It is comments like these that worry me, because it
means there is
very little knowledge about the ZH.wikipedia community, and of Chinese
language/culture. Chinese is not a language owned by the "Beijing
1) The vast majority of Mandarin speakers are PRC citizens (not
counting Taiwanese as PRC citizens). Historically, Chinese emigration
has mostly been from Cantonese-, Minnan-, and Hakka-speaking areas
rather than Mandarin-speaking ones, so the larger Mandarin-speaking
communities outside of China are a very recent phenomenon.
2) You have said stuff about this before, about people not knowing
much about the zh.wiki community. You're being overidealistic. It's
quite easy to gauge public opinion on zh.wiki, and so far I've found
that every person you've told to be mistaken about the zh.wiki
community has pretty much been right.
3) The linguistic authority over the sweeping majority of speakers of
ALL Sinitic languages rests with the PRC gov't in Beijing. If they
should decide to replace hanzi entirely with pinyin or even cyrillic,
you can bet your ass such a change would be complete in a couple of
Waerth, as someone who lives in Asia, you might know
that most Chinese
in SE Asia don't like to be referred to as "overseas Chinese" for
exactly this reason. The term "Nanyang Chinese" is mostly preferred,
which basically means Chinese of the Southern Seas. They are not tools
or satellites of Beijing, and do not have any allegiance politically
to the People's Republic of China. So it is fallacious to turn this
into a political issue.
Why?? What percentage of zh.wikipedians are from south of the
PRC-Vietnam border? That's what I thought. Of course there is the
minority, but the vast majority of zh.wikipedians are from the
mainland, and smaller but very significant groups from HK and Taiwan.
Mainlanders may not be "tools" or "satellites" of Beijing, but they
are very much indoctrinated with the linguistic propaganda of the
Beijing gov't, and are unlikely to disbelieve it without personal
experience (thus, it seems Cantonese native speakers are voting
To reaffirm this - at the Wikimania conference, there
were as many
Chinese Wikipedians from outside the PRC than from inside - Malaysia,
Taiwan, Hong Kong, Germany, United States. We all got along
It's very easy to explain this. The main reason is because travel
costs are going to be much cheaper for a Chinese in Germany to get to
the Wikimania conference, than for a Chinese in Beijing to get to the
I trust you and Node_ue will agree it is a legitimate
discuss, and that the opinion of Hong Kong folks has some relevance to
the Cantonese Wikipedia discussion. But I would not be surprised to
hear objection even to that.
Of course it is relevant. The whole point here is that Waerth and I
both think it's unfair to let anybody but the actual language
community make decisions about whether or not they should get a
Wikipedia, with exceptions for artificial languages perhaps.
And obviously, most Hong Kongers fall within the boundaries of the
Cantonese-speaking group. In fact, I'd be surprised if the meetup
wasn't mostly in Cantonese.
Having said that, since I can't be there, I hope that it will be made
very clear that this Wikipedia, if created, will be in
Yueyu-baihuawen. This seems to have confused people a little already
-- obviously Mandarin-based Baihuawen just read with Cantonese
readings is identical or nearly identical to normal Baihuawen.
To my knowledge, "all ZH.Wikipedians" have
not collectively come out
with a position on the matter. Nor are they likely to, given the
On this point I agree with you. Most zh.wikipedians have not voted.
There are also a few zh.wikipedians who expressed opinions on the
village pump at zhwiki, but didn't go vote.
Mandarin speakers feel they have to block
requests for other sinetic languages? It beats me .... apart from being
told by their government to be against it.
Again, see above. Your equating a Mandarin speaker to a PRC citizen is
simply wrong, and likely offensive to many ZH.Wikipedians.
It's difficult to avoid the fact that the vast majority of Mandarin
speakers are PRC citizens.
Having said that, I don't think it's so much people's government
telling them to, but rather inexperience with regional vernacular
One user on the zhwiki village pump said something along the lines of
"A Cantonese Wikipedia?? Maybe we should ask for a Chengdu dialect
Wikipedia!?", which is patently absurd since Chengdu is a Mandarin
dialect by any measure (although admittedly written Chengdu
vernacular, when it is used, does differ from putonghua-based
baihuawen, though not by enough to make it difficult to comprehend)
As Ffarr said, perhaps Mandarin speakers should try reading an article
on the test wikipedia before judging. They will probably find that
it's actually very difficult for them to read, which is contrary to
what they have been told since childhood.