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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Middle English 4

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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 is still, as pointed out on the previous request, "an extinct proto-language". New Wikipedias in ancient or historical languages are not allowed by the Language Proposal Policy, and especially in this case, there is really no point in having a Wikipedia in a language that nobody uses anymore, while at the same time, Wikipedia in the current form of the language is alive and thriving. --MF-W 21:06, 16 May 2021 (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 enm (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Middle English Language name in English
Language name Middle English 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 Q36395 - 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 LTR Is the language written from left to right (LTR) or from right to left (RTL)?
Links Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name "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 no 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 "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.


Just look in the recent changes, most of the changes are not joke edits and those that are get reverted, so I think the 4th chance to request such an enm.wikipedia.org should be happened. Also, we can ask an admin to ban the users who vandalize. Fixing the existing pages is very practical and is happening. Also, Middle English Wikipedia grows by several pages every day and those aren’t joke edits. To conclude, the actual contribution by far outweigh the joke edits.

If we know that there are mistakes in our Middle English, why don’t we correct it? Also if we look on the test wiki activity, we can clearly see that on January it has received more attention and much more people have contributed so there’s no any reason to delete it.

If there’s inaccurate language we can correct it, then ping the user who made the mistake and explain why it’s inaccurate. I’m sure most of the users try to write as accurately as possible.

Also, @ScriptorHistoriae: told us in the previous Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Middle English 3 proposal page that while they think that the proposal is weak, the test wiki is impressive that they think it can be created once we have more than 100 pages. If I’m not mistaken we already have more than that.

About the rejection statements that look like "only Wikisources can exist in an ancient or historical language", my responds are per incubator:Wp/enm: "This test has a valid language code, but note that it is an extinct, historical or ancient language so it will be hard to get a Wikimedia project." Yes, I agree that it’s hard but it’s not impossible so I don’t see why those rejections are logical.

Middle English Wikipedia is not a new wiki-it was created in 2009. Also, this specific wiki is substantial-just look in the recent edits or press "Check Test Wiki Activity". And also, Middle English is different from Modern English so it’s impossible to say that Modern English Wikipedia is a Middle English Wikipedia. And to all the people who say it attracts joke edits, all wikis attract joke edits so you might as well shut down the Wikimedia Foundation if you are gonna use that sort of logic. Do we all know how many joke edits in English Wikipedia survive for several days? Also, it’s written that deleting a test wiki isn’t related to the LangCom.

As this test wiki is very active, I think that the rule qbout historical languages should be changed. This test wiki is prospering in the Incubator but if it is moved to incubator plus I think many people would lose interest. Also, if we allow wikis in historical languages, this will prove the point that there are wikis in ALL languages and might encourage speakers (say something really from my heartbeat, there are speakers of Ancient Greek and the releted request even is not rejected) of endangered languages to contribute to wikis in those endangered languages. Also, some people might be interested only in editing in historical languages wiki at first, but then spread out and also edit in wikis in modern languages and this will be beneficial for all Wikimedia projects, and for the MediaWiki software users. Wikis in historical languages are usually not active not because people don’t want to edit in those languages, but because people are not aware of those wikis. If you know people who know Middle English, we can tell them about this wiki, and we can also read a bit about the differences between Modern English and Middle English and then contribute by us. I recommend Langcom members to use this English dictionary. (BTW, the message about contributing is not specifically to you but to all the users who read this). I would also like to add that people interested in ancient languages can start editing wikis in those ancient languages and then expand to other wikis which will be beneficial to the entire wikimedia foundation. --John Smith 00:14, 4 May 2021 (UTC)


