Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Belarusian normative

From Meta, a Wikimedia project coordination wiki

Belarusian normative Wikipedia[edit]

submitted verification final decision
This proposal has been approved.
The Board of Trustees and language committee have deemed that there is sufficient grounds and community to create the new language project.
Proposal summary
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.

I suggest to reopen the already well discussed old request under the new rules.

If Belarusian language is recognised internationally and academically, there should be a separate wikipedia in it, using strictly the normative version of the language (aka regonised, academic, literary, school etc.) at that, without mixing in of the dialects, subcultural dialects, argos etc.

The existing wikipedia, supposedly in Belarusian, is not, however, effectively, done in the normative version of the language almost at all, having its interface, rules, namespace, categories all done in the alternative version of the language (self-proclaimed "classical", centering around the newspaper "Nasha Niva" and the orthography project by Vyachorka, published in 2005), only really allowing for the "articles in official orthography" (which still stand the chance of being re-written to the alternative version of the language). The situation proved to be unresolvable via normal wikipedia procedures since the creation of (c. September 2004). Yury Tarasievich 14:17, 4 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Arguments in favour[edit]

    • The normative version is well known and recognised, it is one of the state languages, also is used by Belarusian diaspora in Poland (cf. the newspaper "Niva", published in Bialystok), the normative version is obligatory subject in state schooling system, it's backed up by decades of extensive research, literature, press and broadcast. About 7+ mln. people claim it to be their native language (1999 Census), more than 2,5 mln. claim to use it at home (1999 Census, 30+% of native speakers).
    • The two versions of the language, normative and alternative, are distinct not only in orthography, but in morphology and lexicon as well, with alternative version making very wide use of Polonisms and invented words. Therefore, the widely cited "converter" is not a solution here, as the differences aren't exclusively orthographical, and even the orthographical differences aren't strictly algorithmical.
    • Feasibility and vitality of such project are proved by the nearly 2.8 thousand entries in 4 months done in Incubator (frontpage has non-updated counter value). Comparatively, be.wikipedia did nearly 5,8 thousand entries in 27 months.
    unsigned by Yury Tarasievich 14:17, 4 December 2006.
    Actually, these people simply claim Belarusian to be their native language, not its official orthography. unsigned by 16:51, 17 December 2006.
    Definition of normative (school, state, academic) Belarusian language is not separable from its normative (school, state, academic) orthography (and pronounciation). Both census question and widely/academically/internationally recognised definition are concerned with the normative version of language (which is, coincidentally, obligatory subject at school, equal for all etc.), not about each and every particular dialect, talk, or anybody's brilliant concept. I hope this answers your question. Yury Tarasievich 21:06, 17 December 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Arguments against[edit]

  • There is already, claiming to be in Belarusian language (see introduction for the explanation of the phrase), which may be a problem for the Wikimedia authorities. unsigned by Yury Tarasievich 14:17, 4 December 2006.
  • Effords should rather be directed towards having one be.wp where the spelling/version can be selected via user interface preferences. Until convinced by linguistic arguments, I believe, that this would be possible; Until proven wrong by action, I stronly believe, that there are issues of power/politics behind the suggested split of the be.wp ; none of which was of much concern, if an athmosphere of trust and cooperation had already been established. --Purodha Blissenbach 18:45, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]
  • If it's not possible for the spelling/version to be selected via user interface preferences, efforts to be directed toward having one be-wp where both variants are allowed, with the variant used by the original author of a given article taking precedence over the other. This is the way British and American spelling differences are accommodated on en-wp. unsigned by Angr 15:35, 24 January 2007.
  • We should do one Wikipedia per language, not one per orthography. Various languages (including e. g. my own native German) have more than one orthography. In those cases you generally have two options: either you allow multiple orthographies within the Wikipedia concerned or you agree on one standard spelling for that wiki. Neither option will do great harm to anybody, as the content as well as the language used will remain unaffected either way. I'm convinced that with a little bit of goodwill chosing one of the two options will work for Belarusian, too - like for all other languages.
    Besides that, creating a precedent here and allowing a second Wikipedia for an alternative orthography might even open a Pandora's box and bring back annoying issues like having separate WPs for British and American English and the like. --ARBE0 17:20, 17 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
    • Just re-read the summary. PLEASE. There are, virtually, two (diverging) versions of language. The alphabets are different, for Pete's sake. Germans have myriads of wikis in their dialects, but not anybody else, is it? Yury Tarasievich 17:45, 17 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

