Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Old English Wikipedia

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The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it.

This is a proposal for closing and/or deleting a wiki hosted by the Wikimedia Foundation. It is subject to the current closing projects policy.


The proposal is rejected and the project will be kept open.


This is a bizarre thing with no scope that shouldn't exist. Information on a dead language makes sense, information in a dead language does not. The fact that it is rarely used is not part of my reasoning, rather that should be counted as blessing. The less people that see this thing, the better.

  1. While it is true that there is an ISO code for the language, it is a dead language. There are no native speakers of this language. The point of a Wikipedia is to provide information to people who cannot benefit from a Wikipedia in another language. Every single person that comes to this Wiki is a native speaker of a different language, so who is this helping?
  2. The wiki is filled with made-up words and things that are not relevant to Old English. Geānedu Rīcu American is apparently what they might/would have called the United States, and "Ūtanƿeard hlenċan" is how you describe "external links". Apparently the Old English had quite an interest in anime and manga (Witch Hunter Robin/ᚱᚢᚾ, Cutey Honey, Death Note, Naruto, Ergo Proxy, Vampire Knight, Anna Hutchison). You can see on the talk page for their article on surfing, an example of the manufactured words being justified, '"ȳþrīdunȝ - surfing, "wave riding"'. Why are we creating words in a dead language?!
  3. While it had been proposed for a long time (the history is a little confusing), it was created while the closure of Old English Wikisource was being debated (and heavily supported). If anything, a Wikisource makes far more sense for a dead language than a Wikipedia, and the Wikisource was being closed while this project was created. There is no logic in that. See Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Old English and Proposals for closing projects/Closure of Old English Wikisource. The timing could be construed as an attempt to get around the consensus building at the other project.

This is, quite simply, a vanity project. It should not have been opened. People writing in dead languages for themselves to read should not be part of the WMF. Inventing new words in a dead language is ludicrous. Yes scientists make "Latin names" for new species, but we don't pretend that "Phascolarctos cinereus" was actually a part of their language, as the Romans had never seen a Koala. Similarly, there can be no reasonable assumption that speakers of Old English ever knew who Nelson Mandela was, or had ever seen Iapan. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 05:57, 4 July 2011 (UTC)

A minor quibble: You're wrong about the timing thing. Old English Wikipedia was created in October 2004[1], Old English Wikisource closure debate was 3 years later in 2007. The Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Old English page is misleading because it is a copy for archival purposes of an earlier request. --Node ue 00:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

Support[edit]

  • As nominator. ▫ JohnnyMrNinja (talk / en) 06:06, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Claiming its being used just because its being used a little here is pedantry. Eraserhead1 07:15, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • All the languagues have the right to be study, but still that Wikipedia isn’t actualized updated. Kzyurt 09:55, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Project is stupid. Prodego talk 15:01, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    Is it constructive or helpful to call someone or something "stupid", without providing any explanation to back up the assertion? Your comment seems insulting to people who have invested so much time into the project. Tempodivalse [talk] 20:50, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Has no more value than an encyclopedia written in Klingon. Well, I suppose it does, but I support per the nominator. It won't help anyone learn Old English because the language being used isn't Old English - it's an "expanded" version of the language being made-up on the fly (indeed it is effectively OR). If anything it contracts the world of knowledge by corrupting a dead language and hiding the real Old English in a mess of made up words. QU TalkQu 21:42, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    • "A mess of made-up words" - since you are apparently conversant in Old English, could you enlighten us further as to the unintelligible nature of the Old English Wikipedia? Since you are an expert with the ability to make such evaluations, I think we'd all appreciate an in-depth evaluation from you to illustrate the alleged problems with the language variety used at that wiki. --Node ue 00:35, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree with proposal to close the project. Latin has an organisation charged with maintaining the language so it remains usable and useful in modern society; there is no such body for Old English. However, the content should not be moved to English Wikisource. John Vandenberg 02:50, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree with nom completely. QuiteUnusual also makes an important point. Killiondude 17:31, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • What he^ said. Theo10011 18:20, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I completely agree with the nom. This project simply doesn't make any practical sense, and it is ridiculous to be making up words in a dead language. Logan Talk Contributions 21:43, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • This project does not support the Wikimedia vision of sharing the sum of human knowledge:
    1. It is not an appropriate language for a reference encyclopedia because there is no population that depends on this language for reading comprehension and, unlike Latin or Esperanto, it is not now and never has been a lingua Franca for facilitating cross-cultural communication.
    2. The exercise of writing in or translating to Old English may have some educational value for contributors, but for this purpose the project would be a WikiPracticeYourSkills, not a Wikipedia. If the Foundation really wants to host such activity then, to share knowledge, the content should be structured as prepared exercises, not just an exercise in preparing content. (Wikisudoku anyone?)
~ Ningauble 22:45, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Point 1. doesn't make much sense here; surely you don't want to tell us that people who use Samogitian don't understand Lithuanian and therefore constitute a "population that depends on this language for reading comprehension" or that Maltese is a "lingua Franca for facilitating cross-cultural communication". Seb az86556 14:24, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
    • Sorry if that didn't make sense. In my struggle to avoid a terrible tendency for verbosity I sometimes leave the wrong things out. In the context of discussing a "dead" language with, at most, a negligible number of native speakers, I may have formulated these criteria over-broadly. I would not wish to deny any significant population's access to knowledge in their preferred language of discourse and education, and I recognize that such preferences are not dictated purely by necessity.

