[Wikipedia-l] Re: FW: Wikipedia for Old English

Adam Bishop grenfell_ at hotmail.com
Fri Aug 6 21:22:24 UTC 2004

I think an Old English Wikipedia sounds interesting (although I don't know 
very much OE myself), and now that you are also discussing Latin, I wanted 
to point out a few problems you might encounter (I am an admin on the Latin 

Most importantly, you should start off by making some guidelines about what 
should and should not be included.  The Latin wikipedia is pretty old and 
only recently has there been a concerted effort to give it some direction - 
I think any new wikipedia in a dead language would benefit from having the 
rules first.

For example, you would (I assume) want to have articles about Anglo-Saxon 
related topics, but will people also want to write about unrelated subjects? 
  Will the stereotypical Pokemon article be allowed?

What form of the language will you use?  For Latin, I think we try to be as 
classical as possible, although there is some medieval and neo-Latin there 
too.  As far as I understand, the 9th century Wessex dialect is the most 
attested form of Anglo-Saxon, right?  Would you accept alternate 
spelling/grammar found in other dialects (Northumbrian, perhaps)?

(As a side note, you would probably also want to specifically state that Old 
English is not the same as "ye olde English", nor is it Chaucerian or 
Shakespearian English, as has been mentioned already.)

Are there groups who still use Old English, from whom you can draw either 
contributors or information on where to begin?  Is there any information on 
how to use OE words for modern concepts? For Latin it is fairly easy to find 
Neo-Latin terms, but what if you want to write about Japan, for example, in 
OE? I guess my point is, can OE still be used in a meaningful way, or will 
you be limited by existing vocabulary?

I hope these questions/suggestions help, and I hope I can contribute when it 
is created!

Adam Bishop

>From: Pierre Abbat <phma at phma.hn.org>
>Reply-To: wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org
>To: wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org
>Subject: Re: [Wikipedia-l] Re: FW: Wikipedia for Old English
>Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2004 15:40:55 -0400
>On Thursday 05 August 2004 10:48, Karl Eichwalder wrote:
> > "James R. Johnson" <modean52 at comcast.net> writes:
> > > I guess it's like Latin in being a dead language, but just as
> > > deserving of a Wiki.
> >
> > Encyclopedia writer should try to get the facts right before 
> > Latin is still in use (and it was never dead).  And, more 
> > Latin something like a sleeping lingua franca.
>"Dead" referring to a language means "having no native 
speakers". Unlike Manx,
>which died with its last native speaker (but is still in use), Latin 
>(but remained in use) when its descendants differentiated sufficiently 
>none of them was Latin, which can't be pinpointed as precisely.
>li fi'u vu'u fi'u fi'u du li pa
>Wikipedia-l mailing list
>Wikipedia-l at Wikimedia.org

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