Neutral I would better to avoid unnecessary and hassle discussions about judging the past rejected proposals. The test wiki was nominated at incubator:I:RFD, the deletion is based on the doubt of @CanadianToast:'s contribution quality. But after nomination, @Gifnk dlm 2020: started activities on test wiki, and encouraged every "vote-deleters" to withdraw vd (condemns?) and to keep contributing, said that our RFL policies are wrong and unfair. I need to prepare for seeing another Ancient Greek 4-like large discussions. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 08:57, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Strong support Strong support Strong support from me. Initially on the test wiki I was trying to develop it further by adding templates and navboxes, but ended up forgetting about it due to recent troubles and real life circumstances. I personally think a Middle English Wikipedia would be very nice. Would definitely be willing to contribute again. Regarding the point in the proposal about "This test has a valid language code, but note that it is an extinct, historical or ancient language so it will be hard to get a Wikimedia project.", well I mean Literary Chinese Wikipedia is a thing - and yes I do realize there are differences in circumstances between Literary Chinese and Middle English but in general Literary Chinese is still an "extinct, historical or ancient language" with basically no significant real, practical usage in writing in the world today and much less people who will actually speak it out loud outside of linguistics or language enthisuast circles. LittleWhole (talk) 09:36, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Strong support Strong support I see that most if not of the arguments I made in the request for deletion were included in the proposal above so I won’t bother repeating all of them again. I would just like to say that people who are interested in ancient languages can start editing wikis in ancient languages and then expand to other wikis which will be beneficial for all the Wikimedia foundation. Middle English has the advantage that it’s different enough from Modern English to justify a separate wiki and simulate enough to Modern English to make it not to hard for people who speak English to learn. Some people might be excited to contribute to Middle English Wikipedia and then find an interest in other wikis that don’t get too many editors as well (Wikibooks for example). I have seen the argument that wikis in extinct languages are not as active as wikis in other languages, but how much work was actually done to promote them among ancient languages experts and/or enthusiasts? I’m sure it’s possible to find at least a few people who are experts in Middle English and will be willing to contribute. The smallest Wikipedia that is still open has just 154 articles while Middle English Wikipedia has 242 and is growing. I’m not saying Middle English Wikipedia should be created immediately now just because it has more than 154 articles but it should be given an equal chance. Also I imagine some universities can promote Middle English Wikipedia as a way for students studying this language to practice their knowledge. I really believe that it will be easier for them to understand Medieval manuscripts if they have experience writing in this language. Moving wikis in ancient languages to Incubator Plus (or worse deleting them) makes users leave the Wikimedia foundation and move to Incubator Plus while keeping them in the incubator (or better creating wikis) will attract more users to the wikimedia foundation and some of them might start contributing to other wikis as well. To conclude, I think Middle English Wikipedia deserves to get a subdomain (not necessarily right away but in the foreseeable future as it has been very active this year) and if not this at least not to get deleted or moved to Incubator plus or any platform outside of the Wikimedia foundation. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:22, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Weak Support Very weak support from me. I support the idea in theory, but it in reality I don't think the project is ready for a full blown Wikipedia yet. CanadianToast (talk) 23:19, 5 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Comment Comment I'm confused, the situation is the same as the one during Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Middle English 3 (a bit more activity last Freburary and March but barely). So same cause, same effect ; this proposal has almost no chance of not being rejected again. The solution should probably something be to 1. having an examplar incubation, to make a real difference that would make it really hard to not recognize as a candidate for subdomain (like reaching 1000 articles, with good quality and length articles and a communty of 10 personnes actives during a full year) 2. make constructive proposal of changes for the Language proposal policy. Cheers, VIGNERON * discut. 15:48, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

