[Wikipedia-l] One Chinese - was nn (Norw. Nynorsk) wikipedia

Mark Williamson node.ue at gmail.com
Sun Sep 12 00:28:04 UTC 2004

Not to muck up the ongoing discussion regarding Nynorsk/Bokmål, on
which I have read a bit, but I'd like to point out something relevant
to the Chinese discussion.

Nynorsk and Bokmål are for the most part mutually intelligible. They
use basically exactly the same writing system.

Yet Nynorsk has recently been awarded its own Wikipedia which has
around 60 articles (vs the over 700 "legitimate" articles in the
database of zh-tw:); not that I disagree with that but that for
various reasons, no: who had previously believed they could cooperate
are now splitting. Very accurate computer conversion between the two
is possible and exists although it is not 100% accurate. Nynorsk and
Bokmål are close enough together that they wouldn't nessecarily even
need separate articles like Trad. and Simp. do ATM (pending the
implementation of the "solution" proposed by some of the Simplified
users) but could in most cases be in the same article, following a
similar policy to that of en: regarding US vs International English.

This is clearly a very sticky subject as is the other issue, but
ultimately it should be up to those raised using Nynorsk who use it in
their everyday lives who get to make the decision, not those who use

Mark/Jin Junshu

On Sat, 11 Sep 2004 05:11:24 -0400, Olve Utne <utne at nvg.org> wrote:
> Hello,
> In Wikipedia-l Digest, Vol 14, Issue 5, brion vibber wrote:
> >There's a bug in the new wiki creation script which allows zh-tw, zh-cn,
> >nn, and perhaps other language codes which are defined but had been
> >intended as aliases to be automatically created as separate wikis. Such
> >accidentally created wikis are not supported and may get closed down
> >when noticed and someone gets around to backing up their content.
> Tim Starling replied:
> >I've altered it now so that languages have to be listed in both langlist
> >and languages/Names.php before they can be created. So this sort of
> >thing shouldn't happen anymore.
> I see that nn (Nynorsk) is on your list of undesired entities.
> Nynorsk is *an official written language* (not dialect) of Norway
> beside the separate written language Bokmål (nb or bm).
> Please note the following factors:
> * Nynorsk and Bokmål are not "merely one language in different
>    alphabets" (such as can be argued for Chinese trad. / simplified,
>    Serbian / Croatian/Bosnian or Hindi / Urdu),
> * They are not merely a slight orthographic variation
>    of one language within different political entities
>    (such as UK/US English and European/Brazilian Portuguese).
> * They have a significant number of different basic terms,
>    as well as significant differences in orthography,
>    morphology and syntax.
> * The current no.wikipedia is predominantly Bokmål,
>    with only a small minority of the articles being written in Nynorsk
> * There are only three registered Nynorsk users on bm.wikipedia,
>    and there is consensus amongst these three (see below) that the
>    development of nn.wikipedia should be worked on now -- partially
>    because of the greater ease in finding Nynorsk writers for a Nynorsk
>    wikipedia than for a Bokmål wikpedia with occasional Nynorsk articles.
>    We also believe as a group (on nn.wikipedia) that Nynorsk writers
>    joining the project will join the no.wikipedia project as well --
>    thus hoping to strengthen the Norwegian wikipedia project as a whole.
> * The participation in more than one wikipedia project is the norm rather
>    than the exception amongst Scandinavian "wikipedians" in general.
>    I participate actively on nn, no/bm, sv and en.
> * Our "slogan" on the nn.wikipedia.org main page is:
>    "Samhald gjev styrke og mangfald gjev rikdom!"
>    This translates, with  as:
>    "Samhold gir styrke og mangfold gir rikdom!" (Bokmål)
>    "Sammenhold giver styrke og mangfold giver rigdom!" (Danish)
>    "Gemenskap ger styrka och mångfall ger rikedom!" (Swedish)
>    (In English, roughly:)
>    "Cooperation gives strength and diversity gives wealth!"
> I cannot see that there is any reason to block Nynorsk as a separate
> wikipedia any more than it would make sense to block Bokmål, Swedish or
> Danish as separate entities. Nynorsk is not any less defined as a language
> than the three other ones -- and all four of them are mostly mutually
> intelligible, by the way.
> Why is a Nynorsk wikipedia any more undesirable than an  Elsässisch or
> Walon one? Or separate Portuguese/Gallego ones? Because some Bokmål users
> (officially a different language) are sceptical? Would it be right if
> Castilian wikipedians were free to deny a Catalonian wikipedia?
> I support fully the advent of a common Scandinavian wikipedia with
> user-selected language interface and articles coordinated between the four
> official languages (and with parallel articles being useful in many cases)
> -- WHEN the time is ready.  But I also think it would be wrong to
> specifically inhibit the Nynorsk language's opportunity to participate
> fully and systematically in the building of material for a joined project
> on equal terms, rather than to be forced into the mainly Bokmål project as
> a not very visible or transparently organised minority.
> Please refer to the page http://nn.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Olve for
> the discussion and consensus amongst the Nynorsk users at this early stage.
> Our plans are to continue the development of http://nn.wikipedia.org/ and
> to start recruiting new users actively when the user interface is more
> complete and there are a few more articles. We also have made it very clear
> in our discussion that we will strongly encourage these new writers to
> participate on http://no.wikipedia.org/ as well -- thus making sure that
> our project results in added diversity (through a Nynorsk wikipedia being
> made available) as well as a general strengthening of the no,wikipedia project.
> Rather than having non-users of the language Nynorsk closing down this one
> out of the four separate Scandinavian written languages' wikipedias, it
> would be constructive if we could have some assistance in uploading the
> finished and available LanguageNn.php file and have one or more of the
> Nynorsk writers (currently: Olve, Dittaeva, BjarteSorensen) be appointed as
> an administrator/bureaucrat.
> Any constructive dialogue and/or assistance is of course welcome!
> Beste helsing (Best greetings),
> Olve Utne
> ___________________
> Olve Utne
> http://nn.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Olve
> http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Olve
> http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anv%E4ndare:Olve
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Olve
> http://meta.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Olve
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