      At the same time, I did want to frame the issue in sufficiently broad terms to stimulate thought about fundamental questions that, to me, seem to underlie several past project closures. If the objective is to provide knowledge of the language, rather than to provide access to encyclopedic knowledge for a population that uses the language, then I doubt an encyclopedia is the best vehicle. This is not to say the objective is unworthy, but that other vehicles may be more appropriate, such as literature of the language at Wikisource or language instruction at Wikibooks. ~ Ningauble 12:20, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Agree with many of the comments above, especially Ningauble and QuiteUnusual. I would not transfer the content to English Wikisource, however. The Incubator seems a more reasonable destination if there is a need to transfer it anywhere. --RL0919 23:37, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • With respect to the people who've contributed to this one, I just can't see the value in a Wikipedia in a language that no one actively uses in real life. Latin, Sanskrit and Esperanto are all spoken by at least a small number of living people in certain circumstances; but I'm not aware of anyone who regularly uses Old English in modern times. Robofish 14:52, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Agree with many of the comments. Writing in Old English is a waste of time and efforts. Fitoschido [shouttrack] \\ 18 August, 2011 [14:22]

Oppose[edit]

  • A language is not dead if it is being used. Really, every word is "made up" some time or other - of course, we could write "ȳþ rīdunȝ" (notice the space), which is two "not made up" words, or we could write "se pleȝa on þǣm þe mann rītt bord on ȳðe"; we do not claim such words are necessarily previously used in Old English (though they are made of Old English elements, and according to Old English patterns), but we use them so that we do not have to use whole phrases when referring to such concepts, and besides, "making up words" was common practice in Old English. Also, I believe you will find that the Latin Wikipedia has a page on the USA, though no Roman known to me ever went there. Gott wisst 06:16, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • While I agree this project is a peculiarity, I reject some of the arguments presented above, and therefore oppose: 1) "No native speakers" — the same can be said for Esperanto, Volapuk (any constructed language for that matter), as well as Latin and Old Church Slavonic. 2) (and perhaps more importantly) "The point of a Wikipedia is to provide information to people who cannot benefit from a Wikipedia in another language" — this is true for (almost) any language that is not the official language of a country as well as the several dialects of the same language, such as Croatian/Serbian/Bosnian. Speakers of Bavarian, Limburgian, and West Flemish are all fluent at German or Dutch, and it is obligatory for speakers of Tatar and Chuvash to know Russian. As a matter of fact, with this frame of mind, one could easily close all Northern European language wikipdias since "there're all fluent English speakers anyways." The point here is that I cannot accept a project's closure based on mere "functionality". If this creates a precedent, we might as well limit ourselves to the languages that were aggressively promoted during colonial and imperial times; everyone on this planet knows at least one of these: English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish. 3) "The less people that see this thing, the better" — hostility towards certain languages shouldn't be a decisive factor. There are several places on this planet where the advocates of eradicting savage-dialects are on the rise. I cannot see the harm in hosting this "bizarre thing", other than offending some representatives of the narrow-minded crowd. Seb az86556 07:47, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    • There are plenty of people alive today who don't speak "English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic or Spanish", you might struggle to find a town where it was difficult to find anyone who couldn't speak at least one of those languages, but there will be hundreds of millions of people who are monolingual or even multilingual in other languages. WereSpielChequers 08:00, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
      • I see. Would this be an argument for closing West Flemish and Bavarian, then? To elaborate: we now have a policy in place, and any decision made from now on could create a precedent; if you want to close OE wikipedia, so be it — but not based on these arguments. One could just as well wonder what the point of a North Frisian wikipedia is, other than "People writing in [...] languages for themselves to read" as described above (yes, I left out "dead' because I don't see a difference here). Seb az86556 08:29, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
        • I'm not arguing either to keep or close this or other languages, I just disputed the suggestion that everyone was fluent in at least one of those six languages. If we needed to prioritise I would support prioritising new projects in languages with many monolingual speakers as that would directly further our aim to make knowledge available to all. But I'm not convinced that we need to close existing projects in order to do that. There are also two reasons why we might want to keep projects like this one. Firstly we are relying on Outreach to the Academic world as part of our strategy for growth and also for quality improvement. Even if a language is dead and has no native speakers the cost of maintaining a wiki is trivial and it could be a useful part of our collaboration with Academia and therefore an indirect support to our principle aims. Secondly one of our advantages over commercial competitors is that we will keep sites going even if there is no prospect of them making money, so people can have some confidence that their contributions will not be casually discarded. That is a big advantage that we have to attract editors, deletionism undermines that, especially deletion of an entire and academically valid project. WereSpielChequers 08:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Well said. In general (and with the new policy in place), my first question is "Does this do any harm?" — in this case, the answer is an obvious "no" in my view. If a project is overrun by vandalism or slander, consists of complete gibberish or consistently causes possible legal complications for the foundation, then it should go. Barring that, I cannot think of a good reason — and the new policy seems to agree with me. Seb az86556 09:19, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
