[Foundation-l] Promotion of Indian languages

Yann Forget yann at forget-me.net
Thu Jan 25 18:18:00 UTC 2007


I just came back from a 3 weeks trip to India, where I got the
opportunity for doing research for Wikimedia on two subjects:

> 1. Recruiting new volunteers for Indian languages projects, mainly Hindi
> and Gujarati languages.

My tentative to recruit new volunteers directly was not very successful,
so it leads me to look for new ways of promotion. However I had a nice
wikimeet with three Wikimedians in Ahmedadad. All three are computer
students and only edit the English Wikipedia. Hopefully direct contact
will enable us to work better together on a promotion campaign.

Instead on a bottom-up approach, I would like to try a top-down
tentative, writing to officials in universities, goovernments and
medias. I already started a page for coordinating this:
I would like to write an letter in behalf of the Foundation requesting
people to spread the word about Indian languages projects. A draft is
available on the page above. Suggestions and feedback are welcome.

I was also able to meet people from Blossom Charitable Trust, an NGO
doing computer education in rural areas (see http://blossomedua.org).
They translated computer manuals in Gujarati, the local language, which
not very common, but they still use Windows in English. They would like
to be part of the One Laptop Per Child project (see
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Home). So we talked about content, free
software and using software in local languages. Interesting developments
will certainly come here.

> 2. Contacting organisations and people who have some data which may be
> suitable for Wikimedia projects, mainly Commons and Wikisource.

I was able to get some documents on Gandhi not available outside India:
a copy of the "Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi" (100 volumes!) and
multimedia CDROMs.
See http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Collected_Works_of_Mahatma_Gandhi

More important, I met people who might be able to give publication
permissions for these documents and others. I was confirmed that the
images and sound recordings of Gandhi published on Commons are in the
public domain and that the claims of the Gandhiserve Foundation are
See http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Mohandas_K._Gandhi



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