Requests for comment/Zazaki wikipedia

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The following request for comments is closed. No substantive comments made in over two years. Eventual resolution, if any, is unknown. --A. B. (talk) 20:50, 18 October 2010 (UTC)


I'm active at Incubator and recently a test wiki with code "zza" was started. Code "zza" is a macrolanguage (see SIL) with two sublanguages/subdialects: "diq" and "kiu". Because diq.wikipedia already exists, it had to use "kiu". But it seemed that was not the right code, and they told me there was an issue with diq.wikipedia (see incubator:User talk:SPQRobin, both sections about Zazaki, and also diq:Wikipedia:Portalê cemaeti/Other issues). I'll try to summarise it.

Zazaki language has a lot of dialects (like all languages), and they mentioned two institutes/organisations which have a standard language. These are Vate and Zaza Language Institut. They said that Vate is the most accepted standard.

Now, I'm talking with "they", who are they? They said there are two camps/groups/fractions/whatever in a standard language: pro-Kurdish and pro-independent (i.e. making an own language). (Background info: Zazaki is very related to Kurdish)

  • Pro-Kurdish are using Vate and pro-independent are using Zaza Language Institute.
  • Pro-Kurdish had started the test project at Incubator and pro-independent are using diq.wikipedia.

The Pro-Kurdish group explained that they were starting a test project because on diq.wikipedia they were using an own, self-created, standard language, and said that they had edit wars and finally left because of that, etc. Only 2 users still edit diq.wikipedia.

Now, if all statements are true (I believe so), they should use the most accepted standard language on diq.wikipedia, that is Vate.

SPQRobin (inc!) 10:53, 6 August 2008 (UTC)


Zazaki is a separate language among the Iranian languages. It has a separate grammar and its own dialects. It consists of three main dialects (with their several sub-dialects): Northern Zazaki, Central Zazaki and Southern Zazaki (see Zazaki language)
Until now, there are two established groups on the standardization of the language, each with a different standard (Vate and Zazaki Institute). The mentioned two fractions have a different orthography, different content of articles and especially different political views and mentality. The alphabet which Zazaki Institute uses is established since 1992 and acknowledged by many periodicals.
Well, now you can not ban a site and set out the other site instead. That would be unfair. Particularly diq.wikipedia already exists, regardless of all anger and disagreements.
To our opinion, there would be two options possible for resolving this situation.
On the one hand: An coexistence of two separate Wikipedias (diq and kui) on Zazaki. In comparison, as in the Norwegian Bokmål and Nynorsk.
On the other hand: An entire Wikipedia under the main name zza), which offers the main dialects a separate part. In comparison, as in the Kurdish (There are Kurmanji and Sorani dialects/languages.)
Another important point is the confusing term Kirmanjki. The meaning of this word is in origin nothing other than Kurdish. Therefore the pro-Kurdish group use rather this term. But this should really be corrected in SIL and Ethnologue. --Mirzali, Asmên, 6.8.2008, 17:44 (CET)


