[Foundation-l] Preservation of cultural diversity and minority languages

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 14:25:14 UTC 2008

I am so very thankful that you, Mr. Language Police, are not making
decisions about new projects.

This has been hashed and rehashed, and the answer is always something
along the lines of: focus resources on larger languages, but don't
block smaller languages who can afford the effort that is necessary.
It barely costs the foundation a thing! Basically,Don't Be A Dick.

On 09/02/2008, Andrew Whitworth <wknight8111 at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Feb 9, 2008 2:08 AM, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> > It is more vital because the Bengali Wikipedia is the
> > only resource that is encyclopaedic in nature; it has no peer while in
> > English there is the Encyclopaedia Britannica among several others. There
> > are "only" 170.million people that speak Bengali.
> First, I would hardly say that Bengali is a "small" language like what
> we have been discussing, so it's not on the chopping block anyway. I'm
> mostly talking about conlangs, ancient languages, and languages where
> speakers are measured in the dozens, not in the millions. Second,
> English doesn't have a comparable free resource either. I certainly
> can't afford to buy a copy of Brittanica. To measure true return on
> investment here, we have to ask there are english-speaking people who
> wouldn't have easy access to this kind of information for free in any
> other way. Remember that not all english-speaking people are
> upper-middle class suburban americans.
> > When you think that our new projects will fail, you must have missed that
> > the bar to entry has been raised considerably. The bar has been raised to
> > make it easier for people to *use *a project in a language. It is this
> > raising of the bar that prevents the request for a Turkish and Japanese
> > Wikiversity to be approved at this time.
> Raising the bar is good because it prevents failure. I suggest that we
> raise it even higher. One dedicated translator, translating about 5
> messages every day for a year could produce a full localization of
> MediaWiki. However, one such translator hardly represents a viable
> community in that language. We should demand not only localizations,
> but a viable reading community that would not access the information
> in any other way, and also a viable editing community able to create
> content. Just because some people want to contribute in a particular
> language doesnt mean that anybody wants to read the information in
> that language.
> Maybe I want to contribute in klingon, binary, whale song, bee dance,
> public key cryptography, pig Latin, semaphore, Egyptian heiroglyphs or
> Morse code. Maybe I want to contribute in English, but I demand to
> write everything backwards. Maybe I can find 100 friends who want to
> do the same. That doesn't make us a viable community, and the WMF
> doesnt need to respect us or welcome us or give us all a project, even
> if we make a complete localization and get an ISO code.
> Saying that Japanese or Turkish cannot get more projects because they
> have an incomplete localization, but that eastern wambosi should get a
> project because it does is foolish. You can't measure the size or the
> efficacy of a community based on the progress of their localization.
> Japanese and Turkish are "large" languages, with a stable native
> speaker population a modern vocabulary, and better-then-incidental
> internet access. All a localization effort does is measure the size
> and motivation of the population that speaks both Japanese/Turkish AND
> English, which is not really an important metric for starting a new
> project.
> --Andrew Whitworth
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Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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