[Wikipedia-l] Re: One Chinese Wikipedia

Lorenzarius lorenzarius at gmail.com
Fri Sep 10 08:27:05 UTC 2004

I myself is a traditional Chinese user, and I am also one of the first
zh wikipedians. I don't agree that we should have one TC wp and one SC
wp, because I know they are the same language, it's just some
characters are written differently... if I read any article out-loud
to you, you won't know whether the article I am holding is written in
TC or SC. It's just like Russian can be written using Cyrillic
alphabet or Latin alphabet, or Japanese can be written using hirakana,
katakana or romanji.

On Thu, 9 Sep 2004 20:40:54 -0700, Mark Williamson <node.ue at gmail.com> wrote:
> Because until just now, I was not subscribed to wikipedia-l because I
> had no good reason to be, I was not aware of this and nobody bothered
> to notify me, which irritates me since quite a few people knew I was
> pursuing this project.

The sudden appearance of zh-tw.wikipedia.org irritates me very much
too, because we have been discussing this problem since the very
beginning of zh.

> The thing here is this: "One China, Two Systems" applies to HONG KONG,
> and not TAIWAN. The "tw" in zh-tw: stands for Taiwan. If it *were* to
> apply to Hong Kong, it couldn't be said to be a single language
> because the language spoken in Hong Kong is Cantonese.

So do you mean what you're pursuing is a "Taiwanese Chinese"
wikipedia? But not a "traditional Chinese" wikipedia? Then shall we
have a separate British English wp and an American English wp too?

Yes, we speak Cantonese in Hong Kong, but formally we don't write
Cantonese. We write what we call "written language", which is the same
"written language" in Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Fuzhou or Taipei.

> Wikipedia would be the first major website to pursue a unified zh:,
> with IBM, Microsoft, Linux, and just about everybody on the face of
> the earth having separate versions for simplified and traditional
> Chinese. To have a unified version is not workable.

Three years ago, some guys want to create a free, serious, online
encyclopedia which allows everyone to edit its articles. People would
say these guys are nuts. "Such an encyclopedia is not workable." They
would say. Because the existing Encyclopaedia Britannia, Microsoft
Encarta and many other serious works are all created by experts and
> It is not merely a difference in characters as perhaps some would like
> you to believe, but much more than that. It is very easy to convert
> traditional characters to simplified, but it is much trickier to do so
> vice-versa. zh: is almost completely in simplified chinese.

How much "trickier" exactly?

Even if it's very much "trickier", do you think that instead of
developing a way to overcome the problem, we should just avoid it?

> zh: has in the past had a few different systems for interlinking
> articles between the two, and there are hundreds if not thousands of
> articles that still use the old systems instead of the current system.
> In addition, the entire user interface is in simplified. This makes it
> extremely uncomfortable for a person who uses *exclusively*
> traditional to use zh:, and it will scare many users away (as
> Laurentius admits, sie was at first scared away because of the
> dominance of simplified; for every user that comes back after being
> initially scared away by this there are perhaps 300 that never come
> back). zh-tw:, on the other hand, the last I checked, had a UI
> completely in Traditional.

Yup, this is surely a problem, which we need to _solve_ but not to _evade_.

> Also, another issue is that currently the article count of zh: is
> inflated by the fact that many pages have two versions.

So? That's not a sufficient reason to have one TC wp and one SC wp.
(Plus I don't really care about the article count anyway.)

We're currently in the process of combining pages which have two
versions, in preparation for the conversion software.

> Laurentius is wanting to mischaracterise (no pun intended) the
> difference between simplified and traditional chinese as minimal,
> which they most certainly are NOT.
> If we are to have one dominant version, it should be traditional since
> traditional characters are much easier for a simplified user to read
> than vice-versa since they already have to learn them to read
> classical literature and such.
> For example, any random 50 characters you choose in Simplified might
> map to any of 100 or so characters in Traditional chinese, as you can
> imagine this leads to a great deal of ambiguity.

Wrong, very wrong. Here's some fact. In the "List of simplified
characters" issued by the PRC, there are 2338 simplified characters.
Among them, only 32 SC can map to two TC and only 2 can map to 3 TC.

> Also, Laurentius and others are trying to portray events on zh: as
> complete 100% consensus that a united version should be kept although
> this is far from the truth.

Sorry, Mark, I have never ever seen you on Chinese Wikipedia before.
Nor have I seen you try to participate in our discussion on how to
solve this TC/SC problem.

You just don't know or understand what's really happening/what had
happened on Chinese Wikipedia.


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