I agree with Jimbo here. Portuguese is one language, just as English is one
language, despite regional differences, and despite some ignorant (in my
view) people saying they don't speak English, but American. And though I
may find British accents and spelling funny, that's simply what they do, and
if I were to move there or visit, I'd change how I spell things to follow
their norms. But despite our differences, we are all still English
speakers, just as Mexicans, Colombians, and Spaniards are all Spanish
speakers, and Germans, Swiss, and Austrians are all German speakers. We all
have our regionalisms, but we can all rise above those regionalisms and
understand each other. Saying there should be 2 Portuguese Wikis is like
saying we need an Australian, British, American, and Canadian English Wiki,
or Swiss, Austrian, and German Wiki. Redundancy, splitting of community
efforts, and in general, diluting the language's wiki growth.
But that's just me.
PS - How goes that Anglo-Saxon wiki?
[mailto:wikipedia-l-bounces@Wikimedia.org] On Behalf Of Jimmy (Jimbo) Wales
Sent: Thursday, August 19, 2004 7:45 PM
To: joao miranda; wikipedia-l(a)Wikimedia.org
Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Brazilian Portuguese
Joao, I wanted to express my full agreement with all of the principles that
you discuss. I repeat that I don't know enough about the differences in
language to be able to say anything about what the right answer is, but I
will say that I think that the approach you are taking is the right one in
terms of the _principles_ involved.
We developed rules to prevent
conflicts between Brazilian and Portuguese users:
1. Edits that change an article from a flavour to another are
prohibited unless more than 50% of the content of article is improved.
2. Articles can't be moved from a title prevalent in one flavour to a
title prevalent in another.
3. When an article has two possible titles both are mentioned in the
first sentence of the article.
4. Words unfamiliar to one of the sub-communities may have a link to a
entry in the wiktionary.
One additional etiquette guideline that you might consider is something like
our rule on en: "Articles which focus on a topic specific to a particular
English-speaking country should generally aim to conform to the spelling of
Presumably on topics that are particular to Portugal or Brazil, it can be an
easier read if that flavour of language is followed.
I hope we will soon implement a new rule that allows
changes to a more
neutral language every time a word or expression causes conflicts. In
summary, we applied the neutral point of view to our problem.
Whenever possible, this certainly seems wise.
There are of course, people with good intentions that
want to fork.
Yes, of course, and these people must be respected and accomodated, and
their legitimate concerns addressed as much as possible.
In my opinion, forking is, for the moment, a bad
option from the point
of view of any well intentioned wikipedian. In the Portuguese speaking
world, conventional encyclopaedias (commercial encyclopaedias) are
written in a neutral flavour of the language that is pleasant both to
the Brazilians and to the Portuguese. That's precisely the flavour of
the language that must be adopted by an encyclopaedia writer. A
neutral flavour is also the most adequate to an encyclopaedia.
Additionally, the pt.wikipedia is still a weak community. A large
number of users still need to absorb some of the most fundamental
wikipedia policies like the neutral point of view and the copyright
issues. And we have only about 13 000 articles, most of them stubs or
incomplete articles. A fork would produce two smaller and even weaker
communities. Our common resources would be wasted in a duplication of
These last two points are particularly worthy of emphasis. The first is
that neutral language and flavor is the most adequate to an encyclopedia
anyway. The second is that a split of a young community like this would
likely delay the achievement of major milestones by many years.
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