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

Milos Rancic millosh at gmail.com
Tue May 24 14:22:38 UTC 2011

On 05/24/2011 03:03 PM, Ilario Valdelli wrote:
> 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
> theory.
> 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
> "surrealistic".

That doesn't mean that there are no 30 millions of humans there. That
just means that our strategy for reaching them should be different and
on longer term.

BTW, points like your own are valid, but just if they have proposals how
to deal with such problems.

I started article [1] at Strategy wiki. Feel free to add you own.

[1] http://strategy.wikimedia.org/wiki/Missing_Wikipedias

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