[Foundation-l] Future fate of Siberian Wikipedia

Johannes Rohr jorohr at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 09:22:15 UTC 2007

"Jussi-Ville Heiskanen"
<cimonavaro at gmail.com> writes:

> On 8/1/07, Johannes Rohr <jorohr at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Hi everyone,


>> The Siberian Wikipedia is composed in a non-notable constructed
>> language, which has absolutely no recognition by any relevant
>> authority. It is loosely based on historical contemporary Russian
>> dialects of Northern Russia and Siberia. Much of its content is
>> non-encyclopaedic, some has been considered highly offensive by many
>> Russians.
> Without making any deeper judgement on the language in question,
> much less the content; I think you have seriously misunderstood
> the meaning of the word "constructed language".
> A _constructed language_ is one that is created without any
> historical precedent at all of people speaking anything remotely
> like it.

I don't think you are right here. Most conlangs borrow heavily from
existing vernaculars or historical languages. Take for instance
Esperanto, Interlingua, Slovio, Latina sine flexione.

Still I'm not keen to fight over terms. What ever you call it,
"Sibirskoi govor" is not a vernacular, not a natural language. It
would not be understood by its alleged native speakers in the Russian
North, as much of its vocabulary is either constructed or borrowed
from other languages (and deliberately designed to be as distant from
standard Russian as possible).

> On this basis I don't think you can be talking about a constructed
> language as such, even though I make no judgement on whether the
> language/dialect - what have you - is notable enough to merit any
> presence on wikimedia.

The simplest and most objective criteria we have is recognition by
relevant bodies external to Wikimedia. ru-sib has no iso code or other
form of external recognition, thus it clearly wouldn't be eligible
under the current language proposal policy. It is purely an Internet
phenomenon, propagated by a bunch of bloggers.

>> Notable cases, where action has been taken with regard to
>> non-encyclopaedic Wikipedias in conlangs or Wikipedias in
>> non-notable conlangs include the Klingon (thl) and Toki Pona
>> (tokipona) editions. Both have been eventually relocated to wikia,
>> where their authors have every freedom and opportunity to continue
>> their projects as they see fit.
> I am not saying the same solution is a wrong solution, but I *do*
> think you are comparing apples and oranges.

...only in the sense that the aforementioned Wikis have probably less
or no offensive content, like referring to Russians as "Muscovite
scum" ("Moskal'ska svoloch"). Or which other substantial differences
do you see?

>> Unless there are double-standards, the same solution should be applied
>> to the ru-sib Wikipedia.
> There may or may not be double standards, but circumstances certainly
> alter cases, and whatever might be fair in the particular case you are
> discussing, pretty certainly it will not hinge on a comparison to klingon or
> toki pona.


I cannot see what you mean by "circumstances alter cases" when
referring to this case. In fact, if ru-sib was proposed today, it
would almost certainly be rejected. The ru-sib guys were just lucky
that they managed to get their Wiki created just before a
comprehensive policy on new languages had been developed.




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