    • (Irrelevant nitpicking: "No native speakers" definitely can not be said for Esperanto.) --Yair rand 09:57, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
      • I was going to point that out too, we even have two eo-N users on Meta. :) Tempodivalse [talk] 02:09, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Seems harmless, and potentially useful (for people wanting to learn some Old English). --Kotniski 09:37, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Its existence does no harm whatsoever to any other Wikimedia project, and it is of educational benefit to people wishing to improve their Old English skills. Educational benefit seems to me to be a Good Thing. DuncanHill 09:48, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose per others above. The proposal is very short on facts on volume of views and edits etc. Are you going to propose the Latin WP too, for which most of the same arguments apply? Johnbod 10:23, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose No way to support this one. This project has great potential. Vaibhav Talk 10:26, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose It is not so controversial to justify closure (or deletion). I also does not understand how its content can be moved to English Wikisource as it is outside the scope of that project. Ruslik 12:21, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - The proposal seems to be nothing more than personal anger, and not actual, valid arguments. Wōdenhelm 21:59, 4 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose Oppose per everything said by the opposers above, this has nothing to in common with Klingon at all, stop wasting good peoples time with proposing well running projects for closure, do something constructive. --birdy geimfyglið (:> )=| 04:26, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • I wish to add my name to those who would oppose closing this Wikipedia - in fact, I would VERY STRONGLY oppose it. After all, if you were to close this as a dead language, would you not - for the sake of parity - have to close the Wikipedias in Latin, Old Church Slavonic and Sanskrit? I think that it is interesting to keep the Wikipedia in Old English - after all, if one were an archivist, knowing Old English would be an asset. ACEOREVIVED 15:32, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    I'm not sure about the relevance of this, but Latin remained the lingua franca for European culture long after it died as a spoken language, it is still the official language of the Holy See, dictionaries are still published with new terminology, and I've heard there even are ATMs with a Latin interface in Vatican City. A. di M. 16:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Still active, why close it? And an encyclopedia in Klingon would be really neat if some people felt like writing it. Ajraddatz (Talk) 18:42, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    Hi. Did you read the nomination statement? Also, your comment suggests you don't understand the context of this fully. See History of the Klingon Wikipedia and Proposals for closing projects. Killiondude 18:58, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    I did, as I also read the supporting and opposing reasons. I also disagree with them. Part of the problem with the Klingon Wikipedia is the Klingon never was a language used by humans, which lead to debates in some areas. Old English was used by humans, and I in fact know some people who can still read and write in it. I personally don't see why it should be closed - there isn't excessive vandalism, and one wiki is hardly a drain on the WMF's resources. Ajraddatz (Talk) 19:01, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    You disagreed with the supporting and opposing reasons? ;-) Sure, Klingon is a bad comparison because of that fact. I just linked you to the history page because it didn't seem like you knew about its (former) existance. I'm not sure this is about resources. I think it's more of a matter of common sense (or, perhaps, propriety). Old English isn't used by anyone versus Latin, which is still a "dead language" but is the official language of the Vatican. The Old English Wikipedians are literally making terms and phrases up in a dead language. Imagine trying to discuss microbiology in a language that no one uses and needs contorting to discuss such a thing. The entire idea is kind of boggling. Killiondude 19:21, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
    Nitpick: as I learned today while making sure I wasn't going to say bullshit (even though I live two hours by car from there and am a lapsed Catholic), the Holy See and Vatican City are distinct entities and Latin is the official language of the former whereas Italian is that of the latter. A. di M. 21:11, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