General discussion[edit]

  • To calm the hate of the alternative version's supporters and promoters, directed at the normative version of the language (and to have a taste of it, consult one of the posts in LJ, soliciting flash-mob to block the previous request [1], excerpts are translated into section Requests_for_new_languages/Belarussian_discussion#Pity_it_comes_to_that), it seems to retain the existing be.wikipedia, only under the name better and more precisely specifying the version of language really used there. Possibly, "Беларуская (Наша Ніва)", Беларуская (альтэрнатыва)" or something? unsigned by Yury Tarasievich 14:17, 4 December 2006.
  • I believe, effords should be directed towards having one be.wp where the spelling can be selected via user interface preferences. To the best of my knowledge, there is no real reason why this should not be possible - even though it might require consent to work cooperatively. (Btw. i'd strongly insist, if such consent could not be established, then noone would be willing to work on a be.wp anyways, since agreement to the basic principle of covering multiple languages in the wp is needed. Not accepting other languages or language varieties, would jeopardize the whole project, imho, and thus should not be allowed as a base for any single subproject) --Purodha Blissenbach 11:34, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I find it difficult to understand the purpose of your comment. And yes, I moved it to comments section, as its proper place is here. You didn't really read "pro" arguments, specifically #2, did you? Or, possibly, you didn't believe in those??

    One more thing, if you please. Seems you've got no comprehensive insight into Belarusian circumstances, am I right? I'll try re-word the request -- Belarusian language isn't dead yet to be considered "free for takers" and/or for re-making of it to whims of off-the-wall lingual inventors. Belarusian speakers are under no obligations to embrace that sort of lingual inventions (hey, it's original research!). WP authorities refused to act earlier, but native Belarusian speakers still deserve their own WP, like everybody else, don't they? Yury Tarasievich 16:30, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I, indeed, expressed my own believe, as clearly said. Study of the Belarussian language might change my belief.

    I am sorry, what I read here hardens my belief that this is a political/power issue, and cooperation is not wanted. If that was true, my suggestion would have to be to close this request, merge the test data base with the existing Wikipedia, and let matters evolve. -- Purodha Blissenbach 18:16, 7 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    I deeply resent these insinuations.

    However, I can't and won't go on confronting the facts vs. anybody's belief, that's losing proposition, ever. Just how can you issue big opinions, when you have no cultural and factual insight (or so I believe), and you didn't really read anything on the issue history (or so I believe)?? You could peruse at least May-June wikipedia-l archive beforehand, at least, and April-May Meta's discussion on the previous similar request (archived). Of course, not reading Belarusian, you loose much of a context.

    Well-wishing and abstract principles won't and don't solve real world problems, too. E.g., Germans don't have to humour all their dialects' speakers in one WP, nor are those forced into one.

    And would you please stop entering your opinions and beliefs into arguments section? I'd be much obliged if you'd remove them from there by yourself, please. You've already made a point of your suspicions, in comments, once is quite enough. Yury Tarasievich 07:52, 8 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

  • [In response to the suggestion that both versions cohabit be-wp the way British and American spellings cohabit en-wp:]

    And what objective relation does the British-American thing bear with this? We talk not several letters' difference, but massive schism on all language layers, ideologically, I could even say, hate- motivated. While people promoting alternative are quite free to do so (like in free will), they surely are not to pose as a "front-face" identity.

