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

Ilario Valdelli valdelli at gmail.com
Sat Jun 26 15:18:24 UTC 2010

On Thu, Jun 24, 2010 at 10:08 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 24 June 2010 15:04, Ziko van Dijk <zvandijk at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> - 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.
> I strongly disagree. There is a big difference between simple language
> and simple concepts. Children need simple concepts (basically, you
> can't assume as much prior knowledge because they haven't had time to
> learn things that adults consider to be common knowledge). Adults that
> are just learning a language need simple language because they haven't
> learnt complicated vocabulary yet.

I would put the accent in this concept most of all because there are
not only adults but also students who has an intermediate level of
knowledge of a foreign language.

The problem of different linguistic "registers" (this is the technical
name of the problem) is well known. An article about some legal issues
can be easy for a no-technical reader, but can be judged weak for a

The trend is for a technical and exhaustive language but this will put
Wikipedia in the condition to lose his own popular position in the
preferences of readers.

In Italian Wikipedia, for example, we have had long time ago a project
with the aim to create a structure of any article of physics with a
section for "easy readers".

The project has failed because the most difficult point for a
physician is to explain a complicated concept with easy concepts (and
not necessary with easy words).

In any case my vision is a Wikipedia where there are three buttons for
each articles: easy, intermediate, advanced and any person can select
their level hiding the unnecessary sections and the technical words.


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