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Meta talk:Language proposal policy/Archives/2008

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add word "also"

Per [1] which says "It was then intended not as an exception, but as an __additional requirement__", please add "also" to :

If the proposal is for an artificial language such as Esperanto, it must also have a reasonable degree of recognition as determined by discussion. 10:35, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Proposal to abolish requisite #2

I am proposing that creation requisite #2 is abolished. This would allow projects in the small number of useful/widely used languages which have not been assigned ISO codes.

The justification for the existance of requisite #2 is that

The Wikimedia Foundation does not seek to develop new linguistic entities; there must be an extensive body of works in that language. The information that distinguishes this language from another must be sufficient to convince standards organizations to create an ISO-639 code.

It strikes me that there are some languges which are technically dialects or subsets of other languages and as such do not qualify for ISO certification. An example of this is simplified forms of languages, such as Simple English. Whilst there is a substantial difference, enough to surely warrant separate project pages, these projects cannot be created due to requisite #2.

Assuming this to be true, requisite #2 is redundant to requisite #3, and therefore does not require replacement.

To summarise my argument, I feel that it would be against the nature of Wikimedia projects to allow the decisions and consensus of its contributors to be secondary to the guidelines of an external organisation. We should not idolise ISO, and say that its decisions are final. Whether a language warrants its own project should be determined by community consensus alone, and not by the ISO. --GW_SimulationsUser Page | Talk 18:36, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Language transcriptions

I would like to bring up the question of language transcriptions. What kind of code should these project have.

Particularly now I'm asking about Pinyin because there has been such project started on Incubator. According to the current habits, I would expect the zh-pinyin code, however, I'd like to verify that.

Besides I think some general rules for transcriptions (typically romanizations) wikis and their codes should be available. Or did I miss any (part of) page about that?

Danny B. 13:54, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

As it is we do not do transcriptions. At all. When they are done, they are done by using software. A project in a transcription does not pass the criteria. Thanks, GerardM 20:01, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Spoken languages

I would like to highlight here one fact. There are many just spoken languages, which has some kind of writen form, but writen form is not in use. They are usually indigenous languages, where written form was developed by scientists latter on. Let me give one example on Quechua language. Quechua is an indigenous language spoken primarily by Inka culture descendants in the Andean part of South America (Peru and Boliva, also Ecuador, Colombia, Chile) - about 14 000 000 people. This huge community doesnt use written language. Written language was developed by scientist as former written form of Quechua (if exsited) is not known. Written Quechua is in use just by some teachers from the universities and a few students hole around the World. This shows that the benefit of qu.wikipedia.org is very low equal to e.g. wikipedias with just few hundred native speaker, however quechua itself has millions of native speakers. So the question is: how to offer our knoweledge to Quechua people?

It is important to say, that Quechua children in Peru and Boliva start to study in Quechua, but in a very short time they are transfered to Spanish. If some of them later on continue on a high school and university, they probably study also in English. so today and more deep in the future Quechua people will be able to read in Spanish, but unfortunately, to find a wikiproject in South American rural environments is very difficult.
So here I just wanted to illustrate, that to have a project in someones mother tangue, doesnt mean that he get information from "this" project. Maybe for in far future Quechuan Wikipedia will be changed to predominantly Spoken Quechua Wikipedia and distributed via OPLCs or there will be other sollutions how to offer free knoweledge how to share free knoweledge with Quechua people.--Juan de Vojnikov 06:48, 24 April 2008 (UTC)

Community policy draft

A set of users on the Wikimedia Foundation mailing list have sometimes expressed a desire to revise the language proposal policy drafted by the language subcommittee. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any conclusion or consensus on how to change the policy in any of these discussions. Instead of discussing it over and over, I suggest interested users collaborate on a community-drafted policy at Meta:Language proposal policy/Community draft. This would be drafted and approved by the community using whatever system they chose.

(This message is entirely unofficial, not from the language subcommittee. The subcommittee never sends official messages or proposals.) —{admin} Pathoschild 01:40:15, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

"Fluent Expression" instead of "Native" requirement

Community find very problematic to limit language proposal to native language. in foundation list there many example of languages that has no native speakers, but are very useful as culture vehicle. possible proposals in these will fail because of this unfair barrier

what is our proposal?

the consensual proposal of wikimedia community is replace "native" requirement" for "fluent expression". in any kind of language form (oral, written, signal) unsigned by 13:24, 14 August 2008.

