[Foundation-l] 1.3 billion of humans don't have Wikipedia in their native language

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Tue May 24 13:03:30 UTC 2011

On Sun, May 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
> I am preparing document for Wikimania. Presently, I am in process of
> analyzing data (SIL [1], Ethnologue [2], Wikimedia projects). I am using
> Ethnologue data for population estimates.

The statistics are not realistic considering only the speakers.

The "correct" statistics should have a "maturity model" to check if
one language can receive one Wikipedia.

This means, at least, to consider:

a) number of potential writers/readers
b) percentage of illiteracy
c) level of education
d) computer literacy

This means that there is no sense to say that 30 Millions of Nigerian
pidgin don't have a Wikipedia if this language is used for daily
communication, it is not written or, if written, it is spoken by a
population of 35% of literacy and 2% of persons with sufficient
education level (these are not real data, but it's only an example).

This means that the Pidgin Nigerian has a potential population of
Wikipedia's users/writers of less than 1 million of persons, less than
a dialect spoken in a region of Europe where the literacy is higher.

I use the definition of user/writer because there is no sense to have
a Wikipedia with passive users.

Honestly I see a lot of statistics in the bosom of WMF with the
*wrong* acceptance that one speaker = one potential wikipedian, this
means that all strategies are wrong because they start from a wrong

I know that it's simple to put in one side the number of speakers and
in the other side the number of users or the presence of one
Wikipedia, but the world is not so simple. In that way the error is so
high that all definitions are not realistic and probably


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