[Foundation-l] A dangerous precedent

Andrew Whitworth wknight8111 at gmail.com
Thu Dec 27 03:17:39 UTC 2007

> On small languages, it should be remembered that the Wikimedia
> projects have the potential to save some small languages. There are
> hundreds of languages under threat right around the globe (see
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_endangered_languages) many of
> which will soon be lost as the last remaining native speakers die out.
> I think the seriousness of this situation drives a good slice of the
> prejudice against wikis for conlangs with a dozen or two speakers that
> are stuffed full of bot translations.

This, i think, is one of the most important points to be made:
Wikipedia could really serve not just as an encyclopedia, but as a
record of a language. for small and endangered languages, the
Wikipedia for that language may be one of the only written records of
that language.

Preservation of small conlangs is not nearly so important as the
preservation of small natural languages. Of course, this all ignores
the question of whether the WMF should be in the business of language
preservation. Although, I think that if it were a goal that we set out
to perform, we could probably get some funding for that purpose

--Andrew Whitworth

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