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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Middle English

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Middle English Wikipedia[edit]

submitted verification final decision
This proposal has been closed as part of a reform of the request process.
This request has not necessarily been rejected, and new requests are welcome. This decision was taken by the language committee in accordance with the Language proposal policy.

The closing committee member provided the following comment:

This discussion was created before the implementation of the Language proposal policy, and it is incompatible with the policy. Please open a new proposal in the format this page has been converted to (see the instructions). Do not copy discussion wholesale, although you are free to link to it or summarise it (feel free to copy your own comments over). —{admin} Pathoschild 02:57, 4 December 2006 (UTC)
Proposal summary
  • Language details: Middle English (enm ISO 639-3)
  • Editing community: Inkstersco (P), en-wp:Gray Porpoise
    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: —
  • External links:
Please read the handbook for requesters for help using this template correctly.
  • Related languages: Norman, Anglo-Saxon, Early Modern English, Danish, Dutch
  • Number of speakers: Large handful of enjoyers of medieval poetry.
  • Locations spoken: England circa 1200-1450

Also known as Medieval English. My justification for this language parallels whatever was the winning argument for the Old English(Anglo-Saxon) Wiki that is now quite large. By Middle English I mean the language as spoken and written in about 1300. It is certainly a language(incomprehensible without prepreparation), and has widespread appreciation by those familiar with the rawly-spelt editions of medieval poetry etc. It has an orthography standardised by the great poets of that era. It lacks V and J, and features the characters eth and thorn.


  • Doubtful, doubtful... Don't all of us read and write Middle English, but speak New English? Is the difference big enough? And most of all, can you gather a force of contributors similar to that of ang:? If not, I will not support this project. Caesarion 15:11, 26 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • Caesarion, I assure you þat þe langage at þe courage of þe Englysshe nacioun of olde is indede quite diferent from þat of to-day. --00:09, 30 November 2005 (UTC) (C, I can assure you that the language at the heart of the old English country is really very different from modern English).
    • It certainly is. See this sample circa 1370, [1] Moreover, I expect the contributers to be more plentiful than that of the Ang, since medieval poetry is more comprehensible and commonly enjoyed than the more archane works like Beowulf. Note also than the Scots "language" is only trivially different than modern English compared to medieval English, yet it has its own section here. Inkstersco -- 28th November -- 12:46
      • Yes, but Scots is a modern language. Wikis in extinct languages cann only be opened if enough people actually show their interest. A ME Wikipedia might attracht a slightly different public than the ang: Wikipedia: most people that learn Anglo-Saxon do so mainly for linguistic interest, while Middle English leaners can be rather poetry-oriented. Caesarion 14:29, 28 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]


  • Support; I think the successes of la and ang show that something similar is possible for Middle English. However, I can't speak it myself, so my vote cannot be counted as a prospective contributor. Marcos 15:13, 29 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Weak Support; I like the idea of a Middle English Wiki, and thing it is different enough from Modern English to warrant a wiki if we're giving wikis to dead languages like Old English. I would also be willing to contribute to this wiki, though (while I read Middle English just fine) I would probably need a refresher course on writing the language. I also think the date of the beginning of ME should be pushed back to 1100 from 1200; the "Middle English period" started in 1066, though the language did not exist at that time. Jade Knight 18:39, 30 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support. Middle English is a language on its own. I don't understand it to well, but specialists or fans: go ahead! Mig de Jong 18:51, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Weak Support IF you can decide WHICH dialect "middle English" shall be defined as, and IF one can put up some kind of comprehensive resource to aid those who might wish to help, then I would say yes, just about. One has to remember that Middle English isn't a coherent language in the way some think; it is a bunch of highly different dialects over a period of a few hundred years. Compare/contrast the Canterbury Tales and Sir Gawain, for instance. 14:19, 18 December 2005 (UTC) (Needs to log in to vote.--Californiacondor 00:20, 16 November 2006 (UTC))[reply]
  • Support - Belgian man (nl na en) 16:42, 10 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support, but as long as we can get authoritative experts on the subject, not just people pretending to write middle English, who have barely read a single Canterbury Tale.
  1. Uncle Davey
  • Support, but with authoritative experts, or texts on the subject... Maybe the Wiki should include an explanation of grammatic and vocabulary conventions, I think that's similar to the Scots Wiki. --Agari 16:05, 6 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support nl:Boudewijn Idema, 13:40, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
  • Support It looks as funny as the gothic or old english one. Some work has already been done on the test-wiki. -- Sajasaze 17:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Support Worthy of a Wikipedia by all means conceivable. Keeno 13:36, 16 April 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strongly Support I have a major interest in the language. Wiki is now in testing stages. --Ted-m 14:41, 18 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Ic fayn vouche sauf -- Jim62sch 21:54, 24 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong Support I have a huge interest in Middle English and I´d love to see a Wikipedia in it. When it comes to the differences in spellings and things of the sort, we have that in Modern English even though it is standardised (British vs. American). Maybe we could create a list of which spellings are most preferable and easily readable. -- Erik 00:11, 14 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strongest support possible. There's a small handful of contributors on Incubator, and when it goes live, I'm sure many English speakers will join and, using Internet resources, contribute with relative ease. If we can find experts, they could correct the commoners' mistakes. --Gray Porpoise 23:04, 20 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Strong Support The very purpose of Wikipedia is to record all human knowledge, in all possible languages. If some languages are to be censored, then let's just make it Modern English-only, and do away with all others. The best way for a person to learn a language is to actually use it, and Wikipedia would be one of the few places that a student could possibly do that— in nearly any topic possible. I personally am learning Old English, and for me to better my studies of it, I'll simply pull up the Anglo-Saxon language Wikipedia, view Random Articles, and read. Thus, my justification for its support. I win. Wōdenhelm 09:02, 14 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]


