[Foundation-l] Fwd: NYTimes.com: African Languages Grow as a Wikipedia Pr...

Alphax (Wikipedia email) alphasigmax at gmail.com
Mon Aug 28 07:23:18 UTC 2006

Ray Saintonge wrote:
> Alphax (Wikipedia email) wrote:
>> daniwo59 at aol.com wrote:
>>> In a message dated 8/27/2006 6:17:12 PM Eastern Daylight Time,  
>>> gerard.meijssen at gmail.com writes:
>>> It is  imho wrong to call it languages in developing regions, it is not 
>>> that  simple and the article cited is about Wikipedia in its African  
>>> settings.
>>> Actually, the article cited doesnt mention WiktionaryZ, which was the bulk  
>>> of your email. I am talking in principle, when we refer to projects that need a 
>>> nudge, let's not just focus on African languages because it happens to be in 
>>> vogue. There are plenty of other important languages out there that also 
>>> need a  gentle push so that they can reach their full potential. 
>> Unfortunately the people who are likely to know these languages are
>> unlikely to want to contribute to Wikipedia, because they'd probably see
>> it as a waste of time/doomed to fail/whatever. Still, I can ask people...
> It would be wrong to impute motives to any of the speakers whose 
> language is not represented by a strong Wikipedia community.

Ok, perhaps I should clarify something here. I'm not talking about
native speakers, I'm talking about people who have some knowledge and
have access to native speakers when they go back to wherever they're
taking a break from...

> In many respects I agree with both Danny and Gerard on this.  
> "Developing regions" may have been an unfortunate choice of words, but 
> the differences that they have expressed seem like the sort of thing 
> that can easily be resolved through dialogue.  We should indeed be 
> encouraging development in all languages, and development goes well 
> beyond word lists and languages.  Having complete dictionary listings 
> for Tocharian or Beothuk is not going to bring those languages back to 
> life.  Extensive dictionary listings for all the aboriginal languages of 
> Australia will do very little to bring those people onto the internet 
> and contributing to Wikipedia in their own languages.
> Many of these languages were pre-literate until waves of Christian 
> missionaries went in and translated the Bible for them.  Talk about 
> paternalistic! 

... and they're Christian missionaries from various aid organisations.

NOW do you see why people have no desire to contribute? Attitudes like
yours, buddy.

Alphax - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Alphax
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