[Foundation-l] 80% of our projects are failing

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Mon Dec 1 00:54:21 UTC 2008

On Sun, Nov 30, 2008 at 11:48 PM, geni <geniice at gmail.com> wrote:
> What is Tswana for mass spectrometry (looking at the translations for
> that term across European languages is mildly amusing) ? There are
> large areas where if you don't speak english you can't operate in that
> area. There is nothing wikimedia can do about this. Highly
> questionable if we would even want to.
> This doesn't mean we should give up on many languages but it does mean
> that we have to accept that the educated people from those countries
> may not want to use them and there is a significant risk of them
> becoming POV forks.

What is relatively unknown to foreigners is that even English (or any
other word language as lingua franca) is preferable language for
education, the most of people under ~18-20 and above 50 are very bad
in that lingua franca, no matter what the region is. Simply,
foreigners usually don't talk with people who don't know English (or
other world language). Even we assume that the upper limit for knowing
English will raise, it is hardly to assume that lower limit will go
significantly down. This is especially important because pidgins
(let's say, WoW or CS pidgins) locally are not translated to English
and then to a native language, but directly into a native language.
(To give a plastic example: "ASAP" will not be translated as "as soon
as possible" and then into a local language phrase, but directly to a
local language phrase.)

So, if you are able to make an internet pidgin-English project, it
could work for younger. However, en.wp is not working. To be honest, I
was thinking that the most useful Wikimedian project in Serbia is
English Wikipedia, but I was wrong. Serbian Wikipedia is the most
useful project, even it has ~30 times less articles than en.wp.

Completely other question is that a very small specter of population
is able to participate on en.wp, even in not so poor countries.

Other thing is inside of multilingual developing countries which
decided to use English in the educational system. But, it makes
another problem: significant part of population won't get even basic
education if it is in foreign language (cf. literacy level in Arab and
other Muslim countries, even the richest: only very rich, socialist
and not so populated Libya has 82% of literacy, while not so rich [per
capita] and not socialist Iran and Pakistan have 82% and 86%; even
extremely rich UAE and Saudi Arabia have 79% and [around] 80%).

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