Talk:Language proposal policy

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Add Ilonggo and Maranaw wikipedia[edit]

Please add the Ilonggo and Maranaw wikipedia to be more language. Thanks! --Cyrus noto3at bulaga (talk) 04:18, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

You need to make requests at RNL, which I see you already started to do. --MF-W 14:52, 2 February 2017 (UTC)

New project[edit]

Hello, can somebody create a wiktionary for the There is non at that moment, only that. Thank you kindly! -- Vēnī‧vīdī‧scrīpsī [DM] 19:47, 24 February 2017 (UTC)

"That" (incubator:Wt/cu) is exactly where a Church Slavonic Wiktionary is supposed to be created. Feel free to contribute to it. People need to contribute to that test on Incubator first before there is any chance of an independent subdomain at StevenJ81 (talk) 20:06, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
Hello StevenJ81, how do I need to contribute? I can't see where to create a page, since I'm directly redirected to the Wikimedia incubator. Greetings! -- Vēnī‧vīdī‧scrīpsī [DM] 20:13, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I do not have a great deal of time at the moment, and will be happy to elaborate more in a day or two. But to make a long story short:
  • On Incubator, you create a Wiktionary page in Church Slavonic the same way you would create a Wiktionary page on any other Wikipedia. The only difference is that the page name has to have the following prefix: Wt/cu/. So you can see that the main page of the Church Slavonic Test Wiktionary is called Wt/cu/главьна страница, instead of just plain "главьна страница" (or, to use Russian Wiktionary as a comparitor, Заглавная страница).
  • Other than that, just continue to create pages. If you need additional information, you can find Wiktionary-specific help on most Wiktionary projects, and Incubator-specific help at incubator:Help:FAQ. Good luck, and thanks for helping! StevenJ81 (talk) 20:22, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
I understand that, but what if I want to create some templates. Do I need to do the same? Because I will need them like every other Wiktionary. And what about MediaWiki:Common.css and .js? They don't exist either. Thank you for helping me. -- Vēnī‧vīdī‧scrīpsī [DM] 20:28, 24 February 2017 (UTC)
You need to create or import templates for this test just as you would in any Wiktionary. (Remember to add attribution when you do that.) Templates would be named Template:Wt/cu/name. As far as Common.css and Common.js go, create them first in mainspace as Wt/cu/Common.css and Wt/cu/Common.js. Then ping me at my Incubator user page and I'll move them into MediaWiki namespace for you. StevenJ81 (talk) 15:30, 27 February 2017 (UTC)

Question on own wikipedia because of cultural differences[edit]

How do cultural differences and political hurdles affect the creation of a new wiki, let's say in the case of china and taiwan or ukraine and russia? Any ideas how this works out in practice? Would 2 versions be justified (one in a secure third country), if the political system would be a problem for people making edits? Would be interesting to know. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:38, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Austrian German[edit]

A german editor in the german wikipedia recently blocked a whole ip-rage from Austria for anonymous edits. While I understand the frustration with fake edits by anonymous accounts, this is not well received in Austria, which has a long and rather ambivalent history with germany. So there were talks of forking the german wikipedia. Some of it was fuelled by anger but there were also valid reasons because of different history, culture and langauge traditions that lead to a lot of senseless edit-wars that bind energy and effort and lead to such extreme measures. This could all be avoided with a seperate wiki where the different focus, terminology and language peculiarities could thrive next to each other (Bairisch, too):

  • History Examples: In a lot of history articles persons are referred to as Germans and their language Deutsch which is a misrepresentation of fact that takes hours to edit out (born in city a, now part of country b, earlier part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in a period where it was no longer part of Germany and so on... you get the picture...)
  • Literature and Culture: Germany, Switzerland and Austria (+ Danube States) do have a distinctly different focus on literature (see the genesis and edit discussions over "German Literature" - a lot of energy that could have been better spent with 2 or 3 distinct versions). While Germany's literature was mainly in German, Austrian-Hungarian and Swiss literature was in all languages of the multi-ethnical empire / countries (Schmidt-Dengler et al). This gets sometimes edited out and leads to another sore point and the basis to more edit wars...
  • Links: Austrian German

