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

Samuel J Klein sj at wikimedia.org
Thu Jun 24 19:02:55 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 10:04 AM, Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com> wrote:

> - 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.

One way to handle interlanguage links could be to link to the simple
version, where available, next to the copmlex version in the
interlanguage links:
 English (simple)

 English (junior)
 Español (júnior)
 Français (junior)

Michael Snow writes:
> I don't think we've even decided those are the only options. It could
> also use a namespace within the same domain, or take advantage of other
> technical features like subpages, or be set up like a portal or
> wikiproject, or other possibilities I haven't thought of.

Yes.  WikiJunior set up a portal on Wikibooks that worked out.  I can
imagine the same for simple versions of Wikiquote and Wikiversity.

But there is a basic namespace dilemma for terms and topics that books
don't have.  One wants wikilinks from simple articles to naturally
link to other simple articles, using the "add brackets around natural
language" model we use elsewhere.

I like the idea of using wikijunior.org and figuring out for each
language where it should redirect -- at first these could be incubated
within the 'senior' project.

And I like the idea of combining the various projects into a single
project for kids.  This is more like some of the children's
encyclopedias out there, which combine definitions, trivia, quotes,
articles, stories, how-tos, and ideas for projects.

Ziko writes:
> - 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.

Right.  Either way, we could promote these projects as being suitable
for language-learners.  If the material is too colorful, silly, and
childlike it might discourage adults from using them to practice
language.  If it is too edgy, controversial, and explicit it might
discourage kids and teachers from using them to learn

I think something that serves both audiences is possible -- appealing
and easy to approach, visual and playful, without "dumbing things
down".  I find the World Book style rather appealing, and also
appreciate the color and good cheer that characterizes current
wikikids projects.

> 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

Of course such proposals would be welcome.   (Are proposals ever
banned?  Last I checked we retain lots of dubious proposals, on the
off chance that someone later comes along and manages to convert them
into something useful.)

> Hey, I just googled and found that there is already a proposal at Meta. :-)
< https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/meta/wiki/Wikikids

Yes, there is a store of people interested in working on such a
project, we just need to define it properly and set up a place to
experiment.   :-)


'Wikipedia : ... derived from the Hawaiian wiki, "edited at high
speed", and the Greek παῖdh, "by children".'
      - from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiSpeak

> 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.

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