  • On balance, I feel I must oppose. Re nominator's item 1: Yes, it's a Wikipedia in a dead language, and nobody will ever need it as their main source for encyclopedic information. But its proximity to modern English and German as well as its role as an ancestor of modern English make Old English / Anglo-Saxon a pretty major dead language and one of the few in which a Wikipedia has potential. IMO there is enough activity there to justify keeping it open for enthusiasts of the language who wish to practise it. Wikimedia has space for such oddities, and who knows what they will turn into one day. Re 2: This is a good point. Most Wikipedias I know have rules against making one's own translations of foreign terms. A quick test with the random article function has convinced me that the editors of this wiki are in fact writing about what interests them, or maybe systematically creating stubs following some automatic scheme, rather than writing about topics that make sense in an Anglo-Saxon Wikipedia. This should probably be corrected. While coining translations for site-specific terms such as "external links" can of course not be avoided, they should really stick to topics that are discussed in Anglo-Saxon literature, or at least that could have been discussed there. If this Wikipedia matures and manages to attract some real Anglo-Saxon scholars, then I expect they are headed that way anyway, but it may be a good idea to nudge them in that direction. Re 3: This is just wrong. Anglo-Saxon texts are in scope for English WikiSource. Editors' original writing in Anglo-Saxon is obviously not in scope, so deletion would mean loss of all the content. Hans Adler 20:23, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
The broad range of topics reflects the same broad range as can be found in any other Wikipedia edition (the German Wikipedia does not limit itself to German history and society, for example). We felt that the purpose was to have knowledge, of all kinds, of all topics, in the language, and not for it to solely fixate within the scope of Anglo-Saxon history. Some lesser vocabulary is made on-the-fly, indeed, but it's generally understood easily, an example of this would be a "fire mountain". That should be obvious. For other harder terms, we have an entire discussion system where we propose terms, with secondary possibilities, to use for modern concepts; thereby functioning as a "language committee" as was mentioned for Latin, as similar to what exists within Iceland, for Icelandic. Either way, this proposal seems to be based on little more than "it's stupid, I dont like it". Wōdenhelm 20:37, 5 July 2011 (UTC)
As far as I know there is no precedent for editors of a Wikipedia engaging in large-scale original research of the kind that is required for writing a general-purpose encyclopedia, except as an intermediate stage before the project matures and all such content gets deleted or rewritten. The German Wikipedia obviously does not limit itself to German topics, but the cases in which there is a temptation to make up German terms because none exist are relatively rare. When this does happen, wikipedia:de:WP:NOR#Begriffsfindung says, in approximate translation: "Original coinage: A special form of original research is 'original coinage'. [...] Self-made terms for [phenomena for which no terms exist] are undesirable in Wikipedia. [...] It may happen that there is no established German term for a connection, but one exists in another language (example: Internet). Then in cases of doubt the established foreign language term should be preferred. Translation into a term that is not established in German, on the other hand, is to be regarded as original coinage."
While some fooling around with anachronism will obviously be necessary to keep the fun in your project, you should really make sure not to overdo it. You don't have a realistic chance to get anywhere close to the size of one of the Wikipedias in a major modern language, and pretending that you can is not helpful and may threaten your project. Hans Adler 21:25, 10 July 2011 (UTC)
Generally, I try to balance out what is done carefully, with respect to running as parallel as possible to what other Germanic languages use. The use of an existing term in italics, untranslated, could be done in place just as well, without radically altering pages (just simple word substitutions). Either way, this is a fight for survival against a juvenile attack. Wōdenhelm 01:38, 11 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I see no reason to delete content, in a real language, that people dedicated time and effort to create. --Node ue 00:33, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose, it is a real language. If for no other reason - keep for educational value. Learners of Old English will benefit tremendously from being able to read and even write in this language. It is a way of ensuring that the language, even if dead, will never be lost. Tempodivalse [talk] 02:09, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. There are plenty of reasons for opposition to choose from; I'll remark on just one. The nomination says "The point of a Wikipedia is to provide information to people who cannot benefit from a Wikipedia in another language" — that's inaccurate. Change the first word from "The" to "One", and it'd be true but irrelevant to the nomination. WMF is about education (not just one narrowly delimited kind of education), and Old English Wikipedia is educational. --Pi zero 16:23, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    Thank you! We might have disagreed elsewhere, but I wholly agree with you here. You said what I tried to express in the discussion section, but much more concisely. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:32, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The nominator's argument shows the variety of topics which the project has been able to cover, making it the best argument against closing the project. Almafeta 16:54, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    • To support my argument: In the list of Wikipedias by sample of articles, Old English is 148th with a score of 2.63. While still a single-digit wikipedia, it still has more information on encyclopedic topics than 142 other wikipedias. Almafeta 10:53, 22 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The study of Old English is a serious academic discipline. English was the first written language of Western Europe in the post-classical period, at a time when all other writing was in Latin or Greek. The forms, the manners and cultural outlook displayed in the Old English texts are a unique insight into the age and its culture. The Old English Wicipædia is an educational project of utility to those studying Old English and the development of English, perhaps at the light-hearted end on occasion but it encourages academic study.
