Most of you would be aware of some of the discussions that have occurred
around Wikipedia in the Norwegian languages. Since the last round of
discussions on this list, there has been a lot of internal debate, as
well as what seems to be a fairly widely accepted agreement following
This e-mail intends to, after a brief recap on Norwegian language and
wikipedia issues, take those interested through the latest development
and will stake out the road ahead. It is also intended to inform the
international community about the current agreement on no.wikipedia, so
as to prevent misunderstandings in the future.
Finally, we will mention an unfortunate reaction to the vote by a small
number of users at the Norwegian Bokmål/Riksmål (no:) wikipedia who want
to disregard the result of the voting and are planning to create a
_third_ Norwegian wikipedia with the sole mission of mixing the contents
of the two current Norwegian versions.
== A short language history of Norway ==
Spoken Norwegian ("norsk") (ISO 639-2 alpha-2 code "no") is in a fairly
unique situation compared to most other languages of the world in that
it has two widely accepted written standards, Bokmål (ISO 639-2 alpha-2
code "nb") and Nynorsk (ISO 639-2 alpha-2 code "nn"). By national
legislation they are both regarded as official written forms of
Norwegian. In addition, many people still make a distinction between
Bokmål and its precursor which still is in use, Riksmål.
Briefly speaking, Bokmål and Riksmål are descendants of the Danish
written language. Until the 1800s, Danish was the only widely used
written language in Norway as a result of four centuries of union with
Denmark. With increasing independence came a wish to norwegianise the
Danish standard, with Knud Knudsen at the forefront for changing parts
of the vocabulary and orthographics. Thus, Riksmål, and later Bokmål,
resulted. These forms together are today probably used by about 90% of
Norway's population, or somewhere around 3,500,000 people.
Parallel to this development, a new written standard was created by Ivar
Aasen. He travelled extensively throughout Norway, and based his new
language, landsmål, on the grammar and vocabulary of dialect samples
from around the country. This was later renamed Nynorsk. Modern Nynorsk
differs significantly from modern Bokmål, and may be linguistically
looked upon as as different (or as similar if you like) as Swedish is to
Danish. For English or Dutch/German speakers, the differences may be
likened to those between (Lowland) Scots and English or Low German and
Dutch. Today it is estimated that about 500,000-600,000 people have
Nynorsk as their first written language.
More information about the Norwegian language history can be found in
English, German, French, Spanish or Portuguese on the website of the
Norwegian Language Council:
== A short history of Wikipedia in Norwegian ==
The first Norwegian wikipedia started 26 November 2001 on the subdomain
no.wikipedia.org. As most wikipedias, its contributor and article count
started really picking up around the end of 2003. At the time, it
accepted all written standards of Norwegian, although the amount of
Nynorsk was minimal. There were already several debates about the
feasibilty and appropriateness of keeping the two languages united on
one Wikipedia. On 31 July 2004 a Wikipedia for Nynorsk was created.
The creation of nn:, however, split the community at no: wikipedia. Many
felt that given that Nynorsk now had its own wikipedia, no: should
become a Bokmål/Riksmål Wikipedia only. Others disapproved and claimed
that there was no need to change and that it should continue its
language policy of accepting all and keep its interwiki link name of
Nynorsk Wikipedia soon proved a success, as it within the next few
months gathered several people who had felt uncomfortable in the
(mainly) Bokmål environment at no:. The name displayed in interwiki
links became "Norsk (nynorsk)" (languages are not spelt with upper case
in Norwegian). To date it continues to be one of the fastest growing
wikipedias, with a steady article increase, now at over 6000 articles
and >50 editors with more than 10 edits since arrival.
== Votes ==
The issue of no:'s language policy has come up time and again, and a
vote was held in March ([[:no:Wikipedia:Målform]]) as to which policy to
adapt. Independent of the method of the tally (whether or not to include
new contributors etc.) there was a majority for switching to a
Bokmål/Riksmål only language policy (50% for Bokmål/Riksmål, 43.2% for
Bokmål/Riksmål/Nynorsk/Høgnorsk, and 6.8% for the official variants
Following this result, there is now going to be a vote on which
interwiki link name will most appropriately reflect the current language
policy of no:. The result of this vote will most likely be either "Norsk
(bokmål)" or "Norsk (bokmål/riksmål)".
Understandably, there has also been a debate as to whether the subdomain
should change from "no" to "nb", as this is the correct representation
of Bokmål according to ISO 639-2. However, there is some resentment
towards such a move and currently a general acceptance in letting the
Bokmål wikipedia stay at "no". The alternative some have suggested is a
server-side redirect from "no" to "nb", in the same way that "nb" today
is a server-side redirect to the equivalent page on "no".
