[Foundation-l] Projects in simple languages

MZMcBride z at mzmcbride.com
Mon Jun 20 17:25:02 UTC 2011

Milos Rancic wrote:
> After a month of on-list talk -- sometimes very heated, sometimes very
> quiet -- Language committee has agreed about the next wording of the
> part of the new policy [1] related to the simple languages:
> * Can there be wikis in "simple" languages?
> *: Yes, in principle. But two special criteria would need to be met: the
> language should be a "world language" with many L2 users, and there must
> be a reliable, published specification of the controlled language to be
> used. Examples are [[w:en:Basic English|Basic English]] and
> [[w:fr:Français fondamental|Français fondamental]]. (In reality it does
> not appear that there ''are'' many controlled languages other then
> English and French.)

I thought nearly everyone, except a few people who edit the Simple projects,
agreed that their creation was a horrible mistake and that they only
continue to exist as a byproduct of history. Half of the Simple English
projects (Wikibooks and Wikiquote) have been closed (Simple English
Wikiquote was a legendary horror); only Simple English Wikipedia and Simple
English Wiktionary remain. Given this, it seems rather "out of left field"
for the Language Committee to try to suddenly declare that it's acceptable
to have new simple forms. Has anything changed outside of the Committee that
triggered this?

> In practice, it means that:
> * It is likely that just Wikipedia in simple French would be approved.
> If there are reliable and published specifications of other world
> languages (Russian, Spanish, Arabic etc.), group interested in creating
> project in simple language has to present it to the LangCom.

This has come up a few times before and as I recall, the French in
particular considered a simple version of their language to be an
abomination. What's the process for a "new language" project? Would current
French Wikipedia contributors have an opportunity to object to a new simple
French Wikipedia or a new simple French Wiktionary?


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