Texts are not a question of word-for-word translation; composition in Old English requires a cultural understanding and a deep familiarity with the mode of expression used at this root stage of English. The writing of articles in Old English has thus encouraged the academic study of original texts and a better appreciation of them, which has fed into other Wikimedia projects as it provides a better understanding of the nature and possibilities of Modern English. Even the invention of new expressions, which on the surface seems laughable, involves a process of study and reason which has taken the contributors into a deeper study of authentic texts, of the process of etymology and of parallel texts in old Norse and Icelandic, assisting in deeper appreciation of the subject. Hogweard 23:03, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The wiki has great potential and can serve as a learning platform for those interested in Old English. Knowledge is knowledge, both in facts and skills. --OosWesThoesBes 10:55, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Does it do harm - no. Is it useful - certainly (if only in some accademic way - wait a moment wasn't that the whole idea behind wikipedia?) Agathoclea 16:16, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I support Agathoclea's reasoning, I dislike to see Wikimedia Foundation treated as if it was some kind of political body. Not everyone contributes for the wider usefulness of what's written. Chickasaurus 17:07, 12 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. This is a case of minority tastes—the older Germanic languages have a smaller constituency than, for example, Latin—but that isn't the same as uselessness or "vanity." Granted, I regret the typographic purism of the approach, which makes it harder to contribute there than I would like. But that doesn't diminish the value of the project as a learning and sharing tool for those who are interested in Anglo-Saxon, and I have to disagree strongly that it makes Wikipedia or the Foundation look bad to cover rare tastes in scholarship; rather the reverse. Yngvadottir 04:30, 15 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The ancestor of English is Old English. Metallic-Wiki contribr mosster 09:26, 17 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Sooper Dooper Uoper Shoomper Very Strong Oppose - Sorry for my rather immature oppose, but that's how much I oppose this closure. For the first reason, there are a lot of enthusiasts of Old English. Many topics on Old English certainly should be in a wiki. Also, some people like reading from a dead language, to learn it. Your 2nd argument is somewhat valid, but it also makes no sense. We create words for Latin, and even languages that are not even existent in the real world (such as Klingon). Comparing Old English to Klingon is just bad. Mexico is called Mexicum in the Latin Wikipedia, but did the Romans even know about Mexico (there is a theory that the Romans DID visit what is now Mexico, but we're not debating possible pre-Columbian sails to the Americas)? No. Sometimes we must create words for dead languages, and people continue to create words for various languages whether it be a dead language in speak (Latin) or a completely non-existent language that only exists in a certain media (Klingon is a very good example) or even a language completely spoken widely (Chaucer and Shakespeare invented a lot of words we use today). Old English is a very important language, and I think it does deserve a Wikipedia for certain Early Medieval topics about England and Europe. As for reason 3, there really is not much validity in this. Yes, a Wikisource in a dead language makes much sense, but that really should not be used as an argument. In conclusion, I strongly oppose. Speedy Gonzalez 06:37, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose - I'll never use it. I'll never read it. I'll certainly never contribute to it. However, as the people of the world seem to have rejected my very sensible proposal "The Internet should only contain stuff I like", there is no strong reason for deleting the project, (unless we are running low on kerosene for the Wikimedia servers again). Manning 08:18, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose The project is active and the contents are good. Is a language that someone spoken even now. I don't understand the reason why it should be closed. --Reder 10:28, 20 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Not a matter for discussion - The premise of this proposal is based on the highly misguided sweeping assumption that the language is dead. I know a few people who speak it and several people who are learning it so on this basis alone the assumption, and thus the proposal, fail. It doesn't matter if it's not a popular wiki because of the small number of users, but it has every right to exist and rather then be closed it should be nurtured as one of the foremost hubs of knowledge on the language. Deletion proposer is being destructive I make a new proposal this users should be banned from Wikipedia. Keepoldenglishwiki 13:24, 24 July 2011 (UTC)
  • Oppose. irrelevant proposal : there is a contributor and it is the only thing which matters --Jagwar 交談 homewiki 21:47, 2 August 2011 (UTC)

