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 invite you to join a chat about the relationship
between the Wikimedia community and the Open Access movement in
scientific publishing. This will explore issues of licensing, content
sharing, technology, and hopefully result in mutual commitments to
In a nutshell: December 17, 2006; irc.freenode.net; 21:00 UTC; #openaccess
for more (including a link to a web interface for accessing the IRC
channel). I would appreciate it if you would add yourself to the "I
want to attend!" list on the page, so we have an idea how many people
Peace & Love,
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
How can anybody say that Yury Tarasievich and his project is about
language, not about politics, after such a letter? No facts, just
insults and speculations.
> You are an entity, yes, set out to destroy the existing Belarusian
> language and culture and replace it with your version -- okay, your
> right. But get yourself your own blessed language code for that.
This speculation with such aggressive words doesn't help your case, it
can only make your case worse. I don't even hope any more that you
understand that your outrageous insults are absurd. You just dig a pit
for yourself by your own hands.
> Some years ago I witnessed a creation of one of such sites you call
> "proofs". So, there was 1 tech and 1 editor, who re-edited everything
> incoming (like 90+% or even 99% in standard Belarusian and Russian)
> into his flavour of "classic". It was politics. Thousands pages (and I
> mean real thousands, there was sort of 4800 or so) of pages. And...
> grant money. I could add -- near to zero interest, excepting the
> indexing bots.
Another great example of lies. Where could they get any incoming in
"norm" if people just don't write in it?
Recently I got a request to not use Russian but Ukrainian text for the
summaries of the interwiki bot at the Ukrainian Wikipedia. This has
now been done, but I can imagine there are more languages that would
like to have their own language, or perhaps another choice of
alternative language than the one I have made. If you want summaries
in your own language on your Wikipedia for the bot, please send me a
message with these summaries.
The following languages already have translations:
Of the other languages, the language used for the summaries is:
Arabic is used by ku,so
German is used by als,bar,hsb,lb
Esperanto is used by io,nov
Spanish is used by an,ast,ay,ceb,gl,gn,lad,nah,pag,qu,tl,war
Farsi is used by glk
French is used by co,frp,ht,ie,kab,ln,lo,nrm,oc,vi,wa
Hebrew is used by yi
Croatian is used by bs,mk,sh
Italian is used by eml,lij,lmo,nap,pms,rm,roa-tara,sc,scn,vec
Lithuanian is used by bat-smg
Dutch is used by fy,li,pap,vls,zea
Norse (bokmal) is used by se
Portuguese is used by tet
Romanian is used by mo,roa-rup
Russian is used by av,be,be-x-old,bxr,cv,got,hy,kk,ky,lbe,ru-sib,tk,tt,udm,xal
All languages not mentioned in the above use English.
If you want a localization in your language, please send me the
replacements for the texts "robot", "Adding", "Removing" and
"Modifying". If there is no local replacement needed, but you do think
that you would do better with some other language, just state which
(if any) language(s) should be preferred to English.
Andre Engels, andreengels(a)gmail.com
ICQ: 6260644 -- Skype: a_engels
I think this is a debate/discussion that has been a long time coming.
We need to have this.
Many may not realize this, but there is a HUGE disparity between the
stub ratio (related to average article length) in the different
For a little visual demonstration of the fact:
http://ceb.wikipedia.org/wiki/Special:Random (Random page on Cebuano
Wikipedia, with the "stubbiest" stub ratio) -- clicking randompage 10
times, I got 9 different stubs about communes in France and one about
a place in the Philippines
I think that there has been too much emphasis on article count in the
past, causing people to think that it is much more important than it
really is and wanting to inflate it by adding hundreds or even
thousands of "hollow" articles with little information on semi-obscure
topics that probably won't be read at all by anyone ever, and if they
are, will not be useful.
Now, I know I sound critical with that sentiment, but hey, who am I to
say that it could not be useful to have those stubs?
But I do think we should discuss it... is it better to have 1000 stubs
or 100 long well-written articles?
And also here's a little nudge to everyone... why not go to
Special:Shortpages or Special:Random on your favourite Wiki and expand
some articles? How about it?
Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.
I'd like to invite you to participate in a survey about Wikimedia's
brands, their uses, and possible changes to our brand strategy:
Peace & Love,
DISCLAIMER: This message does not represent an official position of
the Wikimedia Foundation or its Board of Trustees.
"An old, rigid civilization is reluctantly dying. Something new, open,
free and exciting is waking up." -- Ming the Mechanic
My language Dari (Afghan), an old version of Persian, is not on the list. Hereby I want to ask you to create this language and then contact me so that I can manage the Dari Wikipedia.
Probeer nieuwe online services via Windows Live Ideas—zo nieuw dat ze nog steeds niet officieel zijn verschenen.
>From: Lars Aronsson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
>Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2007 08:59 AM
>Subject: [Wikipedia-l] Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections
>In the current issue of D-Lib Magazine, a web journal for
>reasearch into digital libraries, Ann M. Lally and Carolyn E.
>Dunford at University of Washington Libraries describe how they
>have inserted external links into (the English) Wikipedia articles
>as a way to promote use of their library's website of digitized
>"Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections",
> Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
> Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se
I think this is a legitimate extension of our purpose, making information available. I would encourage them if they are encountered.
In the current issue of D-Lib Magazine, a web journal for
reasearch into digital libraries, Ann M. Lally and Carolyn E.
Dunford at University of Washington Libraries describe how they
have inserted external links into (the English) Wikipedia articles
as a way to promote use of their library's website of digitized
"Using Wikipedia to Extend Digital Collections",
Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se