@VIGNERON: thank you very much for expressing your thoughts! The requirements for opening a test wiki is at least 3 non grayed out users consistently in the last several months. From January to April this test wiki has passed this number and I think that 1000 long high quality article is a reasonable goal given a year or two to work on this, especially if like I mentioned in my message above (which is too long I know) the test wiki is promoted among Middle English experts and entirely. I’m sure that if an actual effort is made towards this goal we will find at the very least like 10 users who are willing to actively contribute to this wiki. I didn’t create this proposal and I can’t speak in the name of the guy who did but I can tell that I don’t request Middle English Wikipedia to get a subdomain right away. I only want it to have an equal chance to get one and not to have the risk of the test wiki deleted at any moment. Thanks for the understanding, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 16:30, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: The discussions in Langcom mailing list don't think so: [1]. --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 00:07, 7 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Liuxinyu970226: those people should actually enter the test wiki and press “Check test wiki activity” in order to know abt they are talking about. At the end of the day a wiki is measured by its activity not by how many arguments exits to why this wiki should be created (btw I have listed many arguments above and only one argument against exists). It’s written above that a test wiki is generally considered active if it has at least 3 non grayed out users the last several months which Middle English Wikipedia has checked from January to April, and is very close to achieving this month despite the fact that it’s still the beginning of May. Middle English Wikipedia is very active and again I’m not asking that it gets a subdomain right away only that it gets an equal chance. Instead of rejecting this discussion right away you should give it time and create a subdomain once this wiki is large enough. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 09:41, 7 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: The langcom member known it, but what they don't know is that how is this proposal, together with your supports, different from the previous, rejected proposals: 1, 2 and 3 (Note: I wanna see the significant compares based on the linguistic level, not simply typing "they are different because I provided different opinions", nor "these rejections are really unfair for me"). --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 09:45, 7 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Liuxinyu970226: the obvious difference between this proposal and the previous ones is the support and amount of activity in the test wikis. The first proposal had many supporters but if you look in the test wiki activity that didn’t translate into actual active editors. The second proposal had just one supporter and so has the third. The third one is the only one of the three that had arguments but they are weak. This proposal has much more arguments than the previous ones and also the test wiki is more active than ever before. In my opinion, the most important difference is the activity. By “significant compares based on the linguistic level” do you mean the difference between Middle English and Modern English? -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 10:04, 7 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Janwo: What do you think about the comments above? Are these enough to answer your "what makes their proposal different from the previous ones" concerns? --Liuxinyu970226 (talk) 10:07, 7 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Janwo: You may have missed the ping. BTW is it possible by any chance that the Wikimedia Project will try to contact Middle English experts that will correct any grammar mistakes we may have made (and most importantly explain us why they are mistakes)? As it’s written above, if they start editing Middle English Wikipedia, they may later expand to other projects as well which will be beneficial to the entire Wikimedia Foundation. There’s a Wikipedia in Lojban that is actually less active that Middle English Wikipedia and practically everybody who speaks Lojban also speaks another language so I don’t see why Middle English Wikipedia should be rejected. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 11:03, 14 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
I didn't miss it, I just didn't have time to read and react - sorry. The "but other Wikis" argument doesn't help much. Each proposal should be solid and convincing in itself. Usually we would contact external experts once to verify a project when it is close to being made official. By that time, there should already be a sufficient community that can create correct content. We cannot contact experts on a regular basis to help polishing the language of an entire wiki. In general, it is the responsibility of the community to maintain language quality. If there is need to have someone teach "why this is wrong" etc., this maintenance apparently cannot be provided from within the community, and that seems like a significant obstacle to making a project official. If, however, you can convince said experts to become active members of the project's community, thins might look a bit brighter. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 04:23, 15 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Janwo: thank you very much for the reply! We at Middle English Wikipedia try to write Middle English as accurately as possible but I think it’s more constructive to have an expert review it at an early stage of the test wiki so that if we are making any mistakes - it will take less effort to correct them since there will be less articles and we will know not to make those mistakes in the future. I know Middle English Wikipedia is technically more than a decade old but it only became active in January of this year. Also, I don’t expect you to contact experts on a regular basis - only once to inform them of the existence of this project. I also don’t expect them to polish all the articles - only to explain us and from this point we will polish them ourselves. Also depending on the number of experts you contact possibly some of them will decide to join Middle English Wikipedia and become frequent editors which will be great not only for Middle English Wikipedia but for the entire Wikimedia Foundation as they might expand to other wikis as well. -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 15:04, 15 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Gifnk dlm 2020: Sorry if i misunderstood you here, but to me that sounds a lot like you would like someone to teach you (all) proper Middle English first. That is not how it works. Any active community in any given languae version should have members who are sufficiently competent in the language. Only this way the community can ensure "internal" quality control. Furthermore, if you wish to involve experts at this stage, I suggest you contact them yourself and explain to them what you want from them. As I understand it, both of these things are not the responsibility of the Language Committee, but of the community making the request. --✍ Janwo Disk./de:wp 05:20, 16 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]
@Janwo: what I meant is for an expert to review Middle English Wikipedia. If an expert needs to be contacted anyways I think it’s more constructive to contact one in the earlier stages so that if there are mistakes, it will be easier to correct them. We do have internal quality control and we try to be as accurate as possible but with the help of an expert we will be able to be even more accurate. However, if this isn’t the responsibility of Language Committee, I will discuss this with other Middle English Wikipedia contributors at incubator:Talk:Wp/enm
@Janwo: Btw, I forgot to sign the previous comment.😅 Can you please add the unsigned template? Thanks in advance, -Gifnk dlm 2020 (talk) 15:17, 16 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

Weak Support I believe this proposal should be reconsidered at a later time, this project has a lot of potential and I truly believe in it, however it's not big enough, and it's too volatile for an actual Wikipedia. As mentioned by the comments before me, we have a couple milestones to obtain before we should get a full Wikipedia, but we should still take this proposal seriously both now and when we get there. DTL1234 (talk) 17:58, 6 May 2021 (UTC)[reply]

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