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

Marcus Buck me at marcusbuck.org
Tue May 24 19:30:04 UTC 2011

An'n 24.05.2011 19:13, hett Ilario Valdelli schreven:
> On Tue, May 24, 2011 at 4:47 PM,<me at marcusbuck.org>  wrote:
>> A single dedicated person could be enough to put a project in motion.
>> A dean of a Nigerian college who integrates Wikipedia article creation
>> in the instruction plan ("if you create 200 Nigerian pidgin Wikipedia
>> articles this semester you'll get X extra credit points for your
>> degree") could be enough to get the project to 100,000 articles in a
>> year (200 articles*2 semesters*250 students = 100,000 articles in a
>> year).
> I don't agree. Wikipedia is a "collaborative" encyclopedia, it's not
> an encyclopedia.
> It means that one person cannot "drive" the project because he will
> impose a single point of view.
I didn't say anything about a single person somehow taking control. I 
just said that a single person is enough to kickstart a Wikipedia into 
vivid activity.
> It makes sense where there are no encyclopedia in this language and
> Wikipedia can be the first one, but it should be interesting to
> analyze why there were no encyclopedias before.
> I have experienced this solution in some minor languages and it
> doesn't work.
Feel free to share links so others can learn from it.
> It's difficult to aggregate people around a small core
> of articles because they are attracted by more active languages or
> because they don't have sufficient knowledge of their daily language
> to put their ideas in written sentences. It seems strange, but if
> someone should use their daily language (technically it's a "change of
> linguistic register") to write something, they like to switch language
> and to use English or Hindi or Chinese.
> Some languages don't have a literature, don't have words to translate
> technical words of legal words, don't have a dictionary or a formal
> grammar. It means that the community should build their written
> language around Wikipedia in order to start to contribute. It's
> another project.
There's hardly any language in the world with a sizable number of 
speakers that hasn't ever been written. All languages have something to 
build on. Of course you won't be able to write about quantum physics in 
Nigerian pidgin without importing terms from English. The solution: 
start with writing articles about topics that are relevant to the 
community. If it's relevant to the community they will have words for 
it. If the language lacks a write dictionary: collect the words in 

The problems you name are challenges that need to be addressed while 
building the project but they are certainly no showstoppers.

Marcus Buck

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