[Wikipedia-l] Languages

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Wed Aug 27 20:15:59 UTC 2003

Fred Bauder wrote:

>on 8/26/03 10:11 PM, Merritt L. Perkins at mlperkins3 at juno.com wrote:
>There is a difference between this French
>>spoken in France and in Canada, in the Spanish spoken in Spain and in
>It is likely that French speaking Wikipedians will choose to have one French
>Wikipedia, but the possibiltiy arises for a second French Wikipedia, perhaps
>a Cajun one? Or simple French?
We've already done quite well in accomodating British and American 
English in one Wikipedia.  Contrariwise the Yugoslavs have chosen to 
have separate projects for languages that are not very different.  Each 
group has to sort that out for itself

>There are special characters used to write the languages.
>Yes but there almost any imaginable language in included in the unicode
I can't use it to write Egyptian hieroglyphics. :-(

>>Basque, Maori, and Manx would have few readers.
>Good examples of Wikipedias which might happen when those folks discover
>Wikipedia in any numbers, The Basques are rather nationalistic, Maori
>presumably have both specialized interests and a desire to preserve their
>language, Manxmen and Manxwomen might take an interest in resurrecting the
The number of readers doesn't matter; we should probably be more 
concerned with the number of writers.  The readers will follow.

>The language should be
>>easily written from a computer keyboard. This would exclude Arabic and
>>Chinese. There must be some way to write them but I dont know how. It
>>may require a special keyboard and software.
>It does require software but that is easily available. The Apple system X
>has it, for example. I have seen pictures of special ideograph keyboards but
>I don't think they are in general use.
There's no need to make enterring the special characters easier for 
someone who will never use them anyway.  I'm sure that a computer 
literate Arab has no problem enterrring text in his own language.

>>The head of the modern language department of a large German university
>>may be fluent in several languages and able to teach about subjects from
>>the Kavala to Xenophons Anabasis. He may have served in the Army and be
>>familiar with Army terminology and idioms, but not familiar with
>>submarines, ships, or airplanes.
>While it is fun to learn about and write articles on subjects one is
>unfamiliar with, it is not expected of anyone.
I wouln't normally expect someone from a modern language department to 
write about the mentioned topics.


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