Discussion[edit]

  • I'd like to note that one of the suggestions listed in the boilerplate at the top of the page (should be transferred to English Wikisource) probably wouldn't work out because Wikisource is intended for historical texts and documents, not wiki website material. Tempodivalse [talk] 02:14, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
  • If this wikipedia is to be deleted, how about wikipedia of ido, wikipedia of classical chinese, wikipedia of gothic, wikipedia of Interlingua, wikipedia of Lojban, wikipedia of Church Slavonic language, wikipedia of Volapük, wikipedia of latin and so on? They aremost of them have fewer article then this wikipedia and all of them have no native speaker nowaday.C933103 13:26, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
    • As mentioned several times above, the outcome of this proposal could create a precedent, not only for so-called "dead languages", but also for those without a "population that depends on this language for reading comprehension" (such as Bavarian, Bosnian, Samogitian) and that are not "a lingua Franca for facilitating cross-cultural communication". Seb az86556 14:18, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
I've had to use Old English to speak with Norwegians, as I dont speak Norwegian, but okay. Wōdenhelm 17:51, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Do we really want to limit ourselves to languages that are "alive"? And how do we determine what languages are indeed "dead"? People in ang.wp and la.wp use "dead" languages amongst each other actively and Latin is used in an official capacity at the Holy See. From a purely practical perspective yes, these language Wikipedias are not the ones people will usually refer to for information, but on the other hand, think of the educational value that comes with being able to actively read and write in a dead language. It opens the door to whole new cultures. The ultimate goal of wikimedia is to provide people with the sum of man's knowledge, no? "Dead" languages are part of that sum too. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:49, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
But if nobody is expected to read the articles for information about their subject then we are taking Marshall McLuhan's hyperbolic dictum that "the medium is the message" to a literal extreme, where the language is the only message and the content is superfluous. Are there not better ways to share knowledge of the language than by writing an "encyclopedia" that will not be used as an encyclopedic reference? I am not saying that the exercise is completely vacuous, but that it just isn't an encyclopedia. ~ Ningauble 13:15, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
"But if nobody is expected to read the articles for information" ... is this necessarily true, though? We can make a similar argument for the closure of Esperanto/Ido Wikipedia or various creole wikis because everyone who speaks it necessarily speaks another language, so there is linguistic, "redundant" overlap. Primarily, I view "dead" language projects as an ideal educational tool for people to learn new languages and new cultures, even if obsolete. (Example: Although inept at writing Latin, I do enjoy perusing through the Latin wikipedia now and again to keep my abilities sharpened.) Maybe that's too idealistic for wikimedia, but I have an unconventional way of how I see things work. Tempodivalse [talk] 14:02, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
(ec) Again, you [can](inserted later) say that about many editions of wikipedia. What's the point of a wikipedia in Cornish? Seb az86556 14:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
@Tempodivalse: Is it true? I was reflecting your own observation that "these language Wikipedias are not the ones people will usually refer to for information," and yes, I suspect it is true of "dead" languages. I tried to clarify in my remarks at Support above that I am not really thinking about languages that are "redundant," but those which are not a preferred language of discourse and education for any significant population. Overlap happens. I respect your perspective on the educational value, but I don't think this is the right way to go about it. ~ Ningauble 17:56, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
@Seb az86556: Assuming "(ec) ... you " refers to me(?), about which Wikipedias have I said such things? I acknowledged above that some of my remarks may have been overbroad in describing general characteristics, but I do not recall ever singling out any other Wikipedia. You have asked about some specific examples, but I am not able to address them because I am not familiar with their usage. ~ Ningauble 17:56, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
("can" inserted, sorry. Seb az86556 19:25, 7 July 2011 (UTC))
No language is really dead, as long as someone knows and speaks it ... a really "dead" language in my view is one whose speakers have all died and where there is no material for others to learn it from. Well, we can agree to disagree. I do understand most of the arguments for closing the project. I just can't bring myself to agree with them. Tempodivalse [talk] 19:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