That proposal is not yet consensual. Please discuss at Meta talk:Language proposal policy/Community draft. —{admin} Pathoschild 15:16:07, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
That's true, but i talking about this special clause, not to the hole draft. if you realize community accept "fluent expression" criterion, without opposition. i think, it's possible to implement staggered consensual criteria as they appear. unsigned by 13:42, 15 August 2008 (UTC).
Please discuss that particular criterion on the draft's talk page to determine consensus; it has not been discussed on its own very much. If it's well-supported, I'll try to implement it in the current policy through the subcommittee. —{admin} Pathoschild 16:11:19, 15 August 2008 (UTC)

Arabic, a non native language

Reviewing the requirement of policy, i thought in standard arabic language, and the inevitable consecuense is: this language cannot meet the requirement. Standard arabic isn't speak anymore as first language. it's based in Religious arabic languages, it's archaic, and it is neccesary to learn in school to understand it. its situation is similar to medieval latin. Then, reject any project in this useful language.

on the other hand, there are several native languages, all daugthers of classical arabic, like Egyptian arabic, whose proposal has been approved, precissely for its native condition.

the Standard Arabic is the only written form of Arabic .. all others daughter languages/dialects that u are talking about , is just spoken .... all arabic media use standard arabic in NEWS and in reports while spoken dialects in Series and Songs .. literal works combine both forms and the standard arabic is still the main body of most of the works while spoken dialects consistute just the conversations --Chaos 17:55, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
  • what is meant by (Arabic, a non native language) is nothing against Standard Arabic it only means that Standard Atrabic is no one's Mother tongue , what User:Chaos calls Standard Arabic's daughters can be called Mother tongues of a lot of people. Ghaly 14:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
  • The Wikipedia article about Arabic states that it is the first language of more than 300 million people. There are varieties of Arabic they are only spoken and is that a fact. They are only used in writing some poems, and some parts of magazines. While what is called Standard Arabic or Simply Arabic is the Spoken and written language of all the Arab people. It is Used in All sorts of Scientific papers, Education, Encyclopaedias..... So Arabic has many varieties, and some people are saying that this shall be considered as independent languages.--Mohammed Ahmed 12:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Toward a new language policy

See This, and give your opinion


I propose the following modification to the language policy in order to unifying the criterion for allowing wikis.



  • what kind of languages can have wikis?

any that has a standarized writing system and enough writers/readers worldwide to form a viable community and audience.



1.- wikimedia proyect is basically a writing project. so, every language must have a written form. and that written form has be standarized. otherwise it's imposible to make.

2.- native speakers, it is no longer mandatory. so, they could be natural, artificial or classical languages.

3.- writers and readers are linked and interchangeable concepts. a writer could be a reader and viceversa.

consider this proposition as a starting point.

i would be glad to read your opinions and ideas.


let's specify a number of writers/readers. Migth 500 potencial writers/readers worldwide make a viable community?

Latin Wikinews

Latin Wikinews were recently rejected [2] based on that it has no native speakers. Can anybody explain this decision?--Nxx 17:46, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

The existing policy does not allow for new projects in constructed languages because of the reason given. This policy has been applied. Thanks, GerardM 23:21, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
This page says the opposite. Constructed languages allowed.--Nxx 02:38, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
Latin is not a constructed language. it has been rejected by its ancient condition. Crazymadlover.
Indeed, my mistake. Thanks, GerardM 09:52, 5 December 2008 (UTC)
So why constructed languages allowed, but Latin is not?--Nxx 00:26, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Simple English problem

Hello! There is an ongoing discussion about closing the Simple English Wikipedia. One of the arguments is that "Simple English" does not qualify as "a language", classical, natural or artificial; and one sign of that is that "simple" is not a valid ISO 639 or IETF BCP 47 language code. I've read the policy outlined in this page and I'm wondering if this argument is enough to shut down that project speedily; in other words, if this policy applies retroactively.— I'm not arguing for its closure, but it seems to me that the discussion is perhaps a waste of time if this policy applies to extant projects; and given that this ongoing, active project fails to meet the criteria, it may require a rename/move to the incubator while a discussion of its goal statements or new name takes place. Cheers, Lwyx 02:24, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

So far the policies of the language committee have not been implemented retroactively. We are not going to kill off projects like Esperanto. No, Simple English is not a language by any definition. Its purpose is to lower the entry level for an encyclopaedia. If it does that, it is a viable project. If it does not it is a dog. Thanks, GerardM 07:50, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for your reply. The difference here is that Esperanto has a valid ISO 639 language code, while the expression "simple", besides being invalid, is at least ambiguous (it also works in French and Spanish). Further comments? Lwyx 17:54, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Simple-language wikis are not eligible under the current policy, but that policy only applies to requests for new wikis. Existing wikis are not affected. —Pathoschild 18:20:24, 18 December 2008 (UTC)
Great! Thanks! Lwyx 21:44, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

The rule to translate all localisations used by WMF is stupid

I think you should found a new way how to translate those localisations. There are many smaller communities without people knowing IT invironment to be able to translate these. All other points of request for a project in a new language, text the seedling of a community if it will work. This one is somethink different. I think it should be removed from the proposal guidelines. --Juan de Vojnikov 18:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

The point of the requirement for localisation is that they improve the usability of the new projects. It may be that people have a problem with localising however, this only reinforces the need for localisation; if the localisers have a problem the readers and editors of a wiki have an even bigger problem. It is for them that we need the localisation. GerardM 09:10, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Wikinews Urdu

I'm working on Wikinews Urdu edition but It does not appearing on Requests for new languages under "Open".--Chowdhury 11:03, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

That is because nobody bothered to enter the request. Thanks, GerardM 19:29, 26 December 2008 (UTC)