[Foundation-l] Reconsidering the policy "one language - one Wikipedia"

Ziko van Dijk zvandijk at googlemail.com
Thu Jun 24 14:04:08 UTC 2010

Thanks for your very useful thoughts, Samuel. They lead us to these
two key questions:

- Create new Wikipedias, or a new project: What would make sense? If
they were new Wikipedias, we would potentially double the list with
interwiki links ("in other languages"). I prefer a new project.

- Scope and name: Maybe it would practically make no big difference
whether the project is called "simple" or "for kids". Poor readers and
adult beginning readers (natives or not) tend to read texts that are
meant for children anyway. It could make a difference in promoting,
though. A scope question can also be whether certain kinds of explicit
images are allowed.

Before beginning such a project, it may be good to have a more
elaborate concept than there has been when the Wikipedias started. But
even before that, the Foundation should tell whether such a project
has any chance to be accepted, or will be banned for being essentially
Wikipedia in already existing languages.

Hey, I just googled and found that there is already a proposal at Meta. :-)

Kind regards


2010/6/24 Samuel J Klein <sj at wikimedia.org>:
> Hi Ziko,
> On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 8:41 AM, Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> In the discussion, the question of creating a Wikipedia in simple
>> German came up.
> This would be useful.
>> As we know, to-day Wikimedia language committee policies prohibit a
>> new Wikipedia in a language that already has a Wikipedia.
> To be more precise: the language committee was tasked with determining
> when to start new language projects.  It was never asked to consider
> other sorts of new projects.  So either "simple German" is a new
> language, or it's out of the current scope of the committee.
> Overall, we've never decided whether a "simple" or "children's
> encyclopedia" should be a separate project with its own root domain,
> or another set of 'languages' that show up as an interlanguage link or
> as FOO.wikipedia.org .
>> The existence of a Wikipedia in simple English refers to the fact that it
>> had been created before that policy of 2006.
> Simple English is quite useful, and used for groups developing their
> literacy skills at all ages, including many communities learning
> English as a Second Language.  Presumably the same could be true of
> any other language.
>> There are a number of ideas and initiatives to create online
>> encyclopedias in "simple language", in and outside the Wikimedia
>> world. Wouldn't it be suitable to reconsider and try to give those
>> initiatives a place? Who else is more capable to create and support
>> such encyclopedias than we are?
> +1
> My thoughts:
> * I would love to see similar projects in at least German, French,
> Spanish, and Dutch -- languages in which there are already communities
> working on encyclopedic knowledge in simplified language.
> * We should have a new process for requesting a simple-language
> version of a project.
> * We should resolve standard practice for naming them, and decide if
> this should be a new top-level Project (like wikikids) or a variation
> on the normal language code.
> Considering the historical role of the children's encyclopedia, we
> might consider rescoping "simple" as "for children" -- this could help
> to increase participation and use, and clarify the role of these
> projects.
> SJ
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Ziko van Dijk

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