Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Chinese (Pinyin) 2

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Wikipedia Chinese (Pinyin)[edit]

submitted verification final decision

This proposal has been rejected.
This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy based on the discussion on this page.

A committee member provided the following comment:

This should be handled by a script converter within Chinese Wikipedia if the community there is willing. Otherwise, it will need to be created outside of the Wikimedia system, such as in Incubator Plus. For LangCom: StevenJ81 (talk) 21:57, 27 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • The community needs to develop an active test project; it must remain active until approval (automated statistics, recent changes). It is generally considered active if the analysis lists at least three active, not-grayed-out editors listed in the sections for the previous few months.
  • The community needs to complete required MediaWiki interface translations in that language (about localization, translatewiki, check completion).
  • The community needs to discuss and complete the settings table below:
What Value Example / Explanation
Language code cmn (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Chinese (Pinyin) Language name in English
Language name Hànyǔ (Pīnyīn) Language name in your language. This will appear in the language list on Special:Preferences, in the interwiki sidebar on other wikis, ...
Language Wikidata item Q42222 - item has currently the following values: Item about the language at Wikidata. It would normally include the Wikimedia language code, name of the language, etc. Please complete at Wikidata if needed.
Directionality no indication Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Chinese (Pinyin) Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name Wéijībǎikē "Wikipedia" in your language
Project namespace usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace "Wikipedia talk" (the discussion namespace of the project namespace)
Enable uploads yes Default is "no". Preferably, files should be uploaded to Commons.
If you want, you can enable local file uploading, either by any user ("yes") or by administrators only ("admin").
Notes: (1) This setting can be changed afterwards. The setting can only be "yes" or "admin" at approval if the test creates an Exemption Doctrine Policy (EDP) first. (2) Files on Commons can be used on all Wikis. (3) Uploading fair-use images is not allowed on Commons (more info). (4) Localisation to your language may be insufficient on Commons.
Optional settings
Project logo This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone Asia/Beijing "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces For example, a Wikisource would need "Page", "Page talk", "Index", "Index talk", "Author", "Author talk".
Additional settings Anything else that should be set
submit Phabricator task. It will include everything automatically, except additional namespaces/settings. After creating the task, add a link to the comment.

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.


  • There is no ISO 639 code for Mandarin Chinese with Hanyu Pinyin, as far as I know ("pny" seems to be for another, entirely unrelated language that happens to share the name "Pinyin") but according to this page there are already several Wikimedia projects without ISO 639 codes.

The Wikimedia Language committee's new policy handbook gives step 5 of creating a new language proposal as:

On Requests for new languages, add "{{subst:ls-newrow|Project Language name}}" (for example, "{{subst:ls-newrow|Wikipedia French}}") under "Open". "Project Language name" must match the name of the page you just created; if it adds a red link, check that you spelled it correctly.

However, that page has been locked from editing. I am therefore unable to follow the instructions. Could someone with privileges maybe do this?


