[Foundation-l] Changes in Language committee practice: ancient and constructed languages

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Sun Mar 7 17:58:57 UTC 2010

This issue was discussed a number of times here. As some changes has
happened, you should know that.

Requests for Wikisource in Ancient Greek and Coptic have became
eligible, as well as request for Ancient Greek Wikiquote. The
condition for those projects is to keep default interface in English.

Rationale: Both languages have large amount of texts and it is
reasonable to keep them separately. At the other side, languages are
not living, which means that interface can't be written in those
languages. As the heritage written in those languages belong to the
whole humanity, there is no common modern language for those who use
those languages in scientific or cultural purposes, and English is
world's lingua franca, the default interface should be in English.

Consequences: All requests will be considered on case by case basis.
For some ancient languages there is a sense to have separate
Wikisource and Wikiquote, for some it is reasonably to have just
Wikisource, for some it is not. And it is because of various reasons.

For example, request for Wikisource in Classical Chinese has been
rejected. Written Chinese is not very different for millenniums and WS
in Classical Chinese would have interface in modern Chinese (probably,
in Traditional Hanji), as person who knows Classical Chinese has to
know modern Chinese. Thus, it would be just a fork of Chinese

The other example which would be rejected is Wikisource in Old Church
Slavonic. There are less than 20 preserved documents written in Old
Church Slavonic and thus there is no need to create a project for such
amount of texts. At the other side, Church Slavonic Wikisource would
have sense and the default interface would be in Russian -- as the
most of those who know to read Church Slavonic, know to read Russian,

Requests for Wikisource and Wikinews in Esperanto have became
eligible, too. Esperanto projects are treated as projects in any other
language, as Esperanto is a living language.

Rationale: Esperanto is a living language with significant number of
native speakers.

Consequences: Esperanto is an exceptional case for artificial
languages. It is the only artificial language which has significant
culture behind itself, as well as there are numerous examples of
Esperanto as a native language. As it is a living language, it can
have the full set of Wikimedia projects.

The only comparable case with Esperanto is Latin, although Latin is
not an artificial language. As it is a living language, it can get the
full set of projects.

Request for Wikipedia in Ancient Hebrew has been rejected. It is not
possible to have article about train in Ancient Hebrew and it is not
living language, which means that article about train won't be created
at all.

Consequences: It is not possible to get Wikipedia in ancient language.

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