[Foundation-l] Future fate of Siberian Wikipedia

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Wed Aug 1 10:13:24 UTC 2007

On 01/08/07, Johannes Rohr <jorohr at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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).

Of course it isn't a vernacular. That doesn't mean it isn't a natural
language - there are several natural "standard" languages that aren't
anybody's vernacular, or that weren't until very recently.

I find your statement regarding intelligibility suspect. Please
provide references to support it.

> 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.

Yes, but it doesn't make sense to me that we should close all existing
Wikis that would not be created under the current policy. I feel that
we should grandfather them in and treat proposed removals on a
case-by-case basis.

> ...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?

First of all, that offending content is part of a poem used as an
example of a certain author, or at least that is what I have been

Second of all, the differences are very great, and they lie in the
intention of the respective languages: Toki Pona is intended as a
simple international auxiliary language; Klingon is the language of a
fictional race of aliens. Siberian, on the other hand, is intended to
be a language for a specific geocultural group.

> 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.

There are dozens of other Wikis that would not be created today
because current policy is very restrictive due to the xenophobic idea
that "we already have enough Wikis". If the current policy had existed
at the beginning, who knows how many languages we'd have today?

Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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