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Requests for new languages/Wikipedia Minangkabau

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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.

A committee member provided the following comment:

Test-project is active; most-used messages were translated; test wiki content was verified by a linguist. Bug 44462. --MF-W 10:48, 29 January 2013 (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 min (SILGlottolog) A valid ISO 639-1 or 639-3 language code, like "fr", "de", "nso", ...
Language name Minangkabau Language name in English
Language name Bahaso Minang(kabau) / Bahasa Minangkabau 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 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 Links to previous requests, or references to external websites or documents.

Project name Wikipedia "Wikipedia" in your language
Project namespace Wikipedia usually the same as the project name
Project talk namespace Diskusi Wikipedia "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 File:Wikipedia-logo-v2-min.svg This needs to be an SVG image (instructions for logo creation).
Default project timezone Asia/Jakarta "Continent/City", e.g. "Europe/Brussels" or "America/Mexico City" (see list of valid timezones)
Additional namespaces Portal, Diskusi Portal 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 Minangkabau language (autonym: Baso Minang(kabau)) is an Austronesian language, spoken by the Minangkabau people people of West Sumatra, the western part of Riau, Southern Aceh, the northern part of Bengkulu and Jambi, also in several cities throughout Indonesia by migrated Minangkabau, who often trade or have a restaurant.The language is also a lingua franca along the western coastal region of the province of Northern Sumatra, and is even used in parts of Aceh, where the language is called Aneuk Jamee. It is also spoken in some parts of Malaysia, especially Negeri Sembilan, where the ruler of the state is from Minangkabau origin and Minangkabau language is widely spoken (called Baso Nogori). In 2011, approximately 8.5 million people speaking this language, all over the country. The Minangkabau language was originally written using the Jawi script, an adapted Arabic alphabet. Romanization of the language dates from the 19th century, and a standardized official orthography of the language was published in 1976.

The language has a number of dialects and sub-dialects, but native Minangkabau speakers generally have no difficulty understanding the variety of dialects. The differences between dialects are mainly at the phonological level, though some lexical differences also exist. Minangkabau dialects are regional, consisting of one or more villages (nagari), and usually correspond to differences in customs and traditions. Each sub-village (jorong) has its own sub-dialect consisting of subtle differences which can be detected by native speakers. The dialects are Rao Mapat Tunggul, Muaro Sungai Lolo, Payakumbuh, Pangkalan-Lubuk Alai, Agam-Tanah Datar, Pancungsoal, Kotobaru, Sungai Bendung Air, and Karanganyar. In everyday communication between Minangkabau people of different regions, the Agam-Tanah Datar dialect (Baso Padang or Baso Urang Awak "our (people's) language") is often used and has become a kind of standard.

For the project progress in the Incubator, per December 2012, 500 most used messages has translated; 23 registered contributors and many IP contributons, and 500+ edits this month to the main category.

Wikimedia Australia has also organised LangCamp 2012 in Universitas Indonesia at 6-7 December. The workshop aims to provide the Minangkabau Wikipedia community with ideas on how to increase the impact of their wiki quickly, and foster collaboration between the volunteers and academics to implement these ideas. Several Minangkabau contributors has met here to discussing about this project. The results of the workshop provided here in the Wikiversity.



I am no expert at such matters but my understanding from my own participation in the LangCamp was that there was consensus to go ahead due to the high motivation of the community, including attendance at the camp, and long-term sustained interest. There was also a trough/peak activity pattern described which seemed to hinge on the likelihood of the project taking off, ie. every time bureaucracy strikes it negatively affects the fledgeling community participation. My imperfect understanding would suggest that, given that it's been going so long, it might be a better use of resources to approve it rather than debate the question any further. This was my understanding of general consensus, also. Pratyeka (talk) 10:43, 28 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Allow me to also support this request. There were several Minangkabau participants at LangCamp who expressed both their commitment to build the new wiki, and their frustration in it not going live. Participants from the University of Indonesia also expressed their interest in contributing. So I think there is a small but sustainable pool of editors. Ffbond (talk) 06:50, 29 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I just got to know about this, and I support this wiki creation/go live. 14:59, 29 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think Minangkabau should have their own wikipedias.--Aplikasi (talk) 19:41, 7 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

I participated in the final discussion of this issue in LangCamp2012 and there were some valid points raised. To my knowledge, there were three Minangkabau speakers there, and two of them seemed to support this project while the third seemed to oppose it. There may have been others but some of the Indonesian participants barely spoke English and couldn't understand what was being talked about (I got that statement from 3 of them), so Indonesia was not well represented except Meursault2004, Siska, Sonny, Ivan, and some UI students.

Some points that were made:

  • Minangkabau is an oral language with no written language of its own - it has always used other languages for writing. It was argued that this makes it unsuitable for inclusion in WM in any form other than orally by Lindy. I rebutted this by stating that, if I were a scholar interested in learning the language, I might be put off by an aural-only presentation if I were not an aural learner - we don't all learn the same way. The same argument could be applied to those who are already familiar with the language but wish to see a phonetic representation. Further, an audio-only representation would prevent the deaf from making use of the material easily. When I inquired, Walter pointed out that the decision of the format was outside the scope of the meeting.
  • I brought up the question of the value of their language in relationship to their culture. I asked them to consider what the loss of their language would do to their culture, pointing out that in some cultures the language is the underpinning of that culture, and the loss of that language kills that culture (thanks to Lindy for that info). One of the natives mentioned unique titles for ceremonies that don't exist in Indonesian as one possible loss. I asked if the loss of their language would damage their culture but there was no conclusive response on this. I also asked, "If Minangkabau language and culture were to disappear from the world, would it be a loss for the world?" I asked them to think about this in deliberating whether or not the project should be approved.
  • Walter pointed out that it is up to the community of Minangkabau speakers to decide whether or not they WANT this project and, thus, whether or not it should move forward. I suggested to the three representatives of the culture/language that they should take this up with their elders since it is a matriarchal society and they are all young men.