    In fact, I seem to detect a hint of double-standards attitude towards Belarusians here. While, e.g., every German micro-dialect gets their own WP, Belarusians have to "somehow" cope with each and every cultural deviation in "one be-wp". What next? Pidgins to throw in, possibly? Yury Tarasievich 18:31, 24 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    The British-American comparison is much more apt than the comparison with German dialects. The differences between BrEng and AmEng are greater than just a few letters too, and often arouse much animosity (which is why, for example, en-wp has no articles on either Airplane or Aeroplane but only Fixed-wing aircraft, and why there was much heated argument about moving Gasoline to Petrol). The German dialects, on the other hand, are not just different ways of writing what is essentially the same language, but dialects different enough not to be understandable to speakers of Standard German. (Personally, I don't think there should be Wikipedias in dialects that aren't used as mediums of instruction and in textbooks, either, but this isn't the place for that argument.) The fact that the Belarusian split is, in your words, "hate-motivated" is for me an even stronger reason to oppose two separate Belarusian Wikipedias: the new one would be, in effect, a POV fork of the existing one, which would be a very bad thing to have under Wikimedia's auspices. (There is, of course, nothing at all stopping you from starting your own wiki using the MediaWiki software in whatever language you like -- it just wouldn't be a Wikimedia project.) Angr 15:43, 25 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    Well, by token of such reasoning, you should request either shutting down or "cleansing" the existing be:WP which in all key conponents and in specially made rules is made in- and in favour of the invented version of Belarusian language, which is, exactly, not "used as mediums of instruction and in textbooks", for which internet is about the only survivable place.

    You seem to make a big deal of the "ideology and hate" aspect, but these are irrelevant, actually, here only for a bit of the cultural background. What really matters is the normative Belarusian is the only version of Belarusian systematically taught in schools in whole wide world for the last 70+ years.

    Previously, the WM authorities refused to take decisive action on this case, and what should people wishing to do WP in normative Belarusian language do, then?? So, team is taking the roundabout route, then, all nicely playing along the rules and guidelines. What's wrong with it?

    Ah, and your extended comparison the British-American differences (which you obviously know well) to our Belarusian thing is betraying your unsufficient insight into the Belarusian thing (which you do not). Sorry. Yury Tarasievich 20:35, 25 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    If it's true that all education and all textbooks in Belarus are done in the normative version, not the alternative version currently used at be:, then surely users of the normative version are in the majority, and getting larger all the time. Or does one newspaper have so much more influence in the country than all schools and universities? If be: is currently using a form of the language that most Belarusians aren't educated in, we don't need to advocate its closure: it will eventually evolve into a normative version on its own (provided, of course, normative Belarusian users aren't funneled away into the POV fork that's being proposed). Angr 06:36, 26 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

    That's altogether too much of if-s and should-s.

    I'll re-iterate the facts for you, using my own example. Belarusian is my native language. I am capable and willing to contribute to Wikipedia in it etc. When I come to the Wikipedia sub-division, which is named "Belarusian", I see it's controlled by the group of people promoting alternative version of Belarusian language, which isn't native to me.

    All key components (categories, interface, special pages, rules etc.) of be:wp were made and maintained in this alt. version from the very beginning, with dubious justification or w/o any, in spite of being disputed from the very beginning. There are rules actually forbidding free editing of the articles, if doing this in different versions of language, "without the permission of the original author" (practically, if the article is in the alt. version, you should edit it in the alt. version).

    There were several attempts to make the normative version the primary version of the be:wp (two of them by me, in 2006). But in fringe language communities, it doesn't take many people to bog the issue down in endless "discussions" and as the last resort, all three of admins (the people who actually initiated the be:wp, I understand) are from the alt. "camp", and can just refuse to do anything (and feel smug and on-mission-from-god about it, too, btw). The issue was raised in the [wikipedia-l] in May 2006, lots of assuring words were received, nothing was done.

    Now, we are talking about one particular internet project in the country where Internet is still not a commodity. See how little this is concerned with the "big country picture"? All the numericals just do not translate into advantage here. And what should the potential contributor do, then? Wait indefinitely for the things to "take turn to the good by themselves"? Or, possibly, to take realistic action, and to request the community to be created, which would be "just Belarusian"? Yury Tarasievich 07:57, 26 January 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Хм, something is not visible to the further reaction...--Afinogenoff 09:14, 24 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]
Quite opposite, I hear. Nothing tangible right now, but quite opposite. Yury Tarasievich 06:39, 26 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]