[Foundation-l] Ancient Greek Wikipedia

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Sun Apr 13 10:46:39 UTC 2008

First, I don't support opening projects in ancient languages. The
reason is simple: We have a lot of more important job to do during
this century than to work on reviving of ancient languages. (And about
Wikisources: AFAIK, there is a multilingual one and this is the right
place for putting all sources in "other languages".)

Linguistic reasons are other issue. Any language may be used as a
lingua franca. It is especially true if one profession is closely
related to a particular language or languages, like classical
philology is related to Latin, Greek and Hebrew. While two classical
philologists from different parts of the world would have a problem
with reading an article full of neologisms about space flight or
computers in Ancient Greek or Classical Hebrew, it is almost
predictable that they would have less problems in communication in
Ancient Greek about literature, philosophy, but even about the most
concepts about one encyclopedia is: non-high-technological world
around us: Apple is fruit which has those characteristics; Newton was
a physicist who was born then, died then and lived in England...

Their usage of Ancient Greek is usage of a lingua franca. While the
most of people are using English as a lingua franca, some people feel
better if they use some other language. And how much classical
philologists are in the world? If there are just 100 in Serbia (but I
think that there are more) with 7M of inhabitants, we may approximate
that there are maybe even 50.000 classical philologists in the world.

And after that, there is a question: How many Sorbs (not Serbs, but
Lusatians) really need one of their two languages (Lower Sorbian and
Upper Sorbian) to learn anything? I am quite sure that the most of
them even have to learn Sorbian as a second language, not as a mother
tongue (for a lot of them mother tongue is German). In that sense,
Ancient Greek is more valid tool for communication than Sorbian; which
means -- more valid tool for spreading knowledge.

But, again. I think that developing Wikipedias in, for example,
Khoisan languages is much bigger priority than in Ancient Greek. Which
means that the first group should get unproportionally more resources
than the second one. Even it means that WMF donates to the development
of Khoisan literacy and that we don't have Ancient Greek Wikipedia.

On Sun, Apr 13, 2008 at 12:15 PM, Ilario Valdelli <valdelli at gmail.com> wrote:
> Sorry for my additional information.
>  The comparison is not possible with a person who writes in English
>  instead of in his own language.
>  This choice is in respect with the purpose of Wikipedia: probably the
>  information written in English is more widespread than in other language
>  (my comparison is with the English, but someone can choose also French
>  or Spanish or Russian).
>  The choice of Old Greek can be acceptable if this choice is based on the
>  spreading of information but I don't think that there are so many Old
>  Greek readers.
>  Ilario
>  Ilario Valdelli wrote:
>  > No problem about your comment, it's completely true. The information in
>  > Old Greek is valid than an information in English.
>  >
>  > My question is different, the question doesn't investigate the validity
>  > of Old Greek for the communication.
>  >
>  > The problem is: why a person must write this information in Old Greek
>  > instead of in his own language? No one has got Old Greek like mother tongue.
>  >
>  > Probably that happens because it's a linguistic essay or because you
>  > like to communicate in Old Greek as your language is not an "easy" language.
>  >
>  > Closing: my position is not a political position but its' a *rational*
>  > and *logical* vision.
>  >
>  > Ilario
>  >
>  >
>  >
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