[Foundation-l] Siberian Wikipedia once again

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Wed May 2 20:44:57 UTC 2007

Of course, Zolotaryov's answer to your allegations would be that while
"moskal'ska svoloch'" may be offensive in Russian, it is not in
Pomorian... I don't know if I buy that excuse, but it certainly has
some weight. What does his Siberian dictionary translate those words
as? If it agrees with the Russians that those are offensive, then
perhaps something can be done; however if the translation is given as
a non-offensive term then perhaps not.

The difference in "severity" of certain terms in closely related
languages, especially the "taming" of offensive words in "peasant
languages" is not uncommon in the world.

For example, the word "damn" is used in Singlish (Singaporean Creole
English) for emphasis of adjectives, as in "he damn kia su lah".
Similar usages can be seen in Hawai'ian Creole English ("Pidgin") and,
I have heard, in Scots.

There is a word in Russian that would sound like a word in English
that is considered extremely racist, but it is not racist at all in
Russian... so if we are going to make any calls on the content we need
to perform due diligence.


On 02/05/07, Johannes Rohr <jorohr at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hi there,
> the proposal to close the Siberian/Northern Russian Wikipedia edition
> has now been discussed for almost half a year. While I understand that
> no member of the board will be keen to get involved into this ongoing
> row, I feel that some sort of action would be needed.
> Personally, I don't have a firm opinion on whether or not this edition
> should be closed or should be allowed to continue (I am, however,
> quite convinced, that Yaroslav Zolotarev's "Siberian language" is a
> non-notable conlang, rather than an authentic representation of
> Northern Russian dialects, but that's a side issue for the moment)
> However, after peaking into some of the texts available at ru-sib, I
> do understand that many from the Russian-speaking wikipedia community
> are seriously offended. There are some pages, which can with some
> legitimacy be classified as hate-speech, including e.g.
> "moskal'ska svoloch' " (an approximate translation would be "Muscovite
> scum" or "Muscovite swines", whereas "moskali" is a derogative term
> for "Russians")
> http://ru-sib.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0_%D1%81%D0%B2%D0%BE%D0%BB%D0%BE%D1%87
> and "moskal'ski vybliadki"
> http://ru-sib.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D0%9C%D0%BE%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B0%D0%BB%D1%8C%D1%81%D0%BA%D0%B8_%D0%B2%D1%8B%D0%B1%D0%BB%D1%8F%D0%B4%D0%BA%D0%B8
> The former has been around since June 2006, the latter has been added
> only in March. Both pages are write-protected and, as I wrote, their
> content is fairly offensive against Russian.
> While I understand that the BoT is not in a position to micromanage or
> censor content in individual language editions and that this would be
> virtually impossible given the language barrier, I do see some
> increasing urgency in addressing this matter. This would not
> necessarily mean that the whole edition would have to be closed, but
> still, I feel, that someone from the board could and should kindly
> approach Mr. Zolotaryov and ask him to take down at least the more
> tasteless of his pages.
> Thanks,
> Johannes
> --
> http://www.infoe.de/
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