First of all, I would like to introduce myself. I am the proposer, one of the three sysops, and the most active user in diq.wikipedia. (please see diq.wikipedia stats). I believe an endless long discussion will not benefit any of the stakeholders. So, I would like to give a little background information and briefly talk about my main points.
Background: As SPQRobin said, diq.wikipedia is currently using a self-made standard language, a mix of kiu and diq dialects. This standard language is made by sysops Asmen and Mirzali (they work for Zaza-Institute). It is also true that only 2 users left editing. (I temporarily suspended my edits there because of Asmen and Mirzali’s inflexibility on their standards. Also many of the users left for the same reason.) Beside the standards of Asmen & Mirzali (or Zaza institute), a pro-Kurdish group called Vate, has also created its own standards. They also want their own Wikipedia under the kiu code. (Once again, there are two main Zazaki dialects with diq (dimli) and kiu (kirmanjki) codes.)
My Main Points: diq and kiu codes represent two dialects. Therefore, in diq.wikipedia, the diq (dimli) dialect should be written, and in kiu.wikipedia the kiu (kirmanjki) dialect should be written. This is a very simple Wikipedia rule when proposing a new language. I am not against one single “standard language” as long as it is accepted by the whole Zaza-community. We are far from this point, and there might never be a “standard language” accepted by the whole community. These “standard languages” created by Zaza fractions are almost like new languages—or constructed languages—hardly understandable by diq speakers. There is not even one single diq speaker who accepts Asmen & Mirzali standards. I don’t think two people should highjack a language code for their perspectives, a code that represents almost 2 million people’s dialect/language. Therefore, the two syspos in diq.wikipedia should stop writing in their “standards”, and diq.wikipedia should continue on writing in diq dialect. As a speaker of diq, and sysop of diq.wikipedia, I would like to initiate this process with the help of Wikipedians. Greetings.
Xoser 17:55, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
There are two established standard languages, as you can see. In contrast to Xoseres opinion, these standard languages can be read by native speakers, regardless of their dialect. But it would be even harder for a south Zazakî speaker to unterstand the pure northern dialect, especially in it's written form without any standardization. By the way, nobody would write in these only-one-dialect-accepted-Wikis, because nowadays almost anyone uses a standard or is not able to write anyway. So, all in all, it is absolutely necessary to introduce a standard language. As there are two standards, and two representing institutions, there won't be a productive co-operation. Instead we both, diq and kiu, obtained an agreement and propose a tolerant and peaceful co-existence, which will be the groundwork for a further co-operation in the near future.
We explained the sitation of the language once before. If we do not act in a timely manner, this unique language will be lost after a few generations. The internet is of course a far-reaching medium, and among all homepages Wikipedia shines out as the most informative one. The banning / prohibiting of one or even both Wikis would be very destructive for the speakers who use the standards.
(By the way, I am a native speaker of the kiu north dialect, from the region of Dêrsim, and we use the term Kirmanckî for our language. It's a synonym for Zazakî and Kurdish; and I am able to undestand the standard as well as the southern dialect. It did not take more than one day to get it)
--Berxwedan 19:52, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
To Berxwedan: You should read Meta:Language proposal policy. I would like to quote several lines from that policy: "The language must be sufficiently unique that it could not coexist on a more general wiki. In most cases, this excludes regional dialects and different written forms of the same language: The degree of difference required is considered on a case-by-case basis. The subcommittee does not consider political differences, since the Wikimedia Foundation's goal is to give every single person free, unbiased access to the sum of all human knowledge, rather than information from the viewpoint of individual political communities." Xoser 20:30, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Erased Part[edit]

As you can see his nicknames are changing constantly (here as Xoser, there as Memede Cewligij and elsewhere again another name), and also his statements. He doesn't know where he should turn the matter? You're welcome to have a look at his edits in diq.wikipedia. Whether these were also useful, is questionable. The amount is still being far from the quality. He is just frustrated and reacts emotionally. The fact is that he neither speaks diq nor kui, because he is from the central area of Zazaki. He is lying, everyone can testify this. (Why does my edit not work by login here? It's still not working! :-))
First of all, you should use your user-name here. This attitude is not constructive. Targeting me and writing false statements about me will not help you either? Instead, focus on the relevant issues. As for my user-name, I filled a Username change request to have a consistent name across Wiki-projects. Your claims about me is not true. You are targeting me simply because I don’t agree with you in this issue. I am consistent throughout this discussion. I consistently say that diq--which also includes central Zaza areas--and kiu codes should only be used for the dialects that they represent. These codes do not represent languages that are created by political fractions. Xoser 22:10, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
He is such a cunnig liar. It would just be enough to have a look at his user-talk site (http://diq.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_talk:Xosere) on Zazaki wikipedia, to understand what a kindergarten game he is trying to drive. He is opposed to the authority of the research group. It has only personal reasons, nothing more.
He lives in America and is familiar with good English knowledge and paragraphs in wikipedia. This distorts the whole thing in to a wrong direction.
He is mentally removed from his own culture and language. He neither speaks diq nor kui, not to mention his own dialect, namely the Central Zazaki.
The information in SIL and Ethnologue is really not up to date, because there are three main dialects in Zazaki and there should be a code for each of the three dialects of Zazaki. So diq doesn't include the central dialects. But these form a separate own dialect group. The confusing title kui should also be changed, because it stands for Kirmanjki and means Kurdish.
The writings in wikipedia must be academic and not like a kid's game. Should we now let the priority to the academics/researchers or to the ignorants? Please, check your studies well and choose to meet on that matter. --Kagan 14:53, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
The same guy is targeting me again under a different name this time. Whatever he says about me is not true. This is all because I don't support his side. He is not candid enough to use his real name. I think that shows the integrity of this person. I am not going to answer to his insults. I don't want to make this page unpleasant to other wikipedians. His attitude is not constructive and might prevent other wikipedian to join this discussion. --Xoser 17:24, 12 August 2008 (UTC)
He thinks millions of people have no eyes and ears, and would not have the same thoughts. This is an outrageous insinuation. He tries to draw our names even in the dirt. If you knew with what evil insults and threats in his emails, he privately sends to me, you would be shocked about his crude behavior. And all the rumors about him are true and that he can’t cope with and so he is just attacking me/us personally.
I myself would not reduce to his level and I hope that this matter will be treated fairly. (Since I have made some changes accidentally by no login, that's why my login doesn’t work. But I assure you, however, the guy Kagan above is not me.) Best regards! --Mirzali
Why you keep targeting me with with false pretenses and under different names/or without signing? You can write your name. It seems that you want to disrupt this discussion with your harsh language. But I think your attitude will not help you. This discussion is not about me. I apologize to others and hoe this issue to be solved this way or another way. --Xoser 17:15, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
You see his arrogance and his selfish decision. He try only to wash in innocence and hush the matter, in which he is at once outwardly so diplomatically. What a jerky actor. This is really ridiculous. --Mirzali
I am not going to answer to user Mirzali anymore. I have already answered him several times. I don't see this going anywhere with this kind of attitude and language. This supposed be a discussion page for the future of Zazaki Wikipedia. I hope that the Language Subcommittee will solve this issue soon. Xoser 20:16, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

