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

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Tue Feb 12 14:36:17 UTC 2008

system messages on am.wp have been translated for a while now. I know
you don't see a lot of value in project-level localizations, but
please don't pretend the translations haven't been around in several
African languages, including Amharic, Swahili. and I believe Zulu.

On 10/02/2008, Gerard Meijssen <gerard.meijssen at gmail.com> wrote:
> Hoi,
> The Wikimedia Foundation does not spend anything on the support of languages
> per se. What it supports is projects in many languages. It is people that
> invest in their language and culture.
> In the last two Wikimanias it has been said that we, the Wikimedia
> Foundation, want to promote Wikipedia particularly in Africa. It is only in
> 2008 that the first three exclusively African languages have the most
> relevant messages in MediaWiki localised. If the WMF has invested in African
> languages, there has not been much that can be observed that has a practical
> value. We are not talking about minority languages when we are talking about
> Swahili, Amharic, Igbo, Yoruba.....
> The WMF is not investing in languages; it supports projects. These projects
> can be in whatever language. The WMF supports what comes along and has
> sufficient relevance. It is the board that decides what languages the WMF
> supports and as a consequence is given this relevance, the most the language
> committee does is recommend to allow for a particular project.
> So in conclusion, it is *people *that invest in languages. It is the
> Wikimedia Foundation that provides them with a platform to make this happen.
> Thanks,
>     GerardM
> On Feb 10, 2008 12:45 PM, Jesse Martin (Pathoschild) <pathoschild at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > All these comments are very informative, but we're straying from the
> > topic. The question is not whether we should deliberately exclude
> > minority languages or cultures, but whether we should consider the
> > preservation of cultures and languages part of the Foundation mission.
> > If we don't consider something a goal, that does not mean we work
> > *against* it. For example, our goal is not to promote human rights or
> > prevent child soldiery, even though our work benefits those causes.
> >
> > Should the Foundation be willing to allocate donated funds and
> > resources to that purpose? What is the mission of the Wikimedia
> > Foundation itself (not of the individual users, who have their own
> > causes and motives)?
> >
> > --
> > Yours cordially,
> > Jesse Martin (Pathoschild)
> >
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> >
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Refije dirije lanmè yo paske nou posede pwòp bato.

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