Surprisingly long, Swedish has held the 10th place among the
largest languages of Wikipedia. Swedish is spoken by only 9
million people and the following two places are held by Russian
Some say the high rank is held in part because of many very short
articles: stubs and even "substubs". This is true, but the high
ranking of some languages (including Polish and Dutch) in this
first decade of Wikipedia is rather to be explained by the late
coming of the major languages. Arabic is still trailing at 31.
Swedish has been falling from 6th to its current 10th place.
All of April, the Swedish Wikipedia has been active with merging
"substubs" into larger units. As a result, the over all size of
the Swedish Wikipedia has been flat around 282,000 articles, while
the Russian Wikipedia has continued to grow at a healthy pace.
The difference in size is now only 5000 articles. Any day or week
soon, Russian will capture the 10th place. This will be a great
event, but what about the timing?
The Russian wikipedians already missed the 200th anniversary of
the conquest of Sveaborg (May 3, 1808). I don't think they will
time today's final in the ice hockey world championships. But I
also think they will be too early for the 299th anniversary of the
battle of Poltava (July 8, 1709). So we will have to find some
other way to mark the Russian victory for a place around the
puzzle globe (http://www.wikipedia.org/
As part of WikiProject Sweden (Википедия:Проект:Швеция), they
started yesterday a subpage "Swedish Week" (Шведская неделя). The
idea is to fill these last days of Swedish dominance with writing
new articles about Sweden. Yesterday, Saturday May 17, was
Norway's independence day but this didn't stop the Russians from
creating an article about the National holiday of Sweden, as well
as 50 other new articles pertaining to Sweden.
From a Swedish perspective, this isn't too bad. To
"I feel like I win, when I lose" (Waterloo, 1974).
The surrender of Sveaborg ([[Suomenlinna]]) fortress at Helsinki
in 1808 and the [[battle of Poltava]] in the Ukraine in 1709 are
the two most famous Swedish military losses to Russia. A Russian
expression for helplessness is "like a Swede at Poltava", but this
is not at all how I feel today.
Still, I had hoped that this year's ice hockey championships,
played in Quebec ([[2008 Men's World Ice Hockey Championships]]),
would provide retaliation, but yesterday Sweden lost out at 4th
place without medals and Russia is playing the final today against
Canada in just a few hours.
It is surprising how well hockey-playing nations (Russia, Finland,
Sweden, Norway, Canada, USA, Germany, Poland, Czech Replublic) are
doing in Wikipedia. Maybe this is what the Arabs should try.
Lars Aronsson (lars(a)aronsson.se)
Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se