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]]
This Friday's office hours will feature Mike Godwin, the Wikimedia
Foundation's Legal Counsel. If you don't know Mike Godwin, you can
read about him at <http://enwp.org/Mike_Godwin>.
Office hours this Friday are from 2230 to 2330 UTC (3:30PM to 4:30PM
PDT). Mike will also be taking the following Thursday from 1600 to
1700 UTC (9:00AM to 10:00AM PDT).
The IRC channel that will be hosting Mike's conversation will be
#wikimedia-office on the Freenode network. If you do not have an IRC
client, you can always access Freenode by going to
http://webchat.freenode.net/, typing in the nickname of your choice and
choosing wikimedia-office as the channel. You may be prompted to click
through a security warning. Go ahead.
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
Dear Mr. Cary Bass,
Since you find the attachment is too long, I send you this letter
only. OK? Many thanks for your help.
This is the email that I sent to you a few hours ago.
Dear Mr. Cary Bass,
Thank you very much for your help. It is very
kind of you. I hope you can get me through to Mr.
Jimmy Wales again..
Now I have a rather grave problem. My book East
Meets West has been published more than 6 month.
After many requests, Authorhouse sent me a cheque
of (Royalty)ten pounds.
I shall be very grateful if you can help me to check
the accuracy of my account.
I am a pensioner. I devote all my time, my energy
and every penny of my pension to promote my book .
I aim for a global success and 80% of the profit would go for charity.
I know there is still a long long way to
go but my determination will bring me there one day.
I am still using the beautiful images and very helpful
resources from Wikipedia. My bilingual Version of Volume One and Two
will be published shortly.I feel
bad and sorry for the poor return of the sale. There is nothing I can
do about it, not yet.
In the meantime, I have to spend every ounce of my energy to finish
Volume 3 and 4. Once I have finished the book ( in another 3-4 months)
, I will concentrate
my work to do the marketing, to promote and to investigate the
Faulty Sale of my East Meets West.
I am sending you a cheque of $100.00( One hundreds
dollars). I shall be very grateful I f you can show me how to send it
by post. My donation is from my pension
fund. I feel bad and sorry for the poor return of the sale. There is
nothing I can do about it, not yet. I am sure you understand.
Sincerely , j.chan 16-06-2010
2010/6/16 Joan Chan <joanchan222(a)googlemail.com>:
> iDear Mr. Cary Bass,
> Thank you very much for your help. It is very
> kind of you if you can get me through to Mr.
> Jimmy Wales again..
> Now I have a rather grave problem. My book East
> Meets West has been published more than 6 month.
> After many requests, Authorhouse sent me a cheque
> of (Royalty)ten pounds.
> I shall be very grateful if you can help me to check
> the accuracy of my account.
> I am a pensioner. I devote all my time, my energy
> and every penny of my pension to promote my book .
> I aim for a global success and 80% of the profit would go for charity.
> I know there is still a long long way to
> go but my determination will bring me there one day.
> I am still using the beautiful images and very helpful
> resources from Wikipedia. My bilingual Version of Volume One and Two
> will be published shortly.I feel
> bad and sorry for the poor return of the sale. There is nothing I can
> do about it, not yet.
> In the meantime, I have to spend every ounce of my energy to finish
> Volume 3 and 4. Once I have finished the book ( in another 3-4 months)
> , I will concentrate
> my work to do the marketing, to promote and to investigate the
> Faulty Sale of my East Meets West.
> I am sending you a cheque of $100.00( One hundreds
> dollars). I shall be very grateful I f you can show me how to send it
> by post. My donation is from my pension
> fund. I feel bad and sorry for the poor return of the sale. There is
> nothing I can do about it, not yet. I am sure you understand.
> Sincerely , j.chan 16-06-2010
> P.S. These are the attachments to remind you about my book and also
> to show you the nice and helpful images I obtain from Wikipedia.
> On Thu, Jun 10, 2010 at 12:13 AM, Cary Bass <cary(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
>> Hey everyone!
>> On Friday, June 11, the Office Hour will once again be hosted by Mike
>> Godwin, Legal counsel for the Wikimedia Foundation, who you can read
>> about at <http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/User:Mikegodwin>
>> Office hours are from 2230 to 2330 UTC (3:30 PM to 4:30 PM PST).
>> If you do not have an IRC client, there are two ways you can come chat
>> using a web browser: First is using the Wikizine chat gateway at
>> <http://chatwikizine.memebot.com/cgi-bin/cgiirc/irc.cgi>. Type a
>> nickname, select irc.freenode.net from the top menu and
>> #wikimedia-office from the following menu, then login to join.
>> Also, you can access Freenode by going to http://webchat.freenode.net/,
>> typing in the nickname of your choice and choosing wikimedia-office as
>> the channel. You may be prompted to click through a security warning.
>> It should be all right.
>> Please feel free to forward (and translate!) this email to any other
>> relevant email lists you happen to be on.
>> Cary Bass
>> Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
>> Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
>> Wikipedia-l mailing list
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In advance of the Vector rollout to the remaining top ten languages,
the UX team can use some help translating some pages from the English
Wikipedia; including central notice, a local PR page, and not least, a
local feedback page.
Languages still needing at least some work are: German, French,
Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, and Spanish. Thanks to
Marco 27 for the work he put in on the Italian Wiki.
The central coordination page is located here, on the Usability wiki:
One thing I beg you to remember, is that translating these pages does
not necessarily imply endorsement with the Vector switch! One comment
I received on IRC when I asked about it was: "But I don't like Vector,
I'm switching right back to Monobook when it rolls over". Well, we
understand and appreciate that--and even more reason to help out with
putting a feedback page on your wiki, and permitting people who don't
read or write English (or Italian :) ) to be able to provide their own
comments about the Vector rollout.
Thanks in advance for all your help!
Volunteer Coordinator, Wikimedia Foundation
Support Free Knowledge: http://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Donate
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