== Summary of the problem ==
Unfortunately, a small group of users (who all write Bokmål/Riksmål) are
ignoring the results from the vote, and are claiming they want to
re-establish a wikipedia for all written standards of Norwegian. They
claim they have been in touch with people centrally in Wikimedia
(developers? stewards?) and that they have so far received positive
comments. With this email, we would like to state the fact that there
have been no official decisions about creating a third Norwegian
wikipedia containing both Bokmål and Nynorsk, it is merely an unofficial
initiative from a small group of users which started a sign-on list at
[[:no:Bruker:Norsk_Wikipedia]]. A spontaneous list with signatures
against this activity was immediately created at
[[:no:Wikipedia-diskusjon:Fellesnorsk]]. The process of creating a third
Norwegian wikipedia has not gone through a voting process in any of the
two existing Norwegian wikipedias (no: and nn:) and can not be
considered as a decision by the Norwegian Wikipedia community.
We believe the creation of a third wikipedia under the Wikimedia
foundation would have a serious and unfortunate impact on the existing
wikipedias in Norwegian, no: and nn:, and would undermine Wikipedia's
reputation in Norway. This being said, we are all for extensive co-
operation between the four Scandinavian language wikipedias (including
Swedish and Danish), as evident by the recent creation of
[[:meta:Skanwiki]], the Scandinavian meta-pages, and the use of featured
articles from neighbour wikipedias.
== Conclusion ==
Hopefully, this letter will help people better understand the
complicated language situation of the Norwegian Wikipedia community, so
as to give a background on which discussion can take place on this list
in the future, such as the inevitable debate following a possible
request for a re-establishment of the common (and third!) Norwegian
>From the community of no.wikipedia.org and nn.wikipedia.org,
Bjarte Sørensen [[:meta:User:BjarteSorensen]] (Administrator/bureaucrat on nn:)
Lars Alvik [[:no:User:Profoss]] (Administrator/bureaucrat on no:)
Øyvind A. Holm [[:no:User:Sunny256]] (Administrator on no:)
Onar Vikingstad [[:no:User:Vikingstad]] (Administrator on no:)
Jon Harald Søby [[:no:User:Jhs]] (Administrator on no:)
Chris Nyborg [[:no:User:Cnyborg]] (Administrator on no:)
Guttorm Flatabø [[:no:User:Dittaeva]] (Administrator on nn:)
Gunleiv Hadland [[:meta:User:Gunnernett]] (Administrator on nn:)
Jarle Fagerheim [[:nn:User:Jarle]] (Administrator on nn:)
Øyvind Jo Heimdal Eik [[:en:User:Pladask]] (Administrator on nn: and no:)
Kristian André Gallis [[:nn:User:Kristaga]]
Vegard Wærp [[:no:User:Vegardw]]
Nina Aldin Thune [[:no:User:Nina]]
Thor-Rune Hansen [[:no:User:ThorRune]]
Claes Tande [[:no:User:Ctande]]
Arnt-Erik Krokaa [[:no:User:AEK]]
Rune Sattler [[:no:User:Shauni]]
I would like to start a Wikipedia in a language called Europanto. I
attached the Wiki article that explain it better than I can. Looking
foward for hearing from you.
Europanto is a constructed language, a linguistic jest with a
hodge-podge vocabulary from many European languages. It was created in
1996 by Diego Marani, a translator for the European Council of
Ministers in Brussels. Marani created it in response to the perceived
dominance of the English language; it is an emulation of the effect
that non-native speakers struggling to learn a language typically add
words and phrases from their native language to express their meanings
The single outstanding feature of Europanto is that there are no fixed
rules -- merely a set of suggestions. This means that anybody can
start to speak Europanto immediately, on the other hand it is the
speaker's responsibility to draw on an assumed common vocabulary and
grammar between himself and the audience, to make himself understood.
Effectively, Europanto as it is used, tends to have a grammar much
like English, with words borrowed from various languages and adapted
to be easily understood. It is sometimes considered a parody of the
international auxiliary language genre, particularly the "Euroclone"
variety, namely their preceived tendency to very strongly formalize
speech, and impose strict, but arbitrary rules on it.
The name Europanto is a portmanteau combination of European and the
Greek stem πάντ- (all), and resembles Esperanto.
Marani wrote regular newspaper columns about the language and
published a novel using it. As of 2005, he no longer actively promotes
Eine terrible menace incumbe over el Kingdom des Angleterra. Poor
Regina Elisabeth habe spent todo seine dinero in charmingantes hats
und pumpkinose carrosses und maintenow habe keine penny left por
acquire de Champagne dat necessite zum celebrate Prince Charles
anniversario op el 14 Novembro. (Diego Marani)
(Which translates as "A terrible menace has come over the Kingdom of
England. Poor Queen Elizabeth has spent all of her money in charming
hats and pumpkin carriages, and now is left without a penny to buy the
Champagne which is necessary to celebrate Prince Charles' birthday on
Maybe this should go on Meta, but I want to see comments here, first.
As I can see, there are two ways of mass content adding. The first one
includes generation of articles based on some public data (for example
NASA, National Geospatial Inteligence Agency, French government etc.)
Now, this is almost usual way for mass content adding and I think that
a number of us have some experience with such work.
The other way is adding content using English Wikipedia. English
Wikipedia has a lot of categorized articles, a lot of templates etc.
