[Foundation-l] Fw: Why we should use the community draft of the language proposal policy

Crazy Lover always_yours.forever at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 5 02:31:33 UTC 2008

----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Leigh Babbage <gladysthegroovymule at yahoo.co.uk>
To: foundation-l at lists.wikimedia.org; langcom-l at list.wikimedia.org
Sent: Tuesday, November 18, 2008 2:07:47 PM
Subject: [Foundation-l] Why we should use the community draft of the language proposal policy

Some Wikimedia users (and I am
certainly part of this group) thought it unfair that, whilst
artificial languages such as Esperanto and Volupak were allowed by
this policy to have Wikipedias, classical languages such as Latin and
Ancient Greek were not, on the grounds that, since they have no
native speakers, they do not serve a community and are therefore at
odds with the foundation's mission statement. This seems like both a
contradiction and a questionable interpretation of the foundation's
mission statement. With this in mind, one of the requisites for
eligibility in the current policy:

“The proposal has a sufficient
number of living native speakers to form a viable community and
audience. (Wikisource wikis are allowed in languages with no native
speakers, although these should be on a wiki for the modern form of
the language if possible.) 

If the proposal is for an
    artificial language such as Esperanto,
    it must have a reasonable degree of recognition as determined by
    discussion (this requirement is being discussed by the language
    Has been changed to this in the community draft:

“The proposal has a sufficient worldwide number of people able to
express themselves at a fluent level, in the written, spoken or
signed form, to form a viable community and audience. 

If the proposal is for a
    language without native speakers, it will need to be demonstrated
    that it is well attested in written texts, and is in current use as
    a special, auxiliary, engineered, classical or learned language.”
    The community draft's requisite
    reflects the fact that a viable community and audience does not need
    native speakers,

In fact, for cultural purpose, the native condition is not determinant. More important is the language prestigious.

    The community draft also specifies
    how much of the interface has to be translated before final approval
    for both first projects in a language and projects in languages that
    already have projects. By requiring the 500 most-used messages to be
    translated for a first project, the policy sets a goal that is tough
    but reasonable. Requiring too many messages to be translated before
    the creation of the project would be likely to tire-out a smaller
    community (which would, of course, grow once the project was
    actually created). Not requiring any would make it easier for
    languages without much real support to slip through the net (I think
    that this part of the process should be used not only to make sure
    that the language has an interface, but also as another part of the
    test to see whether a language is suitable for the project). By
    requiring 500 messages to be translated we can ensure that people
    are serious about the project and have enough motivation, that the
    language (if it is classical) is capable of expressing modern
    concepts and that potential editors are not *too*
    over-worked during what is (let's be honest) the most boring part of
    the process. It is more sensible to require a grater number of
    messages to be translated before the creation of another project in
    a language because a language that already has at least one
    Wikimedia project should have a bigger community. 


I agree, minimal localisation proves the ability of the languages expressing technical concepts

it is unbelievable that langcom doesn't yet endorse the community draft. It's excellent.



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