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

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Mon Mar 8 15:48:01 UTC 2010

On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 6:58 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.

I agree with this decision but probably it's better that the
communities could change the interface. In my opinion the contributors
of an old language may not be able to understand the "latin script"
(IMHO the Greek should have the interface with Greek alphabet also to
avoid the mix of different characters).

I think that the better solution is to have an interface with the most
similar living language like happened for Church Slavonic Wikisource.

> 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.

> 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.

In my opinion also if there is an old extinct language the decision
should be based on the *liveliness* of language. Probably some old
languages are studied at school (like ancient Greek) and there are
persons which are able to understand them also without a dictionary.

Wikipedia should defend the "endangered languages" and if someone is
not mother tongue but he is able to write and read (not necessary to
speak), the proposal to open the Wikipedia in this language should be
well accepted. The project could help the language to don't be

A decision moved to the "liveliness" based on the diffusion at
secondary schools (excluded Universities) for example could be better.
Some students would agree to write an article in old Greek for example
and the teachers could support the initiative.


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