So, my question: If there are cultural differences that lead to unnecessary edit wars over cultural differences - is a one language version enough - and if yes, is there any chance, an austrian german wikipedia could be created, as it is formally a distinct german based language (ISO and EU)? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 11:38, 21 March 2017 (UTC)

Wikipedias must have separate languages. As w:Austrian German says, it is a dialect of German, and doesn't have the separate language code required to get its own Wikipedia.--Prosfilaes (talk) 00:22, 23 March 2017 (UTC)

Wikimedia main extensions group[edit]

For your information, recently the message group for the main extensions used on Wikimedia had grown over 5500 messages, despite several rounds of cleanup. Explicitly wanted changes can be seen on the group definition file, but big changes can happen inside extensions when developers add or remove messages. I'm now trying to make the group more human: gerrit:345293, gerrit:345297. Nemo 10:09, 29 March 2017 (UTC)

Why ISO discrimination?[edit]

I would like to ask why the languages without ISO codes are discriminated on Wikipedia, a place where in theory people take care of diversity and democracy... (The same policy applies to the musicians without the official CDs - are they worse than those who have sold millions of albums? Should they be banned and forgotten forever because they had no luck? Same situation actually.) prz_rulez (talk) 14:19, 31 July 2017 (UTC)

The "language" without an ISO code that you're talking about is Montenegrin, and Wikimedia has decided not to have multiple Wikipedias for the same language. We have left it up to ISO--in practice, the Library of Congress and the Summer Institute of Linguistics--to decide whether or not two dialects are the same language.--Prosfilaes (talk) 20:06, 31 July 2017 (UTC)
@Prz rulez: You can see those examples of languages that without ISO codes:

... and others, how do those proposals senseful? Because we can wait for a code? Because they're just language? This rule is fair, as it can hold up vandalism such as from CasetteTapeMaster. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 06:49, 1 August 2017 (UTC)

No, this rule isn't fair, it's never fair if a couple of people decides for one whole group. If it wasn't about very few enthusiasts, but some Trump-alike businessmen, we would for sure have the situations of briberies in order to get the ISO code. But these enthusiasts often have no real power. Besides, that's sort of unfair to leave such a hard task resting on their shoulders, without any help. If Wikipedia, quote unquote "doesn't want to create new language entities", then why they can't simply call it a dialect and leave them doing their thing? I've always thought that it's in the interest of Wikipedia to have more articles in more and more languages - but it seems that I was wrong... Oh, and justifying such discriminative practice due to a couple of trolling idiots is a really weak borscht. prz_rulez (talk) 15:26, 02 August 2017 (UTC)