I (Mirzali) and Asmen are the proposer, two of the three sysops from diq.wikipedia, and we work for Zaza Language Institute.

Our problem had not been "diq" or "kiu" yet, until our colleague Xosere brought the matter to roll. We together had fought generally from the outset for a place for Zazaki in Wikipedia. (Please see Requests_for_new_languages/diq!) It was initially open for all dialects. He has been influenced and guided from discussions in other Zaza forums. None of us sent him really appreciated something malicious. But he sent the worst insults in his private emails to me. But again he felt personally attacked and insulted. Ultimately he reacted emotionally, where he even contacted the people from the Kurdish side to interfere with. Finally when he was abandoned also of those people, he was suddenly olone.

If he really would be from the southern Zaza region, it would have been no further problem. But he is now times from the central Zaza area. Apart from this, the fact is that he is not powerful of any Zazaki dialect. This is not an insult to him, but it is an established truth. That is why he would be unable in his position to manage this page scientifically. I also don’t think he would find any support by speakers of the southern dialect.

Our work (from the Zazaki-Institute) on the standard language of the Zazaki is a result of year-long scientific research. It isn’t an artificially constructed language, as some assume it. Only those, who have little or no knowledge of Zazaki think so. We're very hurt, that now our trouble and work will be questioned and destroyed at once.

Unlike us, the work of the Vate (a Pro-Kurdish group) is not scientific. Apart from the Kurdish spelling, try these people to equal Zazaki at Kurdish, in which they use numerous Kurdish words in their books and magazines, although exist there original Zazaki words.

Now if you look at the matter from the outside, there should be actually five Wikipedias in Zazaki.

- one for Zazaki institute

- one for Vate group

- one for northern dialect of Zazaki

- one for central dialect of Zazaki

- one for southern dialect of Zazaki

And as it seems, this is not technically feasible. Unless you get all this with a general code zza, in which each of the above-mentioned sections would have a separate part.

Or we could request for Standard Zazaki (under zza) and Northern Zazaki (under kiu ) to get a place for them separately. Best regards! --Mirzali 21:56, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Back to Topic[edit]

We should leave out personal matters, it's about the language and its continuance at Wikipedia. Discussions about people's character are incongruous. We can discuss and argue in a civilized and calm way.