The opening of this, where the proposal was put forth, describes the project as "a vanity project", but couldn't one say that about all Wikipedias (including - dare I say - the modern English Wikipedia)? I still oppose the proposal. I think that it will help scholars who are interested in Anglo-Saxon history to practice edits in Anglo-Saxon. True, in those days, people might not have had "external links" or known who Nelson Mandela was, but there are still meaningful articles that could be written in this Wikipedia - for example, an article on Canute the Dane or Alfred the Great. Can I ask whether the proposer would feel more sympathy about keeping this if it were limited to articles that would have meaningful to the Anglo-Saxons? ACEOREVIVED 09:51, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

  • Is there any reason we're not numbering votes? If so, does it have something to do with the new policy? Tempodivalse [talk] 16:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
    • "Yes" (it's not a !vote anymore. basically, the one person deciding on this has full discretion to decide whatever) Seb az86556 16:53, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
      • I've always thought the project closing process was a little unfair, but this makes it even worse. At least with a vote you could see the percentages of votes, but now one person can decide the fate of a project and many hours of others' work? This process needs to be changed. It's biased in favour of closure. Tempodivalse [talk] 17:05, 7 July 2011 (UTC) (Sorry for the hyperbole. I didn't see the new policy, now that I have, it reassures me. In general I feel strongly about project closures, seeing as two of my favourite wikis, that I'd devoted hours to, were shut down rather unfairly.) 19:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
        • Closing projects policy --Pi zero 17:15, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
          • Mmm, nice to know the board has the final say on all closures and that some of the "unwritten rules" were written down. I haven't seen that page before, thanks for pointing it out. Some things could still be done to make the process more fair though. Allowing *anyone* to propose a project for closure means the threat still hangs over many small wikis when someone gets it into his mind he doesn't like a project. Tempodivalse [talk] 17:48, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
            • Well, it's yes-and-no, and this nomination is a testcase; in the ideal case, any utterance along the lines of "yes," "it's stupid," and "what he said" should simply be ignored. Only those who actually participated in the discussion's back-and-forth should be given any credence. Seb az86556 19:31, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
              • Too late now —the section headings for this page certainly should stay as they are, since content has already been added to all of them— but might it have been better if, from page creation, the section headings had been chosen to clearly reflect the non-voting nature of the page? Perhaps "Supporting arguments", "Opposing arguments", and "Discussion of procedure"? --Pi zero 22:22, 7 July 2011 (UTC)
                • That would indeed be better, and should be done for future proposals; it turns out the nominator never read the new policy. Seb az86556 23:33, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

