[Foundation-l] The sad story of training material to learn Farsi

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Mon Feb 20 01:39:49 UTC 2006

GerardM wrote:

>The material was created at http://wikibooks.org/wiki/Farsi. It was in
>the days when everything was still there. The original material had
>one basic flaw; it was written left to right while Farsi is written
>from left to right.  While working on this material, it struck me that
>it is really sad that you have to create teaching material that is as
>basic as this for every language.
I don't see anything sad about it at all.  It seems perfectly normal 
that newbies to Farsi or any other subject would begin at this very 
basic level.

>As we were creating the concepts for what was called "Ultimate
>Wiktionary" but what is currently known as WiktionaryZ, it came to me
>that we should not have the Dutch words there as the translation for
>the Farsi content, but that we should have the translation of the
>Farsi words in the language of the student. This would mean that
>everybody can use the material.
This is not a Wiktionary issue; it is a grammar issue.  It is about 
deciding where the to put the line between vocabulary and how it is put 
together to form a language.  These lessons should be in the Wikibook 
for the student's own language, where the particularities of the target 
language will be explained in a way that he understands.  As long as a 
lesson is a mere word list nobody will be able to learn from it.

>Today I was asked by someone where the Farsi lessons were, somebody
>actually wants to use it.. This means that all this effort had people
>use it... It meant that all the pronunciations were going to be
>listened to... The material is not there anymore .. it is not useful
>anymore ..
The material is still there but most of the pages appear to have been 
orphaned.  See [[Talk:Farsi]] for links when someone was asking about 
what to do with the orphaned pages.  It was User 
who copied all this material to the fa:wikibooks, and re-linked to it to 
create all the orphans.  His effort was incomplete as he did not do this 
with the later lessons.  He has not been seen since March of last year.

>I do not doubt that the people who worked on it intended well, but at
>this moment it is not Farsi / Dutch, it is not Farsi / English it is
>certainly unusable.
>The timing could have been worse; Brion is busy with the integration
>of the namespace manager. It is therefore possible to have pages in
>the fa.wikibooks that are specific for the Dutch language and pages
>specific for the English language. Alternatively we could have a
>namespace for Farsi content in the nl.wikibooks. This would mean
>however that we should be able to have a namespace that is oriented in
>a different direction from the other namespaces in a database. I do
>not know if we can do this already, I am sure however that we will
>want something like this for the right to left languages like Farsi in
The lesson pages should likely have a mixed orientation, but primarily 
in the orientation of the student's own language since that is where the 
instructions will go.

>Now there is one practical question remaining; what will we do with
>the Farsi lessons in the fa.wikibooks that were originally intended to
>teach Dutch people Farsi.
Assuming that the situation in nl:wikibooks is similar to the English 
one, the situation should be explained to the fa:community.  They then 
should feel free to delete them based on their own rules.


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