  • Oppose; it is a dead language, it has all the qualities of becoming another "Klingon". GerardM 10:44, 29 November 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • On one hand, I find it really fascinating to read (or decipher) texts in languages like Old English, Middle English, Althochdeutsch, Mittelhochdeutsch, Altsächsisch, Old French etc. and see how our present-day languages have evolved through various stages in history and discover common roots. On the other, I can't figure out how an encyclopedia written in Middle English is supposed to serve the aims of Wikipedia or where the exact use of an article on HTML or microsurgery written in the language of Chaucer lies. Oppose (admittedly with a somewhat heavy heart this time). Arbeo 18:12, 1 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • If you must oppose this; Consider whether you'd say the same of the Anglo-Saxon language that has become quite prolific. Anglo-Saxon is less read than Middle English, and less comprehensible. My suggestion is based around that standard. ~Inkstersco, 5 Dec 05(UTC)
      • Hi Inkstersco! Yes, I would say the same if somebody now proposed a WP in Anglo-Saxon. Or in Althochdeutsch or Mittelhochdeutsch, which are the corresponding ancient stages of my native language. My personal opinion is that Wikipedias in dead or constructed languages are not a very good idea with regard to our primary aims. But you'll never see me trying to block anything if there's a clear majority ;-) Arbeo 20:27, 10 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose Middle English is not just the language spoken in 1300. This would imply establishing an arbitrary convention. Say that you would succeed, then what if another person chooses one Middle English from the late 1300s (closer to Chaucer) or 1400? Even establishing an arbitrary convention, you have to consider that at that point in time English has neither an established spelling nor a grammar, and that these would have to be established based, again, on some (other!) convention. Chaucer spoke one of the many dialects that are grouped under Middle English, but the term does not do justice to the linguistic reality of the time. --Mauro 23:50, 28 December 2005 (UTC)[reply]
    • Standard English does not do justice to the linguistic reality of world English from Scots to Jamaican, but it still has a Wiki. ~Inkstersco 2 Jan 06
  • Oppose I agree with Mauro's commentary about the impossibility of defining a written convention of Middle English due to two facts: the fragmentation of Old English into a "mosaic" of dialects and the wide period of time Middle English covers. --Javier Carro 01:03, 9 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - There is a Wikipedia in English. Why have another one in a dead form of English? Why? Raetius 11:20, 10 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose I think, the anglic article is already too much. Not another "old english". Senseless. Lib 00:59, 11 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose - for what? For the ego of some academics? Kenwilliams 20:31, 13 March 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. --Absar 10:45, 31 August 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose. Wiki's in extinct languages born dead -- Raghav 14:12, 15 October 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Oppose.--Mustafa Akalp 10:27, 21 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]