To combat the notion that this Wikipedia is not used to learn, I will say that articles which I myself have not read, I will indeed read them to learn of topics. The Old English Wikipedia is indeed acting as a primary reference for learning. Although the Old English community is both small and fragmented, there are many others who indeed read it (while not writing in it). I've seen other Old English speakers across the web make use of neologisms which were debated and agreed upon in the Wikipedia, showing that others (folks I dont know) are making use of it. Wōdenhelm 01:16, 8 July 2011 (UTC)

I too have seen references to the Old English Wikipedia on the web (by people who do not edit it), which would seem to show that people do indeed read it. Gott wisst 04:59, 8 July 2011 (UTC)
              • In a time when Universities are cutting OE studies this is a valuable and interesting resource.
  • Can't we close this request already? It's becoming an oppose pile-on. It's neither helpful nor productive for a community to be held under Damocles' sword of closure for so long. Being an editor on several small projects, I can tell you that editing on a project proposed for deletion becomes very strained. Tempodivalse [talk] 17:44, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
    • The committee will close it in good time. For now, you can rest easy - look at their proposed action, keep open. Almafeta 22:03, 27 July 2011 (UTC)


Can we take it that the proposal has now been defeated, and the Wikipedia in question will NOT be closed? The original proposal was made on July 4 2011, and it is now August 16 2011, which is surely enough time for a decision to have been reached. ACEOREVIVED 15:24, 16 August 2011 (UTC)

Indeed, it looks soundly defeated to me. Wōdenhelm 00:08, 17 August 2011 (UTC)
Under the terms of the new Closing projects policy, we are waiting to see a recommendation from Langcom (with rationale?) to the board, followed by notice of a final board resolution or official action on the question. This is one of the first proposals to be processed under the new policy, so it still remains to be seen how it is going to work in practice. ~ Ningauble 13:35, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Decisions of this sort are very serious matters and one certainly wouldn't want anyone to rush their deliberations, but one also hopes this protraction is mostly administrative overhead that will go faster with practice. Living under threat, even if the risk now seems quite low, is psychologically unhealthy for the project. --Pi zero 16:24, 18 August 2011 (UTC)
Having been anxious to take control of the process, Langcom might have been expected to take the pending proposals to the scheduled August 3 Board meeting, but that may not have been the case. I agree that it is not good to dangle the Sword of Damocles over people's heads indefinitely. ~ Ningauble 19:36, 18 August 2011 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it.