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

Samuel Klein meta.sj at gmail.com
Thu Jun 24 23:51:33 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 3:19 PM, Milos Rancic <millosh at gmail.com> wrote:
> The fact that 10 years old child probably doesn't know what density
> means, doesn't mean that she or he can't read about that on
> encyclopedia.

Of course.  Children who specialize in a topic often make excellent
teachers, and sometimes featured-article writers.  I like Greg's
notion of defining the project in terms of "expected level of
education" of the reader, not age.  Almost everyone may want to refer
to a simplified reference for topics that confuse them -- and there is
a niche of popularizers of {science, mathematics, economics} who do
just that, for readers of all ages.  Some of them win the highest
literary awards for their work.

One data point on language complexity:

In Peru, I work with families and teachers in rural areas with little
access to books or references, whose children have a snapshot of
Spanish Wikipedia (offline, on their OLPC laptop).  For perhaps
100,000 families and teachers, this is their primary general

The teachers like this and use it; it is part of a national
project-based curriculum for grades 3-5.

But the teachers there also asked for a simpler-language project in
Spanish, and a simple project in English to help students with
language learning.

> My personal responsibility for creating a Wikijunior project
> would be much higher than for creating a Wikinews project.

Yes.  We should definitely lay the groundwork well, as Ziko says.  But
there are good projects underway today and doing this, in spanish,
french, and dutch.  Some of the organizers of those projects have
contributed to the Wikikids proposal on meta.  We can start by
directing energies there, finding out what Vikidia has learned running
projects in French and Spanish, what their standards for
project-creation are, and how we can help them.


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