[Wikimedia-l] conversations between WMF and non-English projects

Tilman Bayer tbayer at wikimedia.org
Fri Aug 3 22:21:20 UTC 2012

On Sun, Jul 29, 2012 at 11:27 AM, Amir E. Aharoni
<amir.aharoni at mail.huji.ac.il> wrote:
> Hi,
> In the 2012-13 WMF plan document I saw an interesting thing:
> "We’ve hosted key community stakeholders such as English Wikipedia’s
> ArbCom and Portuguese Wikipedia’s top contributors, in an effort to
> better understand and respond to issues they're facing." (page 41).
> I was very happy to read this. In general, I hope that such focused
> meetings will be held with more language communities. I don't think
> that I need to explain why :)
> I don't know how did the meeting with the Portuguese Wikipedians go;
> I
> suppose that it was good. I don't remember that I read anything about
> it in blogs or mailing lists, but I may have missed it.
Apart from the one post linked by Steven
(https://blog.wikimedia.org/2012/03/22/brazil-meetups-march/ ), the
Wikimedia blog has seen several other posts about other meetings of
WMF with Portuguese Wikipedia contributors in Brasil:




See also the recurring Brazil Catalyst section in the monthly WMF reports.

> Maybe what I'm
> about to write is known already, but I'll say it anyway.
> An important thing in such meetings is to have a community member who
> contributes to the Wikipedia in that language AND to the English
> Wikipedia. This is needed because the Foundation people are probably
> familiar with policies, customs and jargon in the English Wikipedia.
> Even simple terms, like "Village Pump", are not necessarily familiar
> to people who primarily edit in other languages; not all Wikipedias
> have ArbComs; not all Wikipedias prohibit voting; etc. Such a person
> will be able to "translate" between the English Wikipedia terms and
> the local Wikipedia terms. Without such a person misunderstandings
> will definitely happen, even if everybody knows the English language
> well.
You are of course right that it is important to be aware of the
differences between the many language versions of Wikipedia. But it
might be worth knowing that the WMF's Brazil Catalyst project
(https://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/Programa_Catalisador_do_Brasil ) has
been run out of Brazil by a native speaker of Portuguese for quite
some time now, with a WMF contractor who has been editing on the
Portuguese Wikipedia and (less frequently) the English Wikipedia since
2006. I'm not sure about the validity of your conjectures with regard
to them.

And even before that, there had been in-depth efforts by WMF to
understand the local community, see e.g.

Tilman Bayer
Senior Operations Analyst (Movement Communications)
Wikimedia Foundation
IRC (Freenode): HaeB

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