I am in support of this project if that is the will of the Minangkabau people. One caveat: if the language has no significant value in terms of their culture or contributions to the world (which I find hard to imagine it doesn't), then perhaps it is not necessary.ReveurGAM (talk) 15:35, 26 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

It is incorrect to say that "Minangkabau is an oral language with no written language of its own" - that assertion was made about some Indigenous Australian languages, and Lindy's comments referred to those languages as she is intimately involved with the some Indigenous Australian communities.
OTOH, examples were given during LangCamp of written use of Minangkabau.(e.g. a newspaper; books; etc) However, Minangkabau is not frequently used as a written language in various settings, as Minangkabau people usually use other languages for written discourse. John Vandenberg (talk) 04:40, 29 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
I'm a bit confused, John, because (as I recall it anyways) it was one of the Minang representatives who first said that it is an oral language, not Lindy. Further, it was stated that other languages are used to write things, and the examples you refer to used those languages. However, in the interest of avoiding confusing, it would be best if an actual Minang settled this question - not us. Fair enough? :) ReveurGAM (talk) 05:37, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Well, I agree with John: Minangkabau is not frequently used as a written language in various settings, as Minangkabau people usually use other languages for written discourse. For example, Tambo Alam Minangkabau, one of the paper is regarded as the most trusted source of Minangkabau tradition and customs, written in prose form of the Malay language. But, this does not mean Minangkabau language had no written form at all. Alphabet Minangkabau also been found, but later discovered that the alphabet was fake. Generally, written sources in Minangkabau language is about customs, appointment of traditional leaders, inheritance law, folklore, traditional herb recipes, and so on. However, most of the literature has disappeared and can not be found again; several factors that influence was the Dutch colonial period, which burn some traditional houses in West Sumatra and also burn some papers written in Minangkabau. So, you are right, ReveurGAM, Minang language is an oral language, but not as bad as the condition of the language spoken in indigenous tribes in Australia that seems to be nearly extinct. A spoken language does not mean their people do not have the writing culture at all. SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 15:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Hi all. My opinion is that Minangkabau is "mainly" an oral languange, but there are some publications written in this language. Some links:
  • Takuik Antu (Afraid of Ghost) an example of humourous short story usually printed at the Singgalang daily newspaper. The newspaper is distributed mainly in the Province of West Sumatra & its surrounding provinces. This daily newspaper is approx. 40 years old and is still being published today.
  • Tigo Carito Randai: Umbuik Mudo, Magek Manandin, dan Santan Batapih (Three Randai Stories: Umbuik Mudo, Magek Manandin, and Santan Batapih), by Musra Dahrizal Katik & Mangkuto, which is a regional literary publication of The Arts Council of West Sumatra (Dewan Kesenian Sumatra Barat), published in 2007.
  • Saputangan Sirah Baragi, by Nasrul Siddik, an anthology of short stories written in the language of Minangkabau, Publisher: Genta, Padang, 1966.
  • There are a lot of websites and blogs written in this languange, for example this short story Malin Deman Lah Sabana Jadi Malin (Malin Deman has now become a pious), in a blog by the late writer Wisran Hadi (some other short stories and proses by him can be found there too), or this online news Barito Minang (Minang News), where the news are written solely in this language.
Thanks, XoXo (talk) 10:27, 7 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

General discussion[edit]

The project is eligible. Please contact GerardM for opening possibility for translating the interface at Translatewiki. --Millosh 05:01, 22 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]


The LangCom has considered the approval, and some are of the opinion that the activity is rather low. We will reconsider it in December. Meanwhile you should concentrate on the Incubator test wiki and preferably find more contributors who can actively participate in the test wiki and the Minangkabau Wikipedia. Regards, SPQRobin (talk) 20:50, 24 October 2010 (UTC)[reply]

When this wikipedia will be approval ?--Aplikasi 06:28, 25 December 2010 (UTC)[reply]
It was already two year after you write this message. When our project will be reconsidered by the Committee? SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 03:45, 23 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Looking at statistics, one sees that the current activity started in October & in the last two months there have been three users who have all been active reasonably on more or less the same level, as well as a number of users who made a smaller amount of edits. I will propose the project to be approved if such activity also keeps up in the next month, in accordance with the activity criteria described at the top of this page; taking into account that the most used messages have been translated completely & that there has already been quite a high activity in the test project from June to September 2011. --MF-W 02:13, 24 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Okay. Thanks for your info. SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 02:49, 24 December 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've asked the Committee for the verification. Hope soon. SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 01:21, 19 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Congratulations to the Minangkabau editorial community on receiving approval! Keep up the good work so that this keeps alive! ReveurGAM (talk) 05:38, 31 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Thank you ReveurGAM :-) XoXo (talk) 10:38, 7 February 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Namespace names[edit]

About [1]: Namespace names can be translated on translatewiki.net, see here. I have now added the translations for Template and File, but not for Image as that is not translatable there. It can be requested to add it as an alias for the File namespace, though. - The Main Page standard name is defined in translatewiki:MediaWiki:Mainpage/min, but of course the page can also be moved locally --MF-W 11:36, 27 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Okay, thanks! SpartacksCompatriot (talk) 12:36, 27 January 2013 (UTC)[reply]