Our “A Wikivoyage to Puglia” project follows in the steps of a number of similar projects which have been already completed successfully at the University of Bari. The goal of this specific project is to increase the number of volunteers by involving MA and BA students at our University in challenging and rewarding real-life translation and second-language writing tasks. The project is aimed at both adding new content and improving existing content, with a special focus on Wikivoyage articles on the Puglia Region in the South of Italy. All activities will be carried out in the context of a dedicated teaching module aimed at the development of digital competences and soft skills (the so called "transversal competences"). Students will be primarily introduced to the principles and pillars of Wikimedia projects and then trained by experts in the field of tourism discourse and guidebook writing. Finally they will be encouraged to create new pages on Puglia destinations either by translating already existing articles or by creating new ones from scratch. The working languages will be primarily Italian and English, but we also consider tasks targeting other languages taught at our University (French, Spanish, German, Russian). All non-native language writing tasks will start in sandboxes under close supervision by University professors in Linguistics and Translation Studies. Before publication, each article will be revised by native speakers for language accuracy and by expert Wikimedians for compliance with Wikimedia standards. The overarching aim is to create a comprehensive environment in which the transl/editathon itself can be perceived as part of a more comprehensive cultural enterprise.
The Department of Research and Innovation in the Humanities (DIRIUM) at the University of Bari is willing to host a series of training sessions and transl/editathons targeting WikiVoyage. The participants will all be University students majoring in English Language for Tourism and Intercultural Mediation (undergraduate); Digital Heritage (postgraduate); Specialized Translation (postgraduate). Each training session will include time to learn or revise editing basics, time to choose article(s) for translation, or destinations for new tasks, and a final round-up. Students will also be invited to complete relevant self-paced training, including existing training presentations from Wikipedia. We also plan to launch the event with a one-day seminar involving Wikipedia volunteers, local authorities, tourism communication experts and linguistics and translation scholars. The talks will focus on Wikimedia projects as drivers for dissemination of knowledge on tourism destinations in Puglia, from the perspective of sustainable tourism. The teaching methods and the actual developement of the project will benefit from our 5-year experience with similar projects, as described in:
- a dedicated Wikimedia page 
- academic publications:
- M. Gatto (2019), Wikipedia nella didattica della traduzione
- M. Gatto e F. Meledandri, "A Wikivoyage to...". Making the most of Emergency Remote Teaching, Altre Modernità, Maggio 2022
How will you let others in your community know about your project (please provide links to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions)? Why are you targeting a specific audience?
All information about the project will be made available through a dedicated Wikimedia page which also includes information on other University projects carried out in collaboration with the Wikimedia Community, including a previous edition of "A Wikivoyage to Puglia": https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progetto:Coordinamento/Universit%C3%A0/UNIBA/Translatathon
As for the academic community, the events will be advertised through our University and Department websites. Furthermore, all students will be personally invited through official mailing lists, as their participation and performance in the project will be part of the official teaching offer for the so-called "transversal competences".
What will you have done at the end of your project? How will you follow-up with people that are involved with your project? We plan to contribute a good number of new Wikivoyage articles at least in the language pair Italian and/or English, but also in other language pairs among those taught at our University (French, Spanish, German, Russian). As this tranl/editathon is becoming part of our standard University teaching offer we will find it really easy to follow-up with all the participants.
How will you know if the project is successful and you've met your goals? Please include the following targets and feel free to add more specific to your project:
- Number of events: 1 launch event open to the general public followed by seminars and training sessions and at least 3 online/offline editing sessions.
- Number of participants: 50
- Number of new editors: 40-50
- Number of articles created or improved: 35
- Number of repeat participants (for projects that include a series of events): 10
What resources do you have? Include information on who is the organizing the project, what they will do, and if you will receive support from anywhere else (in-kind donations or additional funding).
The project is organized as part of the teaching activities at the University of Bari and past editions have been acknowledged 3 University Credits. The project leader is the English Linguistics and Translation Studies module convenor, Prof. Maristella Gatto. Other University staff involved includes Francesco Meledandri (ICT for Translation). Iolanda Pensa, current president of the Italian Wikimedia chapter has agreed to offer an opening lecture during the launch event of "A WIkivoyage to Puglia", introducing all the partipants to the relevance of Wikimedia projects to the promotion of cultural heritage in a digital environment. Local authorities have been involved in a previous edition of "A Wikivoyage to Puglia" and have informally accepted out invitation to join us again in this new event. We would also consider inviting the authors of a relatively recent article (March 2021) on the impact of Wikimedia projects on tourism flows. Experienced Wikimedians, namely Ferdi2005 and Codas, will introduce our students to the key theoretical and practical issues involved in the editathon and will teach the group basic editing skills, then revise their work from a Wikimedia perspective and keep in touch with the Wikivoyage community. We plan to host the events on-site at our University premises, but we are ready to go online using the platform for remote teaching made available at our University during the Covid Pandemics, should this be deemed necessary on any grounds. Our University guarantees that all students will have the necessary equipment for accurate editing and resources for translation and second language writing such as high quality online dictionaries, and CAT tools as well as well-serviced libraries. All students will be working under close supervision by our teaching staff and quality assessment by experts has been included as part of the activities. Before publication in Wikivoyage, all translations will be edited and proofread by university staff in Linguistics and Translation Studies, and revised for consistency, accuracy and style by experts of guidebook writing. Lonely Planet author Duncan Garwood has already accepted our invitation to join us again after taking part to the first edition of "A Wikivoyage to Puglia" last year. Tools, resources and assignments, along with all other relevant material, will be made available through our remote teaching platform.
What resources do you need? For your funding request, list bullet points for each expense:
Previous transl/editathons have benefited from free access to language resources that are of crucial importance for the best results in L2 writing and translations, including a large number of monolingual, comparable and parallel corpora (huge collections of digital text for assembled for linguistic purposes). These resources are no longer available for free and we need financial support to grant all participants access to resources that crucially important for us both during the transla/editathons and in long-term follow-up activities (especially revision for language accuracy). In particular we need to renew our access to Sketch Engine - a computational lingistics tool used to analyze authentic texts of billions of words (text corpora) to identify what is typical in language and what is unusual. All other costs will be covered using University funds devoted to Wikimedia projects. We apply therefore for a rapid grant only to cover the following expense:
- Academic Licence Sketch Engine: 3600 Euros (VAT included)