Talk:List of texts every Wikisource should have

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Why and Where[edit]

I think this is misplaced both as to purpose and location.

First, if it should exist, it should exist at the multilingual wikisource; wikisource subdomains don't incubate or get discussed here primarily, they are handled primarily at multilingual wikisource and that's where any cross-subdomain wikisourcerers (to steal a phrase from Dominic) would be most likely to see it and comment.

Second, I'm not sure that this is what we want. This suggests that creating wiki translations is a primary purpose of wikisources. I don't think it is and not all wikisources even allow it (see Wikisource:Subdomain coordination. I'd suggest if we wanted a project that had a mission of creating translations, we ought to create a new project. Wikisource isn't designed to be ideal for translation, it's designed to be ideal for transcribing scans. I could see a translation specific project having machine translation resources and some sort of linking to wiktionary as basic components (I know that there are a lot of negatives to machine translation, but I have often used it to get a reference copy when translating works in languages I'm not lang-5 in).

I think it would be far more worthwhile for each wikisource to develop its own list of what works are most important to have in that language. (Each wikisource should decide if they want to include translations in their list based on the relative importance thereof, in some cases existing translations are themselves some of the most important works in a language, viz. the s:en:King James Bible, which is important for the style and the Middle English, not to mention the historical importance, completely apart from the subject matter. Some wikisources may want to include a list of desired translations, where no known free translations exist; that's up to them).--Doug.(talk contribs) 07:41, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Where : as multi-wikisourcerers, I don't care where this list should go. Meta seems the better place for the list but oldwikisource is the better place to talk about it. But the list and the discussion about it can be separate. Finally, meta is good enough for me.
Why : 1. this is not really about translations, lots of translations have been already done. Best examples are the Bible and the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (already available in over 2,500 languages and 382 languages). 2. on somes wikisources, translations are forbidden but on most of them thery are permitted. If wikisourcerers want to do translation, why stop them ?
List for each languages is a good idea too but I like the purpose of being a bit universal.
Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:35, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
I'm not suggesting at all that we stop anyone from translating, just that to the extent the list names many works which have not been translated into anything beyond the major European languages, it seems to set further translation as a purpose, suggesting that if your wikisource doesn't have Traité élémentaire de chimie, then you need to do a wiki-translation of it and you need to prioritize that. This the aspect that bothers me.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:00, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
The first thing that to me is missing when this list is being made, is the overriding principle: What texts are to be chosen, and why? Given that the final 100 texts will be from many different cultures, it is surely not easy to find a unifying factor, but there should be some bench mark by which to measure whether a text is 'important' or not.
I hate to be the buzz-kill here, but I think that the feasibility of acquiring these texts in many (/most?) languages that have their own subdomains also need to be considered. The argument of Wiki-translations then simply doesn't hold. Wiki-translations can be expected for short texts, and I would add, primarily written in English. Expecting a wiki-translation of incredibly long texts originally written in non-English languages (and I would add non-European languages) seems to me unrealistic.
Let's use the Wikisource Bible translation as an example (and I don't mean to demean this project, I think it is a wonderfully ambitious project, and I wish it all the best!): This project is on the Wikisource project with the most human resources, i.e. enWS, but since its beginning in March 2006 (>5 years ago), has only completed drafts of 19 of the Bible's 66 books. How long would it then take for the Icelandic Wiki-translation of the Koran? Or the Hatitian Creole translation of the Annalects? For this list to actually work as a guide, it should be feasible to complete it. (With lack of editors and the time it takes to proofread as the biggest hindrances, rather than lack of available translations.) If it is seen as undoable, I fear that this list will be regarded as irrelevant by some projects, which surely isn't the point. V85 21:03, 7 November 2011 (UTC)


What should inside this list ? I have no definitive answer but some clue :

  • Free books (PD books or equivalents), at least in the native language,
  • Books that have been translate already (at least in the languages of 5-10 wikisources),
  • Very well-know text (known woldwide).

Currently, this list seems pretty biased for me :

It's not always easy to decide. The Rig Veda is maybe not well-known and translated wolrwide but it's an important texts for the Hinduism religion and civilisation.

How does Complete Works count ?

This list 100 Public Domain Classics Every Student of Humanity Should Read seem a good start for me. The 30 Books Every Adult Should Read Before They Die list contains mainly unfree modern western books.

Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:35, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

I agree. The problem with Anthems is that many of these are not translated and many of them are relatively little importance compared to the classics. For more modern literary works, Origin of Species, which is listed, does make sense. Das Kapital might be added. The other early modern works, while important, give unnecessary weight to early modern Europe and America. The ancient classics which VIGNERON points to would seem a much better place to start - and much more likely to have PD translations extent.--Doug.(talk contribs) 17:09, 31 October 2011 (UTC)
After re-thinking, I think that the Anthems should go to Language specific (because Anthems are important but mostly for the people who lived in the country). Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 22:07, 31 October 2011 (UTC)

Another possible section: Historical landmark texts[edit]

I added The Communist Manifesto to the list. Doug did not agree and removed it. Here is my talk to him about it:

So funny. God save the King is of great importance and Communist Party Manifesto is lightweight litterature ? I agree this is not exactly a religious text, if Communism is a religion. I will support a Historical landmark texts section, with Communist Manifesto, Magna Charta, US declaration of Independence, I had a dream speech, decree of Ferdinand and Isabel about spanish Jews, and so on. But I suppose it is out of the purpose of the list (please explain what is the purpose). --Nyapa 12:41, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

  • The fact that I removed one work from the Religious category and did not remove other works from, say, the National Anthem category, does not mean that I support the latter remaining. In fact, if you read my comments above, I have questioned all anthems. Further, if you read my comments at the top, I don't really like the list at all and I would seriously question several of the works you listed. You will note that at the same time I added Das Kapital. If you wanted to replace the work under a different category, I would not likely object, though I do think one work by Marx is sufficient and Das Kapital is the more consequential, if a bit longer (to say the least), work.--Doug.(talk contribs) 14:22, 2 November 2011 (UTC)
  • If you do decide to re-add the work, please link to de:s:Manifest der Kommunistischen Partei, not s:Manifesto of the Communist Party, the English translation is only important in English.--Doug.(talk contribs) 14:25, 2 November 2011 (UTC)

I agree with you : the manisfest is rather important (as much as the 95 theses or the Magna Carta at least) and we need to clean up the section (Historical landmark texts is not perfect but far better than Laws and rights). Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:52, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

Wich texts are already on lot of Wikisources ?[edit]

To establish the list with on other ways, I asked myself : which texts are already on (nearly early) wikisources ? I just create this list : oldwikisource:Universal Declaration of Human Rights and − of course − there is oldwikisource:Bible. Is there over texts (at least on 10 wikisources for instance). Cdlt, VIGNERON * discut. 13:55, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I think that this is a very good place to start when making this list. Finding out which texts have been deemed important enough to have been widely translated. (And then deemed important a second time, when WS editors decided to make them available on their language version of WS.) It would then only be a question of 'filling in the blanks' for those Wikisources which do not have them. V85 21:30, 7 November 2011 (UTC)