  • Locations spoken: China
  • Pinyin is Romanised Standard Mandarin Chinese and is an important bridge in learning to write Chinese.
  • It is necessary to know Pinyin to enter Chinese into computer systems.
  • An important printed material exists for the language.
  • It has a considerably more impact than Simple English, due to the high probable number of illiterate and semi-literate people (in terms of characters) in China.
  • This is not the same as asking for an IPA English Wikipedia, or a Wikipedia of German in the Cyrillic alphabet. The standard writing systems for English and German are already reasonably phonetic, to the point that someone fluent in the spoken language can reasonably be expected to understand most of the written language after a short period of tuition. The same is not true of the standard writing system for Mandarin Chinese.
  • Providing a read-only "transliteration" of the standard Chinese Wikipedia will not be sufficient to fulfil the goal of providing Wikipedia access to the "illiterate" Chinese (i.e. those who have not mastered 3000+ characters) (if that is the goal). Wikipedia access consists of (1) the ability to read existing Wikipedia articles, and (2) the ability to edit existing Wikipedia articles, and create new ones. Under the proposal to provide a read-only transliteration, point (2) is not provided to Chinese who are capable of reading Pinyin but not capable of reading characters. This would be highly iniquitous. Indeed, for such people, Wikipedia would fail to be the encyclopedia "that anyone can edit".
  • Potential readership/usage is not something we can reasonably draw conclusions on. You may think that the only Chinese using the Internet are those that are reasonably wealthy, and they already know characters. However, even if it is true, this cannot necessarily be taken for granted. Who is to say that the creation of a Pinyin Wikipedia might not cause the 45% illiterate population of Tibet to decide that it's now worth their while paying for Internet on their mobile phones, rather than saving up for the farmer's almanac? (which is presumably written in Pinyin) Okay, maybe I'm being a bit facetious, and no, I've never been to Tibet (and yes, I also realise that the Tibetan languages are not the same thing as Mandarin), but I think you see what I'm driving at. Don't forget that Wikipedia can change, and already has changed the world.
  • I don't know whether it will be quite so easy it create a script to automatically convert Chinese into Pinyin. Maybe somebody has already done this, but:
  • A lot of common Chinese characters have several different possible Mandarin Chinese readings depending on context.
  • Sometimes people will use a written form that would not make sense in speech, but is comprehensible because of the fact that it is written in characters (I don't know how often this actually happens in the modern báihuà system of writing, but people do sometimes make this claim).
  • Word boundaries can only be determined from context. They may not be so important in character writing, but phonetic writing may be more difficult to understand without them (I don't know how true this part is).
  • It has been stated in preceding discussions (apparently without examination) that Pinyin "is not official". This is not true. According to the English Wikipedia, Pinyin "is the official system to transcribe Chinese characters into Latin script in [the PRC, Taiwan and Singapore]".

Something else that occurred to me while thinking about Tibetan farmers with their mobile phones ;) (I shouldn't laugh, really. They probably have broadband by now...) was that it might be a good idea to provide ASCII with tone numbers as an alternative to standard Pinyin. *This* could be provided automatically, through software. (Should probably provide editing in this form, as well.) (By the way, my thoughts on mobile phones are motivated by the impact that they have had in recent times in various African countries.)

Disclosure: yes, my personal interest in this is partly as a language learner. However, I don't think that makes any difference to the validity of the case.

Another thing I should point out is that current policy says that this is not a vote. It is a discussion, and the final decision will be made based on the eligibility of the proposal, not the balance of votes. --Spacemartin (talk) 20:17, 4 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

As already converts Chinese characters into Hanyu Pinyin, may I propose adding a converter in existing Chinese Wikipedia? Heteronyms require distinctions.--Jusjih (talk) 01:07, 3 October 2017 (UTC)[reply]


See also: archived discussion on Requests_for_new_languages/Wikipedia_Chinese (Pinyin).

@夢蝶葬花, NanoKid, and Agusbou2015: Currently there has about 250 pages In the test project, So If rejected, what to do for them? -- 07:48, 21 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
If those articles are simply transliterated from zhwiki, then discard.--無聊龍 (talk) 04:15, 9 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong oppose We can do this by just adding a converter on Chinese Wikipedia.Also pinyin is not a official text.—Asdfugil (talk) 15:42, 26 August 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Neutralplease no converter, we already struggle with variants conversion and we don't need one more. but strong oppose.还有既然楼上是中文维基人,noteTA已经够头痛了,不要加入多一个拼音参数可以吗?--Cohaf (talk) 04:14, 4 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
    • @Cohaf:This, my friend, shows that you don't know how powerful LC is. On other sites LC can convert абвг into abvg and back; why can't LC do this, in only one direction, for pinyin? NoteTA only specifies special cases to override; you can always leave things out for the default to fill in. --Artoria2e5 (talk) 23:19, 24 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong oppose For most Chinese people who cannot recognize enough Chinese characters to read, often without much education, the Madarin is also hard to use, different dialects are used more. Also, if one cannot recognize enough Chinese characters, reading text written in Chinese characters but with the pinyin marks is better than reading pinyin text only, because pinyin-only text can lead to ambiguity easily. --行到水穷处 (talk) 10:57, 6 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Pinyin is not an orthography of the Chinese language. Using pinyin as a written language would almost create many ambiguities in articles, as a vast number of homophones exist in Mandarin Chinese.--無聊龍 (talk) 04:15, 9 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]
Closing comment

Any further request for a separate Pinyin project for at least the next two years will be speedy-deleted on the grounds that it is ignoring LangCom's closing reasoning. StevenJ81 (talk) 21:59, 27 September 2018 (UTC)[reply]

The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.