Requests for new languages/Wikipedia British Sign Language

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British Sign Language Wikipedia[edit]

main page Requests for new languages (Wikipedia British Sign Language)
submitted verification final decision
Applications-system.svg This language has been verified as eligible.
The language is eligible for a project, which means that the subdomain can be created once there is an active community and a localized interface, as described in the language proposal policy. You can discuss the creation of this language project on this page. (See an unofficial analysis of this request.)

Proposal summary
  • Language details: British Sign Language / BSL (British Sign Language, bfi ISO 639-3)
  • Editing community: User:BarkingFish (P)
    List your user name if you're interested in editing the wiki. Add "N" next to your
    name if you are a native speaker of this language.
  • Relevant pages: Incubator not started
  • External links:
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.

Per the request already gaining support for a Wikipedia in ASL / Signwriting, I propose we do the same for British Sign Language. Most of the arguments put forward by the ASL supporters are exactly the same, people not having knowledge of English or preferring to use their own language as recognised by their community. Plus, if you do an ASL Wikipedia, a BSL one is gonna be an requirement asset, since most BSL users don't understand American Sign Language, and vice versa.

Arguments in favour[edit]

  • Well, if you are looking for some one who speaks British Sign Language then it's here. Most arguments against said if there is some one for Sign Language then you can approve, now I'm here, I can speak Sign Language (that doesn't mean I'm deaf or dumb). Aviyal (talk) 19:36, 25 February 2012 (UTC)

Arguments against[edit]

  • This is a waste of time; we have no native speakers requesting it, just someone violating w:WP:POINT (see [1]). No opposition if there's an actual request.--Prosfilaes 22:41, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
There is an actual request, it's here. I am not out to make a point, I am out to level the playing field. As I said at the ASL request, I have basic knowledge of BSL even if I'm not a native speaker, nor indeed deaf. The 2 languages are not interchangeable, so a BSL version would be an asset, assuming of course that the ASL one gets off the floor. I want to know if the language is eligible and if so, I will make preparations to incubate it and start one. BarkingFish 23:00, 1 October 2010 (UTC)
  • A. pointless, deaf people can read and one would have to use english to represent the signs anyway. B. It is a different way of writing the same stuff as english wikipedia, different scripts are not entitled to seperate wikipedias I.E. both Hanja and latinised russian have been rejected on this reason.
    • A sign language is a completely different language. It is not only a different script, it is also a different script. GerardM 15:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
  • No native speakers supporting. Kanzler31 21:49, 1 November 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose On what basis do we have support for this project? There are no native speakers, and, forgive my ignorance, but I can see little difference between this and ASL. Let's start with something small first, like this, and address the oppose comments already at Requests for new languages/Wikipedia American Sign Language 2 before starting another sign language wiki. :| TelCoNaSpVe :| 07:30, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
    • There's as much of a difference between ASL and BSL as there is between English and French. They are completely different languages.--Prosfilaes 10:45, 10 November 2010 (UTC)
      • Actually, English and French are both Indo-European languages, and thus related to each other, while ASL and BSL are completely unrelated, so there's actually more difference between ASL and BSL than between French and English :) . --Yair rand (talk) 09:32, 21 March 2012 (UTC)
  • oppose let's see what happens with ASL first.Luciferwildcat (talk) 03:32, 31 March 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose - partly per LuciferWildCat, and also because I'm not sure how a non-written language is going to work here. Videos better.-MacRusgail (talk) 22:53, 11 December 2014 (UTC)

Other discussion[edit]

The notion that when an ASL Wikipedia is granted a BSL would be required is a fallacy. They ARE distinct languages and there is no automatism involved in granting one when the other is granted. At that there is also Australian sign language.. Thanks, GerardM 00:01, 2 October 2010 (UTC)

Ok, so maybe requirement is the wrong word. But making a BSL wiki available would be an asset I believe, since BSL users attempting to read the ASL one would be headscratching. I feel that it would be a welcome option to proceed with, and am currently looking into preparing a wiki using the same system proposed for the ASL one, which is apparently totally multilingual in its range, being used in everything from ASL to Ethiopian Sign, GDS (German) and Norwegian (NTS). BarkingFish 01:11, 2 October 2010 (UTC)
Which writing system would you use? --Millosh 05:02, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

From the perspective of the Language committee, the project is eligible. However, you there is still no browser support for top-down writing systems, so you can use Sign Writing. If you are interested in making a work group for creating that support, please contact me: --Millosh 03:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

Forgive my ignorance, but... how does one actually make an encyclopedia article in sign language "script" anyway? Are we talking about a page full of GIFs representing hand signs, or does it have its own grammar/character set? If the latter, would it be "easier" to simply have a translation portal of some sort, replacing the text characters with the appropriate BSL gesture animation? Kylu 03:28, 4 November 2010 (UTC)
American, British and Finnish SL projects can't be started before browsers start to support top-down writing. AFAIK, SignWriting is on the way to be added in Unicode (or it has been already added). So, they'll need to wait for technical support. --Millosh 16:00, 14 November 2010 (UTC)
70% of Wikimedia users use browsers that support top-to-bottom writing. --Yair rand (talk) 04:50, 1 July 2013 (UTC)


How is this eligible? There is no native speakers! Kanzler31 01:40, 19 November 2010 (UTC)

w:British Sign Language claims 50,000 native speakers. What sources are you calling on?--Prosfilaes 22:07, 19 November 2010 (UTC)
I think Kanzler means that there are no native speakers interested in participating in this project, see the grey "proposal summary" box. Cbrown1023 talk 02:22, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Exactly what Cbrown said. There is no native speakers supporting this project. Kanzler31 21:12, 20 November 2010 (UTC)
Eligibility means that it can be approved, *when* there is enough activity. SPQRobin (talk) 18:59, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I can speak British Sign Language Fluently, so 1 point for British Sign Language. There will be more editors once the project starts. Aviyal (talk) 19:38, 25 February 2012 (UTC)
This is untrue... there are numerous native speakers of BSL, including some folk who are not deaf, but have deaf parents etc. I do not know how this Wikipedia would work though. BSL is not a written language.-MacRusgail (talk) 16:11, 14 December 2014 (UTC)