I feel a need to step in here, which I was hoping not to do. The vandalism—the "trolling idiots"—really have nothing to do with the situation.
Please read again LPP#Requisites for eligibility. The Wikimedia Foundation simply has not wanted to be in the business of determining what is a language, what is a dialect, and so forth. WMF has felt that the standards organizations—in practice LoC and SIL—are the ones with the expertise to determine this. Accordingly, WMF's basic attitude has been that if the standards organizations are willing to give a code, WMF will not argue the point; similar, if ISO is not willing to give a code, WMF is not planning to argue the point. It is up to individual language communities to make their cases to the standards organizations. Communities that are not able to get an ISO code are always able to create projects elsewhere on the web, such as at the Incubator Plus on Wikia.
You might then say, "Why does WMF feel this way? Why not just open this to anyone?" And the answer is that in the past, this became a free-for-all. And the result of that was that many of the wikis that were consequently created ended up as not representing meaningful, serious projects, but rather only silly or biased or vanity projects. Not all did, of course, but many did. So WMF decided not to allow that to continue, and instead decided that ISO 639 codes were the best reliable, third-party source for determination of what constitutes a language and what doesn't. And on the whole, that's probably accurate.
All of the above having been said: LangCom realizes that there are cases on the edges where the ISO-code situation is perhaps more as much political than as scholarly, and where the ISO-code decisions are therefore perhaps not entirely fair are not entirely in alignment with how WMF would ideally define languages for its own purposes. Accordingly, LangCom is discussing a policy change that will be a little more open than this. Now, until and unless that policy change is adopted, I do not want to say more. I will say that the presumption will remain that ISO-code decisions are accurate; the bar for a language community without its own ISO 639–3 code is going to be quite high to get an approval. But in certain cases it will be allowed.
As far as I'm concerned, Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Montenegrin 5 can stay in place until a decision is made about this new policy, and then a decision is made on whether Montenegrin qualifies under the new policy. My guess is that it will not:
  • At the moment it will be considered a variety of Serbian, and one where the mutual intelligibility is close to 100%
  • The fact that ISO did decide that Serbian, Croatian and Bosnian are separate languages, yet doesn't recognize Montenegrin as one, is going to be a negative factor
    Has the Montenegrin community, or preferably the government of Montenegro, ever formally petitioned for a language code? (On SIL's website, I couldn't find a formal attempt to get Montenegrin a code.) Before you start complaining about the fact that Montenegrin has no code, do that first. Really. Don't write letters to the Library of Congress, make a formal submission.
But I could be wrong about all this, and the situation could certainly change over time. So I suggest that User:prz_rulez be patient, and everyone else not be so accusatory, and let's see how this evolves over time. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:23, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
I will add: If there is an active code request at SIL—and you'll have to show some documentation of it—we will allow you to have a test at Incubator, even if you do not have a language code. The risk, of course, is that if the code request is rejected, we will delete the Incubator test (moving it to Incubator Plus or to any other place of your choice). The place to make such a request is I:RST. But I will be the deciding administrator there, and I will say no unless you can show that there is a formal code request open at SIL. StevenJ81 (talk) 19:17, 2 August 2017 (UTC)
The word "fair", in English, does not mean "you get what you want". I'm glad you can attack the reputations of people who have spent their lives trying to document rare dying languages because their studies have led them to conclude that Montenegrin is a dialect of Serbian.--Prosfilaes (talk) 07:28, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@Prosfilaes: Perhaps the word "fair" wasn't quite right there; I tried to rephrase above. If that's still not quite right, please understand the following:
My intention was not in the least to attack anyone's reputation—I admire SIL's work greatly. But it's no secret that SIL's processes are not always transparent, and it's certainly clear that there are cases on the boundary that could legitimately go either way. If you look at ISO 639–3 § Criticism, you will see that there are expert linguists (which I am not) that express criticism of the 639–3 process. So the whole point here is that while in general everyone is willing to rely on SIL and ISO 639–3—even happy to do so—there may be a few cases right on the borderline where LangCom may want to allow a language/dialect that does not have an ISO 639–3 code. So it is making a narrow provision to allow that in rare cases. StevenJ81 (talk) 13:29, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
Also, in the particular case at hand: I went back to SIL's website this morning.
  • Ethnologue describes Montenegrin as an alternate name for Serbian. And based on all of the standard criteria (things like mutual intelligibility and such), there is every reason for Ethnologue to do so.
  • I also checked whether there had ever been an application to give Montenegrin its own ISO 639–3 code, and the answer to that is "no". In the absence of such an application, and given the point above, there are no grounds to complain that SIL has acted in anything other than a reasonable and appropriate manner.
My conclusion is that until and unless Montenegro (or the Montenegrin language community) applies for a code,[1] it has no right to complain about not having a code, and no right to complain about not getting a Wikipedia of its own. And I'd be pretty surprised if LangCom would grant one of its exceptions in a case where there has never been an application for a code. After all, no application for a code can be taken as a tacit acceptance that Montenegrin is really a version of Serbian. StevenJ81 (talk) 16:15, 3 August 2017 (UTC)
@StevenJ81:, the complaint about "fair" was not targeted at you. Most of the criticism on Wikipedia seems directed towards the idea of a standardized list of languages with immutable tags, which seems material. I don't mind Wikimedia feeling it needs final control on what languages it supports, but I do worry that very few of the controversial languages actually do reach a new group, instead of being a variant of a standardized language wherein all the speakers speak the standardized language.--Prosfilaes (talk) 23:50, 4 August 2017 (UTC)


  1. This would be an ISO 639–3 code from SIL, not a 639–2 code from the LiIbrary of Congress.