know how to express the statement
"Snow is white" in English, I know one thing. If I know how to say it in
German, I know two things. In either state though, when I use it, I'm still
expressing only one fact about the world.
Expressing the facts is a matter of primary importance: it is important to
the misson of sharing the sum of all human knowledge that we tell people
whether snow is white, but we should also be sharing the more implicit,
Basically: language is a component part of the "sum of all human knowledge",
not just a means of expressing that knowledge.