All these typical forms can be used for automatic content creation on
I think that idea of having a thousends of articles with a couple of
sentences and good categorization about a lot of fields -- can be very
helpful not only to small Wikipedias, but also for spreading free
knowledge. I think that it would be a great day for us when people
which native language is Mongolian will be able to read about places
in Amazon and movies from Australia in their native language. And,
this is possible to do much faster then we think.
And not only that: bots should be able to update information; bots
should be able to do more things through time. Finally, it would be
possible to start with knowledge transfer between Wikipedias in
different languages: if we have the same methodology on different
Wikipedias, we would be able to update data semi-automatic (up to full
However, this needs a number of people who are interested in such project:
(1) We would need people who know to work with bots (pywikipediabot or
(2) We would need make software based on the bot core which would have
to be localized: like MediaWiki should be localized; this software
should have sentences like "<movie> is movie made in <year> in
<country>. Genre of that movie is <genre>. Director was <director>..."
in a number of languages.
(3) We would need good and quality work on English Wikipedia. Rules
like "this goes to the table, that goes to the template up, this goes
to template in the middle" should be more or less strict (but, I see
that people are working in such way on en:).
This is RFC. I am looking for your comments.
I'm not sure whether this is the right place to post announcements. Please
don't blame me if it isn't.
I just wanted to say that version 0.9 of "Wikipedia on iPod" (Encyclopodia) is
now available for download at:
Encyclopodia comes with a setup wizard for Windows. Installation from Linux
and Mac is also possible, but it's still a bit tricky as there isn't any easy
to use setup wizard for Linux and Mac yet.
Currently, the English, German and Italian Wikipedia can be loaded on your
iPod. If you're interested in another language, please send me an e-mail.
Disclaimer: Use this software at your own risk. It might damage your iPod,
void your warranty or blow up your golden hamster.
The English Wikipedia is approaching its millionth article this week.
A tidy milestone.
We are working on a press release for the event:
If you are interested in helping identify the millionth article,
please leave a note on the talk page.
For some time, there have been discussions of extending bot flagging to
local bureaucrats. I recently asked some of the stewards about it, and
received an overwhealming response from them in favor of doing so. I also
spoke with Angela, who indicated it was her understanding that the proposal
was waiting "for the code, not approval." Subsequently, I spoke with brion,
who said that the code was there, it was simply a matter of the devs being
told to implement it.
It seems to me that (for once?) we have a proposal that just about everybody
likes: Local communities get to make thier own decisions about bot flagging,
and have them enacted locally, by someone who is familiar with the local
rules and the given debate, and the stewards are relieved from what has
become an unpleasant task. It also seems that both sides are waiting for
each other, not realizing the other side is waiting for them!
I'd love to see this proposal enacted sooner rather than later, so I'm
asking: What do we need to do to get this done? Do the devs need an order
from the Board? *pokes the Board* "The Devs need an order." Do the Board
need to be made aware that the switch is ready to flip on thier word? *pokes
the Devs* "The Board doesn't know it's ready to go."
Wikipedia:The Free Encyclopedia
> Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2006 15:40:02 -0000
> From: "Phil Boswell" <phil.boswell(a)gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Request for Marwari language Wikipedia
> To: wikipedia-l(a)wikipedia.org
> Message-ID: <dt26fa$m08$1(a)sea.gmane.org>
> "GerardM" <gerard.meijssen(a)gmail.com> wrote in
> message news:firstname.lastname@example.org...
> > On 2/16/06, Phil Boswell
> > <phil.boswell(a)gmail.com> wrote:
> >> "Jonathan & Kendra Dailey"
> >> <jonathan-kendra_dailey(a)sall.com> wrote in message
> >> news:000401c632e1$583163a0$0201a8c0@WinniethePooh...
> >> > Marwari is spoken by over 13 million people in India, Pakistan, and
> >> > Nepal.
> >> > It is related to Hindi but it is a distinct language with a long
> >> > year)
> >> > written history and has a great amount of worldwide Diaspora.
> >> > How do we get this started?
> >> This would be the language you mean?
> >> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marwari_language
> >> It would appear from this and the article on Hindi that it is
> >> by
> >> many to be a dialect of the latter. If this is untrue, then those
> >> articles
> >> need to be updated :-)
> > According to Ethnologue:
> > http://www.ethnologue.com/show_family.asp?subid=90928 Marwari is seen
> > as a cluster of languages not as a single language.
> > Sometimes these things are not simple.. :(
> Maybe the reference is to the language:
> rather than the family: they have the same name.
> [[en:User:Phil Boswell]]
[JD:] In the interest of full disclosure, I am an SIL linguist working in
this language (rwr, Marwari). I am hoping to use Wikipedia (along with
other online resources) as a medium for language development activities.
For instance, it helps mother tongue speakers to learn to write, edit, and
hone their written language skills.
I do mean the language not the cluster. The cluster has more like 30+
million speakers. Marwari would be the largest with, depending on how you
slice the pie, between 13 and 19 million speakers.
It has a low lexical similarity with Hindi. My own research has shown urban
speakers have "more Hindi" than rural speakers but the similarity is near