To list up the facts (and here you can investigate the facts, do your research on the real situation. These are facts, which both fractions acknowledge - in common):

  • Kirmanckî (Zazakî) is a critically endangered language
  • There are more than two main dialects in Kirmanckî (Zazakî), there are at least three "main dialetcs" including several "subdialects" and there exist even indepented "mixed vernaculars" (Excuse me, if I'm using confusing or unknown technical terms; I translated them spontaneously)
  • There are two established standards: one the one hand the standard language of the working group of Vate and on the other hand the standard of the Zaza Language Institute.
  • There won't be a productive co-operation between these two fractions on one Wiki (best example: have a look at the situation in real life, you can be glad that the writers at Wikipedia are behaving more peacefully than the people outside)
  • In a written form the dialects are hardly understandable among themselves (if you use the language oraly, this problem disappears of course)
  • These established standards contain all sub-dialects.
  • There is no defined written form for every single dialect.

Let me expand on the last two points. There is no defined written form for every single dialect. A norm simply does not exist. Which "language" will be used, if the diq should only write in "Dimilkî" and the kiu in "Kirmanjkî"? Which kind of grammer and orthography? Nobody ever focused and still does not focuse on the details of the subdialects - in fact there are so many peculiarities that it would be necessary to create a "standard main dialect" for every subdialect - if you follow the logical order of the "each-dialect-on-his-own"-ideology, wouldn't it? This is the most destructive way to save and to care for a language. As you can see - I repeat myself - the honored Kurdish intellectuals and of course the honored athors and members of the Zaza Language Institute reocognized the fact that only a standard language, which includes all main dialetcs, can be used productive and future-proof.

The dear admins of the diq are taking their well-deserved chance of serving their language by using their standard. The kiu has to be able to use its right of applying the Vate-Standard, which is widely-accepted, just have a look at the sales of the Vate Publishing house, for example. The Vate group uses also a widely-accepted alphabet (They use the Bedirxan-Alphabet, developped in 1930, which is also used for Kurmanjî and Parts of Soranî, etc.) So, there should not be any grammatical problems.

Look at the german Wikipedia. They use of course the standard german, the so called High German, because it is the official language of the Federal Republic of Germany. Nevertheless there are Wikis in German subdialects as Bavarian and "Plattdeutsch" (Low German). Aside from the fact that these examples are defined as dialects of one standard language, they are authorized to exist beside the main language. Well, there is no state in which Zazakî is an offically accepted language. And no committee or government will accept it, at all. Not now. But there are people outside there who have worked on this language, who have created a standard! Why shall we waive our privilege to save this downtrodden but unique language? Because of what?

Now, dear Xosere, according to your quote of the language proposal policy: "The language must be sufficiently unique that it could not coexist on a more general wiki. In most cases, this excludes regional dialects and different written forms of the same language: The degree of difference required is considered on a case-by-case basis." Indeed, Kirmanckî is an unique language and it could not co-exist in it's standard forms. Have a look at the Bokmål and Nynorsk-Wikis. The use different writing forms! How does this fit into the policy? It did, somehow. If the Wikimedia Fondation aims "to give every single person free, unbiased access to the sum of all human knowledge" than it would be wrong to refuse a standard which is used to a large extent. They would make the language inapproachable for most of their native speakers. --Berxwedan 16:42, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

I don’t know why you are repeating yourself, and I think Meta:Language proposal policy is very clear about this issue. Let’s look at another article in the Requisites for eligibility:
* The language must have a valid ISO-639 1–3 code (search): If there is no valid ISO-639 code, you must obtain one. 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.
Neither Vate’s nor Zaza Institute’s “standard” language has an ISO-639 code. There are many standard languages have their own ISO-639 codes, but Ethnolgue is not convinced to give any of you an ISO-639 code. Moreover, why should Dimli or Kirmanjki speakers forfeit their codes for you? Diq and Kiu kode represents Dimli and Kirmanjki respectively, and Wikipedia projects that use these codes should be in Dimli and Kirmanjki respectively.
Currently, there is no request to open a Kirmanjki Wikipedia (kiu.wikipedia), and there is already a Dimli Wikipedia (diq.wikipedia). At this time, the two other sysops of diq.wikipedia has hijacked the code and using it for their own personal “standard” language (an arbitrary mix of Dimli and Kirmanjki). Many times they ignore Dimli and write in Kirmanjki, their native tongue. They are completely ignoring me even though I proposed the diq.wikipedia and I am a sysop there. I am here to find a solution for diq.wikipedia in which Dimli should be written.
P.S.: Dimli and Kirmanjki are described as micro-languages by the Ethnologue, and they have their own several dialects. Xoser 